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There’s no time for another war on drugs, Green Party says

4 October 2018


The Green Party is warning the Government not to pursue a costly war on synthetic drugs that is destined to fail, and to look instead at broad-scale drug law reforms and common sense resourcing to address addiction and mental health rather than criminalising drug users.

“My deepest condolences to the family and friends of the Christchurch man who is believed to have died as a result of synthetic cannabis use”, Green spokesperson on drug law reform Chlöe Swarbrick said today.

“People who make synthetics are constantly changing the compounds and chemicals – it’s impossible to know what’s in these drugs. So if our plan is to classify every synthetic product then we’ll be playing catch up every time manufacturers change the chemicals.

“David Clark’s call to re-classify two of the synthetic compounds as Class A drugs puts our country on the wrong path. This a critical moment for drug policy direction. We can choose to carry on with a failed war on drugs, or take a more sensible route and look at the causes and health impacts of addiction and treat those instead.

“Research time and again has showcased that increasing penalties for drugs increases the prison population, but doesn’t make a dent in access nor affordability of those products. Methamphetamine has carried a Class A life imprisonment penalty for decades under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 – but Ministry of Health data demonstrates there’s been no correlated decrease in demand – it’s actually fluctuated to increase in that time.”

Ngā mihi nui,

ends

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