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Punish Crimes, Not Vices, Say Libz

Libertarianz spokeman Richard McGrath said the death of Auckland engineering student Shawn Brenner was a tragic waste of a young life, but that subsequent comments made by emergency specialist Dr Tony Smith were similarly unfortunate.

"Dr Smith seems upset that a chemical precursor to the substance One4b, Puritech, is being sold as a CD and cassette tape cleaner. Is he aware that the drug known as meths -- which many people drink despite the unhealthy consequences of doing so -- can be mixed with water and used as a window cleaner? Does he suggest that meths be banned as well?"

"Let's get things in perspective," McGrath said. "Unless Mr Brenner was forced against to take this drug against his will, what crime was committed? Why does Dr Smith claim the distributor of a tape cleaner has a moral duty to stop selling it? And, if so, why don't service stations have a moral duty to stop selling the 'drugs' methylated spirits and petrol?"

"Dr Smith and I share a common desire to see fewer people harmed by the use of drugs," added McGrath. "But banning substance use is not the way to achieve this. In fact, I shall be arguing the case for precisely the opposite -- repeal of the Misuse of Drugs Act -- before a parliamentary select committee later this year."

Libertarianz believe the state should prosecute crimes, not vices. "The only human activity a government can rightfully ban is the use of aggressive force -- murder, rape, assault, fraud and suchlike," McGrath added, "but not the decision of an adult to intentionally introduce intoxicating substances to their central nervous system. That is something a person does at their own risk. The government is not empowered to protect people against their own carelessness or stupidity."

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Richard McGrath * Libertarianz Deputy Leader * Fax (06) 377 3070 * mcgrath@no-income-tax.com Or contect Libertarianz Media Coordinator at (025) 861 927

* LIBERTARIANZ * More Freedom * Less Government *

www.libertarianz.org.nz www.freeradical.co.nz


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