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Government awards $168 million to criminal gangs

Wed, 6 Oct 2004

Government awards $168 million to criminal gangs

$130,000 in compensation recently awarded to mistreated prisoners is "pocket money" compared with the $168 million industry the government has awarded to criminal gangs this year, says Libertarianz spokesman for health deregulation, Dr. Richard Goode.

Dr. Goode expressed outrage at the findings of a police report, The Socio-Economic Impact of Amphetamine-Type Stimulants in New Zealand, prepared by a Massey University research team. "This report documents the utter failure of the government's futile and unjust war on drugs: 10% of young adults have now experimented with amphetamine-type stimulants, a third of those are frequent users, and the drugs are easy or very easy to get."

"The only notable achievement of the government's chosen strategy of prohibition has been to channel the proceeds from the sale of methamphetamine into the pockets of a small number of local, organised criminal gangs," bemoans Goode. "It's crystal clear that reducing the demand for drugs is beyond both the means and the mandate of the state. We're a nation of people who firmly believe in better living through chemistry, be it through caffeine, alcohol, cannabis or methamphetamine."

"It's time the government quit while they're behind, and stopped wasting taxpayers' money in funding its immoral and ineffectual attempts to regulate the recreational drugs market through criminal sanctions."

Recognising that his party's legalisation policy is unlikely to find favour with commander-in-chief of the Drug War, Jim Anderton, Dr. Goode urges at least consideration of the "medicalisation" option. "Allow the purchase of amphetamine-type stimulants with a doctor's prescription. 40% of methamphetamine users report pre-existing mental health problems, according to the aforementioned police report. There is greater opportunity to receive appropriate help in a doctor's surgery than in a prison cell."

ENDS

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