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United Future Ostrich approach to drug policy

PRESS RELEASE 12 JUNE 2005


United Future Ostrich approach to drug policy

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party appreciate that United Future are making drug policy an election issue. However, United Future are as hypocritical and ill-informed as the Greens claim.

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis say Mr Dunne and his party don’t actually know what they are talking about. . To say that both a rehabilitative and a punitive aspect is a balanced drug policy is to have ones political head in the proverbial sand.

Neither the National nor Labour parties need a formal drug policy, because they know that New Zealand has a document called the National Drug Policy. This policy development is guided by principles including Efficiency, Equity, and Use of both harm prevention and harm reduction strategies. It involves evidence-based policy making. United Future should be aware of this. Since the last election they have shut down dissemination of the facts and selectively accepted evidence.

The health and treatment sectors in general are beginning to acknowledge the very low rate of harm caused by cannabis. This is in stark contrast with the current politicial point scoring being done by UF. We regret the direction and content of their policy, and its move away from their family values stance. Their harsher penalty policy leaves the evidence in the dust as they exploit public fear and ignorance.

The people of New Zealand should be concerned about the direction of United Future party’s drug policy. This type of policy has failed miserably overseas. The Dutch have the fewest cannabis problems in the world, although with the most relaxed policy. Mr Dunne is aware of that fact but won’t make himself available for debate.

ENDS

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