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70 % Of Drug Busts Are "Personal" Amounts - NORML

Police stats show 70 per cent of all drug busts are for "personal" amounts of cannabis

The latest Police crime statistics belie claims that police are putting more emphasis on crimes that matter, with more than seventy per cent of all drug busts, or ninety per cent of all cannabis busts, for personal amounts.

The last fiscal year revealed an increase in the number of cannabis busts for the first time since 1998. Previous years have shown a drop in arrests as police realised they had more important things to do.

"Now it seems police are spending more of their time chasing ordinary mums and dads who choose cannabis over more harmful substances such as alcohol or tobacco," said Chris Fowlie, spokesperson for NORML.

"Despite all the chest-beating about P, the latest crime statistics show that cannabis charges continue to make up around 75 per cent of all drug charges, with personal use-type charges making up over 90 per cent of that.

"Charges for personal amounts of cannabis make up almost 70 per cent of all drug arrests over the last year.

"Many of these would be medical users, forced into breaking the law because of government indifference to their suffering.

"This is a shocking indictment on the mis-placed priorities of the police, who should be protecting people from real criminals, not wasting time chasing those who are doing no harm to others," said Mr Fowlie.

Green MP Metiria Turei has a bill before parliament that will allow doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients who they feel would benefit from it. The first vote in parliament is scheduled for 15 November 2006.

ENDS

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