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Govt accused of not taking drug use seriously


Christine Davey; Sensible Sentencing Spokesperson on Drug Issues

Government accused of not taking illicit drug use seriously

If the Government wants to provide better access to justice for ALL New Zealanders they should instruct the Police to start intervening long before the illicit users clog the Courts, says the Sensible Sentencing Trust Drug Issues Spokesperson.

Christine Davey said Minister Rick Barker has heralded the introduction of changes in the Criminal Procedure Bill, part of which now allows less complex Class A (P) drug cases to have the option of being heard in District Courts. This move will have a significant impact on the backlog of 245 cases clogging up the High Court (as at 31st May 2008), of which 49.3% are P related.

“Unfortunately it will also significantly impact on the workload at the District Courts, because this issue will not go away until the Government starts treating the Cause instead of the Effect.

Ms. Davey said the Minister should also instruct Mr Cullen to allocate some of the billion dollar surplus to opening more Rehabilitation Centres to compulsorily treat these addicts and turn them into contributing members of society instead of a constant drain on our taxes.

“And he should instruct Mr Anderton to stop telling people how to use illicit drugs 'safely' and adopt a Zero Tolerance Policy.

“Until the Government decides to take illicit drug use seriously, NZ will continue to sink, taking the nicely re-arranged deck chairs with her,” Ms. Davey said.

Ends


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