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*Pot prohibition promotes 'dog-eat-dog' values*

Media Release 19 October 2008

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party

*Pot prohibition promotes 'dog-eat-dog' values*

Scientists miss key 'factor' : It's a no-brainer ! Another expensive research study finds alcohol and other drug abuse under the age of 15 probably contributes directly to subsequent health and social problems.

The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party also says it is bizarre that the research, published internationally and conducted on data from the multidisciplinary study at Otago university, appears to omit consideration of a prohibition environment as a factor in youth damage, alienation and deviancy.

"Are the researchers not factoring in the social cost and effect of cannabis prohibition?" says party president Kevin O'Connell. "There is also a 100% correlation of 'criminality outcomes' because of the criminalisation of widespread cannabis use. Why is it news that there are bad behavioural outcomes observed? It is disturbing to me as a science graduate, that experts in statistical analysis can completely pretend that a repressive social context is not in any way relevant to observed social outcomes."

The ALCP say the social and health context surrounding intoxicant use in NZ is riddled with hypocrisy, dysfunctional 'prevention' as well as extreme public double standards (eg. alcohol/tobacco vs cannabis). This context creates a disrespectful and toxic environment for young New Zealanders, particularly those exposed to alcohol and other drug abuse at an early age.

It is our view that cannabis prohibition and criminalisation promotes 'dog-eat-dog' values, staunch anti-social behaviour - grow your underclass! - and is a key factor in many young people growing up confused and their lifetime health and social outcomes turning out badly.

Prohibition has made alcohol and other drug use 'cool' and normal among young Kiwis. The longitudinal Dunedin cohort study has famously found that 70-80% of teenagers are experimenting with cannabis. The prohibitionist deterrent protects nobody.

Unfortunately the 'general public' support our mainstream media in NZ having this prurient interest in prohibition. It creates never-ending crime stories and, although it covers erroneous researchers, any other dissenting comment - no matter how valid - is left out of the picture.

The ALCP say NZ cannabis research academics are letting the real criminals get off scot free.

ENDS

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