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Weed Campaigner Calls for Decriminalisation of Meth

Weed Referendum Campaigner Calls for Decriminalisation of Meth

The news that methamphetamine is soon to overtake marijuana as New Zealand's number one drug matter before the Courts is of no surprise to Tauranga Legal Weed Campaigner David Tank.

Mr Tank is the author of an online petition seeking to set the date of the upcoming referendum on making the recreational use of marijuana legal for the 26th of January 2019. The petition, which currently has over 4000 signatures, also demands that should a majority vote in favour that Marijuana being made legal as at 1st January 2020.

"Recent media reports have highlighted figures from the Ministry of Justice showing there were 6377 meth cases before the courts in the year to June 30, 2017 compared with 6899 cannabis cases. " he says.

"Since 2010 court cases involving marijuana have more than halved while the number prosecuted for the dangerous methamphetamine has continued to grow. These figures reflect the more humane treatment of Marijuana users since that time rather than any sudden and dramatic rise in the use of Meth."

"This drop in prosecutions for Marijuana is a reflection of our half hearted "de facto decriminalisation" of it since 2010 and it points the way to a better future for all in how we treat those who use illegal drugs. The abuse of these substances is a health issue not a criminal one, this means the use of Methamphetamine should be decriminalised too."

" Prohibition and punishment has never stopped anyone from ruining their lives, all it has ever done is to make the vulnerable the prey of the criminals and added a terrible burden to that of addiction through the loss of reputation and opportunity by their treatment as criminals by our society and our judicial system."

"It hurts the life chances of their innocent children too and I find that unconscionable," he says.

The damage caused by meth to the user and their friends and families, to our communities and our society continues to grow because our drug laws are not fit for purpose. This drop in court appearances for marijuana points the way to the future," Mr Tank says.

"All drugs should be decriminalised as a matter of urgency. The upcoming referendum question should be framed upon the following lines," he says. There should three options:

1. Depenalisation, which means drug use remains illegal but instead of users being prosecuted users are referred to social or health services.

2. Decriminalisation of marijuana and ALL other drugs, which means there is a formal relaxation of the laws with criminal penalties such as prison removed with only fines and or health referrals made.

3. Legalisation of marijuana and the decriminalisation of ALL other drugs. This will mean that there can be no penalties for the use, production, growth and supply of Marijuana. Marijuana would be regulated like tobacco or alcohol. Decriminalisation of all other drugs will mean that only fines or medical referrals will apply for the use of those drugs.

The Legal Weed Petition can be found at www.change.org/p/legal-weed-petition-nz

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