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Crime prevention "as easy as ALCP"

PRESS RELEASE- to all media- 14 October, 1999

Crime prevention "as easy as ALCP"

The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (ALCP) has responded positively to the Police Association's call for better strategies in dealing with the four main syndicates identified as controlling drug distribution in New Zealand.

"The Police Association should check out the ALCP 'effective drug education' rationale", said number 3 list candidate and policy analyst, Kevin O'Connell, "online at http://www.alcp.org.nz".

Despite prohibition, New Zealand's drug trade is thriving, and our marijuana uptake and use is estimated to be at least double that of Holland's.

"I draw the Police Association's notice to the Health Committee Cannabis Inquiry (1998) evidence. The select committee has twice called for a review of the appropriateness of existing law on cannabis", said Mr O'Connell.

The Police could save 923,000 hours a year not chasing cannabis in New Zealand, according to former Minister Jack Elder (Dominion 12 Aug, 1998). "That's $64 million in direct policing costs alone, without factoring in justice, corrections, and legal aid - and downstream crime, nor the money that is lost by not taxing a coffee-shop trade"

"Greg O'Connor (of the Police Association) says we need a strong Police Minister in the next Cabinet, but we already have the common sense of the current Minister- Clem Simich, who has openly advocated the removal of cannabis from the criminal realm", said Mr O'Connell.

"Surely the Police realise that the current system creates alienation, especially amonst young Maori, and is unsustainable", said the candidate who is electioneering every lunchtime, in the Christchurch city mall.

"Many young people I speak to, cynically view the Police as the largest organised gang in the country"

"The Police Association is forever asking for more legislation, resources, technology and power, in the fight against organised crime- but that only drives the price of marijauna up and maximises profits and power of the gangs", said Mr O'Connell.

"I challenge Mr O'Connor to boost his, and the police's credibility, by admitting that education is a better strategy than criminalisation."

The Ministry of Health strongly recommended in 1996, examination of the cost-effectiveness of the current enforcement. The study was subsequently buried by the "get tough" National government. (National Alcohol and Drug Policy- unreleased, 13 May, 1996, Cabinet Social Policy Committee).

Ironically, at around the same time, the Secretary General of INTERPOL was indicating that demand reduction would be 7 times more cost-effective than enforcement.

In this election, the voter's of New Zealand have their big chance to JUST SAY NO to prohibition, with the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party requiring only one in twenty votes to ensure an honest government takes office and enforces a new era of genuine crime prevention.

==============================================

Kevin O'Connell, (03) 389 4065 http://www.alcp.org.nz

Blair Anderson mailto: blair@technologist.com Independent Candidate for the Great Southern Land, Te Tai Tonga


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