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Send Young People A Strong Anti-Drugs Message

Send Young People A Strong Anti-Drugs Message

2 December 2003

Hon Jim Anderton MP, Progressive Leader, Associate Minister of Health Chair of the Ministerial Committee on Drug Policy

Send young people a strong anti-drugs message says Progressive Leader Jim Anderton

Young people deserve the respect to be told the truth about drugs, Progressive leader Jim Anderton says.

"Using drugs like cannabis and P, and misusing alcohol, carries a high risk of destroying your chances in life," Jim Anderton said ahead of a public debate organized by the pro-cannabis liberalization Greens in Wellington on Wednesday.

"Adults and politicians need to pay young people the respect of telling them what they may not want to hear and the Progressive Party fears that the Greens' relentless campaign in favour of cannabis decriminilization is inadvertently sending completely the wrong message to vulnerable young people.

"With their campaign, the Greens risk sending the message that using drugs and misusing alcohol is an acceptable lifestyle choice. It isn't. For many, using drugs as a young person can lead to despair and failure later in life," Jim Anderton said.

The Ohariu public debate on Wednesday is being organized by the Green Party's spokesperson on drug policy, Nandor Tanczos and follows two earlier debates organised by Jim Anderton's Progressive Party in Wigram and Otahuhu.

United leader and Ohariu-Belmont MP, Peter Dunne, rejected an invitation by Nandor Tanczos to attend a Greens-organized debate in the Wellington electorate, but Jim Anderton said he felt it important that the public - including those in the Greens who are in favour of drug use - had an opportunity to hear first hand the Progressives' anti-drugs message.

Jim Anderton chairs the Ministerial Committee on Drug Policy and the Progressive Party was responsible for the anti-drugs package contained in the 2003 Budget.

ENDS

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