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Prohibition the cause, not solution

Prohibition the cause, not solution
Nandor Tanczos MP, Green Party Drug Law Reform Spokeperson

7th December 2003

Nandor Tanczos called on the Government to crack down on the real cause of the ‘gateway effect’, in light of a recent study by the Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

While the study found that there was a strong link between cannabis use by young people and other drug use, the author, Professor David Fergusson, went on to say that current cannabis laws were not working and might be exacerbating the drug problem.

“This only reiterates what is already accepted as fact by a significant number of health and drug educators, a majority of researchers in the field, and the Health Select Committee: driving cannabis underground means children are pushed into contact with underworld figures – who have a vested financial interest in hooking them on hard narcotics,” said Nandor, Green Party Drug Law Reform Spokesperson.

Nandor said the conclusion to draw was that “prohibition causes the ‘gateway effect’, not cannabis use per se.

“The era of liquor prohibition is associated with rampant organised crime and underage abuse,” said Nandor. “Is it any wonder that the prohibition of cannabis is causing the same problems?

“The longer we criminalise cannabis, the less chance we have of keeping our kids away from the sinister clutches of organised crime. Under the current system cannabis is more available to our kids than alcohol. There is no age restriction at a tinny house and no easily enforceable code of conduct or regulations governing who they sell to, or what they sell.

“Surely regulation, with use limited to those above 18, is better than the crude blanket-ban we have at present.”

Nandor called on the Minister of Health to pick up the recommendation of the Health Select committee, and direct the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs to look at whether cannabis has been appropriately scheduled.


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