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Greens back Government moves against P

December 16, 2003

Greens back Government moves against P

The Green Party today welcomed a report from the Health Select Committee backing a Government Notice of Motion to classify ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. These two substances are precursors used in the manufacture of crystal methamphetamine (P).

Nandor Tanczos, the Green Spokesperson for Drug Policy, said that the Greens suggested the move in May of this year when the reclassification of methamphetamine was debated in Parliament.

"The Greens said in May that restricting access to precursors would be more effective at stopping abuse than simply reclassifying P. Although he criticised us at the time, that is exactly what Jim Anderton is now doing," said Nandor.

"Other parties who claim to be 'tough on drugs' don't offer any realistic solutions to this problem. The Greens have always looked for answers rather than rhetoric.

"Our suggestions on the other side of the equation - demand reduction - have also been picked up by Jim Anderton recently. While we disagree about some things, we are equally concerned about the increasing abuse of P in this country, and in finding effective solutions."

Nandor said the Green Party believed that the move was a sensible one because it allowed pharmacies to continue to provide ephedrine and pseudoephedrine based medicines where these were effective, but gave Customs more ability to investigate organisations set up for the importation of precursors.

"Being scheduled under the C3 and C5 schedules mean that police do not have 'search without warrant' powers to harass people for some flu tablets. The focus must be on the large scale importation," said Nandor.

ENDS

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