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Anti-drug peddler laws are tough, and rightly so

25 November 2004

Hon Jim Anderton MP, Progressive Leader

Anti-drug peddler laws are tough, and rightly so

Proposed new laws to increase powers to search and seize, without warrant,
suspected drug peddlers are very tough, but they are justified because of the extreme danger that drugs, particularly methamphetamine, pose to innocent people, says Progressive leader Jim Anderton.

Some submissions to the Health Select Committee, which is deliberating on the Progressive leader's Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill No. 3, have described the proposed law giving greater powers to Customs and Police as draconian.

"As I have said to public forums up and down the country, the proposed law change is indeed very tough – tough on the peddlers who make their fortunes out of causing misery to vulnerable New Zealanders, too often young New Zealanders.

"But the law change has to be seen within the context of the extreme pain and suffering these peddlers of evil are causing to young people, their families and in some cases entire communities," Jim Anderton said.

The Progressive leader said the coalition government's approach to combating drug problems in society was three-pronged.

The government's strategy aims to be tough on the suppliers of dangerous substances, it aims to reduce demand for drugs through enlightened community empowerment and education programmes and it also seeks to provide compassionate treatment services to help the victims of drugs get back on their feet.

"We need to work on all three fronts at the same time to get the best possible results. While I am very proud of our investment in youth treatment services, Community Action on Youth and Drugs (CAYAD) programmes and the free needle exchange programme, I also know that an important part of our strategy must include effective action on reducing the supply of dangerous drugs which is why I expect all parties in Parliament will support the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill," Jim Anderton said.

Anderton speech on Misuse of Drugs Bill No. 3:

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