Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Methamphetamine convictions on rise, new report shows

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2019


Data published today in the NZ Drug Foundation’s State of the Nation 2019 report shows that last year low-level methampethamine convictions overtook cannabis for the first ti me. Cannabis-related convictions have remained stable while those for methaphetamine have continued to rise.


Figures obtaned from the Ministry of Justice show that in 2018, 1,949 people were convicted with a low-level methamphetamine offence as their most serious charge, compared with 1,791 convictions for cannabis. Low-level methamphetamine-related convictions have doubled over the past five years.

“It is discouraging to see methamphetamine convictions growing over the past few years. People who have a problem with methamphetamine use, or any other drug for that matter, need support, not a conviction,” says Kali Mercier, Poilcy and Advocacy Manager.

“It is now widely accepted that we should treat harmful drug use as a health and social issue, but these figures show there is still some way to go before this becomes a reality.”

Other data published for the first time show variations in the way low level drug offences are dealt with. For instance, some police districts are more likely to divert people away from court towards therapy, warnings or youth aid for low-level drug offences than others.

“In one part of the country you may be given a stern warning whereas in another you’re convicted for the same offence,” Ms Mercier said.

“It’s hard to fathom why people doing exactly the same thing should be dealt with so differently. This is one of many signs the current punitive approach to drugs is overdue for a complete rewrite. We need to start over and build a law that works to improve health and social outcomes.”

Other significant changes reported on include a dramatic drop in synthetic cannabinoids seizures by Customs and Police, from 208kg in 2017 to 44kg in 2018. Reports of incidents involving synthetic cannabinoids received by St John Ambulance dropped from 263 in July and August 2018 to 122 in the corresponding period in 2019. While the rate of deaths caused by synthetic cannabinoids has declined in recent months, the harm caused by these substances remains cause for great concern.

“The response of communities and health services has been very welcome. We are now better set-up to respond if a dangerous drug arrives on our shore. However, we do need to remain on alert as new synthetic substances appear on the market frequently. Further crises are likely unless significant effort is put into addressing the complex social and economic issues underlying their use.”

The Drug Foundation’s State of the Nation report is compiled from publicly available sources, including Ministry of Health databases, and data obtained from government released under the Official Information Act.

“Regrettably New Zealand actually doesn’t do a great job of tracking illicit drug use, or the harm it causes to individuals and in communities,” Kali Mercier said.

“How do we assess the impact of the law change and other efforts to reduce drug harm, if we don’t have good data? We expect Government will be looking at gathering and publishing much more robust data on all drugs to inform the many decisions they’ll need to make if cannabis legalisation goes ahead.”

Get a copy of the report

NZ Drug Foundation State of the Nation 2019 report, download nzdrug.org/SOTN-2019


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Statement: Deadly Eruption Of Whakaari / White Island

At this stage, we can confirm that amongst those currently listed as missing or injured are New Zealanders who were part of the tour operation, and tourists from Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. That is to the best of our knowledge.

To those who have lost or are missing family and friends, we share in your unfathomable grief at this moment in time, and in your sorrow. Your loved ones stood alongside kiwis who were hosting you here. We grieve with you, and we grieve with them... More>>

Police Update: Plan To Recover Bodies
"I can now confirm that we are finalising a plan to recover the bodies from Whakaari / White Island tomorrow morning. Families will be briefed on the operation at 4.30pm and Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement will speak with media in Whakatane." More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Eruption And Tourism Safety
Adventure tourism is a central theme in New Zealand tourism, and by definition, adventure always includes a certain level of risk. That said, New Zealand itself is also at risk of being seen as a tourism destination where commercial factors – rather than safety factors – are routinely allowed to determine the point where the boundary line of acceptable risk is being drawn. More>>

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Welfare Vs Infrastructure Spending

If New Zealand has a pressing need to stimulate its flagging economy, it seems very weird that the government is choosing a $12 billion package of infrastructure spending – mainly on road and rail – that by definition, will take a very long time to deliver their stimulatory benefits ... More>>

New Reports: "Immediate Commitment To Doing Justice Differently"

Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and Te Tangi o te Manawanui: Recommendations for Reform from the Chief Victims Advisor. Both recommend a fresh approach to the way criminal justice has been approached... More>>

ALSO:

Law Foundation: Government Decryption Powers Must Respect Privacy

The power of government to order users and companies to decrypt encrypted data and devices needs stronger privacy protections and additional safeguards, according to a study published by researchers at the University of Waikato. More>>

Latest 'Discussion Doc': National On Healthcare

National has today released our eighth Discussion Document which focusses on health and outlines a range of policies which will enable more Kiwis to access high-quality healthcare, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Select Committee Report: Combatting Foreign Election Interference

MPs have finally delivered their recommendations to combat foreign interference in elections in a long awaited and much delayed report. More>>

Mosque Attacks: Names Of Arresting Officers Released

Police are now in the position to name the two officers involved in the arrest of the alleged gunman responsible for the attacks on the Al Noor and Linwood Mosques on March 15. More>>

Big, Bold, Permanent Change Needed: Children's Commissioner On 2019 Child Poverty Monitor

“I want to see family incomes dramatically raised by increasing benefits and making the minimum wage a living wage. And the Government needs to move much faster at increasing the supply of social housing..." More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels