The Law Commission’s report on controlling and regulating drugs is an important step in the right direction, Green Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei said today.
The report released today criticises New Zealand current drug laws. In particular it focuses on how the current law creates problems rather than solving them.
“The current law is hurting our families,” said Mrs Turei.
“The law stops people from getting help when they need it and the cost of that failure is borne by the family and the community.
“Too often drug policy is driven by emotive responses to specific cases. But we need rational drug policy based on evidence,” said Mrs Turei.
Mrs Turei welcomed the Commission’s recognition of the harm minimisation model and its rational assessment of the law and the law’s effects.
“We need the ability to discuss real alternatives that will keep our communities safer.
“We urge the Government to read this report and make workable policy changes.
“Simply by recognising that people take legal and illegal drugs and that policy should be based around education, prevention and rehabilitation, we have moved closer to solving the problem.”
Mrs Turei agreed with the Law Commission that options to decriminalise personal use of some drugs must be explored.
“Approaches such as cautioning or infringement notices work well in Australia and other countries.
“The Green Party has always had a rational drug policy that seeks to minimise the harms and costs of drug use by recognising that not all drug use is problematic and that societies which have progressive drug laws do not significant have drug problems,” said Mrs Turei.