Service providers and communities call on Government to treat drugs as a health issue

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

The Green Party supports the open letter released today by a cross-sector coalition calling for the Government to treat all drug use as a health issue, to repeal and replace the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975.

“Drugs are a health, housing, employment, and education issue and criminalising people doesn’t solve any of those problems,” says Green Party spokesperson for Drug Law Reform Chlöe Swarbrick.

“Even the strongest opponents of cannabis regulation argued against a criminal approach to drugs throughout last year’s referendum debate.

“The Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is demonstrably unfit for purpose. The Government’s own Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction, and the Safe and Effective Justice Advisory Group both called for a health-based approach to drug use, which tackle drug-related harm instead of multiplying it under criminalisation.

“We’re now ten years down the track from the Law Commission’s 2011 report submitted to the then-National Government asking for decriminalisation of users caught in the web of addiction. What will it take for politicians to finally follow the evidence, protect our communities and ensure wellbeing?”

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