ABORIGINAL children as young as eight are smoking marijuana, with the drug replacing petrol sniffing in some remote Northern Territory communities, according to indigenous MP Alison Anderson.
Ms Anderson told the Northern Territory Parliament yesterday that smugglers are using unusual methods to avoid police detection, including sewing marijuana inside kangaroo carcasses or hiding it in women's underwear because male police are not allowed to body search them at road blocks.
Ms Anderson, a former NT indigenous affairs minister from the central Australian community of Papunya, called for a wide-ranging inquiry into substance abuse.
She said money that is not quarantined for food and other essential items under the federal indigenous intervention was going to marijuana dealers.
Meanwhile, many Aboriginal people told Government representatives during community consultations that alcohol-related problems have worsened in their communities since the 2007 intervention.
But a report on the consultations in communities released by federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said the strong consensus was that alcohol restrictions should remain. although there was a clear message that ''one size does not fit all and that local responses are needed''.
November 25, 2009