GREENS WANT ONE LAW FOR ALL DRUGS FROM ALCOHOL TO SPEED
The first response to underage use of drugs should be drug education
and assessment, then proper treatment if there was a drug problem, the
Green Party said today.
Green MP Nandor Tanczos and Sue Kedgley today released the party's
drug law reform policy, which would rewrite the various laws covering
drug use - from tobacco and alcohol through to drugs currently
classified "A", such as methamphetamine - into one piece of
The Green Party has written a draft Controlled Drugs Policy as an
alternative to the Misuse of Drugs Act.
"At present we have the Sale of Liquor Act, Smokefree Environments
Act, the Misuse of Drugs Act, and others. It's a hell of a mess," Mr
Tanczos said in a statement.
"It would be better to have one consistent law that included all
psychoactive drugs from tobacco to cannabis to codeine but treats them
differently according to the scientific evidence."
Under Green policy, it would still be illegal to possess or sell drugs
such as methamphetamine. Others, such as alcohol, would be banned for
anyone under 18 with advertising restrictions and consumer warnings.
Mr Tanczos said a group of experts - rather than politicians - would
decide the classification of different drugs and there would be a
focus on treatment.
"The first response to, for example, underage use of any drug should
be some basic drug education and assessment and if there is a drug
problem, proper treatment. At the moment the law is silent and so some
young people get a slap on the hand, others get expelled from school,
while others get a criminal conviction," he said.
Ms Kedgley, the party's health spokeswoman, said a new approach was
urgently needed that recognised all drugs could cause serious
physical, mental and social harm if these were misused or overused.
"We need an integrated approach to all drugs and a consistent approach
to reducing their harm through treatment and education - whether they
are prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco or cannabis," she said in the