What are our values?

UnitedFuture wants to ensure that New Zealand’s regulations and laws around drugs focus on healthcare and harm reduction and therefore endorses heading towards a Portugal-style model for achieving this reality.

Our model of reform is based on the principles of tolerance, compassion and innovation.

We do not want to see people going through the criminal justice system if they are suffering from an addiction or use of a drug that would be better treated through the health system.  Therefore, we want to see healthcare become the primary motivator of our drug policy.

We want to see a new framework for drug policy introduced that is firmly based on evidence.  That evidence exists from the Portuguese model where health options have used in the first instance of low-level possession infringements while retaining tough constraints and sanctions on the supply side.

  1. The use of healthcare options in the first instance for possession
  2. Place health care and treatment at the centre of drug policy
  3. Create a regulated market for drugs that are proved low-risk
  4. Shutting criminals out of the market
What will we do?
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Introduce health options in the first instance:  

We would introduce a health first approach relating to low-level possession.  This would mean introducing new sentencing guidelines which would allow courts to implement assessment and rehabilitation as the first insatnce for people caught with a small level of Class C drugs (no more than a weeks supply for an individual).

Widening the scope of how courts can deal with this type of offending provides much-needed flexibility to the way we deal with low-level drug possession and allows a middle ground between ignoring the law and using heavy handed criminal sanctions.

We would retain penalties for the sale, supply and cultivation of drugs listed under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975.

This approach stops people who are caught with low-levels of drugs being forced through a criminal system that often does not provide a long-term benefit to them or to society at large.

Superannuation

Place health care and treatment at the centre of drug policy

We would provide a large boost to our treatment and assessment services for rehabilitation.  This will naturally occur as a result of the change to how we deal with sanctions, but we would further expand the resourcing for healthcare and treatment to ensure that our front-line of drug help are continuing to provide the quality help and support that people need to improve their futures.

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Create a regulated market for drugs that are proved safe

We would move current Class C drugs from under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 and place them under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013 which would allow for suppliers to submit drugs for testing to ensure safety.  Once the Ministry of Health is satisfied that a drug is low-risk, that supplier may be granted a license to research, retail, import or manufacture.  This process is tightly regulated to ensure a safe, evidence-based legal avenue.

 

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Shutting criminals out of the market

No criminal organisation will be ever meet that standard or be granted such a licence, which would completely exclude the gangs. Instead, we would have a regulated market for all drugs, synthetic or otherwise, that the Psychoactive Substances Authority considers posing a low risk to users. The possession and supply of all other drugs would remain illegal, and the law would take its course.

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