UnitedFuture finds itself again the lone voice calling for drug reform
UnitedFuture party leader Damian Light is calling for an immediate, coordinated government response to the growing number of incidents attributed to synthetic cannabis.
“The growing number of deaths attributed to so-called synthetic cannabis highlight the urgent need for a coordinated response.” Said Mr Light.
“While there has been progress made by the police, we need to involve all government agencies required like health and education together with community organisations.”
“We need to urgently address the crisis that we’re seeing but also have a broader discussion about drugs in our society.”
“It’s a complicated issue but it needs leadership from government. We cannot afford to let this continue simply because politicians are too afraid to address it.”
UnitedFuture has drug reform in its top ten policies for this election, sitting under its stronger communities theme to recognise the massive social harm that drugs can cause if not treated properly.
UnitedFuture policy is to;
- Place health care and treatment at the centre of drug policy.
- Ensure systems in place to help people suffering from drug related issues
- Create a regulated market for drugs that are proven low-risk.
- Shut criminals out of the market.
UnitedFuture convinced the government to focus the National Drug Policy (2015) on a health perspective and has progressively opened up access to cannabis based medicines. However, there is more to be done. The NZ government spends $350m a year responding to drug issues but only $80m of this is on health, the rest of enforcement and justice.
“We’ve started moving in the right direction on drug reform, but we cannot afford to stop now. It’s critical that UnitedFuture is returned to parliament to ensure that drug reform continues forward.” Concluded Mr Light.