INDEPENDENT NEWS

Govt Cannabis Target Laughable

Published: Thu 27 Jul 2000 05:47 PM
Govt Cannabis Target Laughable While Decriminalisation On The Agenda
Government talk of halving cannabis use by 2005 is laughable while decriminalisation remains on the agenda, National Education spokesperson Nick Smith said today.
"The Minister of Health, Annette King, today stated it was the Government's objective to halve cannabis use over the next five years. The Prime Minister, Education Minister and Health Minister are on the public record supporting decriminalisation.
"Ms King is in cloud-cuckoo-land if she thinks decriminalisation will reduce use. It hasn't happened in South Australia nor in Holland. Schools are already reporting higher cannabis use arising from the mixed signals about the seriousness of cannabis. Decriminalisation will send a message to young people that the drug is no big deal. The Minister is deluding herself if she thinks it will lessen the problem.
"Annette King looks particularly stupid supporting cannabis decriminalisation while going all out against tobacco. This goal of halving use by 2005 is nothing more than a public relations stunt to try and get the Government out of a hole.
"If Labour is serious about reducing marijuana use they will immediately take decriminalisation off the agenda and instead focus on more effective drug education, better treatment programmes and increased support for Police to get the drug off our streets," Dr Smith said.
Ends

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