INDEPENDENT NEWS

Govt sending mixed drug message

Published: Thu 7 Oct 2004 08:34 AM
Govt sending mixed drug message
United Future law & order spokesman Marc Alexander has charged the Government with sending mixed messages to the nation’s schoolchildren about drug use.
After raising the topic in Parliament today, Mr Alexander said “On the one hand, Justice Minister Phil Goff is telling us the Labour Government is tough on drugs, wants to take drug revenues off the gangs and stop the manufacture of methamphetamines to halt the P epidemic.
“On the other hand, the Ministry of Youth Development is sending out drug education booklets to schools that takes a harm minimisation approach, rather than giving a drug avoidance message.
“Indeed, the booklet avoids promoting abstinence because it “stigmatises experimentation with drugs as deviant behaviour”.
“So we have one arm of Government battling to halt the drug scourge while another government agency is telling our kids ‘a little bit’s OK’.
“The Government’s got to get its act together on this matter and it should do it soon,” said Mr Alexander.

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