Dealers should pay for endangering children

Published: Fri 26 Nov 2004 12:28 AM
Friday, 26 November 2004
Turner: Meth makers, dealers should pay for endangering children
Methamphetamine manufacturers and dealers should have the damage and danger of their products to children and unborn children factored into their jail sentences, United Future family affairs spokeswoman Judy Turner said today. Speaking out after news that the number of referrals to the alcohol, drug and pregnancy team at the National Women’s Hospital, in Auckland, involving meth users has risen more than five-fold since 2001, Mrs Turner said there should be no way manufacturers and dealers are distanced from the full damage that their crime inflicts.
“Where users are either pregnant or have children at risk in their homes, let’s have dealers and manufacturers as the true first defendants,” she said. “If they weren’t making and selling these drugs, that particularly evil damage and danger wouldn’t be inflicted on children, born and unborn.
“This is about protecting our young; protecting our families, and in no way diminishes the individual responsibility on parents and pregnant mums in particular, to not use drugs.” “Such drug use around or in anyway involving families should be treated by the judiciary as an aggravating factor and be reflected as such in sentencing,” she said.
The worst such cases involve parents with P labs in their homes. “There is no excuse whatsoever to have children running around in a home that police, when they bust these places, will not enter without full chemical-protection suits. And yet we often have toddlers crawling around on their hands and knees in such homes. There is no excuse for any parent to do this ever!”

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