INDEPENDENT NEWS

MPs asked to reject liberalisation of drug laws

Published: Mon 10 Jul 2000 05:05 PM
Individual MPs asked to reject liberalisation of drug laws
A group representing 12 key educational organisations is so concerned about the moves to decriminalise cannabis, that it has written to every Member of Parliament asking them to reject any change.
The group, called The Education Accord, is made up of the leaders of the 12 key educational organisations, including unions, principals, Maori and trustees. It has sent MPs a unanimous statement on the issue expressing its concerns.
NZSTA President Owen Edgerton says the group collectively has considerable experience working in and with schools and students and is very worried about the effects decriminalisation will have on teenagers.
In the statement, the Accord says it is important that all Members of Parliament are fully aware of the harm that cannabis causes to children and adolescents.
“Cannabis causes physiological damage to developing organs. It also results in “emotional stunting” as cannabis causes blockages of the neural pathways, impeding users’ ability to exercise reason and sound judgement,” it says. “The educational achievement of children and adolescents who use cannabis is severely compromised due to the physiological and emotional side effects of this usage.”
The Education Accord is already concerned about the current level of cannabis taking among young people, and believes that decriminalisation will result in increased use within that age group. It is concerned that it will lead to higher levels of violence and ill-health in our society.
The educationalists say that instead of liberalising the laws, they urge MPs to support the provision of more effective support services for users and their families, and for an effective education programme in schools, available for students from year 1 to year 13.
Ends For further information contact:
Owen Edgerton 025 441 397

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