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Submission

Misuse of Drugs q Drug policy should aim to solve New Zealand drug

Act 1975
use problems. We have the world’s highest teenage
To: Drugs Review Project Coordinator cannabis use rate. We should reject obsolete and
Law Commission failing international drug control conventions (Q1,2).
They are a barrier to achieving effective solutions.

For the first time in 35 years a full, independent, My name(s) is/are: _____________________________ q I support controlled drugs, including alcohol and
official review of the Act has been done. The Law tobacco, being classified on two evidence-based
_____________________________ scales: toxicity and addictiveness.
Commissioners recommend some changes:
• Lower penalties for personal use of all drugs. Contact phone: _____________________________ q Harsh penalties for supplying cannabis are
More diversion and cautioning by Police and unnecessary. If penalties for supplying drugs
I /we live in: _____________________________ continue, they should avoid imprisonment
more resources for treatment.
especially where “social supply” is indicated
• Instead of prosecution and criminal conviction
(town, city, suburb) _____________________________
(such as; small quantities, supply to friends, not
for lower level drugs (such as cannabis) users
motivated by profit) (Q4)
could pay a fine, or attend drug education.
My submission is on the Summary report (questions
• Medicinal use of cannabis should be allowed. as shown, please tick each item you support):
q I support the medicinal use of cannabis for people
suffering from illnesses where it might assist them
• Medicinal suppliers should be licensed. 3 (Q15). This should be under medical supervision
q with a system of licensed suppliers.
These are all positive suggestions that deserve
endorsement.
q I support the Law Commission view that the
q Health problems, including addiction, caused
legislation should be better aligned with a policy of
by tobacco, alcohol and other drugs should be
Make a submission today at www.talklaw.co.nz or harm minimisation.
funded adequately and treated consistently (Q19).
visit www.norml.org.nz. q Drug control laws should respect human diversity Compulsory treatment should be reserved for
and fundamental human rights. exceptional cases.
• Email or post your written submission to:
q Personal use of drugs should not result in any q If penalties for personal use remain then a
Drugs Review Submissions criminal penalties (Q6). cautioning system is preferred. Infringement notice
Law Commission, systems can turn into revenue-gathering devices
PO Box 2590, Wellington 6140
q All penalties for personal use should be reduced if
and be used to harass people (Q6). Drug laws
not eliminated (Q7,8,9). State/Police involvement
drugsreview@lawcom.govt.nz should be limited to facilitating treatment or already punish disproportionately the young, the
drug education for people experiencing problems poor and Maori; this tendency would increase under
• E-mail them if you would prefer not to use your an infringement notice system.
caused by over-use or addiction.
name.
• Encourage others to make a submission by
q Separating the markets for low-risk and high-risk Thank you for the opportunity to make this
drugs should be state policy. Access to high-risk submission.
showing them yours. Send it to your MP and
drugs should be controlled (e.g. treatment clinic or
send a copy to us!
doctor’s prescription). Access to low-risk drugs like
cannabis should be regulated via an adults-only, Signed: ___________________________________
taxable market similar to that in the Netherlands.
Date: ___________________________________
Make your voice heard ...
Alcohol vs cannabis?
NORML believes adults have a basic right to make
personal choices about the drugs they consume, whether
Add your personal
tobacco, alcohol or other drugs. Currently, alcohol is views and experience
easily available everywhere, yet alcohol is a class B level
drug. to your submission!
Cannabis, in class C, is used every year by over 400,000 “I agree that the Misuse of Drugs Act is
Kiwis, is safer than alcohol, but is illegal. Access to outdated and needs reform because ...
cannabis is controlled by the criminal “black” market.
The results?
• NZ has the highest rate of teenage cannabis use in
the world.
• The illegal cannabis market helps the spread of
other, dangerous substances.
Is this the best outcome for Aotearoa New Zealand? Of
course not!

NORML believes cannabis should be available through a


regulated, adults-only, taxable market.

Drug use: a health issue or a crime?


Official Review
At present, personal use of Class B and Class C drugs
can lead to 3 months imprisonment and a $500 fine. of Drug Laws
Personal use for Class A can lead to 6 months in jail and
a $1000 fine. Even the hard-line United Nations Office on
Are our drug laws heavy-handed,
Drugs and Crime is calling for law enforcement to switch
from drug users to drug traffickers, and pointing out that unjust, and unworkable?
“people who take drugs need medical help, not criminal
retribution”. The Law Commission wants to hear your
Law Commission issues paper, page 215 views on its Issues Paper on Controlling and
Regulating Drugs.
National Organisation for the The submission deadline is April 30th, 2010.
Reform of Marijuana Laws, New Zealand
PO Box 3307, Shortland St, Auckland 1015, New Zealand
Tel 09 302 5255 Fax 09 303 1309
Email info@norml.org.nz Website www.norml.org.nz
Visit www.talklaw.co.nz
or post your views using this simple submission!