Pubdate: Mon, 23 Jun 2003
Source: Bay Of Plenty Times (New Zealand)
Copyright: 2003 Bay Of Plenty Times.
Author: Duncan Eddy


It was concerning to read that 13 to 17-year-olds are the biggest buyers of
cannabis from the drug dens. 70 per cent of 1000 young people questioned in
a recent Massey University Study claimed to have purchased cannabis from
gangs. (BOP TIMES 28 May 2003).

This shows that prohibition has failed to stop kids gaining access to
cannabis. Worse, it has also increased the range of possible harms that
exposure to cannabis at a young age can have.

Tauranga CIB head Karl Wright St Clair said that kids who buy cannabis from
tinny houses put themselves at risk in many ways. These tinny houses can be
many young peoples first point of contact with criminals, gangs, and hard
drugs such as methampetamine.

This is really worrying. It is ironic that cannabis prohibition has made
cannabis use more dangerous by putting control of the market in the hands of
the underground. In the criminal underground there are no rules, age limits,
or morals.

Most young people experiment with cannabis these days. The current law
doesn't stop this. It just makes that experimentation much more likely to
lead young people down undesirable paths.


Duncan Eddy