Pubdate: Sat, 12 Jul 2003
Source: Manawatu Evening Standard (New Zealand)
Copyright: 2003 Manawatu Evening Standard
Author: Duncan Eddy


I was concerned to read about Palmerston North based community drug
education outfit who were forced to close their student support group
last year due to lack of funding. (Manawatu Evening Standard 05 July
2003). What systems have been put in place to fill the gap this leaves
in the safety net that should be provided for all young people?

Government continues to allocate the lion's share of its drugs budget
on enforcing laws which don't work. This means that education, health
and community initiatives, which more effectively reduce the harms
associated with drug use and abuse, are continually under funded.

Drug use is a reality, illegality hasn't stopped their use. In many
cases, criminalisation has simply impacted upon the problems of
confused and sick people. So under funded community initiatives become
even more bogged down dealing with the messy consequences of
ineffective government policy.

Government must shift it's priorities. If the money spent on
arresting cannabis users and growers was invested in drug education
and community based harm reduction initiatives the children of this
country would be better off for it.


Duncan Eddy
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake