Pubdate: Tue, 19 Feb 2002
Source: New Zealand Herald (New Zealand)
Copyright: 2002 New Zealand Herald
Author: Dave Currie


Dear Sir,

I was shocked to read that young New Zealanders led the young people in 
other OECD countries in having the highest rates of criminal offending, 
suicide and cannabis use. (NZ Herald February 5th)

What is striking is that the Netherlands failed to make it to even fifth 
place in any of the above categories. Its youth suicide rate is a quarter 
of the New Zealand rate and its crime rate is insignificant compared to ours.

And although Dutch people over 18 can buy cannabis in licensed coffee 
shops, without worry of police intervention, the Netherlands failed to get 
even fifth place for cannabis use in the OECD poll.

There must be a lesson in this and we should consider whether having 
cannabis cafes along the lines of those in the Netherlands might well 
achieve, what the Misuse of Drugs Act has failed to achieve in 28 years, 
reduction of juvenile cannabis use!

Yours sincerely

David R Currie

DPEC, Drug Policy and Education Council.
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