Pubdate: Mon, 16 May 2011
Source: Bay Of Plenty Times (New Zealand)
Copyright: 2011 Bay Of Plenty Times
Author: Stephen McIntyre


Re: Legalising cannabis for medicinal purposes (News, May 9).

Dale Kirk from MethCon believes that anything which makes it easier
for young people to get their hands on drugs "is not helpful".

In NZ, cannabis prohibition has led to the presence of at least one
"tinny shop" in each neighbourhood; most high schools have one located
close by. A 15-year-old in this country has a much easier time buying
cannabis than alcohol because tinny shops don't card their customers.

If MethCon was truly interested in decreasing levels of drug use
amongst teenagers it would support Portuguese drug policy.

Since the Portuguese decriminalised all drugs in 2001, drug
consumption amongst 13 to 15-year-olds decreased by a quarter, from
14.1 per cent in 2001 to 10.6 per cent in 2006.

Amongst 16 to 18-year-olds, illegal drug-use rates - which increased
from 14.1 per cent in 1995 to 27.6 per cent in 2001 prior to
decriminalisation - decreased after decriminalisation to 21.6 per cent
in 2006.

Kirk's claim that allowing sick and dying Kiwis to use medical
cannabis with their doctor's approval will be bad for young people is
a complete and utter red herring. He should stick to the facts.

Stephen McIntyre

Mt Albert
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.