Drugs and Alcohol

New Zealand society has double standards on drugs and alcohol. Tobacco kills thousands of Kiwis every year but it is a legal product. Alcohol is responsible for massive family violence, injury and death every year and it is a legal product too. There is no direct evidence of deaths from marijuana use but marijuana is illegal.

On top of that, families and communities in low socio-economic communities are being devastated by methamphetamines, synthetic cannabis and other psychoactive substances which are causing major health problems like high blood pressure, heart problems (heart attack, irregular heartbeat, stroke and seizures), kidney damage, hallucinations, psychosis, panic attacks and violent behaviour.

There are too many lives being lost to drugs and alcohol and too little in the way of progressive and co-ordinated law reform. 

MANA supports a comprehensive review of drug and alcohol laws in Aotearoa, including: 

  • the development of a health-based rather than criminalising approach to drugs and alcohol
  • implementation of the recommendations of the Law Commission on the Misuse of Drugs Act
  • a review of the harm caused by drugs and alcohol
  • the development of a quality education programme for children and young people
  • greater access to mental health services especially for children and young people
  • drug cessation programmes and other harm reduction services
  • residential and community based alcohol and drug addiction services
  • innovative prevention and rehabilitation services
  • ban the importation, manufacture, sale and supply of all synthetic cannabis products & meth
  • a hard-line on the importation of drugs to Aotearoa
  • a funding line drawn from increased taxes on tobacco, alcohol and other drugs 

Cannabis 

  • Legalise cannabis for medicinal purposes
  • Decriminalise possession of marijuana for personal use
  • Introduce a legal age limit for personal use
  • Develop pro-active measures similar to the Aotearoa Smokefree legislation 

Alcohol 

  • Increase alcohol taxes and use the income to fund quality drug and alcohol addiction services, and programmes to progressively reduce alcohol consumption and alcohol harm
  • Maintain current blood-alcohol standards for driving
  • Phase out all alcohol advertising and sponsorship and replace with other funding
  • Make liquor store placements population-based
  • Lift purchase age to 20
  • Ban the promotion and sale of alcohol products targeted at youth
  • Close down points of sale (small stores / service stations by 2018, supermarkets by 2019 etc) 

Tobacco 

  • Increase the tax of tobacco
  • Commit all tobacco taxation funds to health targets, tobacco harm reduction and prevention
  • Progressively reduce additives in cigarettes, starting with a complete nicotine ban by 2018
  • Target funding to ensure Maori and Pasifika reach ‘Aotearoa Smokefree 2025’ targets
  • Close down points of sale (small stores / service stations by 2018, supermarkets by 2019 etc) until tobacco products can only be sold from specific locations on prescription
  • Extend Smokefree Environments Act with a different target annually, starting with cars
  • Research and fund low-level options to smoking (fitness & sport)
  • Take legal action against Big Tobacco in the United States
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