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New Zealand’s anti-drug laws criticized

New Zealand’s anti-drug laws criticized

Wellington, Dec 1 (Prensa Latina) New Zealand's Minister of Health, Andrew Little, said that the country's current anti-drug laws are still far from ideal, and criminalize many behaviors that are possibly permissible.

We know that drugs themselves can cause harm, but the way we currently regulate many of these substances causes greater social harm, through criminalization and incentives for criminal elements to engage in drug trafficking, Little told reporters.

The minister stressed that both the laws and the people are outdated, but the opposition seems not to be interested in any change in the relevant legislation.

The environment in our country totally stigmatizes people who are then reluctant to get help when they need it; and that is what the system is struggling with today, he said.

The minister said the challenge is to find the balance of regulating drugs that cause harm in a way which minimizes harm.

On the other hand, for those who choose to use substances that can be consumed safely, an enabling legal environment is necessary; but we have not yet found that magic path, he said.

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