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ACT's call for drug prohibition debate rejected

Author
Newstalk ZB staff ,
Section
Politics,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 2 March 2016, 6:38p.m.
ACT leader David Seymour. Photo / Supplied

The Minister of Police is knocking back an ACT party call for a debate around the prohibition of drugs.

ACT's Leader David Seymour said prohibition is helping generate drug revenue for gangs and if the market was stopped, gangs would be de-funded.

He wants to open up the conversation about what prohibition has done to support gangs.

LISTEN ABOVE: David Seymour speaks to Larry Williams

"We should be moving towards greater awareness of what some of the side effects of prohibition are and one of them is that it provides a source of revenue for gangs."

Mr Seymour said if the Government's serious, it should be looking at gangs' revenue streams. He said their specialisation is circumventing the prohibition of illegal drugs.

"If you look around the world increasingly what countries are saying is that if you stop giving them a market by prohibiting illicit substances, you actually you actually defund them, and I think that's a debate that New Zealand will have in due course."

SEE ALSO: Party leaders wade into gang debate

But Police Minister Judith Collins isn't a fan of the idea.

"We're strongly opposed to the current illegal drugs being legalized, and if I take something like methamphetamine, that would have to be one of the most dangerous drugs known at the moment in terms of addiction, addiction rates and difficulty of getting off it."

David Seymour said the Minister's reverted to hyperbole and has misrepresented what he's said.

"I just think it's disappointing that a prominent politician like Judith Collins, who's fashioned her reputation on being willing to take on hard issues, is not prepared to be open-minded about this one and look around the world at what's happening."

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