New Zealand once led the world in social change, but we’ve really slipped behind when it comes to tackling our drug problem. We once again need to bring together the determination and smarts that led to suffragettes winning the vote for women in 1893 and the demand for gay marriage gave way to legalisation in 2013. Now is the time to update our obsolete dug law.

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is over 40 years old. It doesn’t work and it is causing long term harm to New Zealanders. It sets out harsh criminal penalties for possession and use of drugs in an attempt to stop people taking them. It doesn’t work, and we need to urgently do something differently.

While many of our politicians bury their heads in the sand, our drug laws are hurting the people they are supposed to protect. Meanwhile we continue to neglect the investment in prevention and treatment that users need.

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Thumbnail: pills CC Victor