The Green Party recognises that:
- A drug-free lifestyle is the healthiest;
- All drugs can cause harm, regardless of their legal status.
- Not all drug use is problematic.
- Some current government policies do not reduce harm but rather create a further set of problems.
- To reduce drug abuse;
- To reduce the illegal drug market;
- To minimise the harm of legal and illegal drugs on society and individual users.
Specific Policy Points
- More funding for drug education programmes in schools and communities.
- Establish a Ministerial Advisory Group on Drug Education to evaluate and improve drug education. (Greens initiated the drug education best practise guidelines published by the Ministry of Youth Development).
- Prioritise the prosecution of crimes such as violent offences ahead of personal cannabis possession.
- Enable doctors to prescribe cannabis products for severely ill patients.
2. Medium Term Steps
- Ban broadcast alcohol advertising and direct-to-consumer advertising of pharmaceuticals.
- Introduce a legal age limit of 18 years for personal cannabis use.
- Define in law the limits on growing cannabis for personal use.
- Ensure it remains an offence to drive while under the influence of cannabis.
- Support strong integration of, and better resourcing for, mental health and substance misuse services.
- Place tighter controls on highly addictive prescription drugs.
3. Longer Term Steps
- Review all drug-related legislation to ensure consistency and a harm reduction approach.
- Monitor and evaluate the effects of the removal of personal penalties for cannabis use, drug education programmes, drug addiction treatment programmes, and pharmaceutical controls.