Pubdate: Thu, 18 Jun 1998
Date: 06/18/1998
Source: The Dominion (Wellington NZ)
Author: Sally Jackman

The Drug Foundation wishes to record its support for recent statements
by Customs Minister Tuariki Delamere at the United Nations General
Assembly on Drugs.

Mr Delamere said New Zealand drug policies aim to reduce the harm
caused by drug-taking, as well as trying to stop it happening.

For example, our needle-swapping scheme has kept the HIV infection
rate amongst drug users one of the lowest anywhere.  This contrasts
with the United States "war on drugs" approach, which sees needle
exchange as condoning drug use.

The United Nations has recognised the need for alternative economic
development in drug-producing countries and reduction of demand in
consuming countries.

The Drug Foundation is keen to contribute its experience to
international efforts that New Zealand makes in this regard.

We applaud Mr Delamere and his colleagues for their support of an
expanded range of international responses to drug problems.  We should
also keep working at finding our own solutions, remembering that there
is no "easy fix".

Sally Jackman Executive director Drug Foundation