UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

DRUG ABUSE STRATEGY URGENTLY NEEDED

STATEMENT ISSUED BY ANNELIZÉ VAN WYK  MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY

The UDM concurs with the reported comments of Advocate Kahn regarding the "glorification" of alcohol and drug use. There can be no doubt that we live  in a society that tacitly condones the abuse of drugs.

Advocate Kahn is Chair of the Central Drug Authority, and therefore responsible for the development of a National Drug Master Plan. This strategy is long overdue. Advocate Kahn and government must tread carefully or face the accusation of trying to shift the blame. It is their direct responsibility to create a proper regulatory environment to deal with drug abuse. It would be very sad indeed if this were merely a case of government making the appropriate noises because next week is National Drug Awareness Week.

That drug abuse and violent crime is directly connected together with the link between drug abuse/trafficking and gangsterism should not be lost sight of. Gangs use 11-year-old children as drug-runners, often supplying 11 year olds with anything from dagga to crack-cocaine.

A national strategy addressing drug abuse, within the context of gangsterism specifically, is urgently required. This must entail a multi-departmental approach involving all three tiers of government, nothing less is acceptable. As a nation we need to admit that when it comes to drug abuse and gangsterism we are facing a national state of emergency

Enquiries:
Ms Annelizé van Wyk MP
UDM Spokesperson for Safety and Security
082 557 4184

Cape Town
21 June 2001