12 Jul 2010

Mayoral candidate wants use of 'P' decriminalised

10:13 pm on 12 July 2010

An Auckland super-city mayoral candidate and leading figure in Auckland theatre insists the prohibition of methamphetamine is expensive and highly ineffective.

Former television soap actor Simon Prast is causing a stir with his comments that the drug should be decriminalised.

He admits to once taking the drug and says it is hypocritical to ban it while tobacco and alcohol are legal.

Mr Prast says the other mayoral candidates are out of touch with reality.

He told Morning Report putting people in prison for using methamphetamine is a waste of resources.

But Mr Prast says manufacturing and selling the drug should remain illegal.

A former police officer and anti-drugs campaigner says the comments are stupid.

Trevor Morley told Morning Report there should be no distinction between manufacturers, sellers and users.

Mr Morley said if there were no users there would be no producers.

He said it appears Mr Prast is campaigning to get the criminal vote.

Election dates

The new Auckland Council comes into being on 1 November, replacing eight councils.

Election nominations open on 23 July and close on 20 August. Voting closes on 9 October.