Ministerial Statement Kava Licensing Issues
Tabled paper 2012
Tabled Papers for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled by Timothy Baldwin
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10 Nor, Madam Speaker, do I accept - and this Government certainly does not accept - that the only method of dealing with drug abuse is to give people another drug to misuse just to keep them quiet. People have to take responsibility for their actions be they heroin, alcohol, nicotine or kava abusers or even chocoholics. Banning, regulating, educating - all will fail if it is the individuals intention to harm themselves. Madam Speaker, there is much debate across the world about the banning of substances and whether they work or just create a profitable industry for the criminal element. Certainly a liberal attitude would be that people have a right to do whatever they want as long as their actions do not impact on others or the community. But is that the case with kava abuse? As I said earlier, it was my intention to bring to this parliament a Bill that would ban kava in the Territory. It was my belief that it was time to draw a line in the sand; to provide some breathing space; to see if we could rid the trade of some of the corrupt practices that have developed; and most importantly to allow time for more research into the side-effects of kava misuse. I believe that such an interregnum is needed before we move to any form of regulation. However, a number of factors have interfered with my intention.