In the last week before the election I want to offer some of the reasons why I think a Green vote is a positive vote for the future…
I was chatting to a local resident very active in his community, particularly with regards to combating anti-social behaviour. He mentioned that he thought a party should be set up which would have as a core policy legalising drugs. “In essence, that's our policy,” I responded much to his surprise. I've had police officers privately also wish for an end to the drugs prohibition too.
Drug addiction is a public health issue, not a criminal one. Greens would take the drug trade out of criminal control and put it in a regulated, legal environment. This would cut out the criminal gangs and move us towards treating addiction – not pushing vulnerable people into an underground, unsafe black market.
Green policy is about creating a true 'health system' focussed on prevention and healthiness, rather than the current 'sickness system' which tends to intervene when problems are acute and so focus on processes to deal with sick people.
By reversing the privatisation of the NHS and reducing defence spending Greens would be able to:
- Abolish prescription charges,
- Increase community based services,
- Bring services like hospital cleaners and cooks back into the NHS.
We would also do much more to research and prevent the environmental causes of illness, such as from pollution or from agrochemicals in our food.
Through education, urban planning and eco-taxes we would strongly promote walking and cycling which would help prevent diseases, increase well-being and reduce pollution which is linked to childhood asthma. We'd also cut our carbon foot-print, a win-win policy!
By focussing on people and their right to be healthy, Greens promote lifelong health.