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Select Committee Cannabis inquiry report released

Select Committee Cannabis inquiry report released today

The Drug Foundation supports many of the recommendations of the inquiry.
Spokesperson for the Foundation Sally Jackman said; “We agree with its recommendation that more useful information on cannabis should be readily available. In 1995 the Drugs Advisory Committee put out a detailed booklet called “Cannabis and Health in New Zealand.” This is on the Ministry of Health’s web site but members of the public can’t be sure that it is still considered up to date. It should be updated and available free in print form.

“Harm reduction information would be good, for example, letting people know that they will not get more stoned if they hold cannabis smoke in their lungs for a long time. The only thing they will get is damaged lungs.

“We agree that diversion should be applied more consistently so that there are fewer convictions for simple possession offences. We are disappointed that our suggestion of a formal warning with health information for first offenders has not been taken up. We would not like to see our treatment services clogged up with first time offenders who may or may not have a health issue with cannabis. The option of attendance at a confidential health assessment or education programme is more appropriate for a person who has been apprehended more than once.

“We strongly agree that the Ministry of Education should consider how schools should respond to young people caught with cannabis at school in ways that preserve their educational opportunities. There is strong evidence that keeping kids in school protects them from a range of bad outcomes.”

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