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Nandor Launches Pot Offensive

Normally the House's most quiet MP, Nandor Tanczos caused a stir yesterday when he said in Parliament he had seen fellow members "drunk in charge of the country."

In a speech to the house aiming to highlight the hypocrisy of current marijuana laws, the Rastafarian MP, said many MPs practised double standards in their holier-than-thou attitude over marijuana use.

"How do we expect our young people to respect the law when at the same time some members of this House have a reputation for excessive alcohol consumption?

"In my short time in this House, I have seen people in this House drunk - drunk in charge of a country."

Tanczos then went on to urge the house to legalise the growing of the hemp plant, cannabis sativa, saying that current prohibition of marijuana only benefits organised criminals and gangs.

He said the money spent on catching drug offenders could be better spent elsewhere.

Mr Tanzcos was criticised earlier this week for not taking a strong enough stance on cannabis law reform, by the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (ALCP). An ALCP spokesman said Tanzcos's behaviour in Parliament belied his election promises to fight to legalise the drug.

Mr Tanzcos also met Justice Minister Phil Goff earlier in the week about the issue. He has admitted to occasional use of marijuana for "religious reasons".

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