No Confidence In Select Committee Cannabis Review
United New Zealand: No Confidence In Select Committee Review Of Cannabis Laws
United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says he has no confidence that any Parliamentary Select Committee can carry out a proper examination of the cannabis laws.
He says if there is to be a further inquiry, a part of Labour's pay-off to the Greens, it should be an independent, wide ranging expert inquiry, free of political influence.
"Anything less than that, especially given the soft comments regarding cannabis of the Health Minister and other Government members will leave a very clear impression that a further review by a select committee is more about softening people up for a change in the law, than considering the real issues."
"It will simply not be credible, and to that extent will be a waste of time," Mr Dunne says.
Mr Dunne he is yet to be convinced that there needs to be a further review of the existing laws, but that if there is, it should be an independent one involving expert participation from law enforcement agencies, treatment providers, educationalists, youth and ethnic representatives, under the chairmanship of a retired judge.
"If we are to take this issue seriously, we should be doing something equivalent to the various Royal Commissions we have had over the years on liquor issues, which have had a wide brief and opportunity to investigate the issue and make comprehensive recommendations to Parliament, covering all aspects of the law from enforcement through to range of treatment and other services required."
"Anything less than will leave the inevitable impression that the select committee is just another example of this Government using a pliant device to rubber-stamp its own pre-determined prejudices in favour of a softer attitude to cannabis,' Mr Dunne says.