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Youth vote should extinguish cannabis debate

Nick Smith
National Education Spokesperson

29 August 2000

Youth vote should extinguish cannabis debate

Youth MPs seem to be applying more common sense to the cannabis debate than their adult counterparts, National Education spokesperson Nick Smith said today.

"The Government should sit up and take notice of the Youth Parliament's vote against decriminalisation of cannabis.

"Young New Zealanders have sent a very clear message to the Government that decriminalisation is a dumb idea. Young people know better than anyone the effect cannabis has on their generation and it would be foolhardy for the Government to ignore their message.

"The Prime Minister, Minister of Health, Minister of Education and Minister of Youth Affairs have all indicated their support for decriminalisation. They should now rethink their position and listen to the voices of our young people.

"The real test of whether the Government is listening to young people will be whether they take the Youth Parliament vote seriously or ignore it.

"There is a further challenge for the Minister of Education in the strong consensus amongst the Youth MPs for more drug education, for it to be compulsory and taught consistently across New Zealand. It is imperative that the Minister now get on and implement this sensible recommendation," Dr Smith said.

Ends

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