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Quarter Of A Century Of Failed Cannabis Policy

Green MP Nandor Tanczos today challenged those who support the ongoing criminal status of cannabis to point to a single area where prohibition has achieved its goals.

Today is the 25th anniversary of the Misuse of Drugs Act. In the early 1970's a report from the Board of Health recommended continuing with cannabis prohibition for "so long as this can be shown to be largely effective".

Mr Tanczos said prohibition had been characterised by rising availability and use of cannabis across the whole of society, tens of thousands of arrests of otherwise innocent New Zealanders, ruined careers, untreated health problems and a chronic lack of public education.

"Cannabis prohibition has failed dismally to reduce the use of cannabis, which is the obvious goal of the policy, and I challenge anyone to provide evidence to the contrary," said Mr Tanczos.

"With over half of all New Zealanders admitting to having used cannabis at one time or another we simply must look at more effective ways to reduce the harms associated with the use of cannabis and to stop making criminals out of more than half of the adult population."

Mr Tanczos said the pending review of the legal status of cannabis was a genuine opportunity for the whole community to contribute to finding a better way and he hoped everybody would take the time to look at the facts and make open-minded and considered submissions.

"This review should not be an issue of political differentiation. It should be a logical and honest discussion, free from politics and ideology."

ends

Nandor Tanczos MP: 04 470 6712, 025 246 5235 Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719, 021 440 090

Mr Tanczos said he was particularly looking forward to debating cannabis law reform with National MP Nick Smith this Thursday, 7.30, Nick Smith's Office, 544 Waimea Road, Nelson. The meeting is open to the public and is free.


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