Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Time To Get Real On Cannabis Issue

Time To Get Real On Cannabis Issue, Says United Future

United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne says it is time to get real on the cannabis issue, and replace all the emotionalism surrounding it with plain common-sense.

Presenting United Future's submission to the Health Committee inquiry into cannabis this afternoon, Mr Dunne told Committee members that as a parent of teenagers, he was worried at the pressure young people faced about drugs.

"When I hear the stories, from the teenagers themselves and also their parents, about their experiences and fears, I become more concerned."

"Good, decent kids from good, decent families are having their lives turned upside down by cannabis, which, it seems, is now almost more available than alcohol," Mr Dunne said.

Mr Dunne was critical of the mixed messages on the cannabis issue he saw coming from the Government.

"We are very suspicious this present inquiry is no more than a thin political smokescreen to decriminalise cannabis and we deplore the lack of leadership from the Prime Minster and the Minister of Health who, despite promoting strong views against tobacco, are not nearly as outspoken on the use of cannabis. "

"There are mixed signals everywhere - no wonder young people are confused," he said.

Mr Dunne told the Committee he agreed with those who promote decriminalisation is that the current law is not working.

"But decriminalisation will not work either - if the law is not working, you do not make it work by getting rid of it."

"Rather, you make the changes needed to make things work," Mr Dunne said.

United Future's submission called for:

* No change in the current legal status of cannabis, but with people under the age of 20 years apprehended for personal for the first time to be given the option of appropriate education and treatment, rather than conviction by the court.

* The introduction of tougher penalties for drug dealing, including cannabis, especially where selling to persons under 20 years is involved.

* A comprehensive education and treatment strategy be introduced relating to all aspects of the use and misuse of drugs in contemporary society.

Mr Dunne said making it clear that cannabis use is unacceptable was an important message to give young people, but it needed to be reinforced through clear policy.

"We owe it to our children to stand up for their future."

"Now is the time for all of us who share that commitment to come together to make sensible decisions on the cannabis issue, because on issues like this we only have one chance to get it right."

"As a parent and a politician, I stand four square for our children, and I hope the select committee will do so too," Mr Dunne said.

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>

 

BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>

ALSO:

Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>

ALSO:

State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages