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What they USED to say about cannabis law reform

What they USED to say about cannabis law reform

20 December 2002

What they used to say about cannabis law reform

* "It breeds disrespect for the law when - and usually we are talking about young people - end up with a conviction for doing something that most others around them are doing and it wipes their prospects. It might affect their ability to do all sorts of things and for what point? I've always looked at it from a public health perspective." PM Helen Clark, 16 March 2000, Evening Post

* Mr Dunne said the current law was not working... [and that]... first time offenders under the age of 20 should be able to escape conviction in favour of education and treatment. Evening Post, 8 June 2001.

* "However, based on the evidence received, we recommend that the Government review the appropriateness of existing policy on cannabis and its use and reconsider the legal status of cannabis." Health Select Committee Inquiry into the Mental Health Effects of Cannabis, chaired by National MP Brian Neeson, 1998.

* The Government will review the legal status of cannabis during this term of parliament, Health Minister Annette King said yesterday. Dom, 17 March 2000.

* "Trial alternative legal sanctions for people caught in possession of certain drugs if they identify a supplier and enter drug rehabilitation." Cornerstone Commitment, Progressive Coalition policy.

* "I sat through all the hearings on the select committee (NSW inquiry into cannabis law reform) and there was some pretty powerful evidence that the criminal status of marijuana was also seen to be a cause of some of the problems that young people have." Annette King, Dom, 17 March 2000.

* Mr Creech said National did not want to send a soft message, but instant fines without criminal convictions might be a more appropriate way of dealing with it. Dom, 17 March 2000.

* "You can't have prohibition. The law is broken every minute of the day... We have to look at harm minimisation from a health perspective, and containment from a policing perspective." Health Minister Annette King, The Press, 23 June 2000.

* "... the results of this study reinforce concerns about laws relating to the use and possession of cannabis. The findings show that the law was administered in an inefficient way, the application of the law was biased and the law was ineffective in reducing cannabis use." Professor David Fergusson, Christchurch School of Medicine.

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