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


Three Green MPs to front cannabis debate

Three Green MPs to front cannabis debate

The Green Party has launched a renewed campaign for cannabis law reform just ahead of the release of the Health Select Committee report on cannabis.

Green Drug Law Reform spokesperson Nandor Tanczos, Health spokesperson Sue Kedgley and Green Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons will lead the campaign.

The Green Party will be launching a number of initiatives over the next few months, including a new leaflet to explain the Green position, a comprehensive internet presence on the popular site, and a series of public meetings and debates.

"Some parties have relied on a flood of personal attacks and misinformation to try and shut down the debate," said Nandor. "That won't work.

"We need to control cannabis in an effective way. When you look at the evidence it is clear that the current prohibition does not reduce cannabis abuse, does not limit underage use, and by criminalizing moderate adult users it creates significant problems of its own."

Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons agrees: "For example, there are many people suffering from MS and the side-effects of chemotherapy for whom the medicinal use of cannabis would be of great benefit."

Acknowledging the huge amount of public and media interest on the contents of the health select committee report, the Greens are hoping that its release will stimulate a long overdue, informed and rational debate about cannabis use and regulation.

Nandor encouraged people to read the report when it's released and then base the ensuing debate on the facts, as has happened in Canada and Britain, rather than spin.

"Like most New Zealanders, we want to see a reduction in cannabis abuse and we believe that our policy is the best way to achieve this," said Nandor. "Some other parties continue to favour a prohibition policy that has seen the use of cannabis in New Zealand accelerate, instead of supporting more effective strategies. They admit the law isn't working but refuse to allow change."

"We need to treat personal use of cannabis by adults as a health issue, not a crime," added Sue Kedgley.

"Until we have an informed debate about real solutions, free of misinformation, this issue will not go away," said Nandor.

Nandor will be debating the issue with Welltrust's Pauline Gardiner on the Kapiti Coast tonight at 5pm. The venue is Kapiti Uniting Parish, 27 Raumati Road, Raumati Beach.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching.

"There needs to be better investment in education so every child can reach their potential and we have enough teachers for every class", said NZEI Te Riu Roa lead principal negotiator Louise Green. More>>


Pay Equity: Historic Settlement For Education Support Workers

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the Ministry of Education today signed Terms of Settlement to address a pay equity claim for 329 support workers who work with very young children in early childhood and primary schools. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Stereotypes About Jacinda Ardern

Routinely, female politicians get depicted as either show ponies or battle axes, with little room for anything else in between. .. More>>

Weekend Interviews: "Discriminatory And Racist" Aussie Deportations

The former president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs says deportations have risen dramatically in Australia since 2014 when ministers and ministerial delegates were given the power to cancel visas - and half of those being deported are New Zealanders. "These are massive numbers, actually escalating dramatically."... More>>


Legal Challenge: Prisoner Has 9 Boxes Of Documents Seized

Human rights organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa says a prisoner they advocate for has had 9 boxes of legal documents seized from him just days before his case against the Department of Corrections was to be heard. More>>

Single-Use Plastic Bags: Govt To Phase Them Out

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. More>>


Lesser Politicians: ACT Conference Promises Fewer Politicians

Party Leader David Seymour today revealed his Smaller Government Bill which will reduce the size of Parliament to 100 MPs, limit the size of the Executive to 20 Ministers, and remove the Maori seats. More>>


Gender Changes: Suggested Change To Birth, Deaths And Marriages Act Welcomed

The current process to change the sex ‘marker’ on a birth certificate is lengthy, expensive and requires medical evidence as well as the involvement of the Family Court... More>>





Featured InfoPages