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Turner: Greens prove stupidity can be dangerous

Turner: Greens prove stupidity can be dangerous

If the Greens had any integrity they would do the youth of New Zealand a favour and withdraw entirely from the cannabis debate, United Future health spokeswoman Judy Turner said today.

"One has long come to expect them to mindlessly champion every drug created by nature or chemist, but their claim today that prohibition of cannabis is the gateway to harder drugs, and therefore cannabis should be legalised is nothing short of wilful stupidity.

"I can think of no political party showing less responsibility on any issue than the Greens do on drugs," Mrs Turner said, speaking in the wake of today's release of the Health Select Committee report on cannabis.

"There would barely be a drug-user anywhere on the hardest of drugs from P to cocaine who did not start on cannabis. We all know that. All the evidence spells it out. The only people who don't see - or should I say won't see it - are the Greens. And this from the only party that opposed the classifying of P as a Class A drug.

"The sad reality is that if their sheer stupidity - and that is what it is - ever gets a foot-hold, many lives will be ruined and many families damaged," she said.

United Future welcomed the fact that the select committee report, in line with United Future's agreement with the Government, was not pushing legalisation, but was concerned that the issue could be duck-shoved to the Justice and Electoral Select Committee.

"Our concern is health-related. More and more studies are showing extreme concern for even moderate recreational users, especially in the area of mental illness," she said.

United Future also backed diversionary schemes for young and first time offenders possessing small amounts of cannabis for personal use, "but there is absolutely no need to change the legal status of cannabis to achieve this end".

Mrs Turner said United Future was also opposed to standardised school-based responses to cannabis offences.

"We don't accept that the lowest common denominator should always apply. If there are schools out there with the courage to implement zero-tolerance approaches - and they have the support of their communities- then they should be free to do so."

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