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


Coalition Government won't go soft on cannabis

Progressive leader says Coalition Government won't go soft on cannabis

Progressive leader says Coalition Government won't go soft on cannabis

Progressive leader Jim Anderton is pleased that the Health Select Committee hasn't recommended any change to the legal status of cannabis.

"No consensus for change means there is no mandate for change. And so long as there is a Labour-Progressive coalition the public can feel secure that the present government won't be going soft on drugs," Jim Anderton said.

Jim Anderton is in Whakatane to promote regional economic initiatives. While in the eastern Bay of Plenty he is also meeting with representatives of Maori, community and local government leaders on the issue of methamphetamine, which is the latest drug with serious consequences for the community.

He said he would carefully study the report of the Health Select Committee released in Wellington today at the earliest opportunity.

The Inquiry into the Public Health Strategies Related to Cannabis Use and the Most Appropriate Legal Status was released by the Health Select Committee, a multi party committee of Parliament on which the Progressive Party isn't represented.

The coalition government's response to the committee's recommendations will of course be made in due course.

”However, I am pleased that the select committee hasn't recommended any change to the legal status of cannabis because if the committee had recommended to legalize the drug then the Progressives would not have supported such a move," Jim Anderton said.

“I personally do not favour giving a green light to young people that it is OK to use drugs. While I have some sympathy for those who say young lives shouldn’t be wrecked just because someone is caught with a joint, there can’t be free passes. We have enough problems with slack alcohol laws. We don’t need to encourage more drug taking as well,” Jim Anderton said.

Jim Anderton said some journalists were asking him what he thought of the opposition Green Party's Minority View as outlined in the Health Select Committee's report and the Greens' nationwide campaign to legalize the drug.

"All I can say is that the Greens, who do understand the importance of tackling youth alcohol problems, should try harder to be consistent when it comes to other drugs that we know are destroying too many young lives. It is the abuse of alcohol, which causes the most damage to young people – and alcohol is legal.

"Since the liberalization of alcohol laws in 1999, consumption of alcohol by young people has continued to increase. If liberalization is the Green's answer, then they must be asking the wrong question," said Jim Anderton.

Jim Anderton is chair of the Ministerial Committee on Drug Policy and Associate Health Minister.

The Progressive Party is campaigning against liberalisation.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news