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

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them.

Finally, yesterday’s announcement by the Ardern government that a new state agency will be set up to assess and plan the manned re-entry to the mine (on a set timetable) goes a long way to meeting the families’ remaining request: that they be enabled, if at all possible, to bury their loved ones. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election