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


Legal tobacco has lessons for cannabis law reform

28 January 2004

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

Legal tobacco has lessons for cannabis law reformers

The extraordinarily long time it takes to get international agreements to roll back the disastrous public health effects of tobacco serves as a timely reminder as to why cannabis mustn't be decriminalized, Progressive MP Matt Robson says.

"The coalition government's ratification of the World Health Organization-sponsored Framework Convention on Tobacco Control today, which will see the size of health warnings on tobacco products increase, is another progressive step in the war against drugs.

"Nearly five million people die each year from smoking-related illnesses, but the truth is that health professionals and politicians have known for decades about the catastrophic effects of tobacco on people," Matt Robson said.

"The truth is that the tobacco industry, because it is legal and institutionalised, has significant muscle to delay some overseas governments from coming to the party on needed steps to reverse the effects of tobacco abuse.

"Too many overseas governments and politicians are afraid to stand up to the tobacco pushers because the tobacco companies have clout. We'd see the same sort of nonsense from cannabis pushers if that drug was legal. They would be major lobbyists and funders of political party campaigns" Matt Robson said.

"If society had known the dangers of tobacco when tobacco was first discovered, I reckon most sensible people would have demanded it be banned.

"Unfortunately, societies didn't know the dangers of tobacco in the 1700s and 1800s so it is up to current generations to deal with the consequences of the menace of this dangerous, legal drug by progressively reducing the legal options available to producers and consumers of tobacco," the Progressive MP said.

Unlike alcohol, every single puff of tobacco or cannabis is bad for your health. Studies suggest moderate alcohol intake is good for your health: No study has ever suggested moderate intake of cannabis or tobacco are good for your health.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news