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Anderton: parties reject Green cannabis push

Anderton pleased all parties reject Green cannabis push

It is good news for New Zealand's campaign to reduce the harm being caused by the misuse of drugs that all parties have rejected the Greens' proposal today to effectively de-criminalize cannabis, says Progressive Party leader Jim Anderton.

"All serious parties have issued a statement to reject the Greens' latest attempt to trivialize the known negative health effects of cannabis on vulnerable people in our society, especially still-developing young teenagers," Jim Anderton said.

"In the good old days, the Green Party used to believe in the principle that if you don't know for sure whether a substance is harmful to human health, or if you have a significant proportion of experts saying that a substance is harmful to health, then you shouldn't do anything to liberalize it or to encourage its use.

"That was the principle, for example, that the Greens adopted when considering the issue of whether or not it is the right time to permit the planting of genetically modified food crops.

"There is plenty of medical and scientific data that points to cannabis being a serious health threat, particularly for some vulernable people. Given that body of evidence, there is no reason to downgrade sanctions against cannabis unless or until an overwhelming consensus emerges in the health and medical world that cannabis is not a health risk," he said.

Jim Anderton said the Greens are being completely inconsistent about drug abuse in society.

"The leaders of the Greens, after all, only very recently joined up with the leaders of National, ACT and United Future to vote against Matt Robson's Private Bill tackling our country's Number One drug problem, alcohol.

The Progressive Party's Sale of Liquor (Youth Alcohol Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill proposes to strengthen the law against those caught supplying liquor to minors, restrict broadcast advertising for liquor and to raise the alcohol purchasing age to twenty years.

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