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Hemp Senseless While Cannabis "Criminal" say ALCP

Hemp senseless while cannabis "criminal" say ALCP

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party members have welcomed this week's industrial hemp initiative from Customs Minister, Phillida Bunkle. However the Christchurch Branch of the ALCP (also known as the "Mild Greens") emphasised tonight that consideration of hemp in isolation from marijuana prohibition policy is senseless.

Cannabis sativa IS hemp say party members.

Parliament's Health select committee has twice recommended reviewing the appropriateness of the legal status of cannabis and its use, and Government has promised action in this regard. The Legalise Cannabis Party say use of cannabis-hemp applies to medicine, religion, recreation & industry. Members say a legal market in the psychoactive chemical (THC) commodity must be acknowledged.

There are strong indications that harms are rendered on people because of the criminal status. The Health committee supported targeted education and a "harm reduction" approach, as alternatives to the law enforcement. A realistic approach minimises harms related to use which is already occurring, according to the Inquiry conclusions, by "reducing the incidence and severity".

Customs has moved to re-convene a working party on the viability of the hemp resource, together with consideration of application for cultivation licenses. Under the deposed National government, false and anomalous arguments pertaining to the "policing of marijuana" previously brought cannabis-hemp reform to a standstill in New Zealand.

Cannabis prohibition is the epitome of bad governance, said strategist, Blair Anderson. We've all been taken for nasty ride because of the manufactured "criminal" status of this plant. "Every justification for the criminal status has been shown to be manufactured consent."

"If cannabis had never been banned, half the world's rainforest would still be standing, customs interventions for dope would be completely unnecessary, and chances are, humankind would be living in relative peace and harmony", say party members.

"So let's fix what's wrong with marijuana policing, and we get the hemp for free", said Christchurch Branch Convenors, Mike & Irinka Britnell.

"This government must stop pussyfooting around pretending that the criminal discrimination against cannabis has a public mandate, said policy analyst, Kevin O'Connell. "Everybody knows the National Party were punished in the election because their leaders lost the moral debate on prohibition".

"A simple truth and reconciliation commission into cannabis laws is what is really required" say the Christchurch Branch of the ALCP. "Do that after issuing the command to stop the arrests."

Interestingly, Phillida Bunkle was the MP who originally called for the 1998 Inquiry into the Mental Health Effects of Cannabis, which effectively exonerated the drug implying that the social context of prohibition could be the real mental health problem. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Helen Clark has made strong statements in support of decriminalisation- based on a public health perspective.

Resolution of the debate is inevitable with an acknowledged cannabis user in the House, say the ALCP. There is no moral authority for continued criminal intervention in respect of cannabis.


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