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Smoke-Free Initiatives Backed By Cannabis Party

Press Release:

Smoke-Free Initiatives Backed By Cannabis Party

Toughening laws on tobacco, to a point, will reduce community double standards surrounding smoked substances, assisting health promotion, said ALCP members today.

Policy analysts voiced support for the Minister of Health's move to extend the ban on tobacco smoking to enclosed public spaces such as restaurants, bars and caf‚s. "The bottom line is that non-smokers should not have to passively smoke, and that smokers should respect that right", said Blair Anderson and Kevin O'Connell.

That is not to say that a total prohibition is appropriate or realistic. There is a need to strike a balance - so that individuals are respected, so long as their activity does not cause undue harm or discomfort to other people. The implication is that outdoors use is "OK".

"We support regulations that encourage smokers of whatever substance to be considerate of others, and become smoke-free by their own choice", said Mr O'Connell.

"Arbitrarily making people into criminals is far more insidious than a bit of passive inhalation."

The Cannabis Party champions the right for people dependent on tobacco to satisfy their addictive needs in the safest manner possible ("harm reduction").

However, this right needs to be applied to people dependent on other substances, especially marijuana, if we are to end a lot of hypocrisy and injustice, say party members.

In its conclusions to the inquiry into the Mental Health Effects of Cannabis, Parliament's Health Select Committee said that the double standards surrounding cannabis was an impediment to effective anti-drug education. ALCP analysts say these double standards account for the high levels of tobacco and marijuana uptake in New Zealand, and explain also the alienation from rule of law which is fuelling alcohol-related anti-social behaviour amongst youth on Auckland's North Shore.

Blair Anderson who last week entered the Christchurch Shirley Ward by-election, is determined to take community issues on social responsibility, double standards and law & order to the floor of council. "The public health will profit from a clear signal that tobacco is an undesirable habit- but not as much as it will from a clear signal that cannabis is not criminally undesirable", said Mr Anderson.

The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party argues for a closing of the differential separating laws surrounding the common social drugs, alcohol, tobacco and marijuana- and has made strenuous efforts to highlight a gravitation towards 18 as a blanket age of consent.

"The need for consistency must be recognised by public officials and representatives, and put squarely into place, with legal regulation of marijuana as the highly indicated priority.

ends

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