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"New National" Cheat NZ Cannabis Reform

PRESS RELEASE - 17 June 2002 - MILD GREENS

Election 2002: "New National" cheat NZ cannabis reform

The Labour Government now appears as manipulative and unprincipled on drug policy as the previous National-led administration, claim the Mild Greens.

Reformers are seeing red over the Health Select Committee's cannabis "vanishing trick", with the advent of the July 27 snap election and the dissolution of Parliament this week.

By lapsing the labour-led Health Committee cannabis health promotion inquiry process, long after the completion of public hearings (overwhelmingly in favour of legalisation), and without the slightest hint of analysis, debate or conscience, "New National" MPs have committed a tell-tale breach of faith.

The Mild Greens are holding Cabinet responsible for not whipping their MPs into line, co-ordinating policy development and demanding resolution of this core community issue.

It appears Helen Clark(PM), Judy Keall (outgoing ctte chair), Annette King (minister of health), Tariana Turia (associate minister) have conspired to suppress the inquiry.

“Prohibition is the crime, and in pretending a grossly deficient and discriminatory policy implementation doesn't matter, the Labour government is compounding the offence” – Technically that's treason, say the Mild Greens - deserving of the maximum penalty…

"Sadly it seems New National, er...Labour, would rather build $100 million prisons to house disaffected, unemployed Maori, than openly and honestly reconsider the appropriateness of existing black market policy - and front up with genuine "harm minimisation" protocol.

The Mild Greens condemn grossly deficient and racist criminalisation policy as the root cause of New Zealand's matrix of social problems, and are appalled that MPs are evading resolution of the debate which dominated the 1999 election.

By allowing continued criminalisation when there are successful precedents for normalisation of marijuana within the context of harm minimisation, Helen Clark and company are misappropriating hundreds of millions into counter productive law enforcement, and playing Russian roulette with the Public Safety. “you traitors”

"The voting public need to question whether Helen Clark's party of social equity hypocrites, currently polling at 53%, are deserving of re-election, let alone majority power", say the Mild Greens.

Kevin O'Connell, Blair Anderson 03 389 3065 www.mildgreens.com

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