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Law and Order committee offended by Mild Greens

Law and Order Committee "offended" by Mild Green's cannabis criticism

In a teleconferenced select committee hearing today on the "boy racer bill", the Mild Greens were told by acting committee chair Georgina Beyer, that the content of their submission was considered abusive of members of the committee.

The Mild Greens were critical of Parliament for trivialising the cannabis law and order injustice issue, and failing to resolve the debate on appropriate health-based strategies to deal with "miscreant" youth behaviour.

"We appose the bill as it will not address NZ's real Law and Order problem - PROHIBITION".

Blair Anderson and Kevin O'Connell told the committee, sitting on the Land Transport (street and illegal drag racing) Bill, that NZ's lawful authority is in chronic disrepute, and MPs are apparently ill-serving the youth of New Zealand for political expediency.

The gap between law and public compliance was continuing to widen, particularly amongst youth, because of "systemic hypocrisy", relating to unjust and ineffective cannabis controls in NZ.

Cannabis controls are not respected by a vast sector of the public, and confiscations of cars from "high-revving offenders" will not garner respect in the context of a rule of law which has "gone out the window".

Committee member Graham Kelly [Labour] questioned the Mild Green's classification of cannabis use as "normal" amongst young New Zealanders (with 70% of teens experimenting with cannabis), implying the statistic was preposterous.

In reply, the Mild Greens quoted evidence heard by parliament's recently reconvened inquiry into cannabis health promotion: In particular, the Christchurch School of Medicine Health and Development Study conducted by Professer David Fergusson, the Dunedin Health and Multidiciplinary Study conducted by Dr Ritchie Poulson, backed also by the official 1999 National Drug Survey showing 52% of the surveyed population had tried cannabis.

Mr O'Connell told MP's that they worked for the People of New Zealand, and as citizens of this 'free and democratic" society, the Mild Greens had every right to criticise Parliament's ill-informed inaction on cannabis equity: "If our submission is perceived as impolite, it's because we expect much better from MPs".

Ms Beyer told Mr O'Connell that this was perhaps the "understatement of the year".

Mr Anderson said that the Mild Greens were offering no apology. If Parliament sincerely wanted to solve the problem of boy racers and other "risk taking and anti-social" behaviour, cannabis injustice and "the law in disrepute" had to be addressed.

The Mild Greens backed their stance with the recently released Canadian Special Senate Committee Report on Cannabis, scathing of existing "controls", and recommending balanced, co-operative governance "engaging the community" via LEGAL REGULATION.

Accordingly, our Parliament needs to debate and resolve the cannabis issue if it is to earn the enduring respect of the youth of New Zealand (and the respect of cannabis law reformers…)

Until then, MP's remain the core offenders, and are fair game for critical analysis, say the Mild Greens.

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