Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Stephen Berry Challenges Coroner Over Cannabis

Thu, 24 June 2004

Stephen Berry Challenges Coroner Over Cannabis

"Nelson coroner Ian Smith should stick to his job and avoid adding political policy to his workload," said Libertarianz Deputy Stephen Berry today. "The logic behind Mr Smith's support for cannabis prohibition and the irrelevance of his reasons are another flimsy fence limiting personal freedom."

Coroner Ian Smith bases his opposition to cannabis legalisation on the many cases he sees of people dying in accidents following cannabis use, in particular a recent car crash in which a Nelson man was killed following alcohol consumption and the smoking of cannabis. Berry points out however that these cases are already occuring in an environment in which cannabis use is prohibited: "It just makes no sense to support the continued prohibition of a substance that is causing this level of harm under prohibition. There is little doubt the alcohol alone would have been enough to make him an unsafe driver. What made this driver a danger is the victim's willingness to drive while impaired."

"A person may choose to drive under the influence of a substance whether the substance is legal or not," Berry points out. "If people are driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, such a problem must be targeted. There is no justification for jailing people simply for the choice of substances they consume."

"Libertarianz maintains that individuals are the rightful owners of their lives and bodies. Individuals are also responsible for their actions: there should for example be no defence of diminished responsibility if damage is caused while under the influence of any substance. If however a person is exercising responsible sovereignty over their own body without initiating force against others, then it is nobody else's business."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election