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Put Cannabis with Herbal Highs - Cannabis Party

Put Cannabis with Herbal Highs, Says Cannabis Party.

The ALCP says marijuana should be included with the 'herbal highs' which Parliament is considering as age-restricted substances. Parliament’s health committee will hear the Party’s submission on the Misuse of Drugs Amendment bill and Supplementary Order Paper today over videolink from Christchurch.

"Parliament needs to stop operating a double standard based drug classification system". Especially when alcohol is by far the most 'misused' drug in NZ, says the Party.

The ALCP favours an evidence based system where it is recognised that Prohibition is not the only way to 'prevent the misuse of drugs'.

The Health Committee reported on cannabis related health promotion in 2003. Its report stated: "The current high levels of use and the level of black market activity indicate that the current prohibition regime is not effective in limiting cannabis use. Prohibition results in high conviction rates for a relatively minor offence, which inhibits people's education, travel and employment opportunities. Prohibition makes targeting education, prevention, harm minimisation and treatment measures difficult because users fear prosecution. It also facilitates the black market and potentially exposes cannabis users to harder drugs." (p57)

"Legislators need to get real and start taking a reasonable, workable 'harm reduction' approach.", says party President Kevin O'Connell.

Nowhere is the injustice of cannabis criminalisation more apparent than in the persecution of those who require marijuana as medicine, says the Party. Adults should be allowed to grow their own, and partake in safe trade of this traditional and widely appreciated 'herbal high'.

The party is cautiously supporting the Supplementary Order Paper to introduce a 'restricted' substance class within the Misuse of Drugs Act – provided cannabis is given an appropriate status in line with principles of Harm Minimisation.

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