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Cannabis early election 'hot button' issue.

15 July 2005

Cannabis early election 'hot button' issue.

The question of Cannabis could be a hot-button question for NZ's up and coming Election - despite efforts of Chch Central Candidates at Canterbury Universtiy to steer clear of drug/health/lawandorder policy (including ongoing 'unfettered' expenditure on criminalisation)

The issue came up in response to a claim from Labour M.P. Tim Barnett's claim that Labour would continue to work with JimAndertons Progressives and Greens which were 'centre left' Parties.

In a question to the candidates, Kevin O'Connell (from the Aotearoa Legalise CAnanbis Party) made a brief point of order regarding the classification of Jim Andertons 'agressive' party, that they they could not possibly be centre left, because of Jim Anderton's fascist stance in the National Drug Policy (eg look at hte NDP website http://www.beehive.govt.nz/ViewDocument.aspx?DocumentID=23470 ). Mr O'Connell's critique was greeted with amusement by the student audience of about 30.

Labour has given Anderton carte blanch in NDP issues by appointing him expert on drugs and youth suicide, as Chairman of the Ministerial Committee on Drugs.

Mr O'Connell was [rather unnececesarily] told to get on with his question - which concerned the fact that 15% of voters are not on the electoral role including some 200,000 18-24 year olds - and asked "what are the political parties going to do about this huge community problem of alienation and 'non participation'?".

Only the green party came up with a plausible answer (talk with youth at every opportunity about how they can help). Notably Tim Barnett (labour liberal) had no answer about Labour's hypocritical anti-youth 'anti-cannabis' avoidance of their one-time committment to review the legal status...

The aggessive (sorry Progressive) candidate answered that Anderton had taken and would continue to take a strong anti-drug stance particularly on methamphetamine, but to what was clearly an unconvinced audience, including Young Nats who joined in the ridicule: 'what with 2 MPs...'.

Following discussion dominated by cannabis policy on TV1's agenda last saturday (simon dallow interviewing the Greens Rod Donald ), cannabis could well be the 'hot button' decider for the 3rd election running.

3rd Time Lucky, says the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party.


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