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Partial decrim a Cop-out- ALCP

Partial decrim a Cop-out- ALCP

The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party has mixed feelings with regard to an apparent Green party back-track on cannabis policy but welcomes any debate that will progress a more humane system for recreational and medicinal users.

We appreciate Nandor raising the issue pre-election to hopefully expose the injustice and failure of prohibition.

Partial decriminalisation, however, is not a solution. For a return to credible law and order New Zealand needs FULL decriminalisation.

We as a society do not punish or fine citizens for using alcohol or tobacco under the right legal circumstances.

Instant fines have been found in South Australia to result in ‘net widening’ (more people harassed by Police), and have resulted in double the number of criminals created because of fine non-payment. There has been no discernable impact on usage, or level of black market activity, and no ‘credibility’ improvement in 'double standards’-based drug education.

In fact the Canadian Senate Committee on Cannabis(2002) described instant fines as the worst possible scenario (page 34): “Some say that [partial] decriminalization is a step in the right direction, one that gives society time to become accustomed to cannabis, to convince opponents that chaos will not result, to adopt effective prevention measures. We believe however that this approach is in fact the worst case scenario, depriving the State of a necessary regulatory tool for dealing with the entire production, distribution, and consumption network, and delivering hypocritical messages at the same time.”

NZ’s Health Select Committee Inquiry into cannabis legal status chaired by Labour’s Judy Keall in 2001 was heard to echo these concerns whenever ‘instant fines’ was raised at public hearings.

The ALCP opposes the introduction of any system that continues to criminalise the recreational user. We see the instant fines system cautiously as perhaps a stepping stone to higher safer ground of informed and unemotional debate.

"With so many recreational users, the cannabis issue will continue to be discussed until we as a society work out a reasonable and humane solution that has harm minimisation and credible education at it's
focus", said party Leader Michael Appleby.

“The state has an obligation to get out of people lives when the law has been shown by two Parliamentary inquiries to be ‘poor public policy’.”

The ALCP will campaign until we get fair cannabis regulations that deglamorise youth uptake with credible health and safety messages.

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