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Rational Approach to Cannabus Called For

Rational Approach to Cannabus Called For

Road Safety group, the Candor Trust has concerns that the National tour of the NORML Cannabus, which encourages civil disobedience as it makes "pot-stops" along the way, could inadvertently send a confusing message to NZ youth. A dangerous message virally spread by any interested media's tour coverage.

"What they are seeking is a change in the legal status of cannabus, but the subtextual message we see could result from NORML's chosen high profile method of delivery may well be that it is perfectly fine to drive while unfit due to cannabis impacts," say Trustees.

In using a liveried vehicle featuring the psychedelic leaf to promote their recreational or medicinal drug use NORML must tread more carefully. The Alcohol Advisory Council would have plenty to say if a Breweries Bus did the rounds with regular drinky stops - and failed to "accessorise" with a strong road safety message designed to counter any potential collateral damage.

What responsibility is NORML as the protaganist taking for ensuring those joining their little protests have a safe ride home?

Whilst NORMLs safe use guidelines vaguely caution against driving impaired, in a manner short on specifics, the Trust would like to see this message being openly role modelled. Or even loudly trumpeted on the tour. It seems too great an opportunity to transmit a critical cannabis safety message for NORML to miss. Why not make the trip pay by potentially saving many lives with a safety message?

Cannabis impairment is a close runner up to alcohol intoxication in fuelling NZ's shameful road carnage - yet it is the top taboo subject.

Tasmania is soon to introduce random steering wheel swabs which will detect drug traces previously on the hands of the drivers. The question that is on Candor members minds is whether such testing, if conducted here, would show that NORML has rersponsibly appointed a clean sobre designated driver to carry their crew safely throughout their tour.

Candor does not view the scattering of arrests reported by NORML tour members for possession as particularly constructive in any way, as the strategy is not directly relevant to enhanced road safety. Preventing victimisation should be Polices main brief - that happen directly and not through randomly harassing people who may not even drive wasted, say Candor's Trustees.

Police's concerns about the activities of this lobby group, protesting through civil disobedience, should really focus on more valid concerns than possession, according to Candor. Police need to focus, and instead scrutinise that small minority in NORML's numbers which could conceivably pose a real public risk by their propensity for pot use.

Intrepid observers have to be questioning whether the Cannabus contains potty drivers, or are the drivers instead road safety role models? Arrest them if they are threatening public safety by driving a heavy vehicle whilst under the influence of a drug, but should society not be congratulating the rebels if they have been civil enough to voluntarily abstained from substances before driving.

Take the high road Police - if you can establish that NORML and supporters turning out don't, and wish them a safe journey. Provision of road safety education resources by your Education Officers to Protestors could also be working smart, perhaps. Candor doesn't know if the message is getting through yet, but would remind people that NZ's first major fatal bus crash occured in the 1970's, and pot was the killer.

ENDS

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