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ALCP challenges Peter Dunne in Ohariu

ALCP challenges Peter Dunne in Ohariu

Media release
19 September 2008

A UNICEF report, released last year, showed the lowest teen use of cannabis is found in Holland, where cannabis use is tolerated and strictly R18 cafes sell cannabis products to adult smokers. Countries like US and NZ, with "zero tolerance" policies and thriving black markets, are amongst the highest. "Tinny shops don't ask for ID, they ask for $20", says ALCP candidate for Ohariu, Danyl Strype. "Legal regulation might actually allow us to keep cannabis out of the hands of our young people, until they are old enough to make an informed decision".

In the past two elections MP for Ohariu (formerly Ohariu-Belmont) Peter Dunne has used his deciding vote on which major party would become the government to block parliamentary reconsideration of the legal status of cannabis. As a result, despite the overwhelming evidence against the current criminalization regime heard by the Health Select Committee, public debate on alternatives to the failed zero-tolerance approach has stalled.

Yet, in 2005 Dunne worked with WIN, a group of alcohol salesmen opposing the tobacco smoking ban in pubs, with the WIN leader running as a United Future candidate. "Alcohol and tobacco kill more people than all illegal drugs combined", says Strype. "Dunne's support for the hugely profitable businesses selling these drugs, while blocking due process of law reform for other drugs, is blatantly hypocritical." Strype's message to the electors of Ohariu is that there are better ways to prevent their families being harmed by abuse of drugs, both legal and illegal.

The ALCP advocates for regulated recreational use, removal of barriers to medicinal use, and promotion of a sustainable hemp industry which could offer food, fibre, fuel, and jobs. More information on our cross-sectoral policy can be found at: www.alcp.org


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