Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

TOP’s Dope Policy – Charities As Drug Dealers

19 May 2017

TOP’s Dope Policy – Charities As Drug Dealers


Family First NZ is labelling The Opportunity Party’s policy on marijuana as flawed and harmful, especially the suggestion that non-profit charitable trusts can apply to control retail sales of cannabis.

“You won’t find a drug dealer who is not in the game to make a substantial profit. A liberalised marijuana market will simply be the cue for tobacco ‘big business’ to move in and recover their losses from the clamp-down on cigarette smoking. TOP says it isn’t promoting cannabis use but in effect it will. And the gangs and the underworld will be just as motivated to make money out of it – legal or not. The real question is whether dope will benefit society, our families and our young people. The answer is a resounding no,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“While Family First welcomes a cautious approach based on extensive research and appropriate safeguards around medicinal marijuana, any hint of liberalising marijuana laws is the wrong path if we care about public health, public safety, and about our young people, and the government is right to maintain the drug’s illegal status.”

“Drug use is both a criminal and a health issue. There is a false dichotomy that criminal sanctions apparently haven’t worked so we should ditch them all together and we should focus only on education and health initiatives. We should maintain both,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“Ministry of Justice statistics debunk claims by supporters of weakening laws around marijuana that hundreds of people are being locked up for petty drug offences each year. Statistics obtained from the Ministry of Justice by Family First NZ under the Official Information Act show that less than 10 people have been given a prison sentence for cannabis possession offences in each of the last three years, and that even these sentences may be ‘influenced by their previous offending history’.

Claims have been made that hundreds of minor drug offenders are being locked up for petty drug offences every year, that the system isn’t working, and that by locking them up, they can come out as a ‘meth cook’. That simply isn’t true. It will be difficult to meet somebody who says they've been behind bars for smoking a joint, and that's their only crime,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“In other words, very few are in prison merely for simple drug possession, or even small-level dealing for that matter, according to the stats. International studies have shown that most are imprisoned for aggravated drug crimes, that is, crimes committed while on drugs (murder, armed robbery, theft, assault, child abuse, etc.) or crimes committed in order to obtain drugs. The statistics from the Ministry of Justice appear to confirm that.”

“Erroneous claims that we are wasting time and resources focusing on the criminal aspect fail to understand that there has been a substantial decline in arrests for cannabis use in New Zealand over the past decade, and that police diversion and Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Courts have been increasingly used. But it is the application of the law which enables these orders to be made and enforced in the first place,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“Gareth Morgan’s policy should be given a wide berth – as it is by the major political parties. And NORML’s support is also a ‘red flag’. In 1979, NORML saidWe’ll use medical marijuana as red-herring to give marijuana a good name”. In 1996 when California approved medicinal marijuana, NORML said “marijuana has been de facto legalised under guise of medical marijuana”. A US study found that the average ‘patient’ was a 32-year-old white male with a history of drug and alcohol abuse and no history of life threatening illness.”

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Budget

It may seem like Oliver to be so bold as to ask the Finance Minister for more gruel – but what the Dickens, Steven Joyce… is this Budget really as good as it gets?

Supposedly, the public was going to receive significant rewards – an election year lolly scramble no less – for the eight years of belt tightening that they’ve endured, and for the rundown of essential public services.

Well, what Budget 2017 delivered instead in Education and in Health were allocations barely sufficient to maintain the current levels of service delivery More>>

Scoop Full Coverage: of Budget Announcements & Reaction
Latest: Scoop Search

 
 

Carer Settlement: Threat Of Staff Exodus In Mental Health

As a result of the recent pay rise awarded to their aged care and disability sector colleagues, many staff in non-government mental health and addiction organisations are considering leaving to join these workforces. More>>

ALSO:

Climate Policy: New Zealand Set To Blow Its Carbon Budget By 27%

The Government’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory shows New Zealand is set to release 647.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions between 2013 and 2020 – 137 million tonnes more than we are allowed under the Kyoto Protocol. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Christchurch Considers Cathedral, Stadium: Cathedral Working Group Report Released

“About half of Christchurch wants to see the cathedral reinstated, the other half wants something new and more modern, but really, everyone just needs a decision." More>>

ALSO:

Auditor-General Stands Down For Investigation: Gordon Campbell On (Not) Taking Responsibility

So Martin Matthews, our current Auditor-General wishes he could have detected “earlier” the fraud that occurred on his watch at the Ministry of Transport. Hmmm. But he could have detected it earlier, surely? That’s the point. More>>

ALSO:

NGOs Pleased: Govt To Halt Collection Of Client Data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and national manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through. More>>

ALSO:

Gosh: Blasphemy Law Repeal Struck Down

Chris Hipkins, the MP who tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to add our Blasphemy Law to the Statutes Repeal Bill, said this was a "sad day for freedom of speech, tolerance, and leadership". More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

Opening The Election Supporters

 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election