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Open Letter To Brian Neeson From ALCP

Open Letter To Brian Neeson From ALCP

National Management Committee
Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party
PO Box 27 315
WELLINGTON

16 June 1999

Mr Brian Neeson,
Chairperson,
Health Select Committee,
House of Representatives,

WELLINGTON

Dear Mr Neeson,

urgent: Debate on Report of Cannabis Inquiry

The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party applauds the repeat of your committee's recommendation to Government to ``review the appropriateness of existing policy on cannabis and its use and reconsider the legal status of cannabis'', as tabled on June 10 in the Report on Petition 1996/686 from Judith Ann Wickham and 326 others requesting the ``decriminalisation of the recreational use of cannabis''.

We respectfully suggest that it is not beyond the Health Committee's reported terms of reference to make a judgment decision on the mental heath implications of ``adequacy of existing services for those people who use cannabis'', in respect of arrest and conviction for simple cannabis offences.

Currently it is arguable that Government is placing excessive and undue weighting and resource allocation to the area of police cannabis ``enforcement'' interventions.

Our Party believe the Health Committee and Ministers on the Government's drug policy committee, together with the wider Parliament, should openly discuss and debate the appropriateness of existing controls on cannabis and its use, and advise by way of conscience vote, the will of the incumbent House of Representatives. The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party ask that the House resolve:

that Government accept ``criminal intervention'' in respect of simple cannabis use and cultivation is inappropriate, unsustainable and unacceptable, and that an equitable system of control for cannabis must be provided as an urgent national priority.

The party has petitioned Parliament, and in particular advised the Justice & Law Reform Committee regarding cannabis related legislation including possible lowering of the drinking age (see attached). The immediate legislative implication of debating and resolving the ``decriminalisation'' issue would be the issuing by Parliamentary majority, of a moritorium on arrests for ``simple cannabis offences''.

Our understanding is that today, Wednesday, 16 June is a members' day in Parliament and your committee's report may be prioritised for debate, so the Party requests that you, as chair of the Health Committee, take this serious and important matter to the debating chamber without further delay.

In relation to the petition 1996/686, could the committee please provide for our information, copies of submissions from the petitioner, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health and the Police, as requested and received by Health Committee. We thank you for your assistance.

Yours sincerely,

Blair Anderson, Deputy Leader

cc: Hon Roger Sowry, Leader of the House, Lianne Dalziel MP, Tim Barnett MP, Hon Phil Goff, Hon Wyatt Creech

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