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Goff fails to Go off as Justice Minister

"If Phil Goff considers it judicious not to question the highest rate of civil rights violations for cannabis in the world, then he is a foolish choice indeed for Minister of Justice", say South-Island Cannabis Party analysts, Kevin O'Connell and Blair Anderson.

The Labour led-coalition failed its first major credibility test last evening, as New Zealand's new Justice Minister claimed to be unconvinced the outlawed cannabis status must change. TV1-Holmes pitted the Green party's newly elected Justice spokesman, Nandor Tanzcos, against Phil Goff's apparently well rehearsed, but hollow justifications for continued illegal status.

Policing statistics indicate over one hundred thousand people a year are being busted for marijuana in New Zealand, and literally millions of illicit drug transactions are occurring in an increasingly violent black market.

Meanwhile, international evidence clearly shows that contrary to the Minister's view, there is NOT likely to be any increase in use if the law eases up in a health promotion context. In fact, as pointed out by Mr Tanzcos, statistics show only 15% of Dutch have smoked marijuana, while in NZ the figure is 52% of people under the age of 45, in spite of deterrents. "Mr Goff seriously needs to ask himself whether a highly invasive law can achieve its objectives at an acceptable cost to the community", said Mr O'Connell. The rational and reasonable answer can only be to rein-in the civil liberties abuse, he says.

"Prohibition is the problem, not the solution", say the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party.

Nandor, the world's first Rastafarian MP, was elected last week to the NZ Parliament, and his mild-mannered presence is challenging the credibility of the "criminal" definition. Cannabis Party members say Government must heed the will of electors who were largely unconvinced by National's prohibitionist "dirty tricks" campaign, voted "green", and expect honest representation from our Millenium Parliament.

"In this regard, Mr Goff's other portfolio in Foreign Affairs is an intrinsic conflict of interest, subject to the USA's powerful prohibitionist administration", said Mr Anderson. It is a grave concern that political standover may threaten an enlightened Government position on cannabis.

"We had hoped to hear the last of Jenny Shipley / Tony Ryall style propaganda, but international pressure against legal cannabis-hemp in NZ is believed to be far in excess of any exerted over the F16 deal, or genetic engineering", he said. "Prohibition has an unfortunate legacy of rendering ambitious politicians as puppets.".

Many Holmes viewers will be wondering if new Prime Minister, Helen Clark will articulate a more constructive position than her justice spokesman. "It sustains a serious error of justice not to make moves towards a plausible 'regulated' status for cannabis", say the Christchurch Branch of the Cannabis Party, who advocate against promotion of drugs, and have recently been dubbed "the Mild Greens".

The war on pot-users is well past its use-by date, and the while the iniquitous legislation still afflicts global culture and our latest Minister of Justice, it is refreshing to witness "green-friendly" faces in the House of Representatives, and much speculation on the "legal status" across Aotearoa.

Nandor is a role model for moderation and respect. "Come on team, join Nandor's Hemp Revolution!", say the Mild Greens. Drug misuse will reduce, crime costs will fall, tourism will skyrocket, and hemp will bring billions into the "green" economy. People are advised to contact their MPs and demand self-determination.

"NZ can only win", say the ALCP, "so let's have that highly recommended law review NOW, Mr Goff."


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