Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

High Support for Marijuana Law Reform

Recently Parliament has fallen under a haze of pot-related allegations with press secretaries in two seperate incidents accused of spinning doctoring while under the influence. While only one MP admits being a current user, two Television news polls in Parliament yesterday revealed considerable support for a move to softer laws on the drug.

Both the TVNZ and TV3 straw polls of MPs which aired last night showed a majority support for decriminalisation of cannabis, the most likely option Parliament would vote once it reviews of marijuana laws.

The TVNZ poll questioned 98 of the 120 MPs and found 42 were in favour of decriminalising the drug, with 35 against and 21 unsure or unwilling to comment.

Meanwhile the corresponding TV3 news survey found MPs were more closely split. Of 110 MPs polled 40 were in support of decriminalisation while 39 were against and 31 were undecided.

The high undecided counts in both polls mean a vote for change is by no means certain.

Nevertheless, there is high powered support for the changes in Parliament. Both Prime Minister Helen Clark and Health Minister Annette King say they support decriminalization with Miss Clark advocating a move towards "spot" fines for the drug.

Conservatives publicly for include National's Brian Neeson and ex-police minister Clem Simich. In the minor parties high profile Green candidate Nandor Tanzcos has said repeatedly he favours total legalisation of the drug.

In the anti-camp senior members of National have previously spoken out against the changes. Maori MPs, whose constituents have high rates of drug and alcohol abuse are also seen as less likely to advocate change.

At election time last year National Leader Jenny Shipley and former Health Minister Roger Sowry made clear they were strongly against marijuana law reform. Maori Affairs Minister Dover Samuels said yesterday decriminalisation of marijuana would mean "social genocide" for his people.

However exactly when the Government will review marijuana laws remains something of a moot point.

A spokesperson for Health Minister Annette King says the date for the law review has not yet been set which could mean the it occurs any time within Labour's parliamentary term. Other reports have suggested the review may take place this year.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Addiction To Chinese Student Fees

Last week, Australian PM Scott Morrison extended its ban on foreign visitors from or passing through from mainland China – including Chinese students - for a third week. New Zealand has dutifully followed suit, with our travel ban ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Coronavirus, And The Iowa Debacle

As Bloomberg says, the coronavirus shutdown is creating the world’s biggest work-from-home experiment. On the upside, the mortality rate with the current outbreak is lower than with SARS in 2003, but (for a number of reasons) the economic impact this time ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Dodging A Bullet Over The Transport Cost Over-Runs

As New Zealand gears up to begin its $6.8 billion programme of large scale roading projects all around the country, we should be aware of this morning’s sobering headlines from New South Wales, where the cost overruns on major transport projects ... More>>

Gordon Campbell:On Kobemania, Palestine And The Infrastructure Package

Quick quiz to end the week. What deserves the more attention – the death of a US basketball legend, or the end of Palestinian hopes for an independent state? Both died this week, but only one was met with almost total indifference by the global community. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Double Standard That’s Bound To Dominate The Election

Are National really better political managers than Labour, particularly when it comes to running the economy? For many voters – and the business community in particular - their belief in National’s inherent competence is a simple act of faith. More>>


Gordon Campbell : On Dealing With Impeccable, Impeachable Lies

By now, the end game the Republican Senate majority has in mind in their setting of the rules for the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump is pretty clear to everyone: first deny the Democrats the ability to call witnesses and offer evidence, and then derisively dismiss the charges for lack of evidence. For his part, does former security adviser John Bolton really, really want to testify against his former boss? If there was any competing faction within the Republican Party, there might be some point for Bolton in doing so – but there isn’t. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Why The Dice Are Loaded Against Women..

If they enter public life, women can expect a type of intense (and contradictory) scrutiny that is rarely applied to their male counterparts... More>>