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Greens Welcome Cannabis Inquiry

The Green Party today said it was very pleased that the terms of reference for an inquiry into cannabis had been accepted by the Health Select Committee.

The Select Committee accepted the following terms of reference for the inquiry:

To inquire into the most effective public health and health promotion strategies to minimise the use and harm associated with cannabis and consequently the most appropriate legal status of cannabis.

Green MPs Nandor Tanczos and Sue Kedgley said they were satisfied the terms of reference would be broad enough to allow vigorous and thorough debate on a wide range of issues relating to cannabis - primarily harm minimisation.

"I am pleased that, after some delays, we are seeing very real progress on this issue," said Mr Tanczos. "The terms of reference will allow all interested parties to have a say and to examine the health, legal, and public awareness issues relating to cannabis."

"This review is long overdue and much needed and will allow all the information to be put on the table and thoroughly discussed," he said.

Sue Kedgley said she was particularly pleased that the focus of the inquiry would be on how the country could minimise the use and the harm of cannabis.

"What this inquiry will do is finally crystalise exactly what the aims of a cannabis policy should be," she said.

"From there we will be able to assess the failings of our current system and come up with a better way to protect both the health and the rights of all New Zealanders."

Both Mr Tanczos and Ms Kedgley said they were pleased with the Green Party's input into establishing the inquiry and said the party had worked constructively and co-operatively with the Government.

"The challenge now goes out to every group and individual in society - and every party in parliament - to contribute fully to this inquiry," they said.


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