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Reject Cannabis Decriminalisation Now

Government Should Reject Cannabis Decriminalisation Now

United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, is calling on the Government to abandon immediately any plans to decriminalise cannabis in the light of the School Trustees Association petition to be presented to Parliament tomorrow.

Mr Dunne says that the strong response to the petition is a powerful cry from the heart from New Zealand parents for leadership on the issue that cannot be overlooked.

"Of course the Government will say that there is presently an inquiry being undertaken by Parliament's Health Select Committee into the health effects of cannabis, which it would be wrong to cut across."

"However, everyone knows that inquiry is a smokescreen for recommending decriminalisation, and is no more than a pay-off to the Greens, which becomes even more critical now that the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification has not gone the way the Greens wanted."

"When you couple that political imperative with the Government's well-known soft attitude to cannabis anyway, (when did you ever hear either the Prime Minister or the Minister of Health condemn cannabis with the same vigour they condemn tobacco, for example?) it is clear that we are on a slippery slope to decriminalisation," Mr Dunne says.

Mr Dunne is calling on the Government to state clearly that cannabis decriminalisation is not on its agenda, regardless of what the Health Select Committee might recommend.

"Last week, the Prime Minister had no qualms in ruling out business tax cuts, even before the Knowledge Wave conference began - let her Government now show similar boldness in ruling out cannabis decriminalisation," he says.

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