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Law preventing Select Committee from doing its job

AOTEAROA LEGALISE CANNABIS PARTY

MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE USE 3rd October 2001

Law preventing Health Select Committee from doing its job.

The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (ALCP) is concerned that the current cannabis laws are making it difficult for the Health Select Committee to conduct a thorough inquiry into the legal status of cannabis.

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party President Dave Moore said "The Health Select Committee are not hearing from people in the cannabis business - growers and dealers especially - because these people are too afraid to come forward for fear of getting arrested.

Mr Moore's statement came in support of NORML President Chris Fowlie's submission to the Health Select Committee cannabis inquiry hearing in Auckland today. In his submission, Mr Fowlie urged the committee to place an immediate moratorium on cannabis arrests while the inquiry is underway.

Mr Moore said "The fact of the matter is that the Committee needs to get a full picture of the cannabis situation in this country before it can report back to Parliament with its recommendations. But that won't happen while people continue to get arrested for victimless cannabis crimes".

"The feeling for growers and dealers is that to make a submission to the inquiry when you're labelled a criminal is like putting your head inside the lion's mouth. The only way for these people to feel safe enough to come forward and speak to the Committee is for the current climate of fear to be removed. In the interests of a full and frank debate, the government must stop arresting people for cannabis while this committee conducts its inquiry" added Mr Moore

ENDS

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