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Trustee’s Petition Proposes More Of The Same

School Trustee’s Petition Proposes More Of The Same, Offers No Solutions

The National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in New Zealand (NORML NZ) condemned the petition presented to Parliament today by the School Trustees Association and expressed disappointment they had chosen only to criticise and not to offer any solutions to the cannabis issue.

NORML’s President, Chris Fowlie, said while the petition was an important part of the democratic process, “the STA could have been more constructive in proposing ways we can reduce the availability of cannabis in schools instead of just advocating more of the same failed policy that has created the very problems they complain of.

“Prohibition forces the supply of cannabis into the hands of criminals, with no age limits, quality controls or health information. NORML seeks to regulate the supply of cannabis in a similar way to alcohol and tobacco, including an R18 age limit. This approach would most restrict juvenile access to cannabis, a point upon which we are all agreed.

“The current approach also serves to stifle debate and suppress honesty, and this petition is a fine example of that. Many concerned parents and teachers have told NORML they felt under duress to sign the petition. Some teachers told us they feared for their jobs unless they signed the petition.

“The STA petition was a National Party initiative circulated around service stations as well as schools, yet still only managed an average of around ten signatories per school. Given the number of staff and parents per school, the final tally is a pathetic response that demonstrates an overwhelming lack of enthusiasm for continued cannabis prohibition.

“We urge the Government to reject demands from moralist organisations who seek a cannabis policy based on fear and coercion.”

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