Pubdate: Thu, 25 Nov 1999
Source: Press, The (New Zealand)
Copyright: 1999 The Christchurch Press Company Ltd.
Contact:  Private Bag 4722, Christchurch, New Zealand
Fax: 364-8238
Author: R. Boe


Sir-The Green party has taken a bold, but logical step by addressing
marijuana law reform. For 25 years this health policy has been based
on using fear and punishment to deter use, yet over 25,000 people are
arrested yearly. The Greens acknowledge this is a serious issue which
affects all New Zealanders, irrespective of whether they smoke or vote.

Most reports on cannabis recommend some form of legalisation as the
safest and most effective method to minimise use and reduce any
possible abuse. For example, the Netherlands has liberal laws, yet
more Kiwi 13-year-olds have tried cannabis.

Legalisation is not about promoting use. It is the end to an
uncontrollable black market, and the beginning of positive change,
such as hemp farming, the use of safe and effective medicine, freedom
of choice, and more resources for the police to use preventing crimes
that hurt.

November 22, 1999

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