Tanczos challenges trustees to debate cannabis

Published: Mon 28 Aug 2000 06:00 PM
Tanczos challenges trustees to debate cannabis and kids
Green MP Nandor Tanczos today challenged the president of the New Zealand School Trustees Association to a debate on how best to minimise the harm associated with cannabis use on school children.
Mr Tanczos extended the challenge after School Trustees president Owen Edgerton criticised him for disregarding the rights of other people to hold opinions on cannabis decriminalisation.
"Contrary to the comments from Mr Edgerton, I have been one of the few people actively calling for a full public discussion of cannabis policy," said Mr Tanczos.
"On the one hand I have been criticised for daring to open discussion of cannabis law reform, and on the other I am accused of shutting down debate. Let's be clear: I believe cannabis policy needs to be fully and openly debated with reference to the facts."
"However the National Party, with the support of the School Trustees, are trying to stop the most thorough discussion on cannabis policy for twenty five years," said Mr Tanczos.
"The review on cannabis law reform will be an opportunity for everybody to put their opinions forward and have them debated. It is bizarre for Mr Edgerton to claim I am trying to stifle debate when that is precisely what his petition is trying to achieve," he said.
Mr Tanczos said if Mr Edgerton genuinely believed his opinions would benefit New Zealand's young people he would be prepared to have them debated.
"The Green Party believes there is a better way in which we can minimise the harm associated with cannabis use to young people. Our position is sensible, based on the facts and will stand up to any scrutiny.
"I challenge Mr Edgerton to debate with me anywhere anytime on this issue. I will be looking forward to seeing how he can argue that punishing people rathering than helping them is good for our young people," he said.
"Under prohibition cannabis use has soared and now the majority of the population admit having used it. If the aim of the law is to cut use, you don't have to be a genius to realise it missed."
Nandor Tanczos MP: 04 470 6716, 025 246 5235

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