INDEPENDENT NEWS

Decriminalization sends wrong message to young

Published: Thu 27 Nov 2003 11:22 AM
Decriminalization sends wrong message to young on cannabis
The Green Party's continual push for the decriminalization of cannabis is sending completely the wrong message to young people that the use of dangerous drugs and misuse of alcohol is an acceptable lifestyle choice, Progressive MP Matt Robson said today.
"Politicians need to show vulnerable young people the respect of telling them what they may not want to hear.
"The Progressive Party wants to send a strong message to young people that drugs are not an acceptable lifestyle choice because a bad decision in your teenage years can lead to lost job opportunities and seriously diminished life opportunities later in life," Matt Robson said ahead of his public debate with Green MP Nandor Tanczos in Otahuhu this evening.
Matt Robson said he was disappointed by renewed Green Party calls this week for cannabis to be decriminalized when there the scientific evidence tells us that cannabis is a health hazard and when societies around the world, including New Zealand, are grappling with the traffic effects of drug and alcohol abuse problems.
"The Green Party is locking itself into a relentless pro-drugs stance. Yesterday, Mr Tanczos put out a confused statement saying we should legalize cannabis so that we can all work together to defeat the threat of P," Matt Robson said. "The Progressive Party's offer earlier this year to work with all political parties to defeat P were rejected by the Greens. When Jim Anderton proposed to Parliament that P be classified a Class A hard drug, the Greens were the only party in Parliament to vote against it.
The Greens' tongue-in-cheek suggestion that police resources should be directed away from cannabis to methamphetamine is risible. Who do they think is selling methamphetamine? The cannabis supermarkets are becoming P supermarkets and I wouldn't be surprised if a few have photos of their favourite MP on the wall for his efforts to create more customers," Matt Robson said.
"P suppliers and cannabis suppliers are the same drug-pushing low-lifes and we should stand up to them not humour them," Matt Robson said.
Public debate: Otahuhu town hall, 7.30 pm tonight

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