22 January 2019
Green Party welcomes open, public debate with Paula Bennett as new spokesperson for National on Drug Reform
The Green Party welcome the National Party to the drug law reform conversation, with Paula Bennett announced today as
the party’s spokesperson on the issue.
“We welcome the National party turning its attention to the issue and look forward to a productive, considered, and
evidence based debate to reduce harm in our communities, and as we move towards the referendum” Green Party drug law
reform spokesperson Chlöe Swarbrick said today.
“Fundamentally, this is about ensuring the health of New Zealanders is put first. Right now cannabis sale and use is
taking place in the shadows, with criminals profiting. We need to regulate and educate so that we can draw down
problematic, harmful use and reduce crime.
“Unfortunately, in Paula Bennett’s debut statement on the issue, there is major misinformation about the impact of
legalisation in other jurisdictions. We hope this is not a sign of things to come and that the National Party doesn’t
insult the intelligence of New Zealanders – who are actually way ahead of the politicians on this important issue.
“The National Party is once again invited to join the Cross-Party Group on Drug Harm Reduction, which we’ve been running
now for nearly a year. So too, I invite Paula Bennett to a public debate on the topic of drug law reform for sake of
transparency, accountability and clarity of the ideas and policies proposed. It’s far too important an issue to be
co-opted by moral panic.”