Individual MPs asked to reject liberalisation of drug laws
A group representing 12 key educational organisations is so concerned about the moves to decriminalise cannabis, that it
has written to every Member of Parliament asking them to reject any change.
The group, called The Education Accord, is made up of the leaders of the 12 key educational organisations, including
unions, principals, Maori and trustees. It has sent MPs a unanimous statement on the issue expressing its concerns.
NZSTA President Owen Edgerton says the group collectively has considerable experience working in and with schools and
students and is very worried about the effects decriminalisation will have on teenagers.
In the statement, the Accord says it is important that all Members of Parliament are fully aware of the harm that
cannabis causes to children and adolescents.
“Cannabis causes physiological damage to developing organs. It also results in “emotional stunting” as cannabis causes
blockages of the neural pathways, impeding users’ ability to exercise reason and sound judgement,” it says. “The
educational achievement of children and adolescents who use cannabis is severely compromised due to the physiological
and emotional side effects of this usage.”
The Education Accord is already concerned about the current level of cannabis taking among young people, and believes
that decriminalisation will result in increased use within that age group. It is concerned that it will lead to higher
levels of violence and ill-health in our society.
The educationalists say that instead of liberalising the laws, they urge MPs to support the provision of more effective
support services for users and their families, and for an effective education programme in schools, available for
students from year 1 to year 13.
Ends For further information contact:
Owen Edgerton 025 441 397