INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cannabis Party say stop Parliamentary hypocrisy

Published: Fri 24 Dec 1999 01:07 PM
Fuss surrounding the smoking of marijuana in Parliament is being blown way out of proportion, said the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party today. “What’s the fuss? It’s ridiculous to still get excited when half of population are doing it.” said Party leader, Michael Appleby. “The drug is not as harmful as alcohol and tobacco”, he said
Official reports show 52% of the surveyed population have tried marijuana. And that increasing numbers want reform was evident in the recent election outcome.
The presence of an acknowledged pot-smoking Rastafari MP in parliament (Nandor Tanzcos), and allegations of dope smoking in Parliament’s press gallery, demonstrate a law in chronic disrepute, according to Christchurch cannabis party analysts.
“The law has not debated in Parliament since the mid-70’s, so any talk about ‘honouring’ antiquated rules is sanctimonious claptrap”, said Blair Anderson.
Cannabis prohibition has become institutionalised, and to a large extent self-perpetuating by intimidatory attitudes”, said Kevin O’Connell. “Denial is unhealthy, so it is highly appropriate for the moral authority of the law to be publicly challenged”, he said.
Anderson, O’Connell and the Christchurch Branch of the ALCP successfully torched the Misuse of Drugs act in the Christchurch city mall on Guy Fawkes Day. No one came forward to defend the iniquitous legislation, and the ALCP claim the legal status debate has been well and truly won by the legalisers.
“It’s time to stop the hypocrisy, stop the arrests and get on with out lives without worrying about the smoking of a little bit of cannabis”, said Michael Appleby.
Meanwhile a reported announcement from the Minister of Health, that a cannabis law review is underway is being welcomed. “The cannabis law review should be brief and focus on protocols for an optimised regulatory approach”, say the ALCP analysts, who have already produced working documents for reform at http://www.alcp.org.nz.
It is well known by professionals, and becoming apparent to many Members of Parliament, that drug use and related harms only increase under prohibitionary regimes. Parliament’s health committee has twice recommended a review of appropriateness of existing policy on cannabis. And on the first of December, the country’s laws which relate to the other popular social drug were significantly liberalised...
Cannabis Party members agree that ending prohibition would be a nice present to mark NZ’s first “Green Christmas”, and the year 2000 rollover. Police should be instructed by Cabinet to focus on the more harmful drugs, such as beer, wine and spirits, say the party.
ends

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