3News 22 April 2014
Prime Minister John Key says decriminalising cannabis will not prevent people from smoking synthetic highs.
Stores selling legal highs over Easter Weekend did a roaring trade, with queues forming outside stores on Friday night, waiting for the end of Good Friday trading restrictions at midnight.
But earlier this month thousands of people protested against the products, which have been blamed for antisocial behaviour and health problems in users – many who say they would rather smoke the real thing, but it’s illegal.
Respondents to a Campbell Live poll last week overwhelmingly voted in favour of decriminalisation of cannabis, but appearing on Firstline this morning, Mr Key said that would send the wrong message.
“The Government making it legal I think we accept is a step we could take. It would be a very, very difficult and challenging step to take, it wouldn’t actually eradicate society of these products,” says Mr Key.
“In the end, drugs of any sort are a road to nowhere in my view, and we want to encourage New Zealanders not to use them.”