NZ Herald 11 September 2014
Internet Party leader Laila Harre is standing by her policy to decriminalise cannabis following the publication of a study highlighting the damaging effects of regular use on young people.
An Australasian research paper into the effects of cannabis use on adolescents was published in The Lancet medical journal on Tuesday.
It found that under 17s who use cannabis daily were 60 per cent less likely to complete high school and 60 per cent less likely to gain a degree.
Ms Harre said such research demonstrated the need to decriminalise cannabis.
“It is that kind of evidence that has led us to the firm view that cannabis should be dealt with as a health issue rather than as a criminal justice issue.
“Those countries which have approached cannabis from a health perspective, and have put in place laws which enable cannabis to be properly controlled by government, have been far more effective than we have in preventing cannabis use among young people.”
The Internet Party was in favour of decriminalisation of cultivation and possession of cannabis for personal use, and the development of a government-regulated production and distribution system, based on international best practice and expert advice, she said.