Expert backs MP’s call for rewrite of drug laws

By May 29, 2017 Recent News

NewsHub 29 May 2017
Family First Comment: Are we missing something here??
“United Future Leader Peter Dunne wants drugs like cannabis to be legalised, saying this might actually help cut down the nation’s use.”
So an illegal substance becomes legal and freely available, and apparently the usage will drop??
And if we increase the speeding limit to 110km/h, everyone will actually drive slower.

A drug expert is urging the Government to seriously consider an MP’s case for legalising Class C drugs.

United Future Leader Peter Dunne wants drugs like cannabis to be legalised, saying this might actually help cut down the nation’s use.

“First, we should move to an overall approach similar to the full Portuguese model, where the cultivation and possession of all drugs remains illegal, and all drug users are referred for assessment and treatment,” he wrote on his website earlier this month.

“The second stage of the process, when the Misuse of Drugs Act is rewritten, would be to transfer the current Schedule of Class C Drugs from that Act to the Psychoactive Substances Act.”

That means marijuana would be subject to the same level of scrutiny as other psychoactive substances, including synthetic marijuana.

“The test is evidence based around the risk posed to the user… there are clear controls on the manufacture, sale and distribution of any such products that might be approved.”

Dunne urges move towards cannabis decriminalisation
Radio NZ News 28 May 2017
New Zealand should move towards decriminalising cannabis over time, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne says.

Mr Dunne said he wanted the country to follow Portugal’s model, where the drug was legalised and regulated.

The first step would be to treat possession of low levels of cannabis as a health issue, rather than a crime, he said.

The next step would be to test the drug and allow it to be sold, but to regulate its sale.

“If you moved to a regulated market, and that would be some years away at the very least, then you would have a better control of it.

“But you would also have…control of the production and distribution of it, which would mean taking it away from the gangs,” Mr Dunne said.

Prime Minister Bill English rejects Peter Dunne’s way forward for weed
NewsHub 29 May 2017
Standing in Mr Dunne’s way is his ministerial boss – the Prime Minister. Bill English says Mr Dunne is “making a lot of assumptions” about a drug that “does real damage to people”.

“We don’t want to encourage open trading in cannabis and a whole industry around it,” he told The AM Show.

Mr English says the impact on gangs would be minimal, as they have other criminal avenues to make money, while Customs and police are “doing a much better job now” of intercepting drugs before they hit the streets.

Despite his unwillingness to make any changes to drug laws, Mr English does agree with Mr Dunne that the so-called war on drugs can’t be called a success.

“It’s failing if one person is having their lives wrecked, or wrecking their family’s lives with drugs. You can never say it’s succeeded – put it that way. There’s always more to do.”

Mr Dunne in unfazed by Mr English’s position, saying his own views are not those of the Government.

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