Media Release 4 Sep 2019
In response to the promotion of cannabis legalisation by Helen Clark, the SayNopeToDope Campaign is continuing to promote its 24-page BRIEFING FOR FAMILIES which has been distributed widely throughout NZ.
Topics covered in the Briefing include:
- why is the referendum much more than just being able to ‘smoke a joint’?
- the problems with statements like “the war on drugs has failed” and “it’s a health issue, not a legal issue”
- what effect will legalisation have in the workplace, on road safety, with pregnant mums and young people, on family violence & child abuse, and will it really get rid of the ‘black market’ and gang involvement?
- is growing marijuana ‘green’?
- what’s the next step in this whole agenda?
Evidence shows that marijuana – which has skyrocketed in average potency over the past decades – is addictive and harmful to the human brain, especially when used by adolescents. In US states that have already legalised the drug, there has been an increase in drugged driving crashes, youth marijuana use, and costs that far outweigh tax revenues from marijuana. These states have seen a black market that continues to thrive, sustained marijuana arrest rates, and tobacco company investment in marijuana.
New statistics, collected by the Ministry of Health, show that in 2008 only 192 people were hospitalised with a primary cannabis diagnosis, but by 2018 this had increased by 160% to over 500. Almost 6,000 people over 10 years have been hospitalised. Those suffering from a psychotic disorder due to cannabis (the most common diagnosis) increased from 90 to 226 over the same time period – an increase of 150%. Earlier Ministry of Health figures gained under the Official Information Act show that 73 children (0 – 14 years) have been hospitalised in the past five years either for poisoning or for mental and behavioural disorders due to the use of cannabis.
“At the same time as we are rightly booting Big Tobacco out of the country, why are we in the process of putting down the welcome mat for Big Marijuana. The supporters of dope are now peddling the same myths that Big Tobacco did. Let’s not be sucked in again,” says a spokesperson for the SayNopeToDope campaign.
It is also important to note that the Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP) which Helen Clark is part of wants to legalise all drug use, and wants policies based on ‘human rights’ and which remove the ‘stigmatisation’ and ‘marginalisation’ of people who use drugs. (READ MORE)
“This upcoming debate is not about cannabis medicine. It’s about creating a drug-friendly culture. And not just marijuana: ultimately, it’s about all drugs.”
“This Briefing For Families will give families the facts, and will help them campaign with us against any attempts to legalise marijuana in New Zealand.”
“Big Marijuana has high hopes for New Zealand. Liberalising marijuana laws is the wrong path to go down if we care about public health, public safety, and about our young people. This is not a war on drugs – it’s a defence of our brains. Drug use is a major health issue, and that’s why the role of the law is so important.”
“If we’re aiming to be SmokeFree by 2025, let’s be aspirational – and be DrugFree by 2025 also.”