Police Association Raises Significant Concerns of Legalising Cannabis

By June 11, 2020 Media Release

Media Release 12 June 2020
An analysis by the Police Association of the cannabis referendum and the possible legislation that would result from legalisation has raised significant concerns around continued gang presence and difficulties in enforcement.

In the article in the June edition of Police News, concerns raised by the Police Association include:

  • Difficult for voters to understand the legislation
  • Limiting potency will simply empower the gangs
  • Mixed messaging around enforcement
  • Police will be open to accusations of bias or inconsistency
  • Home grows will be difficult to police – and difficult to tell the difference between home grow and dealer
  • The proposed controls will result in gangs remaining significant players

With the help of senior lawyers, the SayNopeToDope campaign has also analysed the proposed legislation. Our 4-page summary, Analysis – Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, highlights significant concerns around:

  • home grows, and the large quantities that can be grown
  • consuming drugs at home in front of children and young people
  • high quantities of purchase and possession
  • age restrictions which will be difficult to enforce, as already evidenced by tobacco & alcohol
  • home production of edibles and dabbing e.g. butane hash oil (already an issue in NZ and overseas)
  • restrictions on potency which will be difficult to enforce and will empower the black market
  • difficulties for councils to ban pot shops in their local areas
  • increased regulation which will mean increased demand for policing (rather than a reduction as argued)
  • education and prevention is mentioned, but only in relation to use
  • significant concerns around workplace impairment
  • contradicts our SmokeFree 2025 policy

The analysis is also available online https://saynopetodope.org.nz/2020/05/01/control/

Coalition member and ex-Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Pizzini says “The biggest irony of the proposed legislation is that cannabis is actually a driver of crime and road trauma. Why would we open the floodgates on a substance that is harmful to young people, workplace safety, and our already overloaded mental health services.”