NZ Herald 3 October 2020
Our additional comment: “…of the “thousands” who communicate through a particularly active online forum for former police staff, most will vote against the introduction of the bill, and only “a handful” will disagree.”
Of course. Police know the harm and have had to mop it up. They’re realists. We should listen to them.
To police officers who have dealt with cannabis-addled offenders over the years kicking the Cannabis Legalisation Bill to the kerb is a no-brainer.
Speaking ahead of the referendum being conducted in conjunction with the general election, former Napier detective Barry Searle says that of the “thousands” who communicate through a particularly active online forum for former police staff, most will vote against the introduction of the bill, and only “a handful” will disagree.
A former workmate paints the picture even more precisely, saying there were 6304 members last time he looked, and there’d be just “maybe four” who are in favour of the bill.
Now living in Taupo, the 66-year-old Searle says there are six adult voters in the family, and none will be supporting the introduction of the bill.
Having spent 14 years in the police before turning to private investigation and then loss adjustment in the insurance industry, he says most police and other emergency service workers will have seen the worst impacts of cannabis use, which is essentially benchmarked by damage to the health of young users.
While there are strong penalties proposed for anyone supplying cannabis to people aged under 20 years, he doesn’t see it deterring teenaged and even childhood use of cannabis, and given the forbidden-fruit allure of cigarettes and alcohol to young people it is possible young people’s use will increase if legalisation takes place.
He has no issue with the medicinal use already provided for, or big concern about adult use, although he does highlight the now publicly-recorded impacts of adults who took to cannabis use in their jobs, as undercover police officers investigating illicit drug dealing.
He says to put any of the issues ahead of the health questions related to young people’s use, and other excessive use, “makes no sense”.
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