Sean Stapleton 06/04/2017 Cannabis Reform
By Sean Stapleton
Green party candidate Hayley Holt says she expects cannabis to be the equivalent of a glass of wine soon.
In a recent press conference Holt voiced her support for the decriminalisation of all drugs and legalisation of marijuana.
She stated that she believed the risks asscociated with the drug were much lower than alcohol and that it could be consumed responsibly.
“It’s a health issue”, Holt claimed. “Portugal decriminalised all drugs and it reduced their drug usage. It’s the way forward.”
Holt believes smoking a joint will become just the same as an evening glass of wine in 10 years.
While Holt is advocating for the decriminalisation of all illegal drugs, the Green Party is more conservative in its drug policies, focusing soley on cannabis use.
The party states in its Drug Law Reform policy that it would make provisions for doctors to be able to prescribe cannabis to patients and that they aiming to “introduce a legal age limit of 18 years for personal cannabis use”.
While not said outright, party policy suggests they support the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use.
The National Party was approached for comment on the possibility of cannabis law reform but failed to respond.
Auckland voters have had a mixed response to Holt’s views on drug reform and expressed concern for the legalisation of cannabis beyond medicinal use.
Helen Bergin, 69, was critical of cannabis as a medicine and said she questioned whether smoking it would “override the health benefits of [cannabis] as a medicine”.
Bergin stated that she was “absolutely against” recreational use.
Student Neil Napila, 18, was more worried about how recreational use might impair drivers.
“It gets you high, and [they] drive sometimes. It might cause some accidents.”
Under New Zealand law it is currently illegal to drive while impaired by a controlled drug or prescription medicine.