Cannabis

The Timaru Herald - - Opinion -

There was a very in­ter­est­ing de­bate on the le­gal­i­sa­tion of cannabis on Q & A TV 1, on Sun­day evening, hosted by Jack Tame.

The four peo­ple in­ter­viewed were Na­tional MP, Dr Nick Smith, and Dr Kate Bad­dock, chair­woman of the New Zealand Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion, both against the le­gal­i­sa­tion, and Chloe Swar­brick, a Green MP, and Khylee Quince, an as­so­ci­ate pro­fes­sor of AUT, both in favour of the le­gal­i­sa­tion. They were all very pro­fi­cient in the pre­sen­ta­tion of their views on the ques­tion of whether to le­galise cannabis.

The two against the pro­posal were stress­ing the point that a ‘‘yes’’ vote would ex­ac­er­bate prob­lems such as men­tal health and that there would be no way of re­strict­ing the sale and avail­abil­ity of cannabis to the un­der 20-year-olds.

The other two, in favour of the pro­posal, al­though ad­mit­ting that cannabis can cause harm, it has eco­nom­i­cal po­ten­tial and maybe has a sav­ing of $300 mil­lion in jus­tice and po­lice costs.

There are cer­tainly a myr­iad of rea­sons for not ap­prov­ing this pro­posal and maybe even a few rea­sons for agree­ing with it. It cer­tainly is go­ing to be a very in­ter­est­ing elec­tion.

D H Dar­ling

Ti­maru

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