Candidates talk cannabis laws
They may disagree on most issues, but New Lynn candidates are largely in favour of medicinal marijuana.
Paulo Garcia of the National Party said he wanted more evidence to confirm if medicinal marijuana was better than other drugs currently available in the market.
‘‘At the moment, I understand that advanced cannabis-based products can sometimes be beneficial for the treatment of certain conditions.’’
For Labour’s Deborah Russell the solution was straightforward.
She wanted medical marijuana legalised as soon as possible to provide people with ‘‘the best options for pain relief’’.
But Russell said she was concerned about the effect recreational marijuana would have on young people.
Leilani Tamu of the Green Party said those suffering from terminal illness or debilitating conditions should have access to affordable medicinal cannabis.
‘‘When in Government the Green Party will assess evidence from overseas jurisdictions with legal cannabis markets to determine the best model for New Zealand and will then make cannabis legal for personal use with appropriate safeguards in place, including a legal age limit.’’
For Karen Williams of the Maori Party, marijuana’s current legal status was costing taxpayers.
‘‘Criminalising the use of marijuana has had no benefit in reducing crime whatsoever and that is because it is not a criminal issue, it’s a health issue.’’
John Hubscher of United Future said he was in favour of looking at marijuana as a health issue instead of a criminal matter.
’’The money would be better spent on feeding and clothing our young people so they can go to school and improve their life potential.’’
Act’s Richard Wells said it was time to start viewing cannabis from a health perspective, but it was something the Government should avoid rushing into.
But otherwise-law abiding citizens sometimes found themselves in the criminal justice system thanks to the current laws.
Paulo Garcia said National had left the issue of medical marijuana to ‘‘the conscience of its members’’.