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Labour leader Andrew Little is unclear on cannabis legalization but clear on getting Medical cannabis legalized
News Hub reports on an interview held by the University student radio station Salient FM with New Zealand’s Labour Leader Andrew Little, to get his stance on cannabis and medical marijuana legalization. Mr. Little seems unsure about cannabis decimalization and is looking at calling a referendum on the subject if he gets elected to Government.
Mr. Little backpedals
At first when Mr. Little was asked if Labour would decriminalize cannabis, his reply was that they would look into holding a referendum. But the next day he backpedaled saying he has been very clear that it is not a priority and that he has made no commitment. He repeated that it is not a priority when speaking to Newshub.
Salient FM asked him to clarify his stance, asking if he will possibly call a referendum on cannabis decimalization. He answered, “Yeah, we want to make sure that there’s a good information campaign about it, and have a referendum about it, and let people decide.”
The reporter then asked how much of a priority decimalization of cannabis would be, and Mr. Little’s answer was that it would be looked at in his first 100 days in office, implying that the matter is high on his priority list but then said he might not even look at the matter in his first term but he would be happy to look into it at some point in Labour’s term of government.
However when Newshub read the statement back to him he disputed it and took the transcription from the reporter. He read it back and said: “How much of a priority? Not much… not 100 days… not this, that or the other. It simply is not a priority, I have no comment to make about it.” He did reiterate that the Labour party would consider a referendum saying, they would look at having a referendum if circumstances called for it.
How about medical cannabis?
Mr. Little is sticking to his pledge to legalize medical marijuana within 100 days of taking office. On this he is clear and completely unambiguous. The medical cannabis vote may, therefore be in his favor, provided there is no further vacillation on his part.
Facts to consider from cannabis oil made with cbd and thc.
Back in 2005 the police force spent 600, 000 hours on illicit drug enforcement.
(The use of cannabis in New Zealand is governed by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975).
The latest research from the New Zealand Health Survey (2015):
Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in New Zealand and nearly half (42%) of all adults over 15 have tried it.
11% of people aged over 15 had used cannabis within the past 12 months and one third of this group said they used it at least weekly.
Cannabis is most commonly used by people aged 15-24 with around 23% having used it in the past year.
The treasury estimates that legalization of cannabis would annually contribute $150 million in tax revenue to government funds.
Other benefits include less pressure and workload on the court system.
If cannabis use were legalized it would mean safer access to users, and more people could seek help if needed, even though 87% of people did not report others being concerned about their cannabis use.
Legalization doesn’t come without risks
The New Zealand Drug Foundation estimates one third of cannabis users had driven under the influence of cannabis.
8% of young cannabis users found it had a harmful effect upon their mental health at least once in the past year.
9% of users aged 15-24 reported their use had a harmful effect on their studies or employment.
Medical marijuana legalized
To get medical marijuana legalized would be a hugely progressive move for Labour, considering that citizens are still living under the same law as four decades ago. At least people who use cannabis for medicinal reasons would not be considered criminals and liable to a jail sentence of up to 14 years. This is the current risk patients take.