July 27, 2018
Bourgeois policy drag on drug reform
A National Party bill allowing some medicinal use of cannabis is out of step with public opinion and an attack on Maori and working class New Zealanders, according to criminal justice group People Against Prisons Aotearoa.
National MP Shane Reti put up the bill after his party’s tactics meant the health select committee was unable to reach agreement on the Government’s Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill.
PAPA spokesperson Emilie Rakete says the majority of the public support the Government bill and in fact want further legalisation or decriminalisation.
That will help Maori, who suffer the worst consequences of drug prohibition.
"If we legalise drug posession, which is going a step further than any of the bills proposed so far could go, we would make it possible for many people who are currently struggling with addiction to seek help. It would break the back of the syndicates which currently control the production of drugs in this country, which would make it a better economic environment for poor and working class Maori people to seek help. At the moment none of these things are happening and it's because of this wrong-headed, out of touch, bourgeois policy of drug prohibition which all the parties but particularly National are currently standing for," Ms Rakete says.
She says National’s bill would ban use of cannabis in a smokeable form, limiting entry to the new industry to large pharmaceutical companies.
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