Media Release 24 October 2017
Family First NZ says that their website www.SayNopeToDope.nz will inform families about the attempts to legalise marijuana, and to help them speak up in the public debate.
“The Green party have done us all a favour by declaring the true intention of marijuana campaigners – full legalisation for personal use. Groups like NORML and the Drug Foundation have used medicinal marijuana and decriminalisation as a smokescreen for the real goal,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“Families simply don’t want marijuana plants being grown next door by dope dealers in view of the children, tinnie houses on street corners and pot shops in local shopping areas, or marijuana being disguised as lollies and edibles as has happened overseas. Legalising marijuana and the rise of Big Marijuana is the wrong path if we care about public health, public safety, and about our young people. There are too many health risks including the effect of marijuana on cognitive ability, cardiac function and psychosis, and research just this weekend showing that cannabis use during puberty is a major risk factor for schizophrenia.”
“Drug use is both a criminal and a health issue. There is a false dichotomy that criminal sanctions apparently haven’t worked so we should ditch them all together and we should focus only on education and health initiatives. We should maintain both. Policing burglary, theft and the drug P also costs money – should we decriminalise these also because the ‘war on burglary’ or the ‘war on P’ is failing?”
The incoming Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has expressed concerns about people being imprisoned for the personal use of cannabis.
“Ministry of Justice statistics debunk claims by supporters of legalizing marijuana that hundreds of people are being locked up for petty drug offences each year. Statistics obtained from the Ministry of Justice by Family First NZ under the Official Information Act show that less than 10 people have been given a prison sentence for cannabis possession offences in each of the last three years, and that even these sentences may be ‘influenced by their previous offending history’. It will be difficult to meet somebody who says they’ve been behind bars for smoking a joint, and that’s their only crime,” says Mr McCoskrie.
However, Family First is supporting the government’s current approach of allowing seriously ill patients to obtain non-smoked components of marijuana approved and listed by the Ministry of Health via their doctor, and further quality research into the components of the marijuana plant for delivery via non-smoked forms.
Check the official website www.SayNopeToDope.nz