Legal cannabis has potential to reduce harm, but many unknowns: PM’s chief science adviser

NZ Herald 7 July 2020
Family First Comment: “Legalising cannabis has the potential to
* counter systemic racism
* see more treatment services
* lift poor communities embroiled in black market”

Yeah – but you don’t need to legalise a harmful addicted drug to tackle those issues. That’s a totally separate issue.
“We’re pretty sure of the situation at the moment. We’re much less sure of what will happen if we legalise it,” – Dr Gerrard

Legalising cannabis has the potential to counter systemic racism, see more treatment services and lift poor communities that have become embroiled in the black market, the chief science adviser to the Prime Minister says.

But Dr Juliet Gerrard says whether that would come to pass if the country voted to legalise recreational cannabis is unknown.

“We’re pretty sure of the situation at the moment. We’re much less sure of what will happen if we legalise it,” Gerrard told the Herald.

Gerrard has led an expert panel of academics, researchers and health and social experts – co-chaired by Auckland University Professor Tracey McIntosh – in gathering information to inform the debate in the lead up to September’s vote.

The panel’s work, peer-reviewed internationally and nationally, is going live at 11am today and contains a wealth of information.

Gerrard said the panel didn’t make any recommendations or take a position on the Cannabis Legislation and Control Bill, which would set up the regulatory framework.

It compared the proposed legal framework to the status quo, looked at what has happened overseas, and dived into the health risks, including who is most at risk: users who start young, use frequently and use potent products.
READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12346050
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