Cannabis : What They�ve said
"Up until recently it was possible to defend cannabis on the grounds that the jury is still out. Not any longer. Scientists from around the world have filed back into the court room, and the verdict is guilty" - Tom Scott, The Great Brain Robbery, 1996
"Moderate use of the drug does not seem to harm the majority of people (p39)...The risks posed by cannabis are currently less than those posed by alcohol (p38)...We recommend that based on the evidence received, the Government review...the legal status of cannabis (p40)." - 1998 NZ Health Committee Report: Inquiry Into The Mental Health Effects Of Cannabis
"Today�s joint could be anywhere between 5 and 50 times stronger than its 1960s� predecessor" - Trevor Grice, The Great Brain Robbery, 1996
"The Drug Policy Forum Trust, the Police and the Ministry of Health stated that the potency of cannabis had not increased significantly over time." - 1998 NZ Health Committee Report, p36
"...treat it [cannabis] the same as you do other substances which produce euphoric effects, and license and tax it" - David Lange in the Summer 1993 issue of NORML News, p11-13.
Every major study into cannabis and its use, from that of the Indian Hemp Commission in 1894 to that of the 1998 NZ Health Committee, has come to the conclusion that the prohibition of cannabis is far more harmful to society than the use of cannabis itself.
Support the abolition of cannabis prohibition.
Cannabis : What They�ve Said #2
2. Nick Smith v 1998 NZ Health Committee Report
"There is a direct correlation between New Zealand�s high use of cannabis and our high rate of youth suicide" - Dr Nick Smith, the National Party�s education spokesperson in Call for Tougher Drug Penalties - Sales of drugs to young people shocks MP, Otago Daily Times, 2-9-2000.
"Evidence suggests that cannabis use is not a causal factor in suicide" - 1998 NZ Health Committee: Inquiry Into The Mental Health Effects Of Cannabis, p15 - a report commissioned by Dr Smith�s own National Government.
"It is a proven trigger for mental problems" - Dr Smith, as above in ODT, 2-9-00.
"The negative mental health impact of cannabis appears to have been overstated ...occasional cannabis use presents few risks to the mental health of most users" - 1998 Health Committee, p38.
"The ongoing talk about decriminalisation is giving the young people the message that cannabis is okay" - Dr Smith from National Party media release, School Trustees & National Launch Anti-dope Petition,13-7-00.
"The risks posed by cannabis are currently less than those posed by alcohol" - 1998 Health Committee, p38.
"Given the degree of drug supply to young people, should there not be tougher penalties?" - Dr Smith as above ODT, 2.09.00.
"Cannabis prohibition enforced by traditional crime control methods has not been successful in reducing the apparent number of cannabis users in NZ" - 1998 Health Committee, p40.
"We recommend that based on the evidence received, the Government ...reconsider the legal status of cannabis" - the overall recommendation of the 1998 Health Committee, p40.
CANNABIS LAW REFORM IS HERE! #2
The 1998 Health Select Committee held an inquiry into the mental health effects of cannabis. Here are some of their findings:
"Moderate use of the drug does not seem to harm the majority of people." - p39
"It is clear that current policies do not deter cannabis use to any great extent." - p39
"If cannabis does cause harm to a small proportion of users then it is preferable that those people have good access to treatment without fear of stigmatisation or criminalisation." - p39
"Evidence before us suggests that cannabis use does not cause behavioural difficulties, instead it is frequently used by youth who are pre-disposed to deviant behaviours." - p15
"Evidence suggests that cannabis is not a causal factor in suicide." - p15
"Aside from cannabis-induced psychosis [a rare occurrence] we are reluctant to draw any causal relationship between cannabis and mental illness." - p18, [p17]
"The tendency of schools to sanction students caught using cannabis through suspensions and expulsions may be counterproductive." - p34
"We welcome any steps that enable people to make informed choices about the use of legal and illegal drugs." - p35
"The Drug Policy Forum Trust, the Police and the Ministry [of Health] stated that the potency of cannabis had not increased significantly over time." - p36
"We view the double standards which sometimes surround the cannabis issue as an impediment to effective anti-drug education." - p39
"We recommend that based on the evidence received, the Government review the appropriateness of existing policy on cannabis and its use and reconsider the legal status of cannabis." - p40