NZ Herald Feb 11, 2010
A Law Commission report calling for possible decriminalisation of some drug use and allowing cannabis for medicinal use is set to be rejected by the Government. The commission said it agreed with vigorous law enforcement on commercial drug dealers, but that there should be less emphasis on punishment of personal possession and use, and more emphasis on delivering effective treatment to addicts. However, Justice Minister Simon Power says there is no prospect drug laws will be relaxed. The commission report says there is no doubt that alcohol and illegal drugs both cause harm to the community, but “while the harms and costs associated with alcohol are typically understated and misunderstood, those associated with illegal drugs are often generalised and overblown”.
…Mr Power said that while he was prepared to listen to submissions, “there’s not a single, solitary chance that as long as I’m the Minister of Justice, we’ll be relaxing drug laws in New Zealand. The Prime Minister has made the war against P and drugs a key part of his leadership and as long as I’m the Minister of Justice, we will not be relaxing drug laws.”