Green Party to push for cannabis decriminalisation

NZ Herald 26 January 2014
The Green Party says it will push for decriminalising marijuana during any post-election negotiations with Labour – but also made it clear it was not a do-or-die bottom line.

Speaking after announcing an education policy for low-decile schools, co-leader Metiria Turei said the party still had its policy to decriminalise cannabis and it was one that she would like to see progress.

“I would like to progress a vast amount of our policy, and that would be one. We believe a drug-free lifestyle is the healthiest, but we don’t believe people should be convicted of a crime, adults, if they smoke cannabis. So we still consider de-criminalisation is the wisest policy.”

Her co-leader, Russel Norman, also said it should be on the table. “Decriminalisation is long-standing Green Party policy, there has been movement on it internationally as well as domestically and it will be on the table in any post-election negotiation, like our other policies.”

Ms Turei said the Law Commission had provided a model for decriminalisation and there were changes in other countries, including the US.