Wide support for decriminalisation of cannabis for personal use, poll suggests

NZ Herald 14 August 2016
Family First Comment: New Zealanders don’t want a free-for-all”. This poll confirms that the public are nowhere near settled on this issue – and they are right to be cautious

Prime Minister John Key says decriminalising cannabis would send the wrong message to young people.

A new poll shows almost 65 per cent of New Zealanders want personal possession of cannabis decriminalised or made legal.

There is even stronger support to let people use cannabis for pain relief – only 16 per cent of New Zealanders want that to be criminal.

Even among National voters there is majority support for the law on personal possession to be reformed.marijuana poll Curia 2016

But Key told Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB this morning that he did not think changing the law would be a wise move.

“My longstanding view, whether you like it or not has been that I think it sends the wrong message to youngsters.”

“I think there are potentially health implications from sustained use,” he added.

Conservative lobby group Family First rejected calls for the law around cannabis to be changed, saying the new polling showed “New Zealanders don’t want a free-for-all”.

“This poll confirms that the public are nowhere near settled on this issue – and they are right to be cautious,” said Bob McCoskrie, national director of Family First NZ.
READ MORE: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11693667

2 in 3 Kiwis want cannabis decriminalised – survey
NewsHub 15 August 2016
New research from the NZ Drug Foundation suggests that almost two-thirds of New Zealanders think possessing marijuana should not be a criminal offence.

Prime Minister John Key, also speaking to Paul Henry, said he’s “not a big fan” of a law change.

“I just don’t terribly like the message – and I think that at least at best, for sustained use, the health implications are potentially severe,” he said.

“My personal view – it’s my long-held view and I don’t think I should necessarily change it – has very much been, ‘What is the message that Parliament would ultimately be sending those youngsters?’

“We’d be telling the young people of New Zealand that it’s okay – and I just don’t know if we want to.”

Family First NZ have backed that view, saying decriminalising marijuana is “the wrong path” if the country cares about young people and public health.

“The Government should maintain the drug’s illegal status,” the national director Bob McCoskrie said.

“There is a false dichotomy that criminal sanctions apparently haven’t worked so we should ditch them altogether and we should focus only on education and health initiatives – we should maintain both.”
READ MORE: http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/2-in-3-kiwis-want-cannabis-decriminalised—survey-2016081509#axzz4HMXvEyTW

Despite polling, Key doesn’t support decriminalising cannabis
NewsTalk ZB 15 August 2016
TDDA founder Kirk Hardy said there’s plenty of well-founded research against legalisation.

He told Rachel Smalley it’s highly addictive and open to abuse.

“When we’re talking about cannabis, we’re talking about a billion dollar industry a year. So there are a lot of people out there who are just waiting for this drug to be decriminalised or legalised so they can start opening up their hemp shops and smoke shops.”

Kirk Hardy adds feedback from rehabilitation centres shows people don’t know when they’re hooked.

Paul Henry said Andrew Little suggested his party would look at holding a referendum on decriminalising cannabis if they came into power although he did back away from that pretty quickly when he was cornered.
READ MORE: http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/national/poll-shows-strong-support-for-legalising-cannabis/

Cannabis law change not on agenda – Key
Otago Daily Times 15 August 2016
Prime Minister John Key says decriminalising cannabis would send the wrong message to young people.

A new poll shows almost 65 per cent of New Zealanders want personal possession of cannabis decriminalised or made legal.

There is even stronger support to let people use cannabis for pain relief — only 16 per cent of New Zealanders want that to be criminal.

Even among National voters there is majority support for the law on personal possession to be reformed.
READ MORE: https://www.odt.co.nz/news/politics/cannabis-law-change-not-agenda-key

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