Former cop, youth worker and bereaved father against cannabis legislation

Stuff co.nz 23 June 2020
Family First Comment: South Cantabrians are against a groundbreaking proposal to change New Zealand’s cannabis laws, include a former senior sergeant, youth worker and bereaved father – and they’re hoping their experiences may help inform others ahead of September’s referendum.
Former police officer Mark Offen points out that alcohol reform has not protected youth, and he sees the proposed new bill in the same light. “The alcohol age limit is 18, but the defacto limit is 12 or 13. It will be the same with cannabis, the limit of 20 will see 14 and 15 year-olds trying it.”

South Cantabrians against a groundbreaking proposal to change New Zealand’s cannabis laws, include a former senior sergeant, youth worker and bereaved father – and they’re hoping their experiences may help inform others ahead of September’s referendum.

Voters will get the opportunity to decide for or against the Cannabis Legislation and Control Bill at the general election in September. The bill, which aims to regulate production, supply and consumption of cannabis to those aged 20 and over, has already drawn mixed reactions.

One of those who opposes the changes, is former senior sergeant Mark Offen – who spent 30 years working on the front line and has seen the impact of drug use first hand.

“Once the genie is out of the bottle you can’t put it back,” warns Offen.

Offen, who left the police force four years ago, is concerned that there was no evidence that the legislation was the best thing to do as academic experts on both sides of the argument presented equally compelling points of view.
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/news/121420223/former-cop-youth-worker-and-bereaved-father-against-cannabis-legislation
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