New Zealand MPs Sit On Fence Re Cannabis Legalization In Recent TV Interview

Two more MPs have declined to say whether they’d be likely to vote in favour of legalising recreational use of marijuana.

On Thursday, AM Show host Duncan Garner put the question to Police Minister Stuart Nash, who said he was still on the fence.

“I’m not going to give you a yes or no, because I want to see what this looks like,” he said. “I’ll weigh up the benefits and I’ll vote accordingly.”

Some overseas jurisdictions that have legalised it have reported increased tax revenue, falling crime rates and fewer fatal traffic accidents.

According to the Drug Foundation, the drugs that cause the most harm in New Zealand are tobacco and alcohol – both legal. Marijuana is also widely considered less toxic than alcohol, with it virtually impossible to overdose on.

But MPs are still demanding more evidence.

“You know it does some harm, the question is how do you actually limit that harm the most?” Mt Roskill MP Michael Wood told The AM Show on Friday.

The Labour-NZ First coalition promised support partners the Green Party a referendum on personal marijuana use by 2020.

Mr Wood, a Labour MP, appears to be leaning in favour – but still won’t commit.

“I’m increasingly seeing a lot of evidence which tells us that actually if you go down the track of educating people and putting resources into harm minimisation rather than criminalising, you potentially minimise the harm. I’m increasingly feeling like that might be the way to go, but I want to see more of the evidence.


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