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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Nandor's Bill 

Misuse of Drugs (Cannabis Infringement) Amendment Bill - Questions and Answers
Press Release by Green Party

What does this Bill do?

The Bill creates a new approach to cannabis. Personal possession and use will now be dealt with by an instant fine, similar to a parking ticket, rather than by court proceedings.

Measures to prevent young people using cannabis are strengthened.

The Misuse of Drugs (Cannabis Infringement) Amendment Bill is a modest proposal for cannabis law reform. It contains measures to help break the link between cannabis and hard drugs, remove the disproportionate punishment of a criminal conviction, protect young people, free up police and court resources and retain a disincentive to use.

Why have you launched this Bill now?

In previous election campaigns there has been a lot of scaremongering about the Greens and cannabis.

The bill shows that we have listened to the concerns of New Zealanders and responded with solution that has broad-based support. Most people agree that adults should not get a criminal conviction for personal use of cannabis, but want to see a message that drug use is discouraged.

This bill does that.

The Misuse of Drugs (Cannabis Infringement) Amendment Bill puts on the table exactly what the Greens propose by way of cannabis law reform following this election. If it is not drawn from the ballot of members bills before the election, it would form the basis for discussions on this issue after the election.

If we are in a position to do so, we will also ensure this Bill is accompanied by the comprehensive drug education programmes that have always been part of our policy.

When will adults get an instant fine rather than go to Court?

Possession of up to 28 grams of cannabis, or up to 5 grams of cannabis preparations, will now be subject to an instant fine of $100.People who grow up to 5 small plants (with a total dry weight of up to 450grams) will be subject to an instant fine of $100, provided there is no evidence they are growing them for sale.

This is to recognise that some people will grow their own and reduce the illegal market for cannabis.

What about selling cannabis?

Sale of cannabis will remain illegal.

Under current law, possession of more than 28g of dry cannabis is deemed to be for supply and the onus is on the defendant to prove that it is not for supply. This bill retains that provision.

How does this compare to alcohol and tobacco?

Alcohol and tobacco are commercially produced and traded. That would remain illegal for cannabis under this bill. However personal use and possession is decriminalised and attracts only an instant fine. A financial penalty remains for cannabis use, but possession of small quantities no longer attracts a criminal record.

Is this approach taken anywhere else?

This Bill adopts a similar approach to that taken internationally in an increasing number of countries. South Australia and ACT both use "expiation notices" to avoid criminal convictions for small amounts of cannabis use.

What other restrictions will there be for cannabis?

Cannabis will be covered by the Smokefree Environments Act. In addition, the Bill creates a new offence of smoking, using or cultivating cannabis within 100 metres of any area used mostly by people under 18. This attracts an instant fine of $500.

This is a NEW offence, specifically aimed at keeping cannabis away from kids, and is in addition to existing penalties for trying to sell cannabis. The current law makes no recognition of age distinctions of this kind.

What will this Bill mean in practice?

This Bill breaks the link between cannabis use and hard drugs. By recognising that many adults cannabis consumers will discreetly grow a few plants for their own use, rather than buy cannabis from drug dealers, it means that they are less likely to come into contact with hard drugs.

What will be the effect on young people?

This Bill pays more attention to young people than the present law does.Any person under 18 found with cannabis will be required to attend a compulsory drug education programme.

A new offence is created of smoking, using or cultivating cannabis within 100 metres of any area used most by people under 18.

Tinny houses will be starved of a significant chunk of their customers, and police resources will be freed up to focus on dealers, especially those selling to young people, as well as on crimes of violence and theft.

Did Nandor mention scaremongering?

Update: just checked and 28 grams is an ounce, sweet.
I love this quote from the National site:
“This is precisely the sort of dangerous agenda the Greens will pursue if they’re allowed anywhere near the Government benches in a worst case scenario coalition with Labour. There will be more social engineering."

As if Nationals stance isn't social engineering of their own. Cannabis is bad everybody! and we will MAKE you believe it and agree with us!!!

Nevermind that half the country has smoked it by now. And probably quite enjoyed it. May have even made that crap video they rented quite funny.
I'm pragmatic enough to realise a good thing when I see it. This is a good step for all concerned (except National and the religeous zealots).

Much more sensible from the Greens as the stepping stone for their ultimate aim. Baby steps will soften resistance rather than my all or nothing preference which is admittedly in the minority.

A Labour MP/Green Party vote looms as my voting option this year and this kind of policy makes me happy with that choice.

-Polar Bob
That's the way I've voted the last two elections.

and looks like it'll happen again.

I think anybody who splits their vote should automatically be described as intelligent and be entitled to a payrise wherever they work.
Yamis said: "I think anybody who splits their vote should automatically be described as intelligent and be entitled to a payrise wherever they work."

Unless they cast their party vote for United Future, NZ First, or the Maori Party! :D
Anybody that votes for those 3 parties is going to be either retired or unemployed though so that cancels that out.
most definatly a teacher

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