Drug law investigation needed

Thu March 31st, 2016

Police Association President Greg O’Connor has been quoted in various publications today as advocating for the liberalisation of cannabis laws. That is not correct.

What he is saying on behalf of the Association is a full investigation is needed into the impact of increased cannabis use which would be the inevitable result of liberalisation. That is, if attitudes towards cannabis were to be liberalised in New Zealand, it could inadvertently increase societal harms by enriching and empowering the illicit suppliers, for example, organised crime and gangs. A failure to fully understand the implications could have the worst outcome of increased cannabis use with associated health implications, but also increasing the wealth and power of those supplying the market, albeit a decriminalised one.

The Association endeavours to be a well-informed voice on law and order issues, and seeks to ensure the full implications of any policy or law change are understood.

The below interviews with Radio NZ and Newstalk ZB’s Leighton Smith clarify the points being made by the President.

- Radio NZ: Colorado drugs model better - Police Association (includes audio interview with Greg O’Connor)

- Newstalk ZB Leighton Smith show: Politicians warned to get drug law change right

- NZ Drug Foundation article - Matters of Substance Feb 2016: Q & A on drug policy with Greg O'Connor

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