Cannabis should be decriminalised and taxed to pay for synthetics and meth treatment, says justice advocate – Stuff.co.nz

DOMINICO ZAPATA/STUFF

Jeanette Saxby is an advocate for the legalisation of cannabis and cannabis products in New Zealand.

Deaths from synthetic drugs and the surge in methamphetamine use are almost entirely caused by cannabis being illegal, according to a justice advocate.

“Offenders I work with me tell me it is now easier to get these other drugs than to get cannabis,” Roger Brooking, a drug and alcohol counsellor, said.  

The claim is backed up by recent figures from the Justice Ministry showing meth is set to overtake cannabis as the biggest drug burden on our court system.

Drug and alcohol counsellor Roger Brooking says National and Labour have been too paranoid to tackle the issue of legalising recreational cannabis.

Brooking, who recently launched a campaign to cut the prison muster to 7000 in six years, said he had no doubt people were dying because successive governments – including Labour – were so paranoid about decriminalising cannabis.

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“If they decriminalised and then taxed it, that would raise $150 million in revenue, which could pay for a substantial increase in addiction treatment.”    

ROSS GIBLIN/STUFF

Greens police and justice spokeswoman Golriz Ghahraman says decriminalisation coupled with proper regulation of cannabis sale is the way forward.

Decriminalisation would also cut policing and court costs by $400m and help slash prison numbers, which would also help save $1 billion from being spent on a new prison at Waikeria.

Greens police and justice spokeswoman Golriz Ghahraman said drug and justice policy had to be be rational and evidence-based.

Political failure around the issue

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