Tracknum: 3873.38bc84db.f6560c97
Pubdate: Wed, 01 Mar 2000
Source: Press, The (New Zealand)
Copyright: 2000 The Christchurch Press Company Ltd.
Contact:  Private Bag 4722, Christchurch, New Zealand
Fax: +64-3-364-8238
Author: Nandor Tanczos
Note: Nandor Tanczos is a member of the New Zealand Parliament
         Headline by MAP


Sir- When the law on cannabis was enacted in 1975 there was an
intention to review it after 10 years. It looks like we are finally
going to have that review. Unfortunately, Bruce Logan's opinion column
(February 28) adds nothing constructive to the debate.

New Zealand has the highest recorded rate of cannabis arrests in the
world, and we also have one of the highest rates of use. The law
clearly does not stop people using cannabis. Nobody wants to see
cannabis in our schoolyards. That is what we have right now under
prohibition. It is time for the community to take control over the
issue. By allowing personal use without penalty for people over 18
years we can destabilise the illegal market in cannabis.

Any law change needs to go hand in hand with drug education that
advocates the drug-free lifestyle as the healthiest. We also need to
recognise that as with alcohol, most people use cannabis moderately
and responsibly with few ill effects.

Nandor Tanczos