NORML welcomes the release of The Opportunities Party’s “real deal” cannabis policy and says TOP have upped the ante for other parties to now get more specific with what exactly they will do.
TOP proposes to have make cannabis legal with a minimum age of purchase of 20, allow adults to grow up to two plants each, prohibit advertising, and license non-profit charitable trusts to control retail sales of cannabis, in a similar manner to alcohol licensing trusts.
“This is the most well developed policy for legalising cannabis of any party,” said Chris Fowlie, president of NORML NZ Inc. “It has a strong public health focus and attempts to learn from failings of other laws, such as around alcohol, tobacco and synthetics. However natural cannabis is safer than those drugs and should be less restricted.”
“It’s good to see them making an attempt at an evidence-based conversation,” said Rebecca Reider, award-winning medical cannabis activist and patient. “However, particularly for medicinal users, a higher allowance of plants is needed.”
While commending the TOP policy to have non-profit charitable trusts to control retail sales of cannabis, Dr Geoff Noller, a board member of NORML and drug policy consultant, warned that failures implementing the Psychoactive Substances Act allowed “some very shonky retailers allowed to continue in the market place.”
The Opportunties Party has joined the growing number of New Zealand political parties adopting pro-reform stances on cannabis, such as Labour, the Green Party, ACT, Maori Party, NZ First, United Future and the Cannabis Party.