Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand

 
Cannabis referendum a risk for industry

Cannabis referendum a risk for industry

Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand

 July 2020    RTF News

Lost in the noise surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the response to it, and the upcoming election, is the fact that on September 19 voters will also be faced with two extremely important referendums.

The vote on voluntary euthanasia is not something that the Road Transport Forum has a position on. However, the other decision – on the legalisation of recreational cannabis use – most definitely is of concern to RTF.

"There are two aspects to the referendum that should worry us all," says RTF's Nick Leggett.

"The first is the fact that New Zealand already has a high level of drug use. We know that cannabis and other illegal substances are widespread, and despite being underground, are relatively easy to get hold of.

"By further liberalising drug law, we risk having cannabis use accepted as a normal part of life and the consequences swept under the carpet.

"I am no wowser, and am not advocating the prohibition of alcohol," says Leggett. "But we do need to acknowledge the considerable harm drink-driving causes on our roads.

"Legalising something does not magically make the harm go away, and a recent study by the AA revealed that more road deaths involved drivers with drugs in their system than were over the legal alcohol limit. That, in the context of this referendum, is extremely concerning."

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Lost in the noise surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the response to it, and the upcoming election, is the fact that on September 19 voters will also be faced with two extremely important referendums.
The vote on voluntary euthanasia is not something that the Road Transport Forum has a position on. However, the other decision – on the legalisation of recreational cannabis use – most definitely is of concern to RTF.
"There are two aspects to the referendum that should worry us all," says RTF's Nick Leggett.
"The first is the fact that New Zealand already has a high level of drug use. We know that cannabis and other illegal substances are widespread, and despite being underground, are relatively easy to get hold of.
"By further liberalising drug law, we risk having cannabis use accepted as a normal part of life and the consequences swept under the carpet.
"I am no wowser, and am not advocating the prohibition of alcohol," says Leggett. "But we do need to acknowledge the considerable harm drink-driving causes on our roads.
"Legalising something does not magically make the harm go away, and a recent study by the AA revealed that more road deaths involved drivers with drugs in their system than were over the legal alcohol limit. That, in the context of this referendum, is extremely concerning."


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