Criminals 'may target children' if cannabis is legalised

Stuff co.nz 11 September 2020
Family First Comment: “Legalising cannabis could lead to gangs targeting younger people on the black market, pose major risks to health and safety and be a gateway to using harder drugs. Christchurch Central candidate Dale Stephens said decriminalising the drug and putting an age limit of 20 on its use would see criminals turning their focus towards children if the market for older people disappeared. Stephens, who was a police officer for 20 years and spent four years investigating drug crime, made the warning during a discussion on the forthcoming cannabis referendum with Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson in Christchurch on Friday.”

Legalising cannabis could lead to gangs targeting younger people on the black market, pose major risks to health and safety and be a gateway to using harder drugs, a former police officer and current National Party candidate has warned.

Christchurch Central candidate Dale Stephens said decriminalising the drug and putting an age limit of 20 on its use would see criminals turning their focus towards children if the market for older people disappeared.

Stephens, who was a police officer for 20 years and spent four years investigating drug crime, made the warning during a discussion on the forthcoming cannabis referendum with Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson in Christchurch on Friday.

Davidson, whose party is pushing for legal access to cannabis, argued for it to be treated as a health issue rather than a criminal issue.

Prohibition had caused “chaos” for decades and Māori and Pacific people were victims of “systemic racism” by being disproportionately targeted over its use, she said.

“This is not about voting for whether cannabis exists or not, because it already does,” she said.

“Even in the legal and prohibited status it is already in our communities. We need for drugs to be treated as a health issue, not as a criminal issue.”
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/122743271/criminals-may-target-children-if-cannabis-is-legalised–national-candidate

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