Green MP Chloe Swarbrick speaks at the Tahunanui Community Centre on Saturday. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Cannabis talk ahead of election

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With the country set to vote on a cannabis referendum next year, Green MP Chloe Swarbrick was in town on Saturday to drum up support for legalization of the controversial drug.

From recreational to medicinal, scores of cannabis users attended the meeting at the Tahunanui Community Centre to listen to one of the frontline soldiers in the battle for legalisation.

Chloe says the 2020 referendum is a massive opportunity for the country.

“This vote is for the people, if you want to see 4000 less people prosecuted very year you need to vote.”

Chloe also cited the vast number of people with illness forced to visit their local “tinnie shop” in order to alleviate their pain.

She says much of the misconceptions around the drug comes down to a lack of knowledge.

With concerns around increased social use if made legal, Chloe assured the crowd if you can

control the drug, you can control its use.

“The minimum age for cannabis purchase will be 20, it will not be allowed to be sold with alcohol or consumed in public.”

One woman in attendance says it was engaging, deeply informative and empowering.

“Incorporating the historic, social and medical elements of the discussion, explaining the importance of harm reduction and the reality that the status quo is simply not healthy or safe, we can do better.”