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Cannabis party boss waka jumps to TOP

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/06/2017

A top Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party official has stood down and will join Gareth Morgan's political venture in a bid to progress cannabis law reform.

President Abe Gray announced he was resigning and joining The Opportunities Party. He is urging other members to follow suit.

"We could stay campaigning as a single-issue party and pick up our usual half a per cent then watch the old guard return to their do-nothing approach, or throw our support behind TOP, help it reach five per cent and finally achieve our goals," Mr Gray said in a statement on Tuesday.

Mr Morgan, TOP leader and economist, launched the party's drug policy last month and said the cultivation, sale and personal use of cannabis should be regulated in New Zealand.

TOP says its approach to cannabis law reform is about reducing harm, and that "prohibition has been about as effective as our blasphemy laws".

"The current approach to cannabis - dealing with people through the police and courts - causes more harm than smoking cannabis does."

The party says legalising cannabis could free up $180 million in police resources, "which can be reinvested to reduce crime, and as well generate at least $150m in revenue".

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