About the Author

Avatar photo

Dr Muriel Newman

Time for Random Drug Testing of Drivers.

Print Friendly and PDF
Posted on

The Green Party wants cannabis to be freely available for people to grow and smoke, with a legal cannabis market operating as it does in other countries. Their cannabis policy states: “Make cannabis legal for personal use, including possession and cultivation.”

To progress their goal, the Greens negotiated a nation-wide referendum on legalising cannabis in their Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Labour Party. The agreement states: “have a referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis at, or by, the 2020 general election.”

This means that at some stage before the next election, New Zealanders will be asked to vote on whether marijuana should be legalised. The Justice Minister Andrew Little says there’s a view that holding the referendum at the 2020 General Election “wouldn’t be a smart move politically”, and so the Government is presently debating whether to hold it next year.

The pro-marijuana lobby is already hard at work softening the public mood on this issue by focussing on ‘medicinal’ marijuana and people’s compassion for those in serious pain. As a result, their call for medical marijuana to be legalised, is being widely promoted, camouflaging their move to decriminalise the smoking of marijuana.

However, the medical profession and those grappling with policy-making around the legal supply of medical marijuana are looking to properly regulated and tested medications in the form of applications like pills and sprays – not smoking. This is because the decriminalisation lobby fails to mention the huge risk of lung damage from smoking marijuana.

In terms of cancer risk, medical experts say that smoking one cannabis joint is the equivalent of smoking 20 cigarettes. And in terms of the risk of wider lung disease, they say smoking one cannabis joint is the equivalent of smoking up to 5 cigarettes.

The hypocrisy of the Green Party over the health risks associated with cannabis use is staggering. On the one hand the Greens are ardent supporters of the Smoke Free New Zealand by 2025 goal, while on the other hand, they want people to freely smoke dope – even though the cancer risk is twenty-times higher than for cigarette smoking. It appears the Greens are more concerned about attracting the decriminalisation vote, than they are about improving public health. 

To advance their legalising cannabis objective, the Green Party has also been strongly promoting medical marijuana. They rely heavily on Ministry of Health research, which “found that of 400,000 New Zealanders who use cannabis, a whopping 42 percent do so for medicinal purposes, to alleviate pain or nausea.”

While that study shows that in 2013, over 155,000 users who confessed to smoking cannabis claimed they were doing so for “medicinal” purposes, it also reveals that over 133,000 admitted to driving under the influence of marijuana.  

Other studies show a significant crossover between recreational and medicinal use, with 86 percent of those reporting medicinal use of cannabis saying they also use it recreationally.

Irrespective of the significant evidence of health risks associated with widespread cannabis use – not only lung cancer, but also drug dependency, psychosis and schizophrenia – the Greens want access to cannabis to be legal, affordable, and widely available. They’re clearly overlooking not only the increasingly stringent requirement for employees to be drug free in their workplace, but also the fact that smoking cannabis doubles the risk of a car crash.

To advance their cause, in May last year, Green MP Julie Anne Genter submitted a Private Members’ Bill – the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis and Other Matters) Amendment Bill – into the Parliamentary ballot. It was drawn a month later, but by the time it was debated in Parliament in January, Julie Anne Genter had become a Minister in the new Government, so the Bill was transferred to her colleague Chloe Swarbrick, since Ministers cannot be responsible for private members bills.

Julie Anne Genter’s Bill was designed to allow anyone with a “qualifying condition” – including a sore back – to grow their own cannabis, or have someone else grow it for them: “Until people can legally grow their own cannabis or designate someone to grow it, patients across Aotearoa are likely to remain criminals”. In effect, the Bill would have introduced the de facto decriminalisation of marijuana.

The Bill was eventually defeated by 47 votes to 73, but since drug issues are treated as conscience votes in Parliament, there is now a public record of which MPs voted in favour of liberalising cannabis laws, and which were opposed (*see the list below).

The defeat of the Green Party’s Bill was not the end of the matter. At around the same time a Government Bill, the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill – to enable those who are terminally ill to possess and use illicit cannabis – succeeded in gaining the support of Parliament and is currently being considered by the Health Select Committee.

In quite an astonishing development, the Green Party member who was behind the Bill that would have effectively decriminalised marijuana in New Zealand was appointed the Associate Minister of Transport in the new Government with the responsibility for “transport safety”. As a result, the Hon Julie Anne Genter will play a leading role in deciding whether the random roadside drug testing of drivers should be introduced.

New figures released last week showed that, for the first time ever, drugged drivers on our roads were involved in more fatal accidents than drunk drivers. In 2017, there were 79 fatal crashes involving drivers with drugs in their system, compared with 70 involving intoxicated drivers.

This compares with figures from five years ago when 14 fatal crashes involved drugged drivers, compared with 53 involving drunk drivers.

In fact, a 2010 study of over a thousand drivers who had died in crashes over the previous five years, found a third had drugs in their system – mainly cannabis. The data showed that three quarters of the cannabis drivers who died had caused the crash that killed them – and when alcohol and cannabis were mixed together nine out of ten dead drivers were responsible for their fatal crash.

If New Zealanders are worried about this trend for drugged drivers to increasingly cause carnage and death on our roads, they should be extremely concerned about the current attempts to legalise cannabis use, since it would ‘normalise’ the drug and inevitably lead to far more drug use, far more drugged drivers, and far more fatal accidents. 

While cannabis users clearly pose a serious and growing risk on our roads, the drug testing of drivers is rare. Driver drug testing was introduced in 2009, through the Land Transport (Enforcement Powers) Amendment Act, which made it an offence to drive while impaired by drugs. The Act gave Police the power to carry out compulsory impairment tests on any drivers they suspect of driving under the influence of drugs. This involves checking the eyes of drivers to see whether their pupils are dilated, asking them to walk along a line, do a turn, and stand on one leg. If they fail the impairment test, a blood test is then required.

The problem with this impairment test is that it requires a trained officer to carry it out. As a result while over 2 million breath tests for alcohol are carried out a year, the number of drug test is in the hundreds. 

The Automobile Association has described drugged driving as a silent killer on our roads and for years they have been lobbying the Government to introduce roadside drug testing. They say the public is right behind the measure with a staggering 94 percent of their 1.6 million members – representing more than 54 percent of all registered drivers on the road – supporting their call for random saliva testing.

The reality is that motorists do not want to share the road with the rapidly increasing number of drivers who are impaired by drugs.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, Mike Noon, the Automobile Association’s General Manager of Motoring Affairs, is challenging the Labour-led Government to step up enforcement for drugged driving by introducing random roadside saliva testing devices: 

“We have a moral obligation to do more when we know drugs are an increasing cause of deaths on our roads, and it’s not just the drugged drivers getting killed.

“An ever growing number of countries are introducing saliva-based roadside drug tests. New Zealand is a laggard. Some Australian states have been using them for a decade and the UK, Ireland, France, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands have either recently introduced them or are in the process of doing so.

“The case for introducing saliva tests here was recently made much stronger by Ministry of Transport analysis estimating that for every $1 spent on random saliva tests, after 10 years it would equate to $8.50 in savings due to fewer fatal crashes occurring.

“The Ministry estimates the social cost of drug-driving could currently be $250 million per year and it is suggesting that just $9 million a year could be spent on effectively introducing roadside saliva tests.”

The Police Association is also calling for roadside drug testing of Kiwi drivers, as are emergency doctors. It was also recommended by the Ministry of Transport in its road safety briefing to the new Government as a more effective way of deterring drug users from driving.

The Ministry believes that drug-driving is a serious and growing problem and that the main challenge for policy-makers is to change the “complacent” attitude that many people have towards driving under the influence of drugs, especially the dangerous misapprehension that drugs make a user a better driver.

As far as costs are concerned, roadside saliva testing for cannabis, methamphetamine and ecstasy would cost around $45 to administer and take about five minutes for the results to register. The Ministry of Transport and the Police are recommending around 45,000 tests a year should be carried out initially.

The Minister of Police, Stuart Nash is said to be in favour of roadside drug testing for drivers. However, the Associate Transport Minister, Julie Anne Genter, is opposed, stating that saliva testing is expensive, intrusive, and that the current method of detecting drugged drivers works well.

She appears to be at odds with reality on this issue.

Given Julie Anne Genter’s strong campaigning for the liberalisation of marijuana laws while she was in opposition, surely she should do what a Green Party Ministerial colleague has done, and stand aside from any decision-making over roadside drug testing devices.

The Hon Eugenie Sage recused herself from a decision on a hydroelectric scheme in the South Island, because she had campaigned against the scheme while in opposition. She declared bias and a conflict of interest and on principle, stepped aside.

Isn’t this what Julie Anne Genter should do – take her personal bias out of the decision-making process by standing aside? If she recused herself, the responsibility for deciding on the recommendations from the Ministry of Transport and the Police for roadside drug testing devices would no doubt be passed onto the other Associate Transport Minister, New Zealand First MP Shane Jones, or the Minister of Transport, Labour MP Phil Twyford.

Whichever way you look at this issue, drug driving is now a major problem for New Zealand.

Just last month, a Private Members Bill in the name of National MP Alistair Scott – the Land Transport (Random Oral Fluid Testing) Amendment Bill – was drawn from the Parliamentary ballot and will now be debated by Parliament. This Bill, which would give the Police the powers to randomly test drivers for drugs just as they do for alcohol, will finally force the Government to seriously address this issue. 

Far too many people are now driving on our roads when they are impaired by drugs. They are putting their lives and the lives of others in danger. The new Government needs to take decisive action to save lives, by putting aside any political bias and giving the green light to the random drug testing of drivers.


Do you believe the Associate Minister of Transport, Hon Julie Anne Genter, should recuse herself from decision-making over the introduction of roadside drug testing devices?


*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.


Click to view x 120

*MPs voting in favour of Julie Anne Genter’s Bill to legalise growing your own medicinal cannabis:
Allan, Kiritapu; Andersen, Virginia; Ardern, Rt Hon Jacinda; Clark, Dr David; Coffey, Tamati; Craig, Dr Liz; Curran, Clare; Davidson, Marama; Davis, Hon Kelvin; Dyson, Hon Ruth; Eagle, Paul; Faafoi, Hon Kris; Genter, Hon Julie Anne; Ghahraman, Golriz; Hipkins, Hon Chris; Hughes, Gareth; Huo, Raymond; Lees-Galloway, Hon Iain; Little, Hon Andrew; Logie, Jan; Lubeck, Marja; Luxton, Jo; Mahuta, Hon Nanaia; Mallard, Hon Trevor; McAnulty, Kieran; O’Connor, Hon Damien; Parker, Hon David; Prime, Willow-Jean; Radhakrishnan, Priyanca; Robertson, Hon Grant; Rurawhe, Adrian; Russell, Dr Deborah; Sage, Eugenie; Sepuloni, Hon Carmel; Seymour, David; Shaw, Hon James; Sio, Hon Aupito Su’a William; Strange, Jamie; Swarbrick, Chloe; Tinetti, Jan; Tirikatene, Rino; Twyford, Hon Phil; Wall, Louisa; Warren-Clark, Angie; Webb, Dr Duncan; Wood, Michael; Woods, Hon Dr Megan.

MPs opposed:
Adams, Hon Amy; Bakshi, Kanwaljit Singh; Ball, Darroch; Barry, Hon Maggie; Bayly, Andrew; Bennett, Hon David; Bennett, Hon Paula; Bishop, Chris; Bridges, Hon Simon; Brown, Simeon; Brownlee, Hon Gerry; Carter, Rt Hon David; Coleman, Hon Dr Jonathan; Collins, Hon Judith; Dean, Jacqui; Doocey, Matt; Dowie, Sarah; English, Rt Hon Bill; Falloon, Andrew; Finlayson, Hon Christopher; Goldsmith, Hon Paul; Guy, Hon Nathan; Hayes, Joanne; Henare, Hon Peeni; Hipango, Harete; Hudson, Brett; Jackson, Hon Willie; Jones, Hon Shane; Joyce, Hon Stephen; Kanongata’a-Suisuiki, Anahila; Kaye, Hon Nikki; King, Matt; Korako, Tutehounuku (Nuk); Kuriger, Barbara; Lee, Denise; Lee, Melissa; Macindoe, Hon Tim; Marcroft, Jenny; Mark, Hon Ron; Martin, Hon Tracey; McClay, Hon Todd; McKelvie, Ian; Mitchell, Clayton; Mitchell, Hon Mark; Muller, Todd; Nash, Hon Stuart; Ngaro, Hon Alfred; O’Connor, Greg; O’Connor, Simon; Parmar, Dr Parmjeet; Patterson, Mark; Penk, Chris; Peters, Rt Hon Winston; Reti, Dr Shane; Ross, Jami-Lee; Salesa, Hon Jenny; Scott, Alastair; Simpson, Hon Scott; Smith, Hon Dr Nick; Smith, Stuart; Stanford, Erica; Tabuteau, Fletcher; Tolley, Hon Anne; Upston, Hon Louise; van de Molen, Tim; Wagner, Hon Nicky; Walker, Hamish; Whaitiri, Meka; Williams, Poto; Woodhouse, Hon Michael; Yang, Dr Jian; Young, Jonathan; Yule, Lawrence.


There is a conflict of interest Andrew
Of course she should. She doesn’t want drug driving tests cos she smokes and drives herself!!!!!!!!!!!!! Alison
No I disagree, I think generally the main problem on the road is aggression and complete disregard for other road users, might I add the closer to Auckland you are the worse that problem appears to be. The reality is that you are advocating a broad-brush approach to a problem that is not as large as you make out , and I think there needs to be some fact checking on the data before you proceed. Did you know that cannabis can show up in a person up to 6 weeks after use…the effect of the drug long long gone,,. yet P is untraceable after 24 hours…in the meantime its likely the P user has not slept in 24 hours is wired fatigued and very much impaired…test for P indeed no problem., Fatigue is also a big problem…how about roadside testing for tired drivers? Prescription drug impaired drivers? Absent minded drivers? Stressed out drivers? One bottle of wine a night drivers up all night on their ‘blogging’ or ‘lobbying for this or that’ drivers? I do believe you are out of touch on this one. Michael
All MPs should be drug tested as they enter the debating chamber, especially Labour and Greens.Watching the likes of Mallard perform indicates either stupidity or drug use or both. Steve
Its not really a big issue. the whole parliament should make the decision. All she should do is make her views known. After all this is supposed to be a democracy. Peter
No to a separate referendum, unless we have other issues like removal of Maori Parliamentary seats. Complete hypocrisy about banning cigarette-smoking but legalizing illegal drug-smoking. Pregnancy must have made J Genter go mad, same as the Tooth Fairy. We need to get rid of the Green party out of parliament forever. Monica
YES, and it would be a good idea to test ALL THE GREENS EVERY DAY BEFORE THEY ENTER PARLIAMENT. Athol
Too Many Doped-up drivers on the road. Pierre
That would go against the spirit of democracy. Some other M.P’s would no doubt agree with her. Should we ban all who think wrongly? We vote for them! I wish we could rid parliament of stupidity and bad ideology, but that is democracy. It drags us down to the lowest common level . They ‘stack’ select committees to ensure the outcome they want. Harvey
Julie Anna Genter continues to make riidiculous statements such as having zero road deathsby 2025.What nonsense. The 0nly way that can happen will be if cars are banished and everyone cycles.. Drink driving and drug driving sadly will never be eliminated….. Colleen
Clearly Genter has a bias and must in the interests of democracy, stand aside. Peter
Because she is one eyed Colin
Certainly should Craig
Of course,not on political principle but more so because she is a complete and utter example of zero credibility.She will stick around in complete ignorance of the reticule she is held in not only her but how many other zombie ministers does Ardern have around her Don
“The problem with this impairment test is that it requires a trained officer to carry it out. As a result while over 2 million breath tests for alcohol are carried out a year, the number of drug test is in the hundreds. ” This is the paragraph that caught my eye. How many drivers does NZ have?? And there’s 2 million stops!! Surely that is something to protest. And as for the AA blurb, I would strongly suggest you have a read of Thomas Lumley’s blog statschat.org.nz. He rather debunks the howls of outrage – the AA facts aren’t quite supported. Peter
How she ever got that position in the first place indicates clearly the pathetically low standard of the current Parliament Tom
Surely, common sense would dictate her decision to recuse herself. Peter
Of course she should. She has already run her colours up the mast so it would be inappropriate for her to be seen to be using her position to influence this very important issue. Gary
I believe this to be essential for a sensible legislation. claire
Given that drug-impaired drivers are on the increase, Julie Anne Genter cannot support and promote legalisation of marijuana and act impartially on recommendations from Police about drivers’ being drug tested – obvious conflict of interest Laurence
She cannot wear two hats! Jim
She has voted for the legalizing of cannabis. I don’t want her near any decisions involving drugs. is a nature worshiper. The leaf. Dene
An opportunity to show some integrity! Greg
Fully agree John
Once again the hypocrisy of Green Party (the Watermelon Party – thin green skin with a bright red Marxist interior) policy is stated as fact. I’ve tried to expose their deceit but the national newspapers won’t print or they edit out of context. The political parties obviously don’t contest their narrative when they want supporting votes, so this is what our democracy has come down to – lies and deceit! And the NZ public accepts it as normal. Rex
Our politicians will have to be forthright. realistic and brave enough to accept changes which may conflict with their stated views. Julie is lost. Denis
Absolutely. A Green plonker bringing in such a bill cannot be anywhere near the decision making process to oppose it.. In fact better for all if she actually left Parliament all together and go back to the bush and smoke herself to death. Graeme
I do support the decriminalisation of marijuana, its legal use for medical purposes, and a stringent anti-drug-driving policy, to be enforced the same as the drink-driving policy, and with VERY strict controls on its growth, supply and use. Children and teenagers should not be allowed near the stuff, and any adult found guilty of supplying should be rigorously prosecuted. Colin
All MP’s holding ministerial posts mustbe unbiased. Of course she should stand aside. Dennis
I have thought for a number of years now that drug testing should be mandatory with breath testing for drunk driving as one is as bad as the other I can not understand the stupidity of the arguments against the same as cell phone use the fine needs to be three times the amount it is as well as demerit points. Digby
Of Course she should but knowing the dopey Greens and their struggle to get cannabis legalized I doubt that she will They a hypocrites of the highest order wanting the place to be smoke free by 2025 and introducing a stuff that if freely available would be far more dangerous. Still I suppose when all the health problems start they will then want money spent on rehabilitation services for addicts Bathplugs Colin
Clearly a conflict of interest and her objectivity/neutrality is already compromised. Francis
Immediately as I would have thought her conscience would have had her do it before this. Laurel
Yes,or better still, she should get the heck out of it altogether and take the other Green MPs with her. This is what happens when a flawed electoral system enables a sorry collection of losers to form a “government” – and I use the term in its broadest possible sense. Thanks for nothing Winston! Scott
Without doubt she should declare a conflict of interest!! Ian
Seems everywhere I read, the answer to all of New Zealand’s woes is somehow linked to legalizing weed. That idiot Lizzy Marvelly with the herald column seems to think so! Neil
definitely Alistair
God help this Country if Marijuana is ever legalized. All you need to know is in the Research from Colorado which has Marijuana legal since 2012. Geoff
There shouls be an IQ test for licence applicants. Graeme
This is the same stupid immigrant politician who thinks she can reduce the road toll to zero by 2025. She forgets cars are driven by humans and in our case some of the worst drivers on this planet and they are getting worse. Get rid of this stupid woman. Alan
The word recuse may result in wrong answers because it is not a word in everyday use. Drug testing should have been in use years ago. John
It’s simply a matter of integrity. Peter
Well over due, road side drug testing Brent
Of course Julie Anne would argue that as part of a ruling government she has every right to promote her views & beliefs. Sad fact is, very few Green Party members have even a tiny grasp of reality. Their utopia would be, all getting around in driverless electric cars, with no need for personal responsibility, & an endless supply of stupefying drugs & substances that totally remove them from reality.. Those of us who still live in the real world will be expected to somehow clean up the mess that evolves. A recent survey already shows that the population is becoming dumber, lets chuck some more drugs into the mix & make sure the trend continues, The Globalists are rubbing their hands in glee… A.G.R.
Absolutely Valerie
She simply has too much a conflict of interest. Keith
Wish they’d all go away. How many running the country are actually elected MPs – almost all are list MPs. Notable that most who voted against are National MPs with brains while those who support legalising cannabis are liberal thinking idiots. If it works medicinally, then get it on a doctors prescription. I don’t want drugged drivers on the roads, killing innocent people. Carolyn
To give ignorant people[persons] the power to influence the law for vested interests [whatever they might be??], and it seems she wants a bob-each-way…is not democracy! Ced
This Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter, Must recuse herself from any decision making of roadside drug testing! She has spoken out at having cannabis made legal for all to use!! Drivers of all transport, included of course, as of right! How stupid is that for a Minister of the Crown, as Associate Transport Minister.! Michael
Of course she should given her pro stance on drugs. It would be preferable if she got out of Parliament all together. She is one twisted greenie Mike
Legal bans on drugs (the supply side) is the height of stupidity and will never work, Focusing on the demand side and making it uncool is the sensible answer. Just because a substance is illegal doesn’t stop people from using it…. Richard
She must not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. Has mouthed off about road safety and road toll and must now step asside to allow others to make our roads safer Terry
Most definitely Kevin
As an advocate of the legalised use of Cannabis, the Hon Ms Genter would not be honourable if her bias hindered the detection of drug users in control of a motor vehicle. Her claim that the current methods for testing for drug use is too expensive is fallacious given the Govt’s claim that their redirection of roading priorities and funding is made with the aim of IMPROVING safety! So much for being the Associate Minister of Transport. Perhaps some real consideration could be given to restricting her role in matters concerning transport? Michael
Clearly a conflict of interest. Martin
Of course she should. She has a very obvious conflict of interest. Richard
Does she even drive or has someone to do it for her. She’s BLIND & should stand aside or be MADE too. Cindy
Drug abuse is a lot more prevalent today than it was a few years ago. P would have to be up there the worst of the drugs, followed by marijuana. Wayne
She should also recuse herself from Transport matters as she was very critical of Northland’s so called ‘holiday road’ as well. Ron
Total conflict of interest here or is it rather no interest to advance road safety because of her wish to decriminalise marijuana. Peter
Absolutely. Saliva based testing is no more intrusive than breath testing. She doesn%u2019t want cannabis users caught driving. William
Political bias? Ian
Of course she should! Rod
If it is okayed to smoke dope, where does this leave employers after an accident with machinery in the workplace. Why does “health & safety” insist on smokefree, alcohol and drugfree workplaces. Obviously this law will be turfed out as against the legislation and privacy rights. Will this mean the the legally doped employee will be liable for damage to others or plant? Anne
conflict of interest Chris
Of course ! Richard
Drugs NEED to tested for! Medicinal or not doesn’t matter! THEY are DANGEROUS!! Isa
It makes no sense to accept dope smokers as being responsible and competent drivers on our roads. Medicinal use should be available only by prescription, Two separate issues Peter
It is totally irresponsible to even appoint Julie Anne-Genter as Associate Minister of Transport John
The whole thing is a joke if drink and drugs are the cause of so many accidents let’s get it sorted as well as cracking down on unregistered and unwarranted motor vehicles take a look in any busy car park and you would be astonished Peter
Of course she should recuse from any drug-related decisions. She’s clearly incompetent – perhaps even “drugged in charge of a portfolio” Ron
Direct conflict of interest Graham
The conflict of interest is more than obvious and to retain her integrity as a Minister in this government she should recuse herself from decision-making over the introduction of roadside drug testing. Pieter
Public safety is no1 priority; For the country sake. All Weak Pollies should stand down: mike
The situation on our roads already bad enough, with me being Rear Ended twice in 18 months in Akld NZ, where this has never happened to me before in 45 years of driving !! Drug testing is more important than Alchol testing !! Pierre
As with so many of the actions of the current government, ideology overrides common sense. Frank
Course she should but you know that Politician’s have no common sense., Geoff
Definitely as she will be biased in her decision making. Moyra
The situation as it stands is farcical. Has the Minister had members of her family injured or worse as a result of drivers under the influence of drugs? Graham
I think you are out of touch with reality. Not often I disagree I might add. Taking recreational drugs is a reality. It is well established that smoking cannabis is harmless now, and that criminalization does far more harm than good. A large number of the population already smokes, and therefore you want to keep these other wise good people as criminals. It does not make any sense, and Id like to see you revise your position. I think Grow your own and Smoke your own is a wise and sensible law change. I also think that Synthetic forms of Cannabis should be illegal. I have had some very good friends brutalized by Police and locked up for long terms just for growing a little cannabis. One very good friend Died in Jail from Cancer while on a 20 year sentence for growing in his own back yard. I went to UNi in 1972 and watched the entire saga of Police busts, and good people being locked up. I strongly support legalizing Cannabis. PS. I don’t personally smoke anything so I think I have an open mind. I am not a green supporter (IN fact quite strongly opposed to them) but in this case I believe they are dead right and I will support them in their bid to legalise cannabis. Tony
Drivers on drugs must be dealt with severly. Brian
Better still sack her! Brian
She appears to be unstable. Maybe someone could randomly drug-test her… Andy
No good David
A campaigner should not be a decider Vernon
Don’t flip now Kevin
No brainer ! Andrew
Yes of course, but when do politicians do the right thing. Even if a law was passed given the right to use the drug for medicinal purposes, it will still be used by people for entertainment and those who do don’t care what damage or death is caused anyway. Audrey
She should recuse herself from government-in a government of useless people she is right there in the lead. Roger
Most Greens would fail drug tests anyway – go figure. Geoff
An absolutely no brainer.It is hard to believe that it has not been a top priority years ago Bryan
How can anyone of sound mind want general smoking banned yet argue for the liberalisation of (smoking) marijuana laws? Perhaps she is stoned already!!! Stuart
A no brainer, unless your too stupid too appreciate your position Bruce
Remove those who are biased including those like the powers who put her and leave her the position of affecting the health and wellbeing of all people. If that means another election now let us do it Johan
This lady and her lax badly thought out policies including roading are a disaster – it is a tragedy for NZ that she has any Ministerial responsibilities at all. Please also distinguish between two different compounds from growing cannabis (1) the hallucinogenic cancer producing one that it smoked & (2) the totally different chemical oil which has in some medical situations wonderful results in reducing epilepsy in children & intractable pain from Chemotherapy Hylton
This woman should pack her bags and take her warped thinking away from us. She is a radical and those who were silly enough to give her a position of influence will live to regret their stupidity Rob
Of course Bruce
The plain facts seem not to register with her. Driving drug impaired adds to our dangers, and we have enough road deaths already. Ross
Yes. Take her right out of the picture. Any idiot who thinks that any mind altering drug is acceptable, needs to have their brain checked out…. which is why this country is in REALLY bad hands. Des
As a “legalise cannabis” supporter of course she should. Ideally she, along with the rest of the Cabinet loonies, should resign and do NZ a favour. Andrew
The Green Party have a number of costly issues to face responsibly for. Drugs is one, Carbon is another, and leaky homes is still a very big one. Batteries are still to come. Maurice
Typical, green ideology over common sense. Is she even fit to be a representative. Willy
And the sooner the better. Dilly dallying s disgraceful. The time for random drug testing is long overdue. Each day action is delayed we are all at risk from the irresponsible drug taking drivers. Walnetta
Got absolutely no faith in this MP Whatsoever.. She has never been in the real world. Frank
your a big girl now in government, you cant decide what you wanna vote for and what you don’t. Graeme
She should go back to her own Country stop pushing her socialist doctrine in kiwi land Cutty
I don’t do drugs or alcohol but I find this idea to be totally offensive (as i do to breath testing). Shades of the Gestapo perhaps!? I see the need for it – but I hate getting stopped by the income gatherers Steve
Of course she is biased and steeped in dogma Collin
Dont hold your breath, The idea of impartiality is a notion far too sophisticated for Green Activists to embrace. They wheedled their position to enforce their dumbarse bias, not recuse it. Not sure the companion answer to drug legalization is random oral breath testing. This method is basically flawed in that it essentially assumes everyone to be potentially a user and makes everyone an assumed criminal until proven innocent by a test or testing device effectively reversing our innocent until proved guilty basic right. Not only does it inconvenience the majority but it impinges on the rights of the majority to catch the few. And incidentally far too open to abusive quota type enforcement where dozens of non user citizens are inconvenienced for negligible real result. As very moderate alcohol user and absolutely non illegal drug user, i find the so called random testing regime an absolute affront to my person and I would equally apply to 99% of my fellow congregation. This Greens reaction fear mongering is communist law by stealth. Richard
Obviously biased. Terry
It is quite the obvious thing she must do! Kingsley
I do not want to be on the road with drug impaired potheads. Mark
Definitely yes ! Don
It is a scandal that the same roadside drug testing that they use in Australia isn’t already in use here. Why didn’t National bring it in? Did they put their fear of criticism from drug users ahead of the need to save lives? Let’s hope Labour has the guts to do it. Genter should stand aside if she feels she can’t approve them because of the reaction of her supporters. Andrew
The Minister has shown she is biased on this issue and essentially dismissed it. That’s not right. She should stand aside and let someone who is unbiased make the decision. Drug users must be deterred from driving and the current systems are NOT working. Neville
Genter is biased. She must stand aside. Gordon
How anyone who has campaigned for drug liberalisation to the point of putting a private members bill into Parliament can be given responsibility for drug testing drivers is beyond me. What on earth was Jacinda Ardern thinking about? Ms Genter should do the right thing and stand aside. Christine
The sooner roadside drug testing devices are introduced, the sooner lives will be saved. John