The hard working Police men and women of New Zealand have both a trying and dangerous job. They are a valuable and finite workforce from which New Zealand benefits. When a law establishing victimless crimes mandates the chasing of small time users of cannabis, they end up with less time to protect the things you value most. When the Police are tasked with a job as a result of poor law-making, it is the most vulnerable that end up hurt and disadvantaged.

Studies have shown that the health effects on marijuana use pale in comparison to alcohol and tobacco, and that the largest marijuana related cost to society lies in law-enforcement, rather than healthcare. Science cautiously gives marijuana a green light, yet the law and Parliament is slow to catch up.

All things come with their costs, and like other recreational drugs, marijuana has its downsides. It is time to consider an approach to those problems in a way similar to those of alcohol, tobacco, and even food. The worst thing to do to those made vulnerable by abuse to throw them in a small cold cell, or worse yet, give them a criminal record.

I confess to not smoking marijuana, and it doesn’t take a marijuana smoker to see that an educational, supportive position would not only benefit those in society who are most harmed by it, but would free up the Policemen and women of New Zealand to fight the real crime outside our front door.