National MP Simeon Brown fears for South Auckland if recreational weed becomes legal.
“Where are they going to set up their shops?” Simeon Brown says.
“I used to live in South Auckland. The big alcohol companies like to have more shops there than in other parts of Auckland.”
The Pakuranga MP fears the marijuana companies will follow suit.
Simeon Brown has long opposed Green MP Chloe Swarbrick's crusade to legalise recreational weed. He’s happy that medical weed is legal but wants it left at that.
If recreational weed is legalised under the proposed bill, MP Brown says the businesses will market marijuana to young people.
“We’re also going to see it promoted. Big business will be getting involved,” MP Brown says.
“They will be targeting people to start earlier and use it for longer.”
Brown notes that drugs have already been decriminalised. Police have greater flexibility to avoid drug convictions.
He says only 16 people have been imprisoned or given home detention for marijuana possession in recent times. He takes that as a sign that the current laws are already working.
Despite his opposition to Swarbrick’s campaign, Simeon believes education and addiction recovery support is key.
He is opposing the proposed bill because in his view the goal is to liberalise and normalise drug use.