Peter Dunne admits he smoked pot

By Hayden Donnell

Photo / file
Photo / file

The minister responsible for pushing a ban on synthetic cannabis through parliament has admitted to smoking the real thing in a live chat with nzherald.co.nz readers.

United Future leader and Associate Minister for Health Peter Dunne said he had smoked cannabis "a couple of times" as a student in the 1970s.

Despite that, he said he did not want any change to current laws making cannabis illegal.

"The many health reports I receive about substances like cannabis and other drugs persuade me firm control measures are needed to protect the public health."

The revelation came amid questioning in the live chat on an ammendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act which has seen bans enacted on 43 synthetic cannabis products including Kronic.

Mr Dunne defended championing the bans, saying they were necessary to ensure the public good.

"The items are simply being removed from the market while their public safety is assessed. Their ongoing status will then be determined by an independent committee."

Mr Dunne also revealed he believes SIS head Warren Tucker briefed Labour leader Phil Goff on allegations Israeli spies had been caught up in the Christchurch earthquake.

Mr Goff has denied receiving information on the allegations, despite Mr Tucker releasing papers showing the pair had discussed the issue.

"I am inclined to believe Warren Tucker - particularly since the paper notes he discussed it with Phil Goff - and Tucker has always struck me as a pretty straightforward person, but it is unlike Phil to get caught like this. He is usually so precise," Mr Dunn said.

In a question Mr Dunne described as the "toughest" of the day, MHD asked who he would vote for if he had to choose between New Zealand First leader Winston Peters and Act leader Don Brash.

"Assuming abstention was not an option, it would be a reluctant vote for Brash."

Mr Dunne followed the live chat with a tweet where he stated he had never denied smoking pot, and that unlike Clinton, he did inhale.

- HERALD ONLINE

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