How surprising that a poll conducted by a marijuana company (news, January 10) claims to find that 60 per cent of people want to legalise the drug.

A poll of speedsters would find that unlimited speed limits should be legalised, too, but that doesn't make it right.

We already have high mental health issues, high drug-related road statistics, drug-related workplace accidents, drug-affected children in schools... the list goes on. Legalising any drug will not fix these issues, in my opinion.

I understand that Portugal decriminalised drugs for personal use but kept all their other drug laws untouched and had everything in place to refer users to medical centres as well as staff to support addicts and so on. Strict possession limits were established. The war on manufacturers and pushers continues.

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They did not legalise drugs. Here we are, as usual, blindly going down the "legalise" path because Big Drug – the equivalent of Big Tobacco, in my view – want in on what they can see is Big Money regardless of the huge social and personal effects on their users and the innocent population.

There are no benefits to drug use and legalisation, excepting non-THC medicinal cannabis.

B Ingram
Papamoa

Road toll reporting sensationalised

It seems to me that the reporting of the annual road toll is all negative and sensationalised.

But if one looks behind the shock-horror headlines at the road toll per 10,000 vehicles, a different story emerges.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realise more cars means more accidents.

Since 2013 the number is consistent at about 0.9 deaths/10,000 vehicles.

So why are we spending millions on things that seem to have no effect on that rate?

For example, it seems to me the big deal about reducing the drink driving levels have been a large straw horse and achieved nothing meaningful.

Roy Edwards
Gate Pā

Long way to go for women's rights

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Great to see the freedom that women are afforded in Australia being able to protest topless in front of the embassy (news, January 11).

Amazing though however the same freedom is still not afforded, or the liberty not taken, to publish topless photos in the newspaper.

We still have a long way to go for women's rights. This has been done in several Northern European countries for years.

The shackles that were long ago attached by religion, now embedded in our culture, will be attached for some time more I fear.

Martin Giess
Matua