Will legalising cannabis ruin the lives of our city's young people or will it benefit them with revenue going into our mental health system?
Will giving terminally-ill people a choice to end their life cause many to change their mind or will it hinder their options for treatment?
These were questions that about 50 Grey Power members were left to ponder after a community talk on the legalisation cannabis and end of life choice referendums in Rotorua yesterday.
Six speakers headed along to the Linton Community Centre to share their points of view on the topics that the population is set to vote on in next month's election.
John Paul College principal Patrick Walsh had 35 years' experience with teenagers and started off the debate outlining how he had seen first-hand the "devastating impacts" smoking cannabis had on both their minds and bodies.
He spoke about how cannabis use was already a problem in the city's young people and "legalising the problem" was not the solution.
"All we are doing is normalising it."
He said a young person's brain did not fully develop until their mid-20s and introducing drugs before this had "adverse" effects.
He argued that legalising a drug people smoked was in total contradiction of the
Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 goal.
Make It Legal campaigner Nandor Tanczos argued studies showed 80 per cent of people under 25 had already tried cannabis so they were still doing it and regulation was the key.
He spoke about how charging people at a young age for possession of cannabis was "life-destroying" and often unnecessary.
"It puts them straight to the bottom of the employment pile and can be more harmful in the long term.
"This is not a debate about whether people should or should not do it because they already are. So what are we going to do about it?"
He said legalising cannabis allowed the Government to gain revenue, with an estimated $400 million set to be made from it off tax each year that was put down to go into education around the drug and into mental health facilities.
Tauranga TOP candidate Andrew Caine backed Tanczos, saying he himself used to be a cannabis addict and without it being legalised, he was unable to get the help he desperately needed.
He tried to get help for more than a year but was unable to due to waitlists and when a friend who worked in psychology reached out to help, it only took three weeks to get clean, he said.
All of the speakers agreed that cannabis should be allowed for medicinal use.
Following questions from the audience about the legislation, the stage was given to the End of Life Choice speakers.
Heather Major, a woman who lost her husband to cancer at a young age, started by explaining how he had outlived a number of terminal prognoses and been in hospice three times in eight years.
She explained the legislation clearly to the audience before they heard the arguments for and against it.
Chief executive of Euthanasia-Free New Zealand Renée Joubert began by saying she was not against euthanasia but instead did not believe the legislation in New Zealand was right.
Her main concerns with the act were that there was not a sufficient "cooling off" stage for a person once they had made the decision and that the person did not have to have witnesses other than a doctor to hear them verbally express their choice to die.
She said she also feared euthanasia would be seen as the "cheaper option" for the state and that people could be offered fewer choices for treatment as a result.
President of the End of Life Choice Society, Dr Mary Panko, responded by saying there was a long process of about 15 days between making the decision and having it done in which a person could pull out at any time.
It included several medical professionals' involvement, encouragement for the patient to talk their family, and a complete review of their medical history and mental competency, she said.
She said many people just wanted peace of mind that they could end their suffering if they wanted to and in overseas situations, many pulled out after being granted the option.