Patrick Walsh: A yes vote on cannabis referendum will be a disaster for young people

first_imgNZ Herald 16 June 2020Family First Comment: Patrick Walsh is principal at Rotorua’s John Paul College, a past president of the Secondary Principals’ Association of New Zealand, and a member of SAM-NZ – a coalition of community leaders and groups promoting a NO vote in the cannabis referendum.COMMENT:No one disputes that marijuana is a harmful, addictive drug that has adverse effects on the physical and mental wellbeing of users.These effects are accentuated on developing teenage brains.Legalising cannabis use is in effect “legitimising” it so we will see an inevitable increase in its use by teenagers. My experience as a secondary school principal of 17 years tells me we will see more teenagers take it up if legalised.This in turn will lead to more of the following behaviours in teenage users; driving while drugged, depression, suicidal ideation, poor academic results, truanting, and antisocial behaviour including crime and violence.I have no confidence that the regulation proposed in the bill will work. Regulation has been a dismal failure with alcohol where binge drinking and drunk driving by under 18-year-olds remain persistent problems despite laws in place prohibiting it.The same could also be said of vaping and synthetic cannabis which many teenagers engage in and where the law has failed miserably. We do not wish to criminalise teenagers for using cannabis and certainly the first options should always be an educative and therapeutic approach.If this fails however there must be a final deterrent by having it remain on the statute books as a crime.As a principal I have seen first hand the devastating effects of cannabis use on teenagers, their whanau and other victims. These other victims include the innocent drivers they hit, those assaulted and employers when there is a no show at work.To be clear, I fully support medicinal use of cannabis prescribed by a doctor with a clear medical purpose. What we are being asked however in this referendum is to vote “Yes” to recreational cannabis use so people can get a legal high. read more

VAR is a big mess every weekend, Man City boss Guardiola says

first_imgManchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes VAR is “a big mess” every weekend in the Premier League after watching his team defeat Sheffield United 2-0 on Sunday. After a subdued first-half performance, Guardiola’s side opened the scoring in controversial fashion as Sergio Aguero found the back of the net following some interference in build-up play from referee Chris Kavanagh. “I’ve been to see the referee and he has been honest about it. We make mistakes and I believe he made one, too,” he said. “It happened that quick and I thought he could have been helped by his colleagues a little bit.”We talk about the new rule where if the referee touches ball then he has to blow up, so surely if he is in the way and hinders us then he makes a sensible decision.”If he [had] made the sensible decision, then I don’t think no one in the ground would have said anything about it.” The goal was allowed to stand despite Sheffield’s protests and the Manchester City boss himself seemed to suggest his team benefitted from the inconsistent use of VAR.”I said many times I have a huge list for VAR. Every weekend is a big mess,” Guardiola told Sky Sports postmatch. “In other games it was a big mess. Hopefully next season it can do better.”A second goal from Kevin De Bruyne in the 82nd minute wrapped up the win for City, with the three points leaving them 14 points behind league leaders Liverpool, who beat Wolverhampton 1-0 earlier in the day. Sheffield were themselves denied the opening goal on Sunday after VAR adjudged Lys Mousset to be offside, with Blades coach Chris Wilder feeling his side have been regularly hard done by this season. “Yet again we had another goal disallowed by VAR, that’s about eight or nine over the weekend, this is not a situation helping the game and the small margins,” Wilder told BBC Sport. “But I will leave that for everyone else to talk about because I have said too much about it.”Sheffield have had five goals ruled out by VAR in the Premier League this season, more than any other side in the competition. On City’s opener, Wilder added that he’s adamant a mistake was made and that the referee should have made the “sensible decision” to disallow the goal. last_img read more