Chlöe Swarbrick labels Paula Bennett’s undecided stance on cannabis legalisation a 'cynical political move'

Green Party drug reform spokeswoman Chlöe Swarbrick has described National's Paula Bennett as a "middle-man" for her non-committal stance on the 2020 cannabis referendum.

The pair debated laws around cannabis on TVNZ1's Breakfast today with Ms Swarbrick labelling Ms Bennett's stance on the issue, a "cynical political move".

Yesterday Ms Bennett, the National Party deputy leader, was appointed the party's drug reform spokesperson and she said she’s undecided on which way she will vote in the 2020 referendum on legalising cannabis.

"I understand that you are attempting to position yourself as the middle-man here, and that means not taking a stance either way, but if I may put it to you, that seems a lot like a little bit of a cynical political move which I think belittles and degrades the tone of the debate," Ms Swarbrick said during the Breakfast debate today.

Ms Swarbrick said she understood the "level of skepticism" coming from Ms Bennett and said she would like to see drugs eradicated from the planet, but that wasn't going to happen.

However, Ms Swarbrick hit-out at Ms Bennett's evidence she discussed on Breakfast as an "outlier report" which had been "debunked numerous times."

Ms Bennett referenced cases in the US and Canada of more young people turning up to emergency departments with drug problems, as well as an increase in drug-related car crashes in places where cannabis has been legalised.

"Let's make sure that we're putting all of the arguments out on the table that we are looking at the evidence that we can from other jurisdictions. I don't have all the answers - I'd like them before I vote, " Ms Bennett said.

In her new role as drug reform spokesperson Ms Bennett said she's gathering evidence from overseas and New Zealand to present to the public so people can make an informed decision.

"I'm relatively open-minded but it scares me, and it should. I've got kids, I've got kids I don't want dating people that are addicted."

Your playlist will load after this ad

The two drug reform spokeswomen went head to head on TVNZ1’s Breakfast. Source: 1 NEWS