16 Nov 2012

Tahoeraa Party in French Polynesia opposes legalising cannabis to protect youth

5:25 pm on 16 November 2012

The Tahoeraa Huiraatira party in French Polynesia says cannabis should remain illegal to protect young people.

The ruling Tavini Huiraatira party in the country is calling for public debate on cannabis use.

The Vice-president of Tahoeraa and a member of the French Parliament, Eduoard Fritch, says cannabis related crime and abuse of the drug is affecting society.

He says many young people have been hospitalised after using cannabis while drinking alcohol and describes it as catastrophic.

"The objective is to protect the young people because for the moment this drug is forbidden here. We cannot plant and commercialise this product here. But it's sure that there is a lot of cannabis planting here in Tahiti or in the archipelagos and we are fighting to destroy the plantations."

Eduoard Fritch says police can do more to combat cannabis related crime but with support from parents and the wider community.