Politicians in countries where pot is prohibited typically respond to cannabis-related questions with answers in the vein of, “I didn’t inhale.” Not so New Zealand MP Clare Curran.
Curran openly discussed her arrest for cannabis possession during her “punk hippie” past in a live interview this week. The Dunedin South MP expanded on the situation while speaking with Critic – Te Arohi editor Sinead Gill.
“I had a feeling you might ask me this,” Curran said, explaining that the arrest took place “quite some decades ago” during her rebellious youth.
Curran relayed that law enforcement busted her for possession of “less than a gram” of weed, and she paid a fine of NZ$50 for the infraction.
“I did smoke dope, as we used to call it then,” Curran said. “Not a lot, but I used to smoke it for period pain.”
Although medical marijuana has been federally legal in New Zealand since 2018, adult-use cannabis is currently prohibited. That, however, may change this year.
Kiwi voters will have the opportunity to have their say in a referendum on the legalization of the drug during the federal election this Sept. 19. Although the vote has not yet been held, politicians have released draft cannabis legislation, including purchase limits and supply details if legalization gains the country’s approval.
As for Curran, Gill asked her if Curran thought she’d sold out since her “punk hippie” days. “I don’t know if I have ever sold out to the man to be honest,” she said. “It’s got me into trouble a few times.”
Fortunately for Curran, the admission — which could be construed as controversial in what some see as a socially conservative country — shouldn’t affect her career. The MP has chosen not to run for re-election later this year.
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Written by Emma Spears