'To legalise is to normalise': School's cannabis message raises eyebrows

A Catholic school in Ponsonby has drawn criticism for erecting a billboard urging people to “say no” in an upcoming referendum on liberalising cannabis law.

In a photo uploaded on Reddit, a sign outside St Paul’s College says: “To legalise is to normalise, say NO”.

A Reddit user wrote: “Isn’t it illegal for a high school to push political opinions on students?”

Other concerned readers have contacted the Herald saying the school shouldn’t be pushing a political agenda on its school community.

According to the Ministry of Education’s website, boards of trustees can allow billboards on school grounds for “general, not political, advertising” only.

“You must have an agreement in place before the billboard goes up,” the website reads.

The ministry says while schools can display material encouraging staff and parents to vote, a state agencies schools must be politically neutral and “can’t encourage electors to vote or not vote for specific parties, policies or candidates”.

The sign outside St Paul's College. Photo / Reddit
The sign outside St Paul’s College. Photo / Reddit

During the upcoming general election, voters will be faced with a referendum on whether or not the recreational use of cannabis should be legal.

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