Opposition MP Alfred Ngaro says he voted against the Green Party's medicinal cannabis bill because he saw it as a backdoor to legalising marijuana, which he says is a gateway to harder drugs.
The bill, put forward by new MP Chloe Swarbrick, was heavily defeated earlier this week, 73 votes to 47.
National list MP Alfred Ngaro, who is based in Te Atatu, says he voted against Swarbrick's bill because it went too far.
"She can politicize it but I would like her to go on the streets of our communities and ask the people in which marijuana and cannabis have had a detrimental effect, the gangs that are out there and people say that the addiction started with marijuana and then they get up to methamphetamine and all sorts of things."
Ngaro says the bill would have allowed people to grow marijuana in their backyards "like silverbeet".
"When you're at the heart of what hurts our communities, it's a different story."
Other Pacific MPs who voted against the bill were Labour's Jenny Salesa, Poto Williams and 'Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki.
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National MP Alfred Ngaro. Photo/ PRN.