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Legalize it!

Written By: - Date published: 9:55 am, January 12th, 2019 - 51 comments
Categories: class war, democratic participation, drugs, Ethics, Media, Politics, polls, Social issues, workers' rights - Tags: , , ,

Most Kiwis are in favour of legalizing Marijuana, according to a new poll reported on NewsHub.*

New Zealand medicinal cannabis company Helius Therapeutics commissioned the poll. Executive director Paul Manning says it will be encouraging for the many New Zealanders who support the liberalisation of recreational cannabis use.

“From this survey, it appears a majority of New Zealanders will vote yes at the 2020 referendum,” Manning says.

“It’s also encouraging for us to see an overwhelming 81 percent of Kiwis continue to support the legal production of medicines from cannabis.

“This very strong support for medicinal use reflects other poll results we’ve seen calling for widespread access to cannabis for therapeutic purposes.”

However, not every one is convinced. Family Fist’s national director Bob McCoskrie, who is leading opposition to the 2020 referendum says the poll is “simply not robust or reliable”.

I guess McCroskie prefers smack.

The voter breakdown is interesting:

Agreement by age:

  • 18 – 24 years: 68%
  • 25 – 34 years: 75%
  • 33 – 44 years: 72%
  • 45 – 54 years: 58%
  • 55 – 64 years: 58%
  • 65 – 74 years: 30%
  • 75yrs & over: 37%

A few grumpy pensioners, but the older they get, the more they seem to value the therapeutic value of herb.

By political leaning (Yes/No):

  • ACT:        49% / 26%
  • Green:     84% / 14%
  • Labour:   63% / 17%
  • Nat:         33% / 48%
  • NZF:        56% / 26%

I wouldn’t have picked NZ First as being in favour, but apparently so. Also interesting that ACT’s ‘personal liberty’ theories only go so far in practice.

And what a dilemma for the Nats! If they publicly oppose a Yes vote in the referendum, they risk alienating potential voters by being seen as squares, maaan.

Ironic given that their leader is a dope.

I’m with the late Peter Tosh on the referendum:

Doctors smoke it
Nurses smoke it
Judges smoke it
Even the lawyer do
So you got to …

Legalize it!

 

*(Tip of the TS titfer to Dennis Frank).

 

51 comments on “Legalize it!”

  1. solkta 1

    The important thing now is that the gummint come up with a good model for legalisation and have the legislation passed before the election so that it is very clear for people what they are voting for.

    • Dennis Frank 1.1

      I’m inclined to agree, but there’s an equally good counter-argument. Dunno if you have been following the various threads on Public Address in recent months, but a strong body of opinion prefers simplicity.

      The basic idea is the most voters are simple-minded, so give them a simple question. Legalise or not? Informed choice theory presumes enough decades have passed for most voters to feel they are sufficiently informed to choose.

      Then, representative democracy theory tells us that a referendum vote in favour of legalisation empowers representatives to vote in favour of appropriate legislation. The devil will work his way into the details of that, in the minds of those who design and write the law.

      • greywarshark 1.1.1

        Basic information,should be available on flyers and advertisements weeks before and to be read before voting. Facts about the present failure and brief reasons. Facts about the expected advantages and the expected rise in stats of users who can come out from cover.

        Set out with bullet points in honest fashion and underneath what it is costing the country in solid dollars, untaxed earnings by sellers, and ill health from overuse or degraded ingredients.

      • solkta 1.1.2

        I don’t think just asking “legalise yes/no” is simple at all. Clearly the drug will not be fully legalised as in no controls at all. And at the other end of the scale there is not a clear line between legalising and decriminalising.

        What exactly would be legalised? Having a quite smoke at home? Smoking in public places like at a park or the beach? Buying at fat cone at a bar along with ya vodka shots? And how would the supply be controlled? Cannabis clubs? Grow your own? Buy it at the bottle store? Special cannabis shops? At the supermarket?! What would the age limit be?

        While it is clear most people see the need to change the law, many will still want reassurance as to the details. Those strongly in support will want reassurance that the changes go far enough. There are many people out there in the don’t-vote community who will only take this seriously if it has a clear and binding outcome.

        Not having the specifics sorted would i think make it difficult to make the referendum binding.

        Also, getting on and drafting the law would mean less delay as it would take effect immediately after the election. This change has been too long coming. This would also make it hard for National to scuttle the thing or water it down on the slim chance that they form the next government. They would have to pass legislation to delete the bill already passed.

        • Dennis Frank 1.1.2.1

          There’s been much discussion of these details in the lobbying and design forums. I’m inclined to agree with you in regard to the merits of a prescriptive design for the referendum, but the outline of the alternative I posted ought to inform you why so many prefer simplicity in the referendum question.

          Essentially, the divide is between people who want a principled choice and people who want to vote for well-designed legislation. As I pointed out, representative democracy was designed to cater for the first crowd. It was deliberately designed not to cater for the second crowd. That’s the reality we’re stuck in.

          The front-running progressive lobby groups seem to have coalesced around two questions: one for civil rights and one for commerce. I don’t have them handy, but google has relevant search results: cannabis reform nz, legalisation cannabis nz, legalise marijuana nz – one cannot assume they will list the same websites, of course!

          • solkta 1.1.2.1.1

            It is still representative democracy as only one option for law change will be offered, and this will have been formulated by the representatives.

            • Dennis Frank 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Yes, that’s true. It remains to be seen how much progressive MPs go along with the consensus of reformists…

  2. ropata 2

    Yes. Police ignore cannabis use.

    Peter Dunne has a lot to answer for. Ever since he outlawed pseudoephedrine, illegal analogues of party pills and cannabis have regularly killed young Kiwis.

    Fuck the War on Drugs

  3. greywarshark 3

    Be practical Labour Coalition – legalise or de-criminalise – whatever wise counsel and recovered or controlled users recommend. Just do it as well as regarding it as a biosecurity threat or something, so that tonnes of the stuff can’t be imported. Get together with leading gangs and see if they are willing to contract to grow to a standard.

    • ropata 3.1

      “Get together with gangs” ?!?
      No thanks. One huge benefit of ending Prohibition was the removal of criminal thugs from the supply chain, and ending their lucrative income stream. These are not good people.

      • greywarshark 3.1.1

        ropata
        I agree. But they are set in their ways, have structure, and have purpose. What will they take up to replace their income stream? The country is basically diseased at its core, no thriving internal domestic business structure, and pockets of groups, iwi, working to limit the spread of apathy and anger, but only so much available work for NZs.

        Gang members need something to do; can they turn to horticulture, tame, adapt themselves to work at a useful business where they can get respect and money. Could they cope with that after living a defiant, disobedient, outlaw lifestyle. And all gangs aren’t the same – could some manage it and not others? Why shouldn’t the ones who want to try not be given the chance because other gangs are embedded in their ‘wild west ways’?

        The researcher who did a sociological study of gangs might like to put some ideas forward about this.
        Dr Jarrod Gilbert Sociologist – Jarrod Gilbert Home Page
        http://www.jarrodgilbert.com/
        He is currently writing a book on murder and he writes a bloody great blog. … ​If you’re looking for some help with research or expert evidence feel free to drop … on gangs or my book Patched: The History of Gangs in New Zealand go here or …

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/74576543/null

        Book
        http://www.press.auckland.ac.nz/en/browse-books/all-books/books-2013/Patched-The-History-of-Gangs-in-New-Zealand.html
        Based on ten years of research among gangs, Patched is the first major history of gang life in New Zealand. Jarrod Gilbert traces the story from the bodgies and widgies of the 1950s, through the rise of the Hells Angels and other ‘bikie’ gangs in the 1960s, the growth of the Mongrel Mob and Black Power in the 1970s and on to shifts in gang activity around drugs and organised crime over the last ten years. Throughout, Gilbert brings us the gang members, the police and the politicians in their own gripping and gritty words.

        In this violent and sometimes horrifying book, Jarrod Gilbert takes readers for the first time inside a tough but revealing part of New Zealand life….

        Author
        Jarrod Gilbert spent ten years with New Zealand gangs researching this book. He received a University of Canterbury Doctoral Scholarship and a C. Wright Mills Award, earning his PhD in sociology in 2010. Gilbert now conducts independent research, lectures at the University of Canterbury and is frequently sought by the media to comment on gangs.

        Winner, People’s Choice Award, New Zealand Post Book Awards 2013

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1

          I read, sometime ago, that many gang members belong to gangs simply because they don’t feel that they belong anywhere else.

          By being open and welcoming to them maybe many would ‘return’.

      • Anno1701 3.1.2

        Most of these gangsters are fundamentally more honest and less of a danger to society than the suits that will replace them if ganja is corporatised

      • Tamati Tautuhi 3.1.3

        Gangs like the Chinese Triads, Hells Angels, Mongrel Mob, Filthy Few & the Head Hunters are sometimes not particularly nice people especially if you owe them money for drugs you have bought from them, just IMHO.

        • ropata 3.1.3.1

          The gangs threaten people’s lives and families and profit from misery. I have no respect for this soppy wet liberal view that we just need to love each other and sing Kumbaya.

  4. I think the aspect of legalizing something that people are already doing is important. I really can’t see great hordes going yay now I might try it – lol – you like, you not like… already.

  5. joe90 5

    Pleased to see Chlöe Swarbrick realises that the venture capitalists eyeing up the industry will almost certainly move to exclude those with experience.

    People with previous cannabis convictions should be able to supply legal medicinal cannabis and, if recreational use became legal, be offered a clean slate, Green MP Chloe Swarbrick says.

    But the National Party say only “fit and proper persons” should manufacture legal cannabis.

    Swarbrick’s comments follow an email exchange – released to the National Party under the Official Information Act – showing that the Greens had asked Ministry of Health officials to look at proposals for the medicinal cannabis legislation, including one that would “allow individuals with previous drug convictions to manufacture cannabis”.

    The Greens’ proposal never came before the House, but that door has not closed.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12188844

    • Anno1701 5.1

      Once legal people with convictions on there record should have them expunged, how can you reasonably be penalised for something that isn’t a crime?

      • SHG 5.1.1

        Once legal people with convictions on there record should have them expunged, how can you reasonably be penalised for something that isn’t a crime?

        Please tell me more about the Nuremberg Trials

        • Anno1701 5.1.1.1

          Nice false equivalency there. I really don’t think genocide and floriculture belong in the same sentence, You feel the same way about people convicted of homosexuality before it was legalised?

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    I wouldn’t have picked NZ First as being in favour, but apparently so. Also interesting that ACT’s ‘personal liberty’ theories only go so far in practice.

    To be honest, I’m not surprised by either of these.

    NZ1st may be a bit of a gerontocracy but they do seem to look at what works to at least some degree.

    As for ACT, well, Scratch a libertarian and find an authoritarian. They’re very much in favour of rich people doing what they like and everyone else doing what the rich people tell them to do.

    • greywarshark 6.1

      Like that summary of ACT types. They are types actually, not people with really functioning brains.

    • Tamati Tautuhi 6.2

      ACT Seymour scratching his head with one hand and scratching his arse with the other ?

  7. greywarshark 7

    However, not every one is convinced. Family Fist’s national director Bob McCoskrie, who is leading opposition to the 2020 referendum says the poll is “simply not robust or reliable”

    His job depends on keeping an unrelenting line on cannabis. It keeps him on his perch, and the important, solemn job of being the favourite go-to conservative on drugs for the media.

    His theme song:

    Do nothing till you hear from me
    And you never will…
    If you should take the words of others..
    I haven’t a chance.

  8. ropata 8

    Smearing a citizen engaging the democratic process is not a good look for the Left. McCroskrie is perfectly within his rights to express his values and conscience.

    • greywarshark 8.1

      ropata
      How can you say McCroski is being smeared. Fact – he is a go to person for the media. Fact – he has a perch from which he looks down and criticises others who want drug/drugs decriminalised. I question your version of free speech ropata, I thought you were more concerned about ordinary people getting a better deal than this. Seems I was wrong. I do recognise that I can be wrong about some things. Can you also, ropata?

      • ropata 8.1.1

        Yes you can be wrong about some things.

        TRP called him “family fist” and said that he “prefers smack”. His front lawn has been targeted by activists in the past in a clear intimidation tactic.

        I support decriminalisation, but freedom of speech and a proper democratic process is actually more important than some stoners’ need for weed.

    • Dennis Frank 8.2

      True, but when he crosses the ethical line and issues disinformation then he becomes a valid target of criticism, eh?

      “The poll had a maximum margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent at a 95 percent confidence level”. Note that he asserts that it is not robust or reliable without providing any evidence to back up his claim – unless he did and Newshub failed to include it in their report.

      On the face of it, the poll meets normal scientific standards because it uses the same margin of error and confidence level as a political poll, right? So it looks like he is trying get away with unethical conduct.

  9. RedLogix 9

    Sighs … this debate will go on until we understand why people self-medicate with drugs.

    The ‘war on drugs’ was doomed to be a miserable, cruel failure because it never addressed the root causes.

    Yet everyone who claims drugs did them ‘no harm’ cannot measure what ‘might have been’ had they not used them. Every choice has consequences.

    I made a decision decades ago to avoid all drugs, including alcohol. And here I am still working damn nearly at retirement in a high tech, high stress roles that involve 14 hour days for weeks on end in remote locations, commissioning big machines and plant worth hundreds of millions of dollars for demanding project managers who expect miracles on a daily basis.

    I’m fairly sure this wouldn’t be on the table if drugs/alcohol had been a regular part of my adult life. It’s just anecdata I know, and n=1. But it’s my view for what it’s worth.

    Maybe a more evolved society, maybe decades or hundreds of years into the future will have a better collective understanding and outlook on this question. But for now there is no silver bullet; every individual gets to face up to the role drugs will play in their life, their relationship to their unique genetics and physiological make-up, plus their own life experiences. It’s something everyone gets to take personal responsibility for and is best left to the individual conscience.

    This seems to be the experience of those countries which have decriminalised; although I’d like to see more data on their outcomes over a longer period of time. The unanswered question is this; if someone chooses to abuse drugs/alcohol to the point where they become a problem/cost to other people … how do the rest of us respond?

    • greywarshark 9.1

      The thing to include in your thinking Red Logix, is where and how do these people get their drugs from? Are they from a culture in which drugs are embedded? Did they buy them from people and a company that enriched itself on people drinking till all hours, to excess. Probably. Myers is one, and a number of our upper crust have beer or wine-flavoured meat in their pies. But then they can buy kits and make their own which is a great skill and can result in many enjoyable conversations with other taste connosieurs? and may not, but can lead to heavy drinking only at home, and more cheaply.

      In NZ the colonists brought their love of the drug alcohol with them. There is a love-hate relationship about booze and some people grow up handling life without it, lucky you didn’t start, and some like to have a beer/wine/port/sherry/spirits in hand at every possible occasion. Maori were seduced by drug (alcohol) to give up many of their values and resources.

      Alcoholics are hooked on to the surface easy-going persona, of the habitual drinker, nothing fazes them. Even when they can’t manage life and their own bodily functions, if they can make excuses for not being in a happy place all the time and blame someone else, they will. It’s basically whether you can bullshit yourself so as not to see anything too clearly, or whether you can manage your way through the problems and uncertainties to succeed at your projects as you have done Red Logix.

      Perhaps we should be allowed a short time of irresponsibility before we die when we do bloody well what we like after having fretted and trained and responsible and dependable and kind and worthy all one’s life. Then let it rip!

      • RedLogix 9.1.1

        Yes alcohol has always been the 300 kg silverback in the room when it comes to any discussion about drugs in the Anglosphere. We have a long history with it; going back to medieval times at least when fermented beers and brews where pretty much the only safe liquids to drink.

        But the sad fact is that it takes out around 5 – 10 % of the population. It’s a terrible price to pay.

        I’m thinking of a brother-in-law, a decent bloke, skilled and hard-working, good-hearted and talented in many ways … but his life-long relationship with boozing has defined who he is and placed a tight little fence around what he might have achieved. By contrast on the rare occasions I drink, I’ll have 2-3 glasses, enough to relax, then I stop. If I go past that I know either I’ll fall asleep or hurt too much the next day to function effectively.

        The difference is largely genetic I think; I certainly don’t put it down to willpower or moral superiority. There is so much about this we really don’t understand well.

        • Cinny 9.1.1.1

          RL, re alcohol… the brainwashing into society….

          Looking for an anniversary card for my parents and so many had pictures of champagne. Manufacturing consent.

          Made me reflect again about the spider web of companies attached to the liquor industry.

          Was like, girls check this out, here’s how they try to brainwash you into normalising alcohol.

        • Jim 9.1.1.2

          “The difference is Genetic” I agree totally some can handle alcohol some can’t.
          From a personal perspective I have found that Marijuana helps too fight against what is possibly a pre disposed genetic desire to drink far too much.

    • Dennis Frank 9.2

      The question of how much any particular drug impairs any particular person is a fraught one. Politicians using the `one size fits all’ approach make it worse, and they still infest our democracy like cockroaches. On the left as well as on the right.

      I found cannabis had an upside more often than a downside in my high-tech, high-stress career. But I was always careful to use it similarly to a homeopathic. A problem with blood-tests is they apparently can’t differentiate between long-term storage of thc in the body & any recent intake catalysing the brain.

      • RedLogix 9.2.1

        I get that; to be crystal clear I somewhat reluctantly accept that drug use is best left to the individual conscience.

        Although this also means that the consequences are also best left to individual to pick up the tab on as well.

        • Dennis Frank 9.2.1.1

          Yes, I agree. The problem for public policy is what to do about victims of chosen lifestyles. In this case, those in whom self-abuse has become prevalent. Those incapable of self-management, and also unable to pay the cost of health consequences.

          • RedLogix 9.2.1.1.1

            And at that point it’s not hard to see the moderate right asking the hard question “why should everyone else pay for their poor choices?”

            I pose that as a devils advocate question; but in terms of natural justice it’s a hard one to avoid. And one we’d better have a good answer to.

            • Dennis Frank 9.2.1.1.1.1

              Totally. I don’t feel adequate in regard to answering. My best guess is that we still feel okay about following the christian ethic, despite being secular. Look after everyone, even losers.

              I bail out when it comes to serial killers. That when I revert to the Auckand Island solution that I terrified the Greens with long ago!

            • greywarshark 9.2.1.1.1.2

              But Red Logix – you are thinking like a machine. The people who have become addicted, affected badly by drugs or whatever can actually, if one wants to know, be modelled in a system that will demonstrate that a certain percentage will tend towards drugs, looking at past history, proximity to supplies etc. The machine approach can work out the variables and show that in a certain number of a certain make-up, a certain percentage will be vulnerable. This is not just a matter of choice, it is a tendency that has been exacerbated by events and standard of living.

              It is just unreasonable to look at failung people and condemn them for poor choices. Some people can come through extremely hard times and survive and rise, some can’t. Sometimes the ones that fail are those who had everything going for them. A period of not having doting parents and everything laid out for them can be very salutary.

              They are part of life, and while you know that you are superior to them in most things, it is wise to remember the path and supports or lucky chances that led you to where you are.

  10. Sabine 10

    Labour will not find the spine nor the guts to push meaningful cannabis reform, The Greens will be missing in action ( i did vote for them – but it seems i voted for a ghost party), and National once they realise that they are still the Party with no mates and not enough voters to win even a baking contest will promise to legalize weed or decriminalize personal use (at a minimum) and thus will have good chances of winning an election because of it. This ‘reform’ is Labours and the Greens to fuck it up.

    to those that say why do people use it?

    I guess the correct answer is because they want to be high, forget the current day to day misery, might get a good night sleep without pain, etc etc. Not that any of our current/past/future overlords were to give a dime about such things.

  11. bwaghorn 11

    I was at a smoke free venue yesterday (plenty of booze )
    Will pot be allowed at these things as smokables? Or edibles.

    • Dennis Frank 11.1

      Good question. My guess is that users will be told to vamoose to the periphery of the group. Probably even further, if youngsters are present. Which they will happily accede to, having lived most of their lives on the margins…

      • bwaghorn 11.1.1

        It needs to be very clear to the public what exactly we a voting for in the referendum.

      • millsy 11.1.2

        Smoke free is smoke free, regardless of what is being smoked.

        Also, if and when pot is decriminalized, I am picking that social mores will kick in and pot smoking in social and public spaces will be more or less discouraged. Just as openly reading a porn magazine in a public park, or cracking open a bottle of beer on a Monday morning.

        • Dennis Frank 11.1.2.1

          Yeah, I think you’re right and I made the same point in different words. I have no problem with that outcome. It would be uncool to expect others to tolerate the smoke – even with a vapouriser it would be unreasonable to expect tolerance.

    • Cinny 11.2

      With an ‘edible’ you could eat it outside the event before you go in.

      An edible can take a little time to ‘come on’ maybe 20mins or so.

      The resulting high can last for hours depending on the strength.

      No need to mix it with heaps of alcohol.

      When will they have drinks for stoners at bars/clubs?

      That’s seriously missing.

      Nothing with vitamin C please to make the ‘high’ last.

      Knock back some orange juice to reduce or even stop the ‘high’.

      Pot of tea
      Glass of milk
      Milkshake
      Iced Coffee
      Chai

  12. Morrissey 12

    I presume, Te Reo, that you have read Redmer Yska’s splendid history of marijuana in this country. As well as Yska’s brilliant writing, there is a great picture of Thelonius Monk being interviewed on his N.Z. tour.

  13. ken 13

    People should be allowed to grow a few plants and possess marijuana.

  14. A 14

    Great news!!

    Finally progress on this front

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