Reeferendum madness

Written By: - Date published: 7:39 am, May 8th, 2019 - 121 comments
Categories: crime, drugs, national, paula bennett, Politics, same old national, Simon Bridges - Tags:

National thought it was onto a winner when it released a cabinet paper a couple of days ago about the cannabis referendum.  Instead of being the party of leaks it was able to claim that the Government also had a leak problem although the actual extent of the problem may not have been high.

And it thought that it could embarrass the Government by showing that the Government was not serious about the referendum because it did not support the once the referendum passes then the law that Parliament had already passed comes into force option in the cabinet paper.

Instead the Government has gone with option 3, that is the referendum will include a non-binding question accompanied by draft legislation.  But as confirmed by Jacinda Ardern in Parliament yesterday, the three Government parties have confirmed their agreement to respect the decision of the referendum and to vote in favour of the result.

There is a precedent for option 4, that is Parliament passes the law but it is conditional on an affirmative referendum vote.  This was the original MMP legislation.  But this was heavy duty electoral reform which Parliaments muck around with at their peril.  By way of contrast drug law has always been subject to political whim and there is no sign that this is going to change.

Andrew Geddis sums up the situation in this passage:

… Chloe Swarbrick’s admission there was “no consensus” on adopting this “legislate, then let the people endorse” approach indicates that one of the governing parties was loathe to publicly vote for a bill to permit cannabis legalisation in advance of any referendum. We needn’t speculate for too long on which party that might be, because I think it will have the words “New” “Zealand” and “First” in it.

Which places us in a (to my mind) less-than-ideal place. Having said that, let’s not overly catastrophise the issue, shall we?

Any wailing and gnashing of teeth that the announced process means the referendum result now will be “non-binding” seems entirely misplaced to me. There simply is no such thing as a truly “binding” referendum in our system of parliamentary supremacy, because any parliament may undo what a previous parliament has decided.

Even if the current parliament were to enact legislation to legalise cannabis, and even if this were to be approved of by voters at a referendum, the next parliament is entirely free as a legal matter to retain or repeal it. Just as the next parliament is entirely free as a legal matter to enact or ignore any bill that the public say they want to see become the law.

Any difference in the two situations is then politico-moral in nature, not legal.

If the referendum passes then what will National do?

They spent all day avoiding the question.  And no doubt they will be polling furiously to see if conservative voters otherwise supportive of Jacinda and Labour or even Winston and NZ First will switch because of the proposed reforms.

There is a cross party group in Parliament working which National has refused to engage in.  And yesterday the reason was declared.  Basically it involved Paula Bennett being bitchy.

From Radio New Zealand:

Mrs Bennett was asked whether she would participate, as National had refused to be part of the group that had been operating up until now.

The problem had been, she said, was the group was run by “Chloe [Swarbrick] and her mates”.

“I just don’t see how, with all respect, a junior member of Parliament that is not a part of government is the spokesperson on drug reform which could change the social fabric of this country.

“So if they’re serious about a cross-party, put a Cabinet minister in there and I will happily sit with them and any other Member of Parliament.”

And Simon Bridges started to talk about cannabis infused gummy bears.  Which brought on this example of interweb brilliance.

He was kicked out of Parliament yesterday essentially for being an idiot.  Not one National MP followed him.  It must be really lonely being leader of the opposition right now.

And the MPs have been asked the compulsory “have you ever smoked cannabis question” and the responses have gone from a traditional “no way no how” to “yes I tried it once or twice but I did not like it”.  Speaking as someone who grew up in South Auckland, went to University in the 1980s and then moved to West Auckland I am intrigued that they have lived such sheltered lives.

The topic is going to become intensely political and will have more than a minor effect on the next election in that it is expected to boost turnout. But do not expect a reasoned respectful discussion about what is best.

121 comments on “Reeferendum madness”

  1. Chris T 1

    "“I just don’t see how, with all respect, a junior member of Parliament that is not a part of government is the spokesperson on drug reform which could change the social fabric of this country."

     

    She has a point tbf

    • Rapunzel 1.1

      Does she? What was Ms Bennett doing at a similar age? Being a solo mother living off the tax payer, I suppose in some ways that defeats my argument but the young person is there and is part of the whole.

      I have issue that M Barry of all people is allowed to meddle with submissions about political interference in NZ especially as she is reported to have "religiously" ignored (went off and got coffee) while submissions opposed to her personal position were being made in the euthanasia submission process.

      The "young" person is not the final word on the conclusions just part of the process and that looking to the future is how it should be.

      "He referred questions to Barry, saying he had been told by the clerk that Barry had made the scheduling decision.
      Meanwhile, Barry said it was the responsibility of the clerk to schedule submitters and manage meeting times."
      "But the message from the clerk to the (currently recused) chair, Huo, seemed to contradict Barry’s statement. The text said the hearing had been postponed to the next sitting block by Barry."

      https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/05/08/573531/foreign-interference-inquiry-shambles-shows-issue-not-a-priority

      • Gorgeousness 1.1.1

        Well said, Rapunzel.  Bennett was a 'bludger' by her own definition.  National's 'wimmin' are not too much different from their 'menfolk' – myopic, self serving and ignorant.

    • WeTheBleeple 1.2

      Paula would have been outclassed at every step. 

      Paula is ambitious and devious. She'll avoid Chloe as long as is possible as Chloe would demolish her BS.

       

      • marty mars 1.2.1

        paula is very afraid of the youth – she knows they see her bullshit, her anger, and they know it for what it is – bluster to hide a terrified idiot.

    • I think her point is that there's no way in hell she's going to put herself in a situation where the press gallery delights in showing a "junior Member of Parliament" running rings around her and making her look stupid. 

      • woodart 1.3.1

        bennett is doing a good job by herself looking foolish . she is looking more and more like christine rankin . as the old saying go's "act your age, not your shoe size" spray on tans arent a good look …

    • Robert Guyton 1.4

      That's right, Chris; some old tusker should be fronting the cannabis issue.

    • Blazer 1.5

      just a word with new Minister in charge of climate change -Paula Bennett…'what do you know about climate change'?

      Bennett…'nothing'!

    • Stuart Munro. 1.6

      It is common, in organized hierarchies, for bolder steps to come from younger members, they have more to gain and less to lose. NZ used to lead the world on social issues of this kind, but we've fallen behind, held back by the halt and the lame (the Gnats and Treasury respectively). 

      Labour lack the intestinal fortitude for a CGT, so of course they'll leave the legalization issue in (to them) disposable hands. Paula has nothing to say on the matter, or she would have said it. The Gnats are waiting to see which way the public will jump every bit as spinelessly as the coalition.

      • solkta 1.6.1

        Labour have always been divided on this issue and don't have a policy. The Greens have always had a policy to change the law. Chloe is the spokesperson for it. The referendum was part of the Green-Labour agreement. So it is Chloe who is driving the thing. 

    • Siobhan 1.7

      tbf…most things that have changed the social fabric of NZ society haven't been lead by members of Parliament or members of the Government..so I'm not entirely sure what Bennetts point is really.

      Kate Sheppard, Dame Whina Cooper, Samuel Parnell,  S. P. Andrews, Don McMorland and Alan Ivory, Dr Frederick King…

    • michelle 1.8

      MMP chris the same as epsom voting for on person who had so much power with very little votes and got in his charter schools policy 

  2. vto 2

    National don't know what to do because they are conservatives and cannot see the future. They are incapable of leading and will not do anything until they see what the polls say.

    As always, the National Party will end up where the hippies were long ago, and where most of the community is already.

    Conservatives. They have such limited use.

    • Robert Guyton 2.1

       "the National Party will end up where the hippies were long ago"

      That's very encouraging!

    • woodart 2.2

      nailed it vto. conservatives are never leaders, only followers…..

  3. vto 3

    Did I see that initial polls had support for legalisation at 70-80%?

    • Dennis Frank 3.1

      I doubt it.  The current Newshub poll has support for personal use at 65%.  Dunno if their sample is sufficient, but if so the public mood in favour of progress is firming.

      In January, the Herald reported that "60 per cent of New Zealanders would vote to legalise cannabis for personal use in a referendum…  24 per cent would vote "no", and 16 per cent had no opinion."  https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12187654

  4. vto 4

    There needs to be a second referendum question running alongside the cannabis one to reduce the most real drug damage in New Zealand, as follows;

    "Should alcohol be criminalised in NZ?"

     

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 4.1

      because prohibition has obviously worked before with alcohol as it's working now with cannabis. 

       

      Idiot. 

    • So, cannabis needs to be decriminalised because criminalising recreational drug use promotes organised crime and exposes users to greater health risks, but alcohol should be criminalised because criminalisation would reduce harm from drugs?  You seem very, very confused….

      • Robert Guyton 4.2.1

        I think vto's question is designed to make people think obliquely. Vto is not an "idiot". Reflecting on alcohol's status would likely bring cannabis' present status into better focus.

        • Rapunzel 4.2.1.1

          Despite being an entire "novice" in regard to this the status and effects of alcohol have influenced my opinion, just because the use of that is normalised does not reduce the outcomes if it. I can't see one of my family/friends for who drinking is a fairly regular thing in their enjoyment of some events standing by an seeing that made illegal in any more ways than it is and I also can't imagine any more than might use cannabis at times all of a sudden taking it up.

          My concerns were particularly in regards to employment but people who drink on weekends etc manage to meet those obligations as I imagine do those who use cannabis. 

          As far as it goes for the damaging ends of either I can't see any if much difference. Try criminalising the use of alcohol entirely and see what would happen.

        • Tuppence Shrewsbury 4.2.1.2

          Prohibition doesn't work. Simple. there is no oblique thinking required.

          if it's harmful, legislate for controls. like minimum age purchasing. if it's not harmful, there is no need for controls.

          Making criminals out of craft beer drinkers and weed smokers is stupid. it puts otherwise law abiding citizens in harms way.

          Prohibition of alcohol led to an increase in ABV being consumed. the law didn't differentiate between types of alcohol as it doesn't between types of marijuana. 

          So calling for a parallel referendum on prohibition on alcohol is as stupid as not making it binding for cannabis. And i don't even smoke the stuff.

        • marty mars 4.2.1.3

          "Vto is not an "idiot". "

          lol bold statements require evidence please

          we need less restrictions not more imo

        • vto 4.2.1.4

          Yes that's right Robert, it was a tongue-in-cheek suggestion to highlight the hypocritical position of alcohol relative to cannabis. And its very real danger to society.

          Apologies to shrewsbury and others who I seem to have led to think I was being serious.

          Alcohol is deadly dangerous. Cannabis is piss-weak in comparison.

          • Psycho Milt 4.2.1.4.1

            Apologiies for not picking that up.  Yes, alcohol's coming in very handy in my comments to Kiwiblog readers on this subject – most of the war-on-drugs enthusiasts' comments could be ridiculed just by replacing the word 'marijuana' with 'alcohol' in them.  The cognitive dissonance is mind-boggling.

          • woodart 4.2.1.4.2

            its sad , vto, that you have to explain your leg-pulling. far too many on here are all too ready to be outraged. it seems to be the default position for some.

  5. Robert Guyton 5

    Reeferedum thoughts

    by Andrew Geddis

    "The Government's proposed model for the forthcoming referendum on marijuana legalisation isn't ideal. But the difference between it and the ideal really is pretty minimal."

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    The coalition is using both/and logic:  promoting a binding referendum that isn't binding.  Will it work?  Surprising perhaps, but I suspect it will.  They are calling it binding on the basis that the three parties in government have agreed to framing the referendum on the basis of three principles (freedom to use, grow & buy cannabis in a regulated market), and agreed to legislate the draft bill (yet to be written) into law if the public gives it the mandate.

    Barry Soper:  "The Justice Ministry's told the Beehive that for it to be binding there has to be referendum legislation that sets out the law that'll be automatically enacted in the event of a 'yes' vote.  And Parliament's clerk, the oracle of the process, says for a referendum to be binding legislation needs to be passed through the House with a section stipulating when the law comes into force after the vote's been taken.  The Government argues all parties have to sign up to the legislation because it's not possible to bind a future Parliament considering if there's a change of Government, all bets are off."  https://www.nzherald.co.nz//nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12228781&ref=clavis

    So that's why the legalistic view that the referendum will not be binding is technically correct.  If the coalition is defeated at the next election and National forms the next government, it will not be bound by the referendum outcome.

    Simon Collins reports "58 per cent supported decriminalising cannabis and 35 per cent opposed it" in a "UMR survey of 1000 New Zealanders" six months ago.  Hosking's attempt to stem the tide of public opinion seems Don Quixoteish. 

    There's also evidence that the divide between perception and reality is afflicting conservatives severely:  "Two-thirds (63 per cent) of those who supported decriminalisation correctly believed that that was the majority view.  But only 35 per cent of those who opposed decriminalisation believed they were in the minority. Another third incorrectly thought they were in the majority and a third were unsure."  https://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=12228759

    • solkta 6.1

      basis of three principles (freedom to use, grow & buy cannabis in a regulated market),

      No, the announcement said there would be provisions for limited home growing. I was surprised at this and it shows a win for the Greens.

      If the coalition is defeated at the next election and National forms the next government, it will not be bound by the referendum outcome.

      National would not be bound by it anyway. In our system parliament is supreme so they could just repeal it on day one.

      • SPC 6.1.1

        I would have thought freedom to grow cannabis covered growing for personal use as well as growing for legal supply to others. 

        • solkta 6.1.1.1

          I'm not sure what you mean. Under whatever model a license will be required to grow commercially, so very limited freedom there. Growing for personal use is a separate issue.

          • SPC 6.1.1.1.1

            The three principles were freedom to use, freedom to grow (not just with a license) and freedom to buy in a regulated market. 

            • solkta 6.1.1.1.1.1

              It doesn't read that way to me.

               

              • SPC

                If policy is in accord with those three principles, and includes growing for personal use, that is how it was supposed to be understood.

    • SPC 6.2

      Tactics used to stop the CGT are already being used in opposition. Hosking lite on the one hand and the premium version from John Roughan the former editorial writer – trying out divide and conquer, posing the original camapigners for drug reform as libertarians and the lot pushing this legislative change as nanny state controlled supply authoritarians. 

      I did not read the full article of course, but the approach was likely designed to get those opposed to state regulation and control to oppose it and those opposed to people being able to grow their own also opposing it (the methodology which blocked the referendum on a republic in Oz).

  7. millsy 7

    National really are a bunch of prudes.

    They will get more prudish when the Asian and South African evangalicals and the incel Peterson fanboys come up through the ranks.

     

    Their vision for NZ is a puritanical hell hole, where anything fun is outlawed.

    • woodart 7.1

      Ive always been fascinated at the crossover point with conservatives ,where prudishness meets personal freedoms. very uncomfortable bedfellows .

      • Shadrach 7.1.1

        Sound objections to decriminalising marijuana for recreational use can be expressed without any recourse to moral arguments.

        And even for those of us with libertarian leanings, personal freedoms are not without limits.

        Conservatism actually coexists far more comfortably with personal liberty than leftist ideology.

        • woodart 7.1.1.1

          is that because conservative principles are always saleable, er, negotiable? …SEAT FOR SALE $100,000,  cash and carry, see natforsale.org

          • Shadrach 7.1.1.1.1

            All principles are for sale – in the hands of politicians.  Progressives sell out just as quickly as conservatives.   I would hope we could have a discussion about principles in the hands of ethical men and women.

        • millsy 7.1.1.2

          Whatever.

          As LGBT people in Poland if they have "personal freedom", given they get harrassed and beaten every day.

          • Shadrach 7.1.1.2.1

            Strange that you use Poland as an example.  In Poland LGBT people have protection under the law.  That is liberty.  Unlike many Islamic countries where LGBT people actually have their personal liberty restricted under the law.

    • Cinny 7.2

      The nat's would outlaw everything except their drug of choice, which they made sure was available at the supermarket.

       

  8. Shadrach 8

    Any referendum will be based on legislation not assembled by a national led government, so they have no obligation to commit to being bound by the results. 

    • Robert Guyton 8.1

      They'd give it the flick. If their polling showed advantage.

      • Shadrach 8.1.1

        Ah a cynic.  But yes I am too.  Politicians are all self serving.  It's DNA.

        • Robert Guyton 8.1.1.1

          1st and 2nd sentence, reasonable statements, 3rd and 4th, just nonsense.

        • gsays 8.1.1.2

          " Politicians are all self serving.  It's DNA. "

          Sue Bradford, Nandor Tanzcos, Laila Harre all make a mockery of your statement.

          Just a coincidence they are of a left persuasion.

          • Shadrach 8.1.1.2.1

            Nah, they are all just as bad.  

            • Robert Guyton 8.1.1.2.1.1

              No, they are not at all as you portray them, as most here will know. What's the purpose of your sowing the seeds of doubt and discontent here, Shadrach? You might think you are landing blows, but really, readers here are thinking, he blows!

              • Shadrach

                There is a delusion abroad that left wing politicians somehow hold to a higher ethical standard than those from the right.  Apart from the obvious historical evidence to the contrary, my experience of politicians generally is that they have a personal ideological agenda that taints their objectivity.  These are not 'seeds of doubt and discontent'; they are presenting a realistic view of those who seek to lead, and one reason why I support less government than more.

                • In Vino

                  Shadrach, that is convenient for you if nothing else. It shelters you from having to question your own values, and enables you to dismiss anything any left-wing politician says without you having to even think about it.

                  I call it cowardice.

                  • Shadrach

                    What makes you assume I dismiss anything any left wing politician says?  In fact what makes you think I dismiss anything any politician says?

                    • In Vino

                      Your facile comment at 8.1.1

                    • Shadrach

                      I said they were self serving. Why would you assume from that I dismiss anything they say?

                    • In Vino

                      Because you have said that they are all self-serving.  That means they cannot be trusted.

                      But now anything they say may suddenly be golden wisdom? 

                      Give us a break..  You are prevaricating.

                    • Shadrach

                      "Because you have said that they are all self-serving.  That means they cannot be trusted."

                      I know many people I don't trust, yet I don't dismiss everything they say.  You appear to be quite naive.

                    • In Vino

                      More prevarication. at 8.1.1.2.1 you write, "No, they are all just as bad."

                      Now you pretend to value parts of what they say.

                      Please try to be less bombastic and limit the negativity of your original statements if you are going to retract later on when taken to task.

                    • Shadrach

                      It is entirely possible for me to take notice of some things said by people I consider 'untrustworthy'.  I might not agree with everything or even anything they say, but that doesn't mean I dismiss it without consideration.

                      This really is a simple concept.

                    • McFlock

                      Trust has nothing to do with agreement, and everything to do with reliability.

                      If someone is completely untrustworthy, then what they say has a 50:50 chance of being true. Their claims of fact are primarily worthless. There might be a secondary value in them tipping their hand to their motives or plans, but even that can't be relied on. 

                    • Shadrach

                      "Trust has nothing to do with agreement, and everything to do with reliability."

                      "If someone is completely untrustworthy, then what they say has a 50:50 chance of being true. "

                      So it is reasonable for me to not dismiss everything said by someone I do not trust. In Vino seems to be struggling to understand this.

                    • McFlock

                      So probability ain't your strong point, is it.

                      If they were completely reliable, 100% accurate, you can rely on their claims. "I support Bridges" – Bridges has the support of that person.

                      If they were reliably incorrect, you can be sure what they say is false – which can also be a useful thing to observe. "I support Bridges" – now you know they do not support Bridges.

                      But 50:50? It's useless.

                    • Shadrach

                      I don't believe trust is inextricably linked to reliability at all.  It is possible to trust an entirely unreliable person, because trust can be a subjective assessment. But I ran with your (imperfect) material.

                      You said "If someone is completely untrustworthy, then what they say has a 50:50 chance of being true. "

                      So, even if I don’t trust a person, why would I dismiss everything they say?

                    • McFlock

                      Because what they say gives you no additional information. It might be true, it might not.

                      Let's say you're working with the sort of person who says whatever they think you want to hear. You have a checklist of tasks to get through together. They say all the tasks have been done. Because you can't trust them, you have to check each and every task yourself, even though there's a 50:50 chance everything has in fact been done.

                      Now, if you were working with someone you could trust to only lie (0:100, because they hate you and just want to piss you around at work, but are too stupid to do it properly), if they said "everything has been done" you knew at least one item had not been done.

                      If you worked with someone you could trust to tell the truth all the time (100:0), if they said everything was done, everything was done.

                      But 50:50 offers no information whatsoever. So it can be discarded with ease.

                    • Shadrach

                      “Because what they say gives you no additional information. It might be true, it might not.”

                      So it is reasonable to listen to them, on the basis that what they say may be true. Or may have value, depending on the context of what is being considered.

                    • McFlock

                      So you ask your colleague "has the power been turned off so I can hook up this expensive piece of hardware without frying it?"

                      Your colleague answers "yes".

                      Now, that might be true, but has an even chance of being false and the hardware will be fried.

                      So how does their answer provide you any useful information whatsoever? You still need to check the power yourself. It would be quicker to not ask them anything in the first place, and just do it yourself from the start.

                       

                    • Shadrach

                      "So how does their answer provide you any useful information whatsoever?"

                      It doesn't, necessarily.  But that doesn't mean I then take no notice of anything else that person says in the future about any subject.  An illustration…if Hitler were alive today I would not trust him.  But here's an interesting thing…Hitler was a strong opponent of smoking.  In fact his government banned smoking from many public spaces, and funded research on the effects of smoking on health.  So do I dismiss Hitler's views on smoking just because I don't trust him?

                    • McFlock

                      Yes.

                      His views on smoking are irrelevant to whether they match reality. It's the other sources, the ones that demonstrate whether he was correct or incorrect, that you pay attention to and from which you should draw your conclusions. You'll probably find he was antismoking because he saw a picture of Marx with a pipe. Any relation to reality is purely coincidental.

                      If someone is untrustworthy, then their claims are worthless until they talk about some subject area in which they have earned some level of trust.

                       

                    • Shadrach

                      "You'll probably find he was antismoking because he saw a picture of Marx with a pipe. Any relation to reality is purely coincidental."

                      So?  That doesn't mean we should dismiss his opinion, because whatever it's motivation, history showed him to be correct!

                      "If someone is untrustworthy, then their claims are worthless until they talk about some subject area in which they have earned some level of trust."

                      Untrustworthy?  Perhaps.  False?  Not necessarily.  Hitler proved that.

                    • McFlock

                      Your "not necessarily" and your "perhaps" are the point. Without even a "probably" or "probably not", his input on the matter is pointless.

                      The London sewers ended the cholera epidemics, even though they were designed to remove the smell that at that time was believed to be the cause of disease (hence "malaria"). Massive public works created an infrastructure that just happened to be the solution to the problem. That doesn't mean the "bad air" hypothesis should be considered as a root cause of every disease someone gets. Pharmac should not spend millions of dollars providing extractor fans for everyone's bedrooms in an effort to contain the measles outbreak..

                    • Shadrach

                      "Your "not necessarily" and your "perhaps" are the point. Without even a "probably" or "probably not", his input on the matter is pointless."

                      To you, maybe.  Not to me.  I wouldn't trust him to run a country, but when it came to smoking, he was on the money, so on that his input was far from pointless.

                    • McFlock

                      Is my clothes iron off or on at the moment? I want to go to bed soon without the house burning down, and apparently it would be reasonable for me to listen to your perspective on the matter, because you might be on the money.  

                    • Shadrach

                      "Is my clothes iron off or on at the moment? "

                      How would I know?  But ask me about a business decision you need to make and you'll get an informed response.

                      Hitler couldn’t be trusted to run a country, but he was right about smoking. And a few other things, BTW.

                    • McFlock

                      So to know if my iron is on, your contribution is worthless unless I know how you know.

                      But Hitler lucked out and was antismoking, so we should listen to his perspective on that even though we don't know how he came to that conclusion.

                      You're just a touch inconsistent there.

                    • Shadrach

                      "You're just a touch inconsistent there."

                      Not at all.  My argument is we should not dismiss everything someone says simply because we don't trust them.  Hitler was right about smoking.  Luck or otherwise is irrelevant (and that's debatable), he was right. And that is all that is required to have made listening to him on that one point alone worthwhile.

                    • McFlock

                      Hitler was right about smoking.  Luck or otherwise is irrelevant (and that's debatable), he was right. And that is all that is required to have made listening to him on that one point alone worthwhile.

                      And yet you regarded the question about whether the iron was switched on as silly, even though there was a 50:50 chance you'd be correct and therefore listening to you on that one point would have been worthwhile.

                      Your position relies on us knowing before the fact whether or not the untrustworthy person is actually making a true claim in this instance. Which means we have to verify it through other means. Which we would have to do anyway, without the untrustworthy person's input. So their claims do not add any information to our decision-making framework or affect our behaviour in relation to the issue at hand.

                      So why would you take any notice of them?

                       

                       

                       

                    • Shadrach

                      "And yet you regarded the question about whether the iron was switched on as silly, even though there was a 50:50 chance you'd be correct and therefore listening to you on that one point would have been worthwhile."

                      I didn't at all say it was silly.  I asked you 'how would I know', meaning it would be a strange thing for you to ask me.

                      “Your position relies on us knowing before the fact whether or not the untrustworthy person is actually making a true claim in this instance."

                      This is where you are so very wrong. How do I know whether their claim is true without listening to them? And even after listening to them, I might need to go away and do more research.

                      The citizens of germany had no idea whether Hitler was correct about smoking – that didn't mean they should just ignore him on that issue simply because they might have not trusted him to run their country.

                      Your approach seems to be that someone you do not trust has absolutely nothing of value to say. I reject that absolutely.

                    • McFlock

                      Why would it be a strange thing for me to ask? There's an even chance you'd be correct, and thus have a useful perspective on the matter..

                       

                       How do I know whether their claim is true without listening to them? And even after listening to them, I might need to go away and do more research.

                      No, after listening to them you would still need to go and do the research. Whereas if you just did the research, you'd have the information you want more quickly than if you stopped to listen to them.

                      The citizens of germany had no idea whether Hitler was correct about smoking – that didn't mean they should just ignore him on that issue simply because they might have not trusted him to run their country.

                      Yeah, it did. A stuck clock is correct twice a day, that doesn't mean that you should consult it to find out what time it is. Because even if it's correct, you'd still need a reliable clock to tell you the stuck clock works.

                       

                    • Shadrach

                      “Why would it be a strange thing for me to ask?”

                      Because I don’t use your clothes iron.  And you know I don’t.

                      “No, after listening to them you would still need to go and do the research. Whereas if you just did the research, you'd have the information you want more quickly than if you stopped to listen to them.”

                      But what if their perspective was knew to me?  There are many people in Germany who would be unlikely to have heard an anti-smoking perspective if not for Hitler.

                      “Yeah, it did. A stuck clock is correct twice a day, that doesn't mean that you should consult it to find out what time it is. Because even if it's correct, you'd still need a reliable clock to tell you the stuck clock works.”

                      That’s a clock.  You know it will be correct at least twice a day, but if it isn’t working you know it will be wrong at all other times.  A human is not a clock.  A human could be correct many times, even if they can’t be trusted.  Hitler was right about a number of things, but I wouldn’t trust him to run a country.

                    • McFlock

                      I don't know for sure what you know or how you know it. I just know that you might very well be correct if you gave an answer to the question "is my iron on?"

                      Similarly, you don't know what basis Hitler had for being anti-smoking. Maybe some Germans hadn't heard his perspectives on anti-semitism, either. So they hear he's antismoking and antisemitic. According to you, one of those is an observation that gives them some additional knowledge or benefit. The other is wrong. But they have no idea which one is wrong, just that hitler said it. So they need to look for unbiased sources, of which hitler is not one because he is untrustworthy.

                      They would do better to just generate a list of random items or people, and randomly assign "pro" or "anti" to each one. Then go and check it out themselves, rather than asking hitler.

                      New perspectives aren't of value if they are just a list of crap that has a 50:50 chance of being useful. But if you know the source is trustworthy, they might be worth listening to. Some people are more reliable than a stopped clock, others are as reliable as an unplugged digital clock. Either way, you never know whether an unreliable person or and unreliable clock is correct unless you check with a third party. So why bother with the intermediary.

                    • Shadrach

                      “I don't know for sure what you know or how you know it.”

                      Yes, you do.  Because you know I don’t live in your house.  You know I haven’t been in your house.  You have no reason to even pose the question to me.

                      “Similarly, you don't know what basis Hitler had for being anti-smoking.”

                      Yes, we do.  It was initially because he considered it a waste of money. 

                      “According to you, one of those is an observation that gives them some additional knowledge or benefit.”

                      No, Hitler’s anti-smoking campaign may have stimulated some to do more research about something they previously hadn’t considered. Which is an illustration of why it is silly to dismiss everything someone says without due consideration simply because you don’t trust them.

                      “New perspectives aren't of value if they are just a list of crap that has a 50:50 chance of being useful.”

                      Which you will never be able to establish if you refuse to even listen to someone you don’t trust.

                      “So why bother with the intermediary.”

                      Because the first you might hear of the matter is via the intermediary. Like some German citizens in the 1930’s.

                    • McFlock

                      I don't know whether you've hacked my web security cam to see my iron, nor do I know whether hitler's idea of a waste of money is at all valid.

                      So now you're adding supporting information that is based on the source for the primary information. It's circular: X perspective on Y is valid because Z (according to X). Which is infinitely recursive: before I know X perspective on Y is true, I need to know X perspective on Z is true, but I only have X's reasoning for that, so now I need to know whether X's reasoning for Z is useful before I know their reas ning for their perspective on Y is useful.

                      Sooner or later, I need to find out if Y is good or bad by referring to someone more reliable than X.

                      So you might as well ignore X and go straight to that someone else.

                    • Shadrach

                      "…nor do I know whether hitler's idea of a waste of money is at all valid."

                      But having heard it, you can now investigate it.  If you hadn't listened, you wouldn't have a clue.

                      "So now you're adding supporting information that is based on the source for the primary information."

                      No, you raised that when you talked about an intermediary.

                      "So you might as well ignore X and go straight to that someone else."

                      See – you just did it again.  You admitted above you didn't know whether Hitler's idea of a waste of money was valid or not, but now you do.  You can't go to 'that someone else' if you haven't listened to the idea in the first place.

                    • McFlock

                      You can't go to 'that someone else' if you haven't listened to the idea in the first place.

                      Which sounds reasonable until we consider that the argument applies to everything hitler was wrong about, too. And also applies to literally everything said by every nutbar on the planet. Was hitler the only guy who had an opinion on smoking or had an idea about what constitutes a waste of money? Hell no. Millions of other people also had opinions and ideas. He killed many of them, but before he did so we would be wise to consider their opinions.

                      So we're stuck in an infinite loop of considering ideas from everyone, and that gets in the way of actually coming to a decision. So we need to filter our sources of perspectives and opinions. Arguing with fools recreationally can be entertaining, but the supply of meaningful information is strictly limited. If I actually need to consider an issue in a timely manner, the list of participants I might seek out for a discussion drops dramatically.

                    • Shadrach

                      “Which sounds reasonable until we consider that the argument applies to everything hitler was wrong about, too.”
                      No, it sounds reasonable, full stop. Because my point is to not judge someone by all the stuff they say we don’t agree with, but to grant them the possibility they may say something worthwhile. Even just once.

                      So we’re stuck in an infinite loop of considering ideas from everyone…”
                      Everyone? No I never suggested that. I just dismissed the idea of rejecting everything someone says simply because you don’t trust them. It’s a very reasonable position.

                      “…and that gets in the way of actually coming to a decision.”
                      You aren’t listening. It cannot get in the way if we are being introduced to ideas for the first time. Actually on second thoughts you are listening, you’re just avoiding answering to that particular point.

                    • McFlock

                      The internet is full of people receiving new ideas for the first time without considering the validity of the source.

                      Doesn't seem to be going all that well – it seems that for every instance where that is a new and useful fact for the receiver, there are dozens who end up getting scalds while steaming their vagina, or who shoot up a classroom because they don't feel they get enough sex, or decide that even though they can afford and have access to the best healthcare in the world they'd better avoid vaccines like the plague.

                    • Shadrach

                      "Doesn't seem to be going all that well…"

                      …and then you contradict yourself…

                      "…it seems that for every instance where that is a new and useful fact for the receiver, there are dozens who end up getting scalds while steaming their vagina…"

                      So there are new and useful facts.  Therefore it is churlish to dismiss everything without at least some research.

                      Well done.

    • solkta 8.2

      No obligation like democracy or any of that. Yeh we know about Nact.

      • Shadrach 8.2.1

        They have no obligation because the referendum is based on legislation they have not drafted.  Simple.

        • joe90 8.2.1.1

          Were past referendums based on drafted legislation?

          • Shadrach 8.2.1.1.1

            Not sure. But under the current law, none are binding.

            • Andre 8.2.1.1.1.1

              According to the esteemed and learned Professor Geddis, the 1993 referendum for MMP was a thumbs up/thumbs down for already written legislation.

              That was what happened with the change of electoral system in 1993; the vote for MMP automatically brought the Electoral Act 1993 into force. It is what would have happened had a majority of us supported the Lockwood design for our national flag back in 2016. I still think it’s the best (in the sense of simplest, tidiest and most allowing of public deliberation) way to run a referendum on law change.

              Geddis agrees with you that there is no such thing as a binding referendum in current New Zealand law; Parliament can always do whatever the fuck it wants to, subject only to the constraint of getting a majority of MPs.

              Any wailing and gnashing of teeth that the announced process means the referendum result now will be “non-binding” seems entirely misplaced to me. There simply is no such thing as a truly “binding” referendum in our system of parliamentary supremacy, because any parliament may undo what a previous parliament has decided.

              • Shadrach

                Thanks Andre.  

                "…the vote for MMP automatically brought the Electoral Act 1993 into force."

                As I understand it, that's how the Greens wanted the cannabis referendum to work.

                • Andre

                  Yeah.

                  But I can't really blame Labour and WinstonFirst MPs for not wanting to vote on it beforehand. It's the kind of topic where staking out an actual position is only going to lose them votes, it won't ever actually gain them any.

                  • The Chairman

                    Rubbish.

                    People know that it would be a case of voting on a bill that would require majority voter support before it actually passed into law.

                    Their position has already largely been staked out.

                  • The Al1en

                    I don't see the issue. If stoners want to get weed legalised they'll have to go and vote yes in the referendum and then for labour or the greens for the election win.

                    Three ticks, that's all it will take.

                    • Andre

                      Minor technical quibble, that's all.

                      My snark was kinda more prompted by those like No Right Turn making out it was some kind of nefarious troughing scheme dreamed up by Lab/Grn troughers that needed to be punished by not voting for them. Or something.

                      http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2019/05/the-fix.html

                    • The Al1en

                      I hear you, though even if  it were part of a vote getting plan for 2020, which it still might by, so what? It's politics, not tiddlywinks, and even then it's a lot cheaper than buying votes by funding promises with tax dollars.

                      I would suspect a lot of the missing million dabble with pot, so you never know, maybe it might just work this time lol

                    • The Chairman

                      I don't see the issue.

                      Really?

                      Do you require me to lay it out?

                       

                    • The Al1en

                      Yeah, yeah, I know already – The greens did it and labour let them 🙄

              • The Chairman

                Here's the kicker

                Little makes the argument that because no current Parliament can bind a future Parliament the difference isn't really material – a new Government would always have the opportunity to ignore the referendum result if keen.

                But this ignores the reality of Parliamentary politics. It is very easy to not do something – to not go through the months-long process of passing a law on the recommendation of a referendum. It is much more work to actively repeal a bill already activated by a law change.

                 https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/112525322/explainer-the-cannabis-referendum-and-why-it-isnt-binding

  9. roy cartland 9

    I'd love to see Simon on the cones – might make him more articulate and coherent!

  10. Ken 10

    Obviously the Nats' views on cannabis law reform are 'no reform at all'.

    Why does the supposed party of "personal responsibility and keeping the government out of people's lives" feel the need to poke their noses into what grown consenting adults get up to in the privacy of their own lounges and bedrooms?

  11. cleangreen 11

    Regarding cannabis – We need to worry about smoking green house chemicals now.

    See here where many of the (140) chemicals are climate changing components sadly. Alkanes and terpenes are 'climate changing green house gases' sadly.

    https://www.medicinalgenomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Chemical-constituents-of-cannabis.pdf

    These are just a few of the known green house gases.

    These are just a few of known green house chemicals.

    Noncannabinoid-Type Constituents 1.2.1. Terpenoids The typical scent of Cannabis results from about 140 different terpenoids. Isoprene units (C5H8) form monoterpenoids (C10 skeleton), sesquiterpenoids (C15), diterpenoids (C20), and triterpenoids (C30; see Table 2). Terpenoids may be acyclic, monocyclic, or polycyclic hydrocarbons with substitution patterns including alcohols, ethers, aldehydes, ketones, and esters.

    • Ken 11.1

      Would it be better to vape and avoid combustion?

      Also, bear in mind that the plant soaked up CO2 when it was growing.

      • Robert Guyton 11.1.1

        "Also, bear in mind that the plant soaked up CO2 when it was growing."

        There's this phrase, de minimis

        • Ken 11.1.1.1

          I agree it's a trivial point, but vast fields of hemp would be a less trivial carbon sink.

          • Robert Guyton 11.1.1.1.1

            Grow'em but don't smoke'em?

            Sure, hemp as far as the eye can see would be something wonderful (I'd interplant, but then that's me). If we can then get those plants; their stalks at least, into the soil, we'd be getting somewhere good; carbon lying where it should lie; six inches deep 🙂

  12. cleangreen 12

    Robert & Ken, you are missing my point here,

    Vaping will allow the release of those VOC's also that are clearly known as "green house" chemicals, so we are actually increasing further emissions into the atmosphere of climatic changing green house chemicals.

    https://www.medicinalgenomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Chemical-constituents-of-cannabis.pdf

    1.2.2. Hydrocarbons
    The 50 known hydrocarbons detected in Cannabis consist of n-alkanes ranging from C9 to C39, 2-methyl-, 3-methyl-, and some dimethyl alkanes (10,35). The
    major alkane present in an essential oil obtained by extraction and steam distillation was the n-C29 alkane nonacosane (55.8 and 10.7%, respectively). Other abundant alkanes were heptacosane, 2,6-dimethyltetradecane, pentacosane, hexacosane,
    and hentriacontane.

    I was not actually discussing the effects to the inhaling of the chemicals but the emissions into our atmosphere..

    • Robert Guyton 12.1

      I may have taken your words the wrong way, cleangreen. I meant that the emissions to the atmosphere from smoking/vaping cannabis was an issue de minimis.

    • Ken 12.2

      Not much though eh?

      How would all the weed smoking and vaping emissions compare to one decent bonfire?

      • Robert Guyton 12.2.1

        That's what I'm thinking, Ken, but we may be missing something…

  13. SPC 13

    As someone who proposed this sort of policy back in 1999 to the Health Select Committee, about time. 

    Still think Ecstasy or MDMA should be legal and thus in its proper form not some synthetic shit out of China called Molly.  Safer than alcohol and cannabis in its proper form. Classifying it as Class A alongside Meth is batshit stupid. 

    Invest in a roll out of mental health and drug rehab services as we do medical practices, with the money saved on drug crime (you'd have to have mental health issues to use Meth and certainly need the drug rehab once you do). 

    The one problem with decriminalisation/legalisation is possible overuse. With alcohol we have licensed venue responsibility and driver checks – but given there are already many workplaces with drug testing this is somewhat covered already. It maybe just a matter of updating license revoking for driving under the influence of more than alcohol.

    • Ken 13.1

      Very few of the illegal drugs, if pure and used in known dosages, are dangerous.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government levels electricity playing field for consumers
    Consumers will benefit from changes to the electricity market that will see a level playing field for smaller independent retailers, greater transparency over the big power companies, increased competition in the market and more support for consumers to shop around for better deals, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The changes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago