The reeferendum fails

Written By: - Date published: 2:46 pm, October 30th, 2020 - 207 comments
Categories: democratic participation, drugs, election 2020, referendum, Social issues, uncategorized - Tags:

The interim results are out and it looks like the reeferendum has failed.  At this stage 47% have voted in favour and 53% against.

It is hard to understand why.  Criminalisation of those who toke is a very silly idea.  All it does is criminalise lots of poor people and make gangs wealthy.

Cannabis is pretty prevalent.  Any baby boomer who has not tried it should be regarded with suspicion and/or never had a social life.  And it is way preferable to its synthetic variants.

The left did not fall behind the campaign.  We had our eyes on the big prize, humiliating the right in the election itself.

National decided to whip all of its MPs to get them to vote no. This was frankly really weird for a party that talks about personal freedom to do. But understandable when you think about its innate conservativism.

And it is strange that people can now seek medical assistance to die but a quite toke to address pain is still verbotten.

Parliament should still look at the issue.

207 comments on “The reeferendum fails ”

  1. I read on Stuff that if 69% of the 480k specials vote yes it will win.

    “Based on estimated special vote count of 480,000, cannabis needs 69 per cent of those (~ 333,000 votes) to flip the preliminary result, senior data journalist Kate Newton reports.”

    Not impossible. .

    • McFlock 1.1

      hell of a flip, though. It's dead. Bloody stupid result.

      Shit, only recently I heard of a case where excessive force by cops was covered up by threatening to charge the dude with the only thing they had on him: cannabis. No complaint, he just gets a warning.

    • Tricledrown 1.2

      67% of special votes

    • Simbit 1.3

      The Scottish referendum was closer.

    • swordfish 1.4

      Not impossible.

      Pretty unlikely, though.

      Preliminary Results are:

      NO: 53.5%

      YES: 46.5%

      Final Result will almost certainly be in the 53/47 to 52/48 region.

      Losing by 51/49 is about the very best the YES campaign can hope for at this stage … and even that's fairly unlikely. probably only achievable if an unusually large proportion of Specials are cast by the Under 30s & Maori.

  2. Anne 2

    Not surprised micky. The majority of the public are still behind the ball game. They can take years to catch up with the more astute and progressive among us, and are vulnerable to the scare tactics of the nay-sayers.

    What amuses me about them nay-sayers – and it includes a brother of mine – they voted NO conveniently forgetting they smoked cannabis themselves when they were young.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      What amuses me about them nay-sayers – and it includes a brother of mine – they voted NO conveniently forgetting they smoked cannabis themselves when they were young.

      They'll use that experience to say: Well, I know what I'm talking about then, don't I?

      They will, of course, continue to support the tobacco and booze industry.

      • Peter 1 2.1.1

        I voted no because of the tobacco and booze industry and the harm they do. I don't want another shit lying multinational company getting hold of it and you know they will bit by bit.

        • Draco T Bastard

          They're certainly going to try but the answer to that is for us to prevent them. Difficult, yes especially considering that our government is more likely to listen to business than us – for now.

  3. Ad 3

    I am looking forward to New Zealand pushing the boundaries between medicinal and therapeutic marijuana use.

    There is plenty of scope to grow public legitimacy for its use as a regulated product, when there's a good lineup of careers to be made out of working in the regulated industry already. Good jobs over $100k is a great motivator:

    • froggleblocks 3.1

      Far more jobs would have been created by legalizing it, and in towns and cities up and down the country.

      • Phillip ure 3.1.1

        I think uruguay has the most sensible pot-regime…the state controls all aspects .from growing to retail….they licence growers etc ..a very large number of jobs were created…and here is the killer close down the blackmarket the retail price is fixed ..last time I looked it was u.s. $6 a gram ..and even at that low retail price the state makes buckets of money..

      • Ad 3.1.2

        Unproveable nonsense.

        • SPC

          It is a known fact that legalising the industry would create jobs, simply because currently there is no accounting of the number who work in the growing, distribution or retailing – as none are in the PAYE system.

          And if they were, some of the jobs would be well paid ones.

          • Ad

            The industry for medicines and therapeutics is where the jobs are, and it's already legalised.

            Which is of course what I pointed out.

            If there's some study showing "I't's a known fact" where New Zealand would have lots more jobs from decriminalising personal use – as distinct from therapeutic and medicinal manufacture and research – then show the published research to back your claim.

    • The Al1en 3.2

      And there are therapeutic lines to be pushed against, such as diabetics being given a green card as a way of lowering blood sugar, for example.

    • Phillip ure 3.3

      I think that the model of a not-for-profit getting a licence to grow medical cannabis…makes a lot of groups of people who want to use money to do good with should look at this model…it is kind of an update on the alcohol licencing trusts of yesteryear…and on a personal level..go get a script…I already have mine..

      • Phillip ure 3.3.1

        If you have a script you can legally grow two plants…I for see a surge in demand for mini-grow kits….it's spring…so get a script..and get planting/growing..

      • Ad 3.3.2

        The model actually occurring is for research and fundraising, forming companies, and regulating provable benefits.

        Like any other therapeutic or drug.

        And that is the way it should be.

    • weka 3.4

      yaay, wealthy people get to make money out of cannabis and most of the people that really need it can't afford it.

  4. RosieLee 4

    So rather than quiet personal usage for pain relief, we still have to rely on the gangs for supply – and hugely expensive Big Pharma. FFS.

  5. Stunned Mullet 5

    " …and it is strange that people can now seek medical assistance to die.."

    Isn't it still over a year away taking into account the legislative processes required ?

    • James Thrace 5.1

      Nope, it's already law and takes effect shortly following the final election results.

      • alwyn 5.1.1

        "takes effect shortly".

        That is only if, by shortly, you mean 12 months. It will take effect on 6 November 2021. In Clause 2.1 of the Act it says "this Act comes into force 12 months after the date on which the official result of that referendum is declared".

  6. left_forward 6

    Cheers Micky, this is indeed a strange brew.

    Just when you thought that enlightenment was upon us – back to the dark ages once again.

  7. Disappointing but not surprising cannabis referendum result vis a vis euthanasia. The difference was that everyone who voted one one way or the other for euthanasia referendum was directly affected by it. Whereas those who don't prefer to use cannabis were making a decision about other people's lives but not their own, so they could afford to vote either way without it having a direct impact on them. Not enough of this set of people felt legalisation was the right thing and it is easy to take a moral stance when it affects other people's lives and not your own.

  8. Herodotus 8

    So the majority of voters votes for the current govt and we accept their insight, yet the majority vote no to this and the voter is castigated and “taking us back to the dark ages”

    and with just under 90% voter turnout for a yes to succeed that would mean that 45% of eligible voters have voted Yes not the majority of the country.

    • left_forward 8.1

      … sadly so.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      So the majority of voters votes for the current govt and we accept their insight, yet the majority vote no to this and the voter is castigated and “taking us back to the dark ages”

      But still accepted.

      The evidence shows that legalisation is the better option so we must assume that those who voted against it are working under the wrong information. This is a problem with allowing people to publish lies and misinformation.

  9. gsays 9

    While I voted yes to the cannabis proposal, there was a reservation. I would have preferred decriminalisation.

    The commercial aspect to legalisation creates 'blind spots' because of profit motives. At least decriminalisation helps to negate the racism unconcious bias in the police.

    Unfortunately all of the reasons given to vote No still exsist, and the stigma, harm and income to the gangs will continue.

    Here's hoping the specials save the day.

    Question, are the specials only from overeseas, or is it anyone who voted outside of their electorate and/or enrolled on voting day?

  10. Reality 10

    Must admit I did not research fully the pros and cons so voted against. My reason being I couldn't see the gangs and tinny houses would quietly disappear and leave it to the regulated sources. I felt they would simply undercut those legal sources and carry on as they do now.

    In Amsterdam last year we were in one or two cafes where we knew it was being used and it was all very civilised. Shops around selling all sorts of cannabis products – tea, chocolate, ice cream, jelly beans. But the Netherlands is such a very different society without the vast rural areas where it could be grown as in NZ.

    • left_forward 10.1

      Well the gangs are certainly not going to disappear now.

      • tc 10.1.1

        This passing wasn't impacting gangs one bit IMO. It would've still been illegal as we weren't decriminalising it just allowing recreational use.

    • WeTheBleeple 10.2

      Yeah well you were dead wrong, and admit you didn't look into it fully – so thanks for your reckons to interfere in something that has sweet fuck all to do with you.

      The laws are criminal. And the ignorance, SO MUCH ignorance.

    • Bruce 10.3

      That's maybe why Netherlands is a very different society. The 53% of the population that know nothing don't get to impose their beliefs on the rest.

    • Brigid 10.4

      jesus effing christ!!

      As you hadn't researched the full pros and cons why did you vote at all?

    • Draco T Bastard 10.5

      My reason being I couldn't see the gangs and tinny houses would quietly disappear and leave it to the regulated sources.

      They wouldn't disappear but they would shift to other illegal drugs.

      I felt they would simply undercut those legal sources and carry on as they do now.

      Nope. Legitimate business can always undercut the criminals simply due to economies of scale. That means that the super-profits associated with it being a criminal enterprise are no longer there.

  11. woodart 11

    maybe the reason that the reeferendum failed is mostly the same reason the flag referendum failed, asking wrong questions, giving confusing choices, etc. maybe, the question should have been something like" do you want the police to ignore minor marijuarna use?" ,but no, same stupid result as flag referendum, possibly phucked by same sort of bureaucratic interference .

    • The Salvation Army have already come out after the vote saying it should be decriminalised.

      They can see the writing on the wall and hope that their fall-back position will prevail.

      • SPC 11.1.1

        Just sad and pathetic – one of the main organisers against the referendum supports decrminalisation and Little says this government will NOT decriminalise.

        • The Al1en

          Decriminalisation is a much inferior position to take, and as it addresses none of the selling points put forward for legalisation, such as regulating control over supply, quality/max thc levels and revenue to tax neutrally fund drug health services, I'm pleased it isn't going to be pushed as a way forward or half way house stop gap.

          Better luck next time, or hope the final result is close enough for Ardern to make a not too controversial captains call, not that she will after saying she'd honour the result during electioneering.

          • SPC

            So was civil unions, but same sex marriage was not delayed because of it – in fact the path from then on was inevitable.

            Not decriminalising will cause a lot of harm to a lot of people. And the lack of this in practice will delay the day legalisation arrangments are made.

            Labour is now part of the problem.

            • The Al1en

              Well the writing was writ large that if the referendum was lost they would abide by the result, so I'm not going to blame labour for sticking to their word.

              A move to decriminalisation will be seen as weak and probably more damaging, seeing as you'd get the illegal drugs but none of the health or revenue benefits, than deciding to legalise anyway.

              Maybe if the final result is closer they'll agree to let the greens inside the government tent and blame them for progressing it. Unlikely without any leverage, but if it's long shots we're going for…

              • SPC

                People would get health benefits from affordable access, and people will still get pissed on by police bullies (just as pros were till 2002/3) until there is decriminalisation.

                • The Al1en

                  I wouldn't hold your breath if you think the government will give what would amount to a free pass to gangs and other illegal growers without the money legal weed would provide to fund the health services they’ve said would come as needed as a way of quieting dissent.

                  • SPC

                    Disinformatio much – decriminalisation does not include the suppliers.

                    • The Al1en

                      Clearly you're emotion about the bit of democracy getting in your way, and I understand that, so explaining it again – obviously decriminalisation wouldn't include growers and dealers, but you're not factoring in the easy hits the government would get from the opposition and media if the big players were still making money from an illegal drug, causing all the problems that have been laid bare by the pro campaign, taking no revenue and not providing the health services they say are needed.

                      Decriminalisation is a poor excuse for the government as a back door to legal pot. Little called it.

                    • SPC

                      You're lying about what decriminalisation means, because you back Little and Labour, right or wrong. I've called that.

                    • The Al1en


                      I party voted green and yes to legalisation. Maybe I just understand people and politics better?

                      I understand decriminalisation to mean if the cops find you with a small amount of weed, rather than charge you, they'll confiscate it and send you on your way. Not much lying in that – It's pretty simple, after all.

                      The thing you're not getting about why decriminalisation is a crap fall back, especially politically, even for a government with popularity to burn, is all above. The pro campaign laid out all the benefits to legalisation, and if those benefits aren't taken while the illegal drug trade carries on regardless, then even a shit poor opposition can make hay with that.

                      They government would better weather a 180 turn and legalise against the vote result rather than agree to admitting how nothing had changed but now we're just letting users go.

                      I'd more be pushing labour in that direction.

                    • SPC

                      To call decriminalisation a free pass to suppliers was simply not accurate.

                      And given the Sallies are opposed to legalisation, but support decriminalisation, because they want the focus on the health of the users, why not work with those in the no camp to realise something positive?

                      We already know the so called expectation that police would change their approach was wrong, it would seem to require decrminalisation.

                      We both now know Labour will only do decriminalisation if it requires Green support in 2023 – even then it would block legalisation without a referendum. The only path now is to appeal over the heads of their caucus to Labour voters. And that might well mean being the real opposition for the next three years.

                    • The Al1en

                      And the sallies are against drink yet go with their hands out around the pubs. What's that got to do with anything.

                      Simple fact is if people wanted to decrim it rather than legalise it they should have pushed for it. They didn't, the vote we had is lost, so back to the drawing board or clever politicing.

                      I won't support it. The right way or not at all.

                    • Pat

                      In law I suggest it would…but it need not be a problem, there is always tax law to police dealers, its how they got Al Capone after all…and as anyone who has been subjected to an IRD audit will tell you , the IRD have more clout than the Police.


    Well the nats would do, being mainly employer class and farming,say to their support vote, say no. Myself cannot understand this punitive drug testing employment law, as it punishes cannabis smokers, and not meth and other drug users. Health and safety, they would cry, well what about the billions of profits taken offshore by Vesty , and their ilk back in the sixties seventies and eights,when no punitive drug testing was about, and at least 70% of the work force had a joint in the evening and weekend,and productivity was high as was the bosses profits, along with workers getting paid a good affordable living wage.

  13. WeTheBleeple 13

    I was naked with soap in my eyes when the bastard came for me. He was a vicious snaggle toothed thug with nazi tattoos and scribble all over his face. “It’s payback time” he said, and swung a makeshift weapon at my head. I reached out and grabbed the pillowcase as he swung, at the same time kicking him in the chest. The pillowcase and content wrapped around my wrist and connected with my extended knee. The pillowcase then ripped, and a concrete weight fell onto the shower floor. I reached for it with one hand and cocked a fist waiting for him to try take it. He looked me in the eye and he ran.

    I was doing twelve months for conspiracy to supply cannabis. The hit had come from a so called friend doing nine months for supply. I had one man constantly trying to buy weed, and another constantly trying to sell me weed. I made a phone call and they met. I actually said in the call “there’s a rumour that this guy is an undercover cop. So, it’s up to you if you introduce yourself or not, he doesn’t know who you are.” But greed is greed, and this guy was stupid greedy. The buyer came in to my place of work a week after their deal, when I was busy. He nonchalantly slipped me thirty dollars, here’s something for your trouble, buy yourself a bottle or something” and he left. So there I stood, dirty money in hand, with people watching. That money ‘legitimised’ the conspiracy charge but also the paranoia of some of the people I’d previously considered friends. I was framed.

    A few months before that I’d attempted to clean my act up. I’d put myself through a rehab, got a job, and was doing OK. Prior to that I was drinking too much, and some heavy drinking friends of mine had mentioned it. When alcoholics think you’re drinking too much, you’re probably drinking too much. So I did the rehab and talked about my feelings and said all the silly quotes and cried for about a week. I might have been fucked up but I never stopped trying to improve. We did group hugs and group chants and all sorts of things that made me terribly uncomfortable but I stuck it out and I graduated. Clean and ready to take on the world.

    I woke to a man with his hands round my throat, strangling me. “Are you a fucking nark” he screamed at me, “are you a fucking nark”. I grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and smashed his head into the cell wall behind me, twice. He released his grip and I got out of bed and, limping badly, threw him outside the cell onto the ground. Later, I tried to talk to another man I knew about what was happening “you fucking know me man, you know this is bullshit”. “I’m so sorry bro, I can’t talk to you, or I’ll get it too”. And so I went back into my cell, isolated, with a price on my head, and 11 months and three weeks to go.

    I already had PTSD when I went to jail, and my experiences inside greatly exacerbated the disorder. For the first six months back out I slept with a loaded rifle under my bed. I’d wake in an instant, every hair on end, as a cow moved in the paddock. I’d patrol, hair trigger alert, gun cocked and circling the sections perimeter in the dead of night.

    This is the result of our legal system. Of gung-ho cops who’ll do anything for a bust. Of the petty gangster wannabes who make up the supply chain. Of young people who like weed dragged into a criminal justice system that is largely criminal, and rarely justice.

    This is just one of far too many similar stories. It is part of my story.

  14. Corey Humm 14

    Sad. Predictable.

    Nz probably would have gone for decriminalization in huge numbers but full legalization was always gonna be hard

    The yes campaign was basically a bunch of stoners sharing memes with very little talk about economic, environmental, employment benefits of legalization. I genuinely have never seen a more invisible campaign other than sustainable nzs election campaign.

    I think this govt should decriminalize after the specials it'll be close as hell and it's a good compromise.


    • SPC 14.1

      Little immediately ruled out decriminalisation. Sad and pathetic.

    • tc 14.2

      Whereas the no campaign had Shonky John in granny, NZMA up till the final week etc etc

      • Herodotus 14.2.1

        I will call you out blaming the right, 58% of the vote went to Labour and the Greens and yet only 47% vote yes. And I am sure there were some on the right who ticked Yes. Come back with a better arguement than this.

        Where was Labour in the discussion ? Blame Labour they F}#%%d up what many here were seeking.

        Every other party was actively involved.

        • SPC

          Explain why so many National voters moved to oppose it after the party caucus said they would block vote against it and refuse to accept a yes vote if they were the party in government? Tis was when polls moved against a change.

          And todays comments by (the fakeliberal fake bluegreen) Smith that the no vote meant we had not gone left, pushing the line that the centre had given Labour their support and the government had no mandate to be left wing. A reprise of their 2017 refrain that the coalition had no mandate.

          • Herodotus

            "Explain why so many National voters moved to oppose it …" So a party that attracted less than 30% of the vote, were the reason that the No vote has achieved 53% ? Given that why is Labour able to govern "ALONE" ?? I find such logic baffling and as a Vulcan was quoted “Insufficient facts always invite danger.”

            I gather we will have to wait awhile to have the breakdown of how votes were cast by party, sex etc ? Does anyone know how long such analysis takes?

            and I did not cast my vote for National.

            • SPC

              I doubt the breakdown of the referendum voting will be much different from that known from earlier polling (Greens very for, National very against and Labour more for than against).

    • Phillip ure 14.3

      I agree with you re an 'invisible campaign' from the pro-legalisation was so crap ..I saw/heard none of the reasoned arguments..economic and others….then we had the bullshit coming from the medical association…with today's iteration being 'we can now look at other countries who have legalised…to see the outcomes there'…um .!..shouldn't they have done this before election day ..?.and advised accordingly .?..(source: the panel/rnz)…thus setting a new benchmark in utter cant..

      • Phillip ure 14.3.1

        And I've been biting my tongue over the bullshit peddled by patrick gower..he made/repeated the actually rubbish claim that the weed now days is sooo much stronger than it used to be..(thereby scaring off those boomers who smoked back then..and have understandable concerns about the effects of this much stronger weed…(which of course is what it is designed to do…)…and this is a total lie ..I have been smoking weed for over ,50 years..and I can personally confirm that the weed now days is not stronger than we used to get back then…good weed then and good weed now are not that different ..we used to get thai weed…sumatran weed…durban poison .afghani hash..honey oil..and high quality locally grown weed….and don't take my word for it…court records both here and in america/australia show the thc content for all busted dope…and the difference between then and now…is insignificant….and that gower was allowed to peddle/confirm these lies…to that boomer audience..likely had quite an effect on the outcome….is a total fucken travesty…gower should hang his head…and bloody well apologise for misleading the voters and his complete failure as a journalist..

  15. Herodotus 15

    There will be many reasons why there was not a responding Yes vote, but IMO the lack of any leadership and direction being given by the Labour Party and its leadership was not helpful. Perhaps there was the thought that giving some guidance would be costly in the party vote 🤔

    • Anne 15.1

      So, Herodotus blames the Labour Party. Not surprised. He blames everything else on the Labour Party. sad

      • Herodotus 15.1.1

        So the snowflake returns. Attacking anyone that finds fault with Labour, try and add something to the discussion other than being SOOO protective of the Labour brand. There is no one else that can take ownership of the result. Unless you can provide any justification on how Labour advocated for "Yes". Unless you think a party that attracted 29% of the vote were the driver with their followers to this result 🤷🏽‍♂️

        Revelation 3:15-16 – I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

        • Anne

          Oh dear…frown

          • Herodotus.

            An observation, read the room. Like the CGT there is "some" comment being passed towards the direction of Labour.

            If you believe that such comment is misdirected So be it, but that should not limit others to explore and comment that in their opinion Labour has some ownership to being part of the problem and not contributing to the solution.

            IMO on day to day issues this government will be indiscernible to the 2 that preceded it during the 2000's. I hope not for the many who are drowning in our society. But Hope is like faith in that "based on conviction rather than proof"

      • Louis 15.1.2

        1+ Anne, scapegoating, it's easier for some to blame someone else for how other people voted because they didn't get what they hoped for.

  16. SPC 16

    A close defeat, about 51 to 49, made 10 times worse by Little saying that the government would not consider decriminalisation.

    Given many voted no, because they preferred this to legal supply, in effect Little is now opposing a majority.

    This is a very disturbing trend in government policy and borderline pandering to racism of the centre ground voter (given police practice of current rules is little different to the past) – when considered with no dental, no superior diabetic drug to those most in need in these areas are who they are.

    He'll of course lose all the centre he is appeasing by bringing in hate speech legislation. How middle class white liberal is that?

  17. millsy 17

    The Boomers will be celebrating this over a few (legal) rum and cokes down at the RSA.

    • SPC 17.1

      Smoking on the graves of the boomers will become a thing.

      • Tricledrown 17.1.1

        SPC boomers were the ones who popularized marijuana.

        • SPC

          When they were rebellious young people – it's not todays young who voted it down, it was boomers.

          No CGT boomers. No wealth tax boomers.

    • mac1 17.2

      Us Boomers. eh? Born in '49, was 19 in 1968, at University then, doing a liberal arts degree, played in a blues band, demonstrated against the War and the Tour.

      That's a long way from rum and cokes in the RSA, my friend.

      • millsy 17.2.1

        'Boomer' is more a set of values now than an age classification IMO.

        In case it goes over anyones head, the rum and coke reference is to the fact that alcohol and sugar are substances that are just as addictive and cause just as many downstream health issues that pot does. However no one seeks to lock someone up for having a a drink. Even under Prohibition in the USA, people were still able to consume alcohol in their own homes.

    • Brigid 17.3


      We're disappointed at the result.

      Disappointed because the ignorant voted 'No'

      • SPC 17.3.1

        Most born after 1963 voted yes, the no vote came from boomers.

        • Phillip ure

          Do you have a source for that claim…?…or is it yours to own..?

          • SPC

            I've seen polls indicating the older voters were against. Given the close result I am presuming therefore that those born more recently must have been in the majority yes voters.

            This poll says that there is a majority of those under 55 for yes. You know those not boomers.


            • Phillip ure

              So it's yours to own then..your 'reckon'….mmm-kay. .

              • SPC

                What are you, press officer for Trump?

                Read the link, the polling data is not my reckon. It says those under 55 were voting yes, those over 55 were voting no. A baby boomer is someone who is over 55.

            • mac1

              Scanning the article, SPC, its main point was that if the referendum failed it was because that the young, whom the poll said were more in support, would not turn out to vote in the numbers that older voters would.

              The poll was lost because the supporters of cannabis legalisation did not vote in great enough numbers is another way to frame it, rather than dump on boomers, some of whom like myself voted for legalisation.

              One good to come out of this, is to learn that if you want something to happen you have to support it with your actions. Maybe, the young who did not vote will see that as a reality.

              If you don't vote, then in the words of Mick Jagger 'you cain't always get what you want"!

              • SPC

                You could look at relative turnout (but this was the highest youth turnout for awhile and why it is so close).

                But as well know the baby boomer generation was a large one, and they decided for Brexit, for Trump and against marijuana legalisation here. There is no hiding from this.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Not from this boomer SPC.

          Anti-boomer sentiment expressed here, and elsewhere (even in parliament), won't alter my support for progressive change (re climate change, a wealth tax, legalisation of cannabis), but we don't want progressive boomers to disappear any faster than the ‘anchors‘.

          Serious intergenerational warfare is obviously not helpful, especially at a time when everyone, young and old, around the world needs to get on the same page when it comes to climate change.

          • SPC

            Boomers voted for Brexit, Trump and are not backing action on climate change (generally voting with the right wing obstructionists). And I'd say blocking CGT/wealth tax/estate tax change moves here as well.

            And I'll criticise fellow boomers for this, the generation has to own its responsbility to listen to the next. We're on the way to a society where half with inherited wealth will own property and the other will be locked out and struggling with rent costs and so unable to retire.

  18. UncookedSelachimorpha 18

    I think the big problem was that 'legalising cannabis' was conflated with being 'pro-cannabis'. It was presented that if you wanted to legalise cannabis, you wanted more people to use more of it.

    When in fact you could quite reasonably think that legalising it is a better way of managing it, even if you see downsides to cannabis use.

    • Pat 18.1

      Not for me…the big problem was the likelyhood of developing another corporate like big tobacco or the alcohol industry and the ongoing lack of health support needed that both those industries create remain unaddressed despite the tax revenue they create

      • Phillip ure 18.1.1

        Have you forgotten the fact that cannabis is the safest of all the intoxicants..,,,?…and by country-mile..? I ask you ..what harm are you actually talking about .?…you voted from a position of ignorance..

        • Pat

          lol…and therein lies your problem…you have someone who supports a liberalisation of cannabis regulation but you resort to misinformation and insult….the fact is that the government oversight of the industry will not provide what you desire nor will it remove the 'black' market…and the health response will remain totally inadequate.

          Dope for a proportion of users does indeed have a significant negative impact,( as does alcohol) and claims it is the 'safest' of all intoxicants has no basis in science…and sadly we know from experience all the claims of mitigation and support will disappear as soon as the legislation is passed…I submit moving physc patients to the community as evidence….dumped with NO support.

          • Brigid

            " mitigation and support will disappear as soon as the legislation is passed…I submit moving physc patients to the community as evidence….dumped with NO support."

            Talk about misinformation. These were policies of the National government therefore your submission is rejected.

            There's no precedent in this country that you can refer to.

            • Pat

              Disagree…Labour have done nothing to rectify the situation in the past 30 years, and I welcome any attempt to argue otherwise…it was a soundly based policy that was completely undone by the lack of financial support that was promised.

          • Draco T Bastard

            but you resort to misinformation

            What misinformation?

            • Pat

              "Have you forgotten the fact that cannabis is the safest of all the intoxicants..,,,?…and by country-mile"

              • Draco T Bastard

                Marijuana May Be The Least Dangerous Recreational Drug, Study Shows

                Marijuana is far safer than alcohol, tobacco and multiple other illicit substances, researchers say, and strict, legal regulation of cannabis might be a more reasonable approach than current prohibitions.

                And that was from 2015.

                So, yeah, Phillip ure was correct in pointing out that you were voting from a position of ignorance.

                • Pat

                  Our approach contains some further limitations: Drug interactions cannot be taken into account as we just do not have any toxicological data on such effects (e.g. by co-administration in animals). However, polydrug use in humans is common, especially of illicit drugs with ethanol or benzodiazepines63. Addiction potential and risk of use (e.g. unclean syringes leading to increased infection risk) are also not considered by the model, because adequate dose-response data could not be identified for these endpoints.

                  Aside from the limitations in data, our results should be treated carefully particularly in regard to dissemination to lay people. For example, tabloids have reported that “alcohol is worse than hard drugs” following the publication of previous drug rankings. Such statements taken out of context may be misinterpreted, especially considering the differences of risks between individual and the whole population.

                  A main finding of our study is the qualitative validation of previous expert-based approaches on drug-ranking (e.g. Nutt et al.9), especially in regard to the positions of alcohol (highest) and cannabis (lowest). Currently, the MOE results must be treated as preliminary due to the high uncertainty in data. The analyses may be refined when better dose-response data and exposure estimates become available. As the problem is multidimensional15, it would also make sense to establish some form of harm or risk matrix64 that may be more suitable than a single indicator. Our MOE could be one piece in the puzzle that constitutes to the establishment of a “holistic drug risk”.

                  Currently, the MOE results point to risk management prioritization towards alcohol and tobacco rather than illicit drugs. The high MOE values of cannabis, which are in a low-risk range, suggest a strict legal regulatory approach rather than the current prohibition approach."


                  The source of your headline

                  [I’ve put the quoted text in block-quote to make it clearer that it was a literal copy & paste from the link]

        • JohnSelway

          I'd argue that LSD is the safest intoxicant. It has the lowest harm ranking on nearly every chart


    No, the reason for my son and he has many friends, voted no, why Government taxation, and T.H.C. CONTROL, leading to more Government control arrests of those supplying higher T.H.C. DAK, AND NO TAXATION. My lad, and many users smoke daily, and function brain very aware, as our present proposers of law change have not.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      And thus proving that the free-market brings about the worst possible result.

      Yes, a criminal market is the epitome of the free-market.

  20. Cooper oil 20

    Still a crim! So be it. Enjoy your seymour pills.

  21. Cooper oil 21

    Left the end of life question blank.

  22. SPC 22

    We are now reduced to waiting for the Shane Reti bill to get any progress at all.

  23. bwaghorn 23

    As it's a none binding referendum surely a government with guts would do it anyway .

    47% of people will be happy with them

  24. greywarshark 24

    Just to change the theme – Chris Trotter is bringing a different and hopeful perspective:

    CONSERVATIVE NEW ZEALANDERS are up for grabs. Not since the 1990s, when Winston Peters and Jim Anderton harvested thousands of votes from deep inside National’s heartland, has there been a better time to engineer a profound realignment of this country’s politics. If Jacinda Ardern, Labour and the Greens play their cards right (or, more accurately, centre-left) New Zealand could become a social-democratic haven to rival Scandinavia.

    • SPC 24.1

      No CGT, no wealth tax, no estate tax, no decriminalisation of marijuana – it's a fight for being the party of government, not for the cause of social democracy.

      Affordable dental … giving Maori the cheap diabetic drug so they end up on kidney dialysis 10 years earlier than if they lived in a real social democratic nation? The latter does not even cost money – the more expensive diabetic drug saves the the HB's money (kidney dialysis is expensive). It only requires extra to Pharmac to save money in the hospital budget. But our neo-liberal system is so dumb it cannot even sort that out. Has Labour sorted it, did NZF stop it …

  25. WeTheBleeple 25

    I am glad it's a Labour government (as in not a National government) but, imo, they really dropped the ball on this. By reacting to covid disinformation, but not reacting to cannabis disinformation, they left the general public to the mercy of Gower's distortions and Noper's disinformation campaigns.

    Those thinking of voting no found what they were looking for, even if in many instances it was not true.

    The Prime Minister, having won our trust for following the science and data on covid, could have called it for cannabis. She knew it was close, she knew media was rife with disinformation. She could have called it and she didn't.

    I highly rate Ardern insofar as politicians go, but sitting on the fence is not leading.

    • Pat 25.1

      you need someone to tell you how to think?.. (or think others do)

      • greywarshark 25.1.1

        Yep, that's how most do it so I've noticed.

      • WeTheBleeple 25.1.2

        You can't read all of a sudden?

        Disinformation was rife. She knows the science and data, she sat there and watched media and the religious right talk utter shite.

        And yes, people didn't know what to think. Some have never given the issue any thought till all of a sudden they're having all manner of facts and alternative 'facts' flung at them.

        Some leadership would have helped a great deal.

        We're not all so well informed as others like to think they are.

        • Pat

          Disinformation is always rife…and the PMs personal position on either referendum should be of no import if people are to express their own opinion, misinformed or not…after all we constantly demand democratic input as opposed to being dictated to do we not?

          • WeTheBleeple

            What is dictatorial about stating one's position? And what is so wrong in correcting disinformation?

            They didn't let the covid-BS fly, but that involved other's lives so cannabis laws… no, wait.

            • Pat

              How would you have felt if the PM had come out opposed to cannabis prior to the referendum?…I feel confident you would have had something quite negative to say about her influence in that circumstance… the referendum has been held and the result is not unexpected and there is the possibility there will be modification to the legal treatment of cannabis (despite Andrew Littles comments) in the near future.

              There is no need to look for scapegoats

            • greywarshark

              There needed to be regular solid information about cannabis in the newspapers, quarter to half page size depending if they are tabloid shape or not. The idea that people will pick stuff up from a variety of good sources is careless. Government needs to present the facts.

              Brexit got in on the back of a bus advertising that the NHS was going to be a winner from an EU exit, by over 100 Million Pounds. It was a falsity, or perhaps dare one say, a lie. Yet the Brexit decision sneaked in over the halfway, and that was good enough to be a true and unambiguous result. What a bit of shite.

              This mornings paper proclaims that Euthanasia and Cannabis have been decisive decisions – cannabis only 53 per cent. It is only slightly better than Brexit. And that was a teeter-totter win, which by any rational person, without deep prejudice about the whole process, would remain as an indicative of Not Sure.

      • Louis 25.1.3

        +1 Pat ^ and 25.2.1

    • Phillip ure 25.2

      She didn't because of fear of offending opponents to legalising ..them not liking her call..and so not voting for her…it's as simple as that.

  26. David 26

    Shame really. The Greens aren’going to be in opposition or government for the next three years. Now they can’t legally puff dope, how else will they fill their days?

    • greywarshark 26.1

      How will they fill their 'daze' you mean don't you David. You are letting your petty sneering and sniping get away from you. I am sure they, unlike you, will have 100 good ideas that they will have to prioritise some from.

      Would someone who has these at the top of their minds like to advise what the Greens are pushing for this term – for the benefit of David here and those of us who are still running to catch up with them?

  27. Reality 27

    Seems to be a lot of throwing toys out of the cot going on. Being so dependent on cannabis to the extent some describe is not particularly healthy imho. If it was alcohol, chocolate, jelly beans or whatever, being so desperately craved, that would be also unhealthy.

    And to castigate the PM for not "directing" or "encouraging" people to vote a particular way is ridiculous and undemocratic. It was a referendum for each person to make their own decision.

    • SPC 27.1

      Yeah people against legal persecution of marijuana users must be addicts. Just like those supporting the rights of sex workers and same sex people are just enemies of God and Family First.

      • greywarshark 27.1.1

        Reality said something I think is correct and that is about the PM being right not to direct people one way or another. But she could say that people should read about it, then make up their minds and vote. She could have made sure that were fact sheets made available in the newspapers and at hospital waiting rooms where people sit for many patient-hours. She could have said further that unless they were interested in understanding the problem. those people might consider not voting.

        Just observing that it is unhealthy in some way as Reality does, is not useful in facing up to the problem of overuse, child use and increased high potency availability.

    • WeTheBleeple 27.2

      So the same person who admits they didn't look into it but voted no now thinks the response is infantile.

      With all due respect you're an idiot.

    • Draco T Bastard 27.3

      You seem to be spouting BS.

  28. This cannabis vote, and the less than brave decision by Labour to try to end the talk about it…will result in a change of Government in 2023…the left voters will not forget this…so, both the Greens, and Labour better start getting a lot more respectful towards their voters — otherwise be out of a job in 2023…\

    Sort out the cannabis law mess.

    • SPC 28.1

      Green Party members might now refuse a support deal involving Ministers

      The left abandon Labour for Greens, who surpass 10% in polls and in the 2023 vote

      This scares all the centre right flotsom back to National

      Labour is reduced to 40%

      Centrist voters are not sure if they want a Labour-Green coalition and they will decide the election.

      Labour promises them it will give nothing to the Green Party.

      Greens get a better deal with National and take it, provided ACT are excluded entirely.

      • greywarshark 28.1.1

        But it isn't just about deals. It's about the direction of the country, it's about people are treated and it's about the zeitgeist of the nation which is at the moment a more community minded one, going forward together and less of an Ayn Rand the Virtue of Selfishness one. Me I'm for balance – I'm for individuals talking together and deciding on the best way forward and co-operating.

        Making deals implies the ability to put policies through. But if you get a right wing government, they can be stymied before they can do any good, they can be impacted by RW IEDs, or by their nasty, machine minded, self-ambitious civil servants who despise the losers who haven't gouged out a trough through the body politic.

  29. Drowsy M. Kram 29

    Disappointed that it looks as if the referendum on legalisation of cannabis will fail by a whisker. Given that the final % ‘Yes‘ vote is likely to be in the high 40s, a citizens initiated referendum (for either legalisation or decriminalisation) starting mid/late-2022 might serve to keep the issue in the minds of voters ahead of the 2023 general election.

    Despite strong public support, the last two 'successful' citizens initiated referendums (in 2007 and 2012) failed to achieve their aims – third time's a charm?

    "The Citizens Initiated Referenda Act 1993 allows for citizens to propose a referendum. These are non-binding referendums on any issue in which proponents have submitted a petition to Parliament signed by ten percent of all registered electors within 12 months."

    • SPC 29.1

      Except National would ignore the result and with Labour – well they were forced into acceptance of any yes result of this one by their arrangement with Greens. What we do know is that Labour have now rejected decriminalisation as a policy and Greens have no leverage.

      (Would National offer Greens decriminalisation to win power – yes).

      Greens could require decriminalisation for support from 2023.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 29.1.1

        Generally agree – maybe political polling in the leadup to the next general election will give the Greens a little more leverage.

        Labour's behaviour seems a bit absolutist (no CGT, no 'wealth tax', no legalisation/decriminalisation of cannabis), but at least they can (probably) be trusted to follow through, i.e. we know where they stand.

        "Would National offer Greens decriminalisation to win power – yes"

        A National party policy flip-flop, otoh, would be no surprise. Do you reckon the Green party members would take that bait?

        • greywarshark

          What do we want – we want action now. We have so many problems that will crop up, we must make intelligent decisions for change that people want and which will be beneficial overall, implement then monitor them, and move on to the next problem. Talk about stuffing around.

          The very people who are the descendants of those that took to sailing ships in not attractive conditions to come to the new world and have some sovereignty and a better life, are now whimpering about having to make relatively micro decisions, that can be amended if not good. For those who can – grow a pair, and for those who can't – be brave, it's important and nothing is sure and certain but just trial it and see. Lots of women and some men fought, literally, for you to have the right to make decisions. So bloody make them.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            "What do we want – we want action now."

            You and I want and voted for actionmost voters opted for the status quo.

            In a democracy, the ideal way forward is to grow support for progressive change. "Action now" would (apparently) displease more people than it would please – NZ Labour would/will say "The people have spoken/decided."

            And so the U.K. has Brexit, and in NZ citizens will soon have more ‘end-of-life choices‘ while growing marijuana plants for personal remains illegal, for now.

      • Incognito 29.1.2

        What we do know is that Labour have now rejected decriminalisation as a policy and Greens have no leverage.

        If Labour wants to occupy the political centre, I’d like to think that 46.1% of the vote presents a conundrum to them that can and should be used as a pivot point by the Greens but not to score points or for gain of political power. What we’re seeing from Labour is power play, not political leadership.

  30. Jester 30

    Chloe is right to call Ardern out for not "standing up for her convictions". Every other Labour MP I saw asked said they were voting yes.

    It doesn't effect me either way, so I'm not really fussed about the result that was pretty much expected. Aren't we trying to be smoke free by 2025 anyway?

  31. dds 31

    Get over it the public have spoken end of story.

    • Incognito 31.1

      Provisionally, 1,114,485 people voted YES and 1,281,818 voted NO and the official result won’t be known until Friday 6 November 2020. What is that telling you? You come across as a binary simpleton who cannot wait to bury stuff you don’t like and want to know about. I can only speculate on how you voted in this particular referendum.

      • Ad 31.1.1

        It's a binary vote.

        We've had binary votes to vote in whole governments, which were also close votes, and the earth didn't cave in.

        Speculate somewhere else.

        • Incognito

          Nope, we don’t vote for Governments.

          Are policies binary?

          Is governing binary?

          Don’t overcomplicate it.

  32. if, after the special votes, the for cannabis vote is 48 – 49%, and Labour, still sit on their hands on this…cannabis law reform…they will be voted out in 2023…and, it will be the younger voters (under 45) – who will vote them out…why would they (under 45) support Labour — high prices for housing, future debt due to Covid to look forward to, and their high minded altitude towards the pro Cannabis vote…who, by the way, tend to be under 45, Labour-Green voters…

    It is silly, and short term thinking from Labour…do not stuff this up Labour…cannabis law reform ASAP

    • Stunned mullet 32.1

      I think you mistake the general publics interest in relation to cannabis in NZ.

      I would very much doubt that cannabis reform would be amongst the 10 most pressing issues for voters come 2023.

      • Incognito 32.1.1

        I would very much doubt that cannabis reform would be amongst the 10 most pressing issues for voters come 2023.

        Which voters? All voters? Many voters? The ‘average’ voter? Some voters? A few voters? Voters you know? Voters who don’t matter to you? Only one voter, i.e. you?

        • Stunned mullet

          'I think you mistake the general publics interest in relation to cannabis in NZ.'

          • Incognito

            In other words, you are avoiding answering but prefer to stick to non-committal and largely meaningless waffle rhetoric. Never mind and I’d have very little doubt that in your profession vagueness rules. Have you considered a career in politics?

            • Stunned mullet

              Have you considered a career in trolling ?

              • Incognito

                Yes, but I made an even better career choice: Moderator on The Standard 😉

                Are you a member of the Meme Working Group by any chance?

                Let me know when you want to elaborate on “the general publics interest” [sic] and “the 10 most pressing issues for voters come 2023”. I have a feeling I might have to wait longer even than until 2023 but let me ask, do you have Covid-23 in mind?

                • Stunned mullet

                  Frankly talking to M Breen would be more useful then discussing anything with you – I'll pass.

                  • Incognito

                    Such narrow view and limited imagination. Think of all the silent readers of this site whom you could stun with your insights, if you have any. At least, Mr Breen has the courage to stand up for his convictions albeit in his idiosyncratic circuitous way.

  33. bruce 33

    In the end its just a plant, sow seeds and it grows, like lots of other plants, it has an effect on the mind. what makes it so special, so different from the many unregulated plants that are consumed daily without regulation or care, if the government cared at all for my health I'm sure I would not be bombarded by signs suggesting I vape to relax on my way to buy milk.

    Is the insight some say it offers so threatening to Andrew Little and the people that spent millions to keep it illegal that we must continue to punish its users.

    The referendum was just a PR exercise how can something that appeals to a minority get acceptance from a majority after 80 years of reefermaddness.

    Cannabis with its many uses offers a Green future but greed keeps us on a black path

  34. If the special votes for cannabis get to 48%-49% for the total vote, then it is the general publics interest…meaning under the MMP environment, especially if Labour wants a third term in Government in 2023, they (Labour) will need to think, and act of the Cannabis Law Reform…otherwise, the pro Cannabis votes (up to 48% – 49%, perhaps 50%?? – after special votes), will seek revenge on the people who block/ignore their votes…over a 1 million votes in support of cannabis— and Labour will lose the 2023 vote…

    As for this not being in the top 10 issues by 2023 —- maybe, with Employment, House Prices, Education, Law and Order, and Health — being the usual issues for elections….those issues the Government has some control over, however, Cannabis Law Reform, the Government has total control over…and the general public does understand this — and will vote with this in mind.

    So, Cannabis Law Reform, or bye-bye third term Labour Government 2023

    • The Al1en 34.1

      I voted for legalisation and there's no way I'd vote for anyone in '23 other than the way I did this election – Electorate Labour, Party Green.

      Just because the majority voted against doesn't mean I want to punish labour by getting a national government. Anyone who does, and claims to be left of centre, is a one trick pony idiot.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 34.1.1

        Same here – if I knew who the Labour party candidate for my electorate was going to be, and early voting for the 2023 election was possible now, then I'd get it over and done with today. Such an easy 'choice' between Labour/Green and NAct.

        • The Al1en

          I can honestly say I've never actually electorate voted for someone to win, more always voted so somebody else doesn't.

          Tactical voting since forever.

  35. Interesting argument, but, the problem still remains —- what to do with, and, for the Kiwis — over 1 million votes for Cannabis?

    Sensible, people do not support other people who ignore their views/votes…and, this is what Labour seems to be doing right now…be it Cannabis, or other issues in the future

    So, the challenge is what to do for the pro vote, who could be up to 48 -49% after special votes, reject those voters —and run the real risk of being out of Government in 2023…

    Also, it seems that a lot young people actually voted this time, very positive, and some stated they were voting in favour of the Cannabis Law Reform…ignore this, our future voters, will remember this, and not vote, or protest vote against Labour, ie. any other party – except Labour, in the future — be it in 2023, and/or beyond?

    Ideas for solutions??

    • arkie 35.1

      A larger Green party is the way forward for cannabis reform.

    • The Al1en 35.2

      Solutions? Yeah, grow up, accept we were in the minority this time, and push for change from inside the tent rather than throwing sulks outside it.

      But your point about people not supporting others who ignore their views works the other way too. The way you have framed it is the 53% should be set aside in favour of the 46%. How would that work using your logic? What do you do with their million plus potential protest votes?

  36. Once again, interesting argument — but, telling more than 1 million Kiwis to grow up…not sure that is going to work, especially, if this grows to, let say 48% – 49% votes support it after special votes (which means 51% – 52% against cannabis) …So, the original question remains what to do for those supporters — which is still over 1 million Kiwis, and growing…

    I do take the point that it does go the other way…however, the other way is not working, hence why over a 1 million Kiwis voted for change…

    A possible solution is to run a pilot scheme in areas that were strongly for cannabis vote — I am guessing here, Auckland Central/Wellington Central??? — If I am wrong about those areas, Auckland/Wellington Central, support for Cannabis, I am truly sorry if I have upset anybody from those areas…then police the pilot firmly — then check the results — if it is a disaster, then stop…otherwise, continue on.

    This pilot scheme would allow both parties – For, and Against — to save face…keep Cannabis out of strongly Against areas and some Cannabis in strongly for areas…

    Governments run pilot scheme for many things, and in many places across the world, I believe, that Kiwis are strong enough to have a go.

    • The Al1en 36.1

      I think if the numbers close it would be good if labour decided to spend some political capital and just push ahead with legalisation, but they won't, because the public just voted no.

      Pilots could be a way forward, and I'd support it, but then they might as well just go ahead and write and pass the legislation anyway.

      I have changed my mind from a long while ago. Legalisation will probably happen, it's just about timing, and according to the people now isn't it. We must respect that, and just push on doing the work to overturn popular opinion. Crying about labour won't change a thing. What shouldn’t happen is a foolish move to decimalisation which has none of the benefits of legalisation other than you won’t get charged for holding – As Swarbrick has outlined today.

      “Decriminalisation is simply about removing criminal penalties from people who use the substance – it doesn’t deal with the issue of supply. The issue of supply remains one of the biggest potential harms in terms of the opportunity for people to graduate or escalate to harsher substances, get bound up in the criminal justice system – and the potential perverse incentives you create when you decriminalise something and don’t deal with that supply chain.”

    • Patricia Bremner 36.2

      First sensible suggestion. I feel Andrew Little should have been more circumspect.

  37. Very good points, again…

    My feelings about the Cannabis Vote, was that it was going to be very close run thing, ie. 45% – 55% territory, and I am guessing many people also felt this way, that it was going to be close, either For, or Against…and it was, and by this time next week — it will, at this stage, be even closer…

    So, it was a bit of a shock — that the Government stated —no change in the near future on Cannabis, and the Law…

    What?, no Plan B?? really?? — many of the polls (TVNZ/TV3/RNZ/Horizon…etc..etc…) suggested two things, 1. the vote was going to close, and 2. Left wing voters support the vote, while Right wing voters do not support the vote…so, myself, and many others — were stunned that Labour had no Plan B for their supporters — i.e. amendment of Cannabis Laws, wholesale reforms on those Laws, pilot scheme, anything….

    The disquiet amongst those voters (For) will grow as the Special Votes results are known, especially if it ends in 49% – 51% result…so, knowing all this — what to do??

    The know the young voters feel let down by the Government…which is very sad, because we want them to feel part of the country…

    • The Al1en 37.1

      Don't worry about young voters being let down by the government – They'll have many years to get use to it like the rest of us have and, yet still we had a near record turn out.

      It has to be said, this wasn't a labour initiated poll, they did state they would abide by the result and they wouldn't go ahead with it on a no vote, so that there isn't a plan be should be no surprise to anyone paying attention. It was all or nothing we voted on.

      Also, the thing about the numbers is, if it were the other way round with a 7% margin to legalise, no weed smoker would be giving a second thought about the 46% who lost about now.

      • ken 37.1.1

        Nobody would be worrying about the 46% who lost if it was the other way around, because they could just continue to not use cannabis and not be persecuted by the law whatever the outcome.

        Basically, half the country has just voted to criminalise the other half of the country.

        • The Al1en

          Of course not all those who voted yes would be smokers, but so it comes down to not worrying about the 53% being pissed off at the government for ignoring their votes, and totally different if they're the ones who voted yes, just because of the subject.

          So we should be happy with Key’s tea towel flag and forget how the smacking referendum hurt HC, and let’s face it, if you’re going against the numbers it had better be for something like child safety rather than permission to have a toke which you say people will continue doing so anyway.

          Sounds like a basic lack in knowing how democracy works, and how going against the numbers usually works out poorly for governments.

  38. The near record turn out was good to see…smiley with many young – first time voters — possible because of the Cannabis vote, and with any luck — those voters will vote again next time too

    And, yes, Labour did say they would abide by the vote be it a yes, or a no…and yes, the Cannabis Vote was not a Labour led project…however, with up to 65% of Labour voters, and up to 80% of Green voters, according to the polls, if I am wrong – please let me know, supporting the Cannabis vote … simple Political management, which Labour is extremely good at, would inform you to have Plan B – to keep the supporters on side.

    If the special votes make it extremely close (ie…within 1%) for or against — then what?

    Shutting the door on over 1 million voters, especially if they are your natural supporters, is foolhardy…

    As for the other point, if it was the other way around — according to the polls (please let me know if I am wrong) — the No voters were mostly National/Act supporters — who lost the General Election— and who spread a hell of a lot of misinformation regarding the Cannabis vote, and wanted the Status Quo for some reason…

    So, doing nothing on the Cannabis Vote, is by default, following the National/Act agenda…not what the majority of people voted for in the General Election..

  39. Phillip ure 39

    Why would labour want to be on the wrong side of history…?…that puzzles me ..

  40. Labour will be on the wrong side of History if they do nothing…especially, if the Special Votes gets those For Votes almost to 50%…

    Keep in mind, the majority of the yes votes, seem to be from Labour/Green supporters, so, Labour needs to be mindful of this, and act on it going forward.

    Interestingly, the phase "why would we want to be on the wrong side of history?" has been used by the opposition to the following moments in NZ History

    • NZ Women gaining the vote
    • NZ becoming nuclear free
    • MMP vote

    Being on the so called wrong side of history, is what makes NZ the envy of the world in Social Movements, and Kiwis being beloved by the rest of the world.

    • Cannabis Law Reform

      let’s go, and get on the wrong side of history

  41. Graeme 41

    I'm surprised it was as close as this given the way it was presented.

    The proposal was a quite detailed regime that was quite seperate from the established recreational drug and entertainment industry, competing with them and actively excluding that industry from participating in any future cannabis industry. So the proposal wasn't only up against the wowsers, but actively went out of it's way to poke the liquor and tobacco industries in the eye.

    And it still got 48% of the vote.

    Something that was inclusive of existing bars and licensed cafes may have had a better chance. Or packaging it as a comprehensive recreational drug reform proposal with consistent rules across all legal drugs and legalising cannabis. Even learning from Seymour's methodology and taking it through parliament with approval by referendum to create consensus.

    Better luck next time.

  42. ken 42

    A huge victory for crime and the black market.

    I'm very disappointed in Little's response.

    If the votes of nearly half the electorate are ignored and no meaningful cannabis law reform happens in this term, I'll be a brand new Green voter next election.

  43. I too, am unhappy with Minister Little response…it shows a remarkable amount of contempt towards the For voters, who tend to be left wing voters…ie. the people who voted Minister Little into Government…

    Perhaps next election, those voters, think twice before voting for people like that —ie. vote another party…if no progress is made in Cannabis Law Reform.

    If Governments feel they can take your vote for granted, they will, trust me on that…so, make them earn it…come and get my vote is the message they need to understand

    • ken 43.1

      Many Labour MPs owe their jobs to people who voted "Yes" to cannabis law reform.

      They need to know this in no uncertain terms.

  44. Spot -on…

    The majority of Yes voters seem to left wing voters (Labour – Green), so, they cannot have it both ways – by saying, we need your votes to become Government, and once the Cannabis vote falls just short — state our hands are tied, we cannot, fulfil our voters/supporters vision.

    By doing this, Labour is fulfilling the National/Act policy towards Cannabis by default..not their supporters/voters…

    If they do not reform the Cannabis Laws — then they are no better than National (27% of the vote), and Act (8% of the vote)

    Labour please sort out the Cannabis Law mess

  45. left_forward 45

    Thank you Nathan for persisting with this line of thinking… I agree with you, a significant proportion of Labour’s support are likely to have voted yes. They should not ignore that.

  46. Thanks left_forward —- it does not hurt for Labour to learn this

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