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Vote No to Cannabis Reform

Written By: - Date published: 10:25 am, August 10th, 2020 - 118 comments
Categories: drugs, election 2020, referendum, uncategorized - Tags:

Ten reasons to vote against the proposal:

1. It’s In Your Professional Interests

You – and your employment – become unsafe for driving or for work under the influence of THC. The government tried to clean up this mess with a law enabling testing of drivers. It failed.

And to make it really clear, every employer who tests you and you are found doped up and they are employing you to drive, operate equipment, build, use tools, mine, or work in any processing plant, will send you home and not invite you back. Both NZTA and NZPolice know the legalisation move is wrong:

2. It Contradicts Our Smokefree 2025 Policy

Helen Clark, patron of Smokefree 2025, says that “We have only 7 years to achieve the Smokefree 2025 goal.” By enabling growing marijuana at home, the proposed bill encourages smoking. In 1996/97 our smoking rate was 25% in adults and it’s down to 15%. We’ve been working on this major health policy for three decades, it’s working, so why legalise a product that encourages smoking?

And of course, it’s bringing smoking into the home again, into family life, around pregnant mothers and newborns again … just when we’re trying to eradicate smoking there.

NZTA, Police, and Health: our three most powerful government entities for behavioural change show making this drug available for everyone to use is a really bad idea.

3. It’s a Much Harder Drug Than They Tell You.

It’ ain’t the 2% THC of Nambassa. The NZ government have indicated that they want to allow 15% THC content in products like vapes. In Colorado, average THC of all tested flower in 2017 was 19.6% and for concentrated extract products 68.6%.This isn’t some bucolic wilderness herb. And it won’t stop. When the potency is legally limited, the black market is simply empowered to produce higher THC products demanded by users.

4. We’ve Been Lied To Before And They Will Lie To Us Again

Tobacco companies lied to New Zealanders and to the world for more than a century about the dangers of smoking. It all looked so glamorous in the 1950s, 60s, and 1970’s. Just like marijuana looks so cool now. And to sustain that fantasy and smother any thought of harm they just lied in unison. Philip Morris and Altria (Marlboro) have already bought in big to marijuana. Let’s not re-open that door.

There is every motivation for big marijuana companies to get us to trust them, when we know we shouldn’t.

5. Marijuana is Addictive

According to virtually every scientific review, including a World Health Organisation report and a 2017 U.S. Academy of Sciences study, marijuana is addictive and harmful.

Drugs such as alcohol and tobacco are under greater and greater legal control, not less, because corporate-weakened law didn’t work, even though they generate such damage.

6. This Law Has Nothing To Do With TCH’s Medicinal Benefits

The WHO has proposed reclassifying this plants’ extracts for medicinal use.

New Zealand law agrees now that there’s got to be better alternatives to all  codeine derivatives, and all of them including Panadeine will be prescription-only from November this year. Take the drops and sleep easy.

There may well be excellent reasons for medical use of THC in regulated products. There’s a different law for medicinal THC use already. This referendum is different.

7. It’s Not Fixing A Criminal Problem …

In the last 3 years, only 16 people in total were given a prison or home detention sentence for cannabis possession – and these were all sentences influenced by their previous offending history. It’s not hauling the innocent off the street.

8. … And Will Likely Make It Worse

Not too long ago Canada went down this track even deeper.

Now, only 29% of Canadians buy all of their product legally. 81% get some or all of it from illegal and unregulated dealers. Portugal has seen a 23% rise in psychoactive substance abuse including synthetic cannabis.

We don’t have to be stupid like that.

9. There’s No Justice Issue Solved Here

No one in Black Lives Matter advocates for more legal drug use. They get it.

Smoking marijuana, like smoking tobacco, gets to New Zealand’s Maori and Pacifica the highest by a significantly high proportion.

In a similar trend to the placement of alcohol outlets and pokie machine venues in New Zealand, minority and low income groups are Big Marijuana’s targets for drug use and abuse. Stop them. Vote against this bill.

10. Suicide

We have one of the worst suicide rates in the world.

Researchers led by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (including New Zealand researchers) found that people who started smoking cannabis daily before the age of 17 are seven times more likely to commit suicide.

Legalising the purchase and possession for each person of up to 40 joints per day will increase this major mortal risk to our people.

Vote against this referendum question.

118 comments on “Vote No to Cannabis Reform ”

  1. That_guy 1

    "No one in Black Lives Matter advocates for more legal drug use"

    No one at all is doing this. Please detail a single instance of a single legalisation advocate actually advocating for more legal drug use. Just one will do.

  2. SPC 2

    I have no shares in medicinal marijuana companies and so I will will be voting yes, so people can legally self-medicate at a cost they can afford.

    I note allowing people to access bars at age 18 and people easier access to alcohol via supermarkerts has led to lower consumption – particularly by teens.

    Disclosure I submitted back in 1999 to the Health Committee that legal supply would reduce connection between consumers and those supplying the dangerous stuff like P.

    Continuance of a regime whereby the market for consumption is no longer sanctioned, but supply remains illegal is tacit tolerance for related corruption.

  3. SPC 4

    As for employment – a major gain from a legal change will be when casual users of marijuana will be able to access more jobs, and employers more employees.

    At the moment any detected use is seen as grounds for exclusion from employment, even where the historic trace THC does not impact on ability to work.

    The current discriminatory regime is bad for our economy.

  4. froggleblocks 5

    The authors of the Dunedin longitudinal study, the first study in the world to find a link between teenage use of cannabis and psychosis, say that after weighing up all of health evidence for cannabis, they think it should be legalised in New Zealand because this will enable those problems to be treated as health issues so people can receive the help they need.

    Article here, with link to their full study at the bottom: https://www.otago.ac.nz/news/news/otago738055.html

    As for AD’s claim #7 that only 16 people were given prison sentences due to cannabis possession, this appears to be a deliberate downplaying of the number of people who get caught up with the law due to cannabis possession. The actual stats are available here: https://www.justice.govt.nz/justice-sector-policy/research-data/justice-statistics/data-tables/#offence under “Cannabis offenses”.

    In the last 3 years, between 2400-2800 people each year were charged with possession of cannabis each year, 1655-1807 were convicted and it appears that between 250-309 people were imprisoned each year for possession of cannabis.

  5. SPC 6

    People should check Helen Clark Foundation to identify the Rt Hon Helen Clark's actual position.

    https://helenclark.foundation/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/the-case-for-yes-in-the-2020-cannabis-referendum.pdf

  6. Tricledrown 7

    Voting No is what all the gangs want so National should focus on getting them out to vote as National are good at cutting police numbers as well.

  7. Sam 8

    Only a tinny tinny fraction of marijuana smokers commit the sideways. If marijuana was correlated to suicide rates then closer to 20% of kiwi's would embrace lady death with open arms. So everything before reason number 10 is biased and unscientific, sorry.

  8. SPC 9

    The NZ government have indicated that they want to allow 15% THC content in products like vapes

    Ad is not to be taken seriously.

  9. greywarshark 10

    The major reason to vote in the cannabis referendum and vote FOR is to indicate that change is needed, you understand that the first move might not be perfect, but a movement must be made, and if needed altered to fit. Then education on the use of cannabis will be made legal, and the task of mopping up some of the damage caused by past prohibitive swingeing laws can be continued in a more forthright and straightforward way than up till now.

    We have got nowhere good by forbidding what some people find pleasure through, or that helps as well as damages, so let us be sensible, instead of telling others what they should do, preachy lot that we are.

    As we are going to be growing marijuana a lot – for medical purposes, and because it can supply some of our need for fabric, and apparently requires less toxic input than cotton, there will have to be standards and proper surveillance to ensure that the drug-strength type does not get out of hand. We will just have to be active, perhaps with agreements from police not to conduct raids on people who might be tempted, but understand it is in their interests not to grow against the law.

    I apologise that I haven’t really responded to the points raised in the post but have to do other things so short of time. But I put forward my points because this is an important step – to get a positive through, even if only a first step towards a well-crafted policy perhaps in consultation with those who are growers and consumers who have a grasp of the situation.

  10. Robert Guyton 11

    Is ADVANTAGE playing Devil's Advocate here, can anyone say?

    • froggleblocks 11.1

      I suspect there may be a follow up post called "Vote Yes to cannabis reform" that has already been written but not yet published, since the majority of the content in this post is garbage.

      • lprent 11.1.1

        I suspect that some author would write their opinion on the other side. I'm pretty much on the fence with cannabis. I can't see any reason in leaving it as a criminal offence. But I do want it at least as heavily regulated and taxed as alcohol.

        Personally I don't use cannabis and only tried it a couple of times. That was with the Nambassa level of weed in 1979. Even in small quantities it screwed up my programming (my acid test for anything even then) for 3 days with a dimwitted vagueness. Whereas booze gave me a sharp educational hangover and less than 12 hours loss of productivity if I overindulged.

        Drive drunk or on THC – expect jail. Adulterate booze or THC products – expect jail. Produce with too high a THC content in excess of regulations – expect jail. Operate heavy machinery while stoned and cause injury or death – expect jail. Avoid the excise tax on cannabis products (ie make, give away or sell it) – then expect the customs and the IRD.

        • Dennis Frank 11.1.1.1

          Drive drunk or on THC – expect jail

          Does the proposed legislation specify the blood level of THC required to send someone to jail?? I've seen no report that it does.

          Then there's the fact that recidivist drunk drivers are routinely not sent to jail by judges. At least, that's the impression in my mind created by the media in recent years – correct me if I'm wrong!

          I always found that driving when high was a breeze due to being more tuned into the environment. It was particularly good for synching with the traffic flow, so that when it gap started opening ahead, I was already pulling out to overtake & slot in again. Spent most of my life out-competing Ak traffic, would've had accidents if I'd been impaired…

          That said, I agree lotsa dumb buggers overdo intake & I'd be looking askance at them as much as anyone else. Never got rear-ended or side-swiped by one though, in half a century of finessing Ak traffic.

          • lprent 11.1.1.1.1

            As far as I am aware there won’t be in the proposed legislation.

            However the provisions of the summary offences and crimes act related to “intoxicating liquor”, “alcohol”, etc would have to be extended to cannabis. Currently they’d be prosecuted under the misuse of drugs act.

            If it is legal then quite a lot of that would need to be shifted into the summary offences and crimes act as well before it was legalised.

            Most ‘drunk’ and over the limit drivers aren’t a problem either. Nor those with some medical conditions like recent TIAs. Or those who don’t wear corrective glasses. However there is legislation deals with people who cause accidents and injuries under each of those. I can’t see why cannabis would be any different.

          • lprent 11.1.1.1.2

            That said, I agree lotsa dumb buggers overdo intake & I’d be looking askance at them as much as anyone else. Never got rear-ended or side-swiped by one though, in half a century of finessing Ak traffic.

            I’ve never been in a accident with anyone who was drunk or high either after 45 years of Auckland traffic. But I’m a pretty accident avoidance aware driver. I think I have had 5 accidents. Two were people abruptly turning right into me – both distracted by kids. One tire shredded after it found a exhaust dropped on the motorway and I wound up doing the last bit of braking against the barrier. Once turning right when I was 16 into a motorbike on a dark evening in heavy rain – no lights on the bike and siblings in teh back.

            I have been rear ended on the bridge jam by an young over-sexed idiot chattering away to a woman in the passenger seat. I’d been already watching him in the mirror because he didn’t appear to be paying attention. In a the usual traffic jam jerk, move and stop, he failed to stop (I think he missed the brake and nearly made me ram into the person in front. There is literally nothing I could have done to prevent that. Cars to the left, barrier to the right. Needless to say, the twerp didn’t get out, and pulled away as soon as he could. Neither the insurance nor the police seemed too interested in chasing him either.

            But legislation isn’t there for the usual. It is there for handling the exceptions. Someone driving a lorry with unsecured gear on the back – because they were too stoned to be bothered and decided it’d probably be ok. A stoned friend of mine nearly did exactly that. I tied it down and took his keys off him.

            • Dennis Frank 11.1.1.1.2.1

              I've been in three – all caused by other drivers. One was a red-light runner in torrential rain in Sydney 44 years ago and the other two were folks suddenly deciding to turn right while I was overtaking them!

              That reminds me of a near miss a few years ago on the western motorway between Te Atatu & town, heading into the city in the fast lane I was passing a bus when it started to cross the lane markings into my lane!

              I hit the brakes but still had to run up onto the median strip before I could stop – fortunately not scraping the barrier and staying clear of the bus. It pulled over & parked on the motorway verge eventually and luckily surrounding traffic was light, so I went to talk to the driver who apologised profusely. A Maori woman – reckoned she hadn't seen me!

          • Gabby 11.1.1.1.3

            Lots of things are now much clearer.

        • Sabine 11.1.1.2

          But I do want it at least as heavily regulated and taxed as alcohol

          Is that not the point of 'legalizing/tolerating/allowing' weed?

          Fact is that now any teenager (won't nobody think of ze children), or adult who wants a smoke will find a way to a tinny house, with no idea what he / she buys, how strong it is, if it is laced etc etc etc. Vs, go to Holland and you get a menu card with the different strains, thc levels, how it acts on the brain, etc, plus a reminder that you can only buy so many joints or so much weed and or hash before falling foul of the law. Same with selling to underage patron, it is a 'closed shop' forever if getting caught doing that in Holland. It was quite an eye opener to see how it is handled there.

          If we don't want regulation and taxation and treating addiction as a health issue rather then a criminal issue we don't need the referendum, and we don't need to vote on it. Personal use is of no importance imo, no more then i would like booze to be regulated the way it is, all the while not being a drinker.

        • Sacha 11.1.1.3

          acid test

          heh 🙂

        • mosa 11.1.1.4

          "Drive drunk or on THC – expect jail. Adulterate booze or THC products – expect jail. Produce with too high a THC content in excess of regulations – expect jail. Operate heavy machinery while stoned and cause injury or death – expect jail. Avoid the excise tax on cannabis products (ie make, give away or sell it) – then expect the customs and the IRD "

          Legalise but know the limitations and consequences. Kiwis hate it enforced but operate safely within the law and own the responsibility.

      • weka 11.1.2

        I'll probably do a cut and paste, reply to the points thing if I get some time.

  11. Dennis Frank 12

    Been down this road so many times before. 🙄 We need more criminals! Let's do arbitrary targeting of random members of the public!

    But I agree it's a worthy issue at a time when both major parties are seeking to clone each other and underwhelm the electorate.

    Regarding point #5, which appears to be a deliberate con, here's the current govt view: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/marijuana-addictive

  12. Richard Ellis 13

    So your for denying adults the right to choose how they alter their state but alcohol is fine?

  13. RosieLee 14

    I will not be smoking it because smoking anything is bad for your lungs – and that also includes vaping. However, I have experienced the amazing pain relief which consuming it brings and therefore I will be voting yes and growing my own allowable supply. We cannot allow it to become another product controlled by Big Pharma.

    • Jilly Bee 14.1

      I will be voting yes for exactly the same reasoning as you RosieLee. I also won't be smoking it, as I gave up smoking nearly 30 years ago and have no intention of kick starting that habit again. The nearest I have come to the real thing for pain relief is a wee bottle of CBD oil which I use on my arthritic joints with surprising relief. I also will have a plant or two in the back garden for my own personal use, if the vote is in the affirmative

  14. mauī 15

    7. It’s Not Fixing A Criminal Problem …

    In the last 3 years, only 16 people in total were given a prison or home detention sentence for cannabis possession

    Uh, what? In 2019, there were 786 instances (28%) where people were convicted for cannabis offences only…

    https://www.justice.govt.nz/justice-sector-policy/research-data/justice-statistics/data-tables/ (See Cannabis Offences section)

    and 2,018 instances where people were convicted of cannabis offences and other offences.

    So on average about 8 cannabis related convictions are handed out every day in New Zealand.

    • lprent 15.1

      given a prison or home detention sentence for cannabis possession

      786 instances (28%) where people were convicted for cannabis offences only

      Can I suggest that you read your quoted section and compare it to the completely different thing that you compared it to.

      I suspect that the point that Ad was making is that it is what the yanks would call a misdemeanour – like letting your dog crap on a beach or dropping waste oil from a car engine in a waterway or smoking in a restaurant and then being a self-righteous arsehole when being kicked out. You get a slap over the wrist and a fine.

      Incidentally I’m picking examples where I think prison time would be my preferred option. Anyone who has wound up with dog crap, a dead eel in a stream or smoke of a wanker on your food would feel the same

      The problem with Ad's example is that a cannabis conviction tends to cause problems with 'criminal' records. Both here with employers and also when you try to travel offshore to some countries.

      • froggleblocks 15.1.1

        See my reply at #5, to me it looks like 250-309 got prison sentences for possession in the last 3 years.

        Obviously the numbers are not clear and since AD didn’t provide a source we can only guess where he got the numbers from.

  15. tom 16

    pathetic article, worst I have seen on this website for a long long time, a true hack job (the hosk would be proud of it), am too busy to comment on here generally, I do like to read the website and keep up with how the left is thinking, but had to comment on this just to say how terrible and lacking of facts it is, no balance whatsoever. For all appearances it looks like it has been written by a five yr old religious zealot based on Big Pharma's PR propaganda notes

    Who let this guy write this crap and let it be posted?

    To the author this is a joke and an embarrassment to yourself

    Can someone write an op ed to this crap just for balance, I gladly would if time was not an issue

    If not, to all who may take this seriously please look up the other side of this argument so you can see how pitiful this article is

  16. left_forward 17

    Woah!

    You do realise Ad that the reform is unlikely to increase cannabis ‘smoking’ by very much, by it not being an 'illegal' activity health problems and issues can be so much easily addressed, your figures on current prosecutions are entirely wrong, and that the 'underground' nature of the current industry connects it to the more serious offences and harder drug use?

    I am surprised to see such a poorly informed opinion piece on this subject.

  17. punkscience 18

    Was this a blog post that got taken down? I can't see anything but comments rightfully shredding the proposal. Seriously, it's 2020, what sort of arsehat advocates *not* legalising cannabis? FFS!

  18. Chris 19

    "Drugs such as alcohol and tobacco are under greater and greater legal control, not less, because corporate-weakened law didn’t work, even though they generate such damage."

    Blinkin' heck. Where did you get this one from? Alcohol and tobacco are legal FFS.

  19. Brigid 20

    Your reasons are dubious and/or unfounded. A splendid display of mis-information.

  20. Warren Doney 21

    1. It's very unlikely that use will increase, so it follows that voting yes will actually reduce or not affect exposure to those risks.

    2. We can encourage people to vape or use edibles, and again, the number of people smoking will not increase.

    3. Potency will be regulated, so people will know exactly how powerful it is. They are much less likely to use large amounts like the people at Nambassa did.

    4. Any influence they have will be in the open, and subject to regulation and scrutiny. It's extremely unlikely they will be allowed a big share of the market.

    5. Yes. As such, addiction to it should be treated medically, rather than criminalised.

    6. True, but a helpful effect of legalising may be reducing the cost of medical use.

    7. A criminal record is a huge problem, which can greatly limit peoples choices in life, and many people are still convicted for possession.

    8. If you look that up, the increase in all illegal psychoactive substance use in Portugal was 1.9%, and the law there is different than what's proposed here. The stats from Canada seem to contradict each other, and mean 29% of people aren't interacting with illegal suppliers, a huge harm reduction.

    9. The Justice issue solved is criminalising one part of the population more than others. Big Marijuana does not have to be part of the market. This is out and out patronising too.

    10. This definitely needs more study. We should educate children about the risks. I do wonder if at-risk teens are much more likely to use though.

    Thanks for the exercise. 10 worries me.

  21. Barfly 22

    I am an alcoholic (or i have "alcohol dependence syndrome" as it is called these days) oddly enough when I am smoking cannabis I lose interest in drinking – so….

    4 kilos of beer a day or 1.5 kilos of wine a day or .001 kilos of cannabis a day – guess which my doctor says is the least harmful for me?

    I will be voting yes and if it passes and I can grow 2 plants for personal use I will also be so much better off financially as well as health wise.

    I believe the 3 main groups opposed to this are wowsers, gangs and alcohol pushers / manufacturers.

  22. Robert Guyton 23

    "The Prime Minister,’s Chief Science Advisor, Professor Juliet Gerrard, left, has assembled a good, balanced summary of the evidence with her expert panel on cannabis."

    "

    Two big questions, two “yes” votes from me.

    Aside from choosing who we think should run the country, we have some serious science-related issues to consider with a non-binding referendum on whether to legalise cannabis and a binding referendum on voluntary euthanasia awaiting our votes on September 19."

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/science/300076434/science-and-the-nz-cannabis-and-euthanasia-referendums

  23. mpledger 24

    I'm not surprised only 29% of people buy it legally. In NZ, a huge number of people get it for free when they take a puff or two when a smoke is doing the rounds i.e. from friends. I guess friends count as illegal and unregulated dealers. But those friends would be classified the same with alcohol if they offered wine at dinner.

    There is a high proportion of users using quite small amounts of marijuana very occasionaly. So the proportion of people buying legally isn't so much of interest but the proportion of marijuana being sold through legal channels is.

  24. bwaghorn 25

    I'm leaning towards a no vote.

    Mainly because it wont take more than ten years and there will be a tinny shop or two in every shopping center selling dopes equivalent to codies 8% cans .

    And as Ad says the weed today is mind numbingly strong.

    • Sabine 25.1

      so you are saying we need to reduce the amount of booze shops and prevent the sale of any hard liquors say over 6%?

      right? Right? No?

    • Cinny 25.2

      No there won't be bwaghorn, that's a complete myth. Has the current law stopped the gangs from setting up 'tinny houses' that will sell to anyone no matter their age? Nope.

      Voting yes will allow control and regulation over where it is sold and the age of the purchaser.

      How would communities be able to have a say in where retail and consumption premises are located?

      The Authority would make decisions on where cannabis consumption premises and retail premises would be located, on a case-by-case basis.

      Communities could be involved by:

      • taking part in the development of local licensed premises policies, including how close retail and consumption premises should be to schools, places of worship and other community facilities
      • making public submissions on licensing applications.

      https://www.referendums.govt.nz/cannabis/faq.html

      • Sabine 25.2.1

        that would be the same way as booze shops right? Zoning laws?

      • The Al1en 25.2.2

        Near schools I'll concede, 'cause someone has to think of the children (Mr's Lovejoy), but bollox to places of worship being a special condition. Them cults shouldn't infringe on law abiding citizens being able to go about their business.

      • solkta 25.2.3

        I used to buy dope from a tinny house that backed onto a primary school.

    • Barfly 25.3

      I would very much like to use this substance instead of alcohol which has been the bane of my life I ask you to please vote yes to help people such as myself.

      Thank you for your consideration.

      • bwaghorn 25.3.1

        I used to smoke pot . After a while it didnt agree with me (messed my brain up) one of the things that stopped me smoking it often was that I hated dealing with dealers. If it had been legal I would have followed my mob to the cafe for more .

        Maybe they could look at medicinal pot for recovering alkies, similar to methadone for junkies

    • Worik 25.4

      Mainly because it wont take more than ten years and there will be a tinny shop or two in every shopping center selling dopes equivalent to codies 8% cans .

      I am unsure how legal shops under state regulation is worse than the tinnie houses run by organised crime that we have now.

      My biggest concern about the current situation is the stigmatising of people, young and old. People's careers being ruined, travel plans disrupted, prospects damaged. Why? It all seems a bit sadistic to me. I want to be part of making people's lives better rather than worse.

  25. Tiger Mountain 26

    Jeez, another steam powered ADVANTAGE post, that seems to have lost its /sarc tag!

    This info graphic is as simple as it gets to explain the Bill…

    https://www.makeitlegal.nz/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Bill-Info-short.png

  26. observer 27

    Arguments for "No" essentially come down to "I've seen what it can do, it's terrible, let's not go there". How do they know? Because that what happens now. We are there. They're describing the status quo.

    If you vote "No" you endorse the status quo, a continuing tragedy that inflicts plenty of pain for no gain. I'm voting Yes.

  27. Sabine 28

    yeah, nah, nah,

    i will be voting yes.

  28. mary_a 29

    This old bird will be ticking yes.

  29. Draco T Bastard 30

    And to make it really clear, every employer who tests you and you are found doped up and they are employing you to drive, operate equipment, build, use tools, mine, or work in any processing plant, will send you home and not invite you back.

    They don't do it to people who've spent the weekend getting shit-faced on alcohol and are just as impaired on Monday, i.e, they aren't. And the reason why they can get away with such abuse of power, as detailed by you, is because marijuana is illegal.

    The government tried to clean up this mess with a law enabling testing of drivers. It failed.

    Nothing in that article indicates that the governments actions, which haven't been legislated for yet, have failed.

    By enabling growing marijuana at home, the proposed bill encourages smoking.

    No it doesn't. There are, after all, other ways to partake of marijuana that don't involve smoking. I understand that cookies and chocolate are favourites.

    When the potency is legally limited, the black market is simply empowered to produce higher THC products demanded by users.

    The potency isn't really an issue. Never has been. The illegal control of it by organised crime, on the other hand, is and legalisation will help remove that control and leave it in the hands of legal authority.

    Drugs such as alcohol and tobacco are under greater and greater legal control, not less, because corporate-weakened law didn’t work, even though they generate such damage.

    Did you know that NZ is one of the few countries in the world where it is legal to own a still? Don't even need a license. Legal to grow your own tobacco as well. The law, as suggested, would just make it the same for marijuana.

    There may well be excellent reasons for medical use of THC in regulated products. There’s a different law for medicinal THC use already.

    Yeah, a law that actively prevents people who need it getting it.

    It’s Not Fixing A Criminal Problem …

    Meanwhile, in the real world, people have to encounter dangerous criminals because the only way to get drugs is through the criminals. See, prohibition is a criminal problem because it creates criminals to supply.

    Portugal has seen a 23% rise in psychoactive substance abuse including synthetic cannabis.

    Everything I find on the net indicates that that is an outright lie.

    No one in Black Lives Matter advocates for more legal drug use. They get it.

    Apparently they don't. Legalisation has, across the world, resulted in less drug use.

    In a similar trend to the placement of alcohol outlets and pokie machine venues in New Zealand, minority and low income groups are Big Marijuana’s targets for drug use and abuse.

    That requires better laws for positioning of alcohol outlets and pokie machines – not keeping marijuana illegal.

    Legalising the purchase and possession for each person of up to 40 joints per day will increase this major mortal risk to our people.

    Legalisation won't make it legal for 17 year olds to have access to marijuana. And where the hell do you get a notion that people are going to smoke joints a day? One or two on a Saturday to relax is more likely.

    Voting for and all the lies you published just reinforces that decision.

  30. Stuart Munro 31

    Meh – haven't touched it in thirty years. Might put a couple of plants in though – apparently white butterflies don't like it – which goes some way to explaining Dunne's opposition.

  31. Cinny 32

    Dad has been dead against it, he even refused to look at all the evidence, it's been a topic of conversation between dad and I for years. For context, dad is a baby boomer, he loves his wine and can be very stubborn.

    Mum convinced Dad to watch Chloe Swarbrick and nick smith discuss the matter via The Nation in the weekend. Yesterday I asked Dad if he watched Chloe and nick.

    He replied.. "Yes I did and I've changed my mind and will now be voting yes."

    I said to him… 'good on you dad, I'm happy you are wise enough to consider changing your mind when presented with additional information.'

    And a big THANK YOU to Chloe for sensibly explaining the facts and de-bunking the plethora of misinformation.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2020/08/cannabis-referendum-chloe-swarbrick-and-nick-smith-get-fired-up-over-cannabis.html

  32. McFlock 33

    On the "professional interests" point, I'd suggest that legalisation/decriminalisation would actually help people, as it would make the use bans indefensible. The presence of a drug in the bloodstream doesn't mean intoxication – otherwise no bar would be allowed to sell more than one beer to anyone.

    OSH requirements would then have to identify actual impairment before use, rather than drug presence. And actual imparment would then include fatigue, which would make life a lot more difficult for employers.

    • Draco T Bastard 33.1

      And actual imparment would then include fatigue, which would make life a lot more difficult for employers.

      QFT

      Legalisation of marijuana would help remove the abuse of power that we see from business in many areas including over-work.

  33. phantom snowflake 34

    #10 is a great example of the correlation/ causation fallacy. I would suggest that the link between early cannabis use and increased risk of suicide is that both are likely to be consequences of childhood trauma. (e.g. sexual abuse)

    • Cinny 34.1

      Advantage's justification for #10 is…

      Researchers led by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (including New Zealand researchers) found that people who started smoking cannabis daily before the age of 17 are seven times more likely to commit suicide.

      But, no one is advocating for those under 20 to use or consume cannabis.

      • Sabine 34.1.1

        however now they can because it is not regulated. That is the issue innit?

        The status quo allows for all the things that Ad is so worried about.

        • Sam 34.1.1.1

          There's always a lag time between trying a controlled substance and becoming of legal age so the age of consent has to be sufficient enough that school kids don't start showing up with legal weed otherwise the whole thing will get shut down overnight with my blessing. So an age limit of 21 seems about correct.

          • Sabine 34.1.1.1.1

            try Holland. Any coffee shop that gets busted for selling to underaged customers is pretty much closed down on the spot for ever. And despite the idea that many have it is NOT easy to get a lisence fro a coffee shop. So no one would risk it.

            And we have laws already on the book for dealing with under aged customers and booze, same can apply to weed.

            • Sam 34.1.1.1.1.1

              I think we should just be reasonable to each other and fuck all the assholes trying to make-believe Labour Party Polling isn't effecting their own mental health.

        • Cinny 34.1.1.2

          Yes.

          Well said Sabine.

    • Sam 34.2

      No one wants this smoke because economics easily confuses the emotionally challenged. If it's causation you're after look no further than monetary policy, there's no need to get imaginative.

  34. bwaghorn 35

    If were going to legalize dope why not all other drugs?

    You can use exactly the same arguments for weed as p .

    People smoking p is a health issue not criminal one.

    Popping es are far less likely cause end of night violence than alcohol.

    I could go on.

    Legalize it all or none . If gangs lose their dope profits they'll just push other shit harder.

    Theres no putting the genie back in the bottle on this .

  35. esoteric pineapples 36

    There is an argument that marijuana should only be used by beatniks, artists and the criminal fringe. Marijuana should be what delineates the mainstream conformists (non users) from the outsiders and free thinkers in society. Perhaps its purpose was and always be, to serve that special blessed few for whom it is the best drug. Most straights who try it, find pretty quickly that it isn't good for them. Let's not waste it on them. If by the age of 30 people haven’t discovered that marijuana is much more suitable for sex than alcohol, then they don’t deserve it.

    • Dennis Frank 36.1

      If by the age of 30 people haven’t discovered that marijuana is much more suitable for sex than alcohol, then they don’t deserve it.

      Fair point. Although from a spiritual perspective (reincarnational karma), rather than implying moral judgment I'd prefer the view that it isn't a part of their experiential agenda.

      I suspect the aphrodisiac effect is a by-product of attunement, which is why homeopathic discipline (a single toke) always seemed to work best. Afficianados will no doubt debate such technical points in meetings of old hippies the Cannabis Liberation Eventually Veterans Expertise Renaissance (CLEVER) when it finally gets established…

  36. Ken 37

    I have problems with the very first point.

    A drug test for cannabis does not indicate whether or not you are "doped up" – it is not an impairment test, and merely indicates the presence of cannabis metabolites which show that at some time in the last month or so you consumed cannabis.

    What business is it of your employer if you had a puff on a joint in your own time a month ago?

  37. Craig H 38

    I've never smoked the stuff even once, but will be voting Yes as I think the total harm to society is higher from the illegality of marijuana than just legalising and regulating it. Smoking anything is bad for our lungs, and it's a narcotic so obviously there are going to be negative health effects from smoking or ingesting it, but people don't seem to have much difficulty getting hold of it now, so the illegality or otherwise of marijuana only impacts the criminal justice system, not anything else.

  38. Lettuce 39

    "6. This Law Has Nothing To Do With TCH’s Medicinal Benefits"

    No, I wouldn't have thought so. I'm yet to hear about any of TCH's purported benefits, medicinal or otherwise.

    • Cinny 39.1

      THC has been found to have analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, as well as being able to prevent and reduce vomiting.

      Lettuce, have you ever spoken to a person with cancer who has taken medical cannabis?

      It helps tremendously with their nausea, appetite and sleep difficulties. And is safer than taking a bunch of pills.

      Sadly however, medical cannabis is currently unaffordable even if it is available.

      I absolutely recommend speaking with cancer survivors and sufferers who have used medical cannabis compared with those who haven't.

      • froggleblocks 39.1.1

        Lettuce was highlighting the TCH typo.

        • Cinny 39.1.1.1

          Ohhhhhh. Lmfao !!! Facepalm moment. Geez I'm a donut sometimes lolololz

          Apologies Lettuce and thanks Froggleblocks 🙂

          • Lettuce 39.1.1.1.1

            No worries Cinny. We're in complete agreement on this issue. I have a chronic medical condition and would love to be able to try a form of CBD oil other than Sativex, which isn't subsidised by Pharmac and currently costs ~$1200/month.

  39. I no longer drink or partake in any drug use (20 years clean), however I also have no problem with citizens making up their own mind when it comes to smoking or otherwise using marijuana for whatever purpose they see fit, and hopefully with the right education..(and this is of course the kicker) in moderation.

    Trust our local reactionary AVANTAGE to be against it..comes as no surprise.

  40. gsays 41

    Excellent post. That is as succinct and on-to-it the anti-pot argument gets.

    Most of the flaws in the thinking have already been pointed out above.

    The alcohol lobbying against reform hasn't got going like I thought it would by now.

  41. lurgee 42

    On the one hand, I am very down with the idea of not criminalising young people and creating unnecessary hostility towards and negative associations towards the police.

    On the other hand, I am not happy with people being encouraged to be even less politically aware and motivated. Opium of the people, and all that, only subbing marijuana for religion in the making the proles tolerant of their lot.

  42. gsays 43

    Out of interest, the word marijuana was used in the US to help drum up negative associations with Mexicans around the late 1920's – late '30s. The black jazz muso's were also in the sights of the authorities.

    U.S. Narcotics Commissioner Henry Anslinger was fond of using racism and hyperbole in his war on drugs.

    • Chris T 43.1

      Think that is one of those bollocks myths to be honest. The word was first used in the 1800s

      I am still not sure whether to vote yes or no.

      I partly personally think it is a bad idea, but will probably end up voting yes as everyone smokes the stuff anyway, so it isn't like it will do much more harm.

      • joe90 43.1.1

        Marijuana didn't exist as a word in white America’s culture. Cannabis was widely used in medicines and remedies right up until white America trotted out marijuana, Spanish for cannabis, to incite reefer madness.

  43. Hanswurst 44

    I'm staggered at how easily so many are trolled.

  44. Byd0nz 45

    I gave up drinking at 19 in 1964 and been smoking weed ever since, from Bhuda Sticks to growing my own. Iv'e seen many stoned out folk and it has only when they start drinking as well when things start goin bad for them. Would be better to hold a referendum on banning alcohol if one is serious about a harmful drug.

  45. adam 46

    So fun reading this, reminded me that liberals always rush to defend capitalism and the status quo at any cost.

    Then you really go down the rabbit hole of anti disabled line as as well when you ran with section 6. This Law Has Nothing To Do With TCH’s Medicinal Benefits.

    The medical cannabis law is an ass, and a excessive expensive for most. Once again making it virtually impossible for the poor and disenfranchised. Lets not forget you just miss the point by only talking about THC, which makes me think you have not read any medical research on how cannabis works medically.

    Then you double down on the racist war on drugs shit with your point 7. Actually so many racist comments in you post – if made by anyone else on this site would get them a hefty ban.

    Point 10 – ultimate pearl clutching no basis in fact liberal crap. I'd say join the national party, but I think you already have.

  46. trained ape 47

    What trash! Lies and misinformation. Look at the evidence from Colorado and the Good News Story is crystal clear, legalizing cannabis reduces harm with positive side-effects. You have it backwards Mr. ADVANTAGE. Vote Yes for so many reasons. Helen Clark has it right, she has seen the actual evidence, and you have clearly not. Vote YES.

  47. Rae 48

    Are you a gang boss, running a tinny house, afraid you will lose business and the gateway to getting your clients onto meth which is far easier for you to obtain and way more addictive?

  48. Jason 49

    Firstly, you have no right to tell people what they can do with their own bodies in the privacy of their own homes. In fact, I actively compare prohibition within the context of private, personal consumption to be the equivalent of child abuse because you're infantilizing adults in order to violate their autonomy, then punishing them when they refuse to be infantilized. A lot of people will be offended by those remarks, but it reflects the social norms we've come to adopt regardless of their coherence. If you really want to help people with mental health/addiction and carcinogens, it would be more effective to ban social media and cars, but of course that will not happen.

    Big tobacco is bad, and of course there will always be corporate aspect to it, but guess what – big cannabis corporations already exists, their called gangs and they cause significantly more social harm that the plant does.

    When it comes to addition…Well, sugar is addictive and causes physical harm, for some people over-working is addictive and causes physical harm, social media can be addictive and causes harm. Exercising can be addictive because it produces dopamine, caffeine is addictive and a lot of people suffer from withdrawal when they haven’t had a coffee. Everyone has habits, and everyone has habits that can be detrimental, everyone has some form of addiction and those who say they don't are in denial. It's ridiculous to single out one addiction when there are a meriad of activities that can become addictions, many of which are merely habits that do not cause harm to the person engaging in it. Some people may become addicted to cannabis, and some people will not.

    Attempting to control people because, of course, you know better, is the sort of mindset that leads to atrocities, ie, prohibition. Prohibition is the government saying that a drug will ruin a person's life and ruin the community, then proceeds to ruin peoples lives through criminal offences (say growing your own plants for personal use- which is still illegal), and ruins people communities by flooding them with gang-related crime. It's like the Government saying that the drug is dangerous and will ruin your life, so the government needs to ruin your life before the drug can.

    Drug prohibition is the prohibition of regulation, not the prohibition of drugs. The prohibition of drugs is impossible because people want to use drugs, and will continue to want to use drugs perpetually into the future. Even in countries where people can be executed for minor drug crimes, there are still people using drugs. It's nonsense that helps no-one and improves nothing.

    I understand that people are concerned about the drugs because of the physical and social harms, but prohibition causes more harm than it reduces. Also, the drug scheduling we've adopted is pseudo-scientific and is not related to harm or addiction.

    https://www.sciencealert.com/researchers-rank-recreational-drugs-based-on-how-dangerous-they-are

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