Legalisation of cannabis

Legalisation of cannabis

Cannabis is less harmful than alcohol and many other drugs, and its users should not be treated like criminals. Police resources are wasted on prohibiting cannabis when it instead can be legalised and taxed for the benefit of society.

Showing 77 reactions

  • John Alan Draper
    commented 2016-11-28 12:29:39 +1300
    “A referendum may well indicate what the majority of people would like but does not necessarily provide society with the regulations it needs to function for the benefit of everybody.” The continuing obscenity of the war on drugs is evidence that the present system is not providing society with the regulations it needs to function for the benefit of everybody. The only people who benefit from the war on drugs are criminal gangs.
  • duncan cairncross
    commented 2016-11-27 15:46:18 +1300
    The war on drugs has failed – legalize and regulate ALL drugs
  • Graeme Kiyoto-Ward
    commented 2016-11-27 12:55:16 +1300
    It’s important to find topics, to comment on them and to discuss them. The more thought that goes into them the better the kick off they will get. A referendum is mechanism to achieve change. You have one view (it’s a way to overcome objections), I have another (it’s too risky to leave to chance for something with this much potential for positive change – and takes too long). None of us have the right answer as there are facts that would be best researched. What is the appetite for reform. Is the appetite for reform that could be put in a referenda sufficient to allow for policy changes that in fact could make a difference? We have different perspectives and that’s OK. As long as the objection is specific and stated, then the conversation is constructive. Your comment the hysteria that decriminalisation can bring is hugely valuable because it opens the door for the thinking needed to counter it. This forum is a scratchpad of ideas. Each comment and each perspective and each specifically stated objection improves the idea it discusses. Please keep talking.
  • John Alan Draper
    commented 2016-11-27 12:09:05 +1300
    If a referendum is a bad idea, I would suggest no mention of drugs in the policies. Leave all the other parties to deal with that red hearing.
  • Robert Murray
    commented 2016-11-27 11:52:15 +1300
    Lets also have a referendum on abolishing the open road speed limit – after all, lots of people speed – and its grossly unfair they should all be fined the same regardless of their income. How about a referendum to remove all restrictions on the sale of alcohol. Or one on free vegetables in supermarkets or to abolish tax on citizens. A referendum may well indicate what the majority of people would like but does not necessarily provide society with the regulations it needs to function for the benefit of everybody.
  • Graeme Kiyoto-Ward
    commented 2016-11-27 10:29:26 +1300
    I think a campaign of non drug users for drug reform woukd be a better option. I am a non user. I am happy to undergo a test at the drop of a hat and I am advocating and end to criminalizing in favour of harm reduction. Yhere will be many like me. My fear is that the drug trade for which I have no involvement or care could impact me or my family indirectly for the criminal behaviour it encourages. My most likely impact on me personally from drugs is to get burgled or robbed in the street or have it happen to my family. Fight back against the hysterics. Fight the harm.

    The hysterical crowd are noisy but probably small. A referendum isn’t fighting for what’s right. It’s asking for a lottery on this important issue.
  • John Alan Draper
    commented 2016-11-27 10:13:52 +1300
    Hysterical maniacs are not interested in evidence, they are only interested in screaming nonsense. Just like Brexit and Trump supporters, they will shout their prejudice against drugs and drown out all rational evidence. The Dotcom Party only mentioned drug decriminalisation and they were painted as druggies. Everyone forgot the rest of their policies.

    At least with a referendum, the TOP Party can stand aside and have no official position on drug legislation. They could take the position that the electorate will listen to all the evidence as adults and vote accordingly. A referendum is an ideal opportunity for everyone to present their evidence in a calm and rational way. Obviously plenty of irrational noise will be spouted from both sides but hopefully the majority will see through it.

    Whether a political party has policies of legalising or retaining the status quo, either way they are treating the electorate as children. Nanny state in other words. I suspect that if people are presented with solid evidence that the war on drugs has been an unmitigated disaster, the majority will be mature enough to realise that.

    Even if the majority voted to retain the status quo, the debate will have been started. People will have rational evidence rather than prejudice. A future referendum could have a different outcome.
  • Mark Alford
    tagged this with important 2016-11-27 09:40:21 +1300
  • Graeme Kiyoto-Ward
    commented 2016-11-26 23:09:46 +1300
    I think Brexit has taught us that binding referenda are a crap shoot. The party is around evidence based policies. I think we should have an evidence backed plan.
  • John Alan Draper
    commented 2016-11-26 21:11:04 +1300
    Have a binding referendum on whether drugs should be treated as a health issue or criminal issue. If the hysterical maniacs claim the world will end, they can be asked if they support democracy.
  • John Alan Draper
    tagged this with low priority 2016-11-26 21:11:03 +1300
  • sckrd
    tagged this with essential 2016-11-26 17:05:18 +1300
  • Graeme Kiyoto-Ward
    commented 2016-11-26 14:15:32 +1300
    It’s been fifty years of prohibition that are now producing harder drugs and organised crime. My belief is that it’s way past time to look at this. I get that narcotics are bad for people and there are health risks. Are these really worse than having a criminal record and time on prison to muck up a person’s life. My position on this is that we are better focusing on harm minimization and decriminalising and undermining the profits that attract criminal involvement minimizes the harm on society and releases/generates sufficient funds for a very significant harm minimization programme focused on the individuals. I believe this makes incredibly good economic sense. I would support this being one of the seven key policy areas. There is a lot of historical baggage, some sacred cows, a lot of emotion and also a significant number of examples of different approaches that can be used for evidence based policy. I won’t say any more on it and will let others say what they will. I would be interested in helping to gather/review the evidence if this was to become a platform policy.
  • Frances Palmer
    commented 2016-11-26 13:11:56 +1300
    I know it’s the wrong time for NZ to be looking at legalising cannabis. Because we haven’t yet addressed why we have such a strong tendency to misuse drugs (including alcohol). Guess if you haven’t experienced first hand the destruction cannabis brings (its roulette-like ability to trigger mental illness) you may believe its harmless. It isn’t. The challenge is to answer the questions around why NZ’ers seem to need to turn to alcohol and other drugs at a rate so much higher than many countries. If legalising is the answer, then how come we’re making such a hash of alcohol use?
  • Frances Palmer
    tagged this with dislike 2016-11-26 13:11:56 +1300
  • Robert Murray
    commented 2016-11-26 11:52:30 +1300
    Ex user here. I believe its effects are far more insidious than is being claimed and like alcohol does harm society. If we can’t ban alcohol do we want to add another drug to the freely available list. If your life is so bad you need alcohol/dope to enjoy it, perhaps you should reconsider your lifestyle.
  • Richard Wyles
    tagged this with important 2016-11-26 11:22:56 +1300
  • Graeme Kiyoto-Ward
    commented 2016-11-26 10:45:06 +1300
    I think there’s a enough evidence. Spain, Colorado, Switzerland, the Netherlands. It’s just prolonging the pain. The war on drugs has lasted 50 years and caused endless pain and suffering and destroyed countless livelihoods. It’s time to draw it to a close. It’s had its chance, we need to bring it to an end.
  • John Rusk
    commented 2016-11-26 10:08:06 +1300
    Many jurisdictions have made this change recently (e.g. several US states). As an evidence-based party, does it make sense for TOP to wait a while, letting those other jurisdictions conduct their experiments for longer and thereby gather more data to inform us?
  • John Rusk
    tagged this with low priority 2016-11-26 10:08:05 +1300
  • Ian Butcher
    commented 2016-11-26 06:11:11 +1300
    This might be a repeat post as I’m getting acquainted with the system, so apologies if it’s doubled up.
    We need to grow up. The idea that you can be prosecuted for smoking a dried plant you’ve grown in your own garden is ridiculous.
    De-criminalise pot. If people want to smoke it, let them, what more harm could that do than the current regime.
    I am not a user, but as I get older I’m more tempted than ever.
  • David ten Have
    tagged this with essential 2016-11-26 05:12:45 +1300
  • Graeme Kiyoto-Ward
    commented 2016-11-25 23:46:14 +1300
    This is perhaps the quickest win. I’m going to go further and urge for decriminalising narcotics in general. We need to replace the current focus on criminalization with one of harm reduction. Narcotics should be on the same playing field as gambling, smoking, etc. It issue we face is spending significant amounts of money and police time essentially trying to remove drugs but all this does is reduce supply and raise the price of drugs to the point that it can sustain organised crime. Although we don’t want the impacts on individuals of harder drugs, we less want the impact to spread into the wider community. Managing harm to individuals is easier than managing harm to communities. In order to implement this policy, drugs need a tax and the IRD needs good enforcement powers to collect on it. If people are attempting to profit from drugs then it becomes a tax issue and that is a far better system for dealing with illicit profit making because the IRD has better punitive responses for those who are attempting to profiteer. As an assistance to this policy, drug therapy should be automatically available for anyone sentenced to prison. Also, from the end of the second year in prison, voluntary drug tests (and clean results) should be an avenue for demonstrating good behaviour. Let’s incentivize prisoners to take advantage of drug therapy to kick the habit. I believe that we can stop spending millions on enforcement and collect millions in revenue. The harm reduction should for the five five years consume all the saving and all the tax. That’s a massive injection of resources and it will do more than anything to reduce this harm. As for decriminalising all drugs, just make the tax lower on the less harmful ones.
  • Graeme Kiyoto-Ward
    tagged this with interesting 2016-11-25 23:46:13 +1300
  • Ian Butcher
    followed this page 2016-11-25 23:25:29 +1300
  • Jonathan Johns
    commented 2016-11-25 20:20:14 +1300
    Cannabis law reform will provide real opportunities to real people. Creating thousands of legitimate jobs rather than giving sole distribution rights to the grey/black market. I beleive this one law change will bennefit Kiwis more than any other law change in recent times.

    Might I add, ‘one doesnt need breast to support breast cancer awareness, nor does one need to be a cannabis enthusiast to support Cannabis law reform.’
  • Jonathan Johns
    tagged this with essential 2016-11-25 20:20:14 +1300
  • Brendan Childs
    tagged this with important 2016-11-25 19:32:34 +1300
  • Tim O’Donnell
    commented 2016-11-25 16:49:14 +1300
    I was completely against this years ago but I’ve come around. It must be limited, preferably to those over 20/21? For brain development. It creates revenue to the government with less side effects than many other drugs (this should be checked as I’m not 100%). Possibly has medical benefits. It also removes revenue from gangs & other undersireables. It could be an industry, & an industry NZ could excel in, if managed correctly. The potential positive out way the negatives in my opinion. P.s. I don’t use :)
  • Tim O’Donnell
    tagged this with important 2016-11-25 16:49:14 +1300