When I first came to Aotearoa/NZ (1970s) I remember hearing stories of kiwis ‘punching above their weight’:
1) first western country to give women the vote (1895)
2) nuclear-free, GE free etc.
3) gay law reform
4) taking the ‘Americas Cup’ (sailing) off the USA
5) Worlds Fastest Indian (motorcycle)
6) Lord of the Rings movies etc.
BUT on illegal drug reform we are ‘dragging the chain’ at the back of the pack (OECD nations).. why is this so ?
Prior to 1927 cannabis was widely used in NZ.. then UK passed the ‘Dangerous drugs act’ & NZ followed suit. BUT I read that this law was only about restricting manufacture & supply; NOT use, especially medicinal use. Interestingly Mother Mary Aubert (who manufactured herbal medicines) passed away, the year before the law change. She is now venerated as our first Catholic saint; sometimes called ‘Our patron saint of Pot’. Later we got caught up in the UN conventions & the USA-led WAR on DRUGS….
I hear that in early 2000s, a select committee in NZ parliament came up with a recommendation to effectively decriminalise personal use & perhaps small-scale growing. Soon after the report was printed.. a senior FBI officer from USA arrived in Aotearoa & met with the then, Prime Minister. I hear that after he returned to USA, all talk of law reform was dropped into the ‘TOO HARD basket’ & has been there ever since. In fact I hear the police budget for ‘WAR on DRUGS’ has massively increased (>$200mil/year) NZ having very high use, arrest & incarceration rates & effectively ZERO-tolerance.
I constantly see news bits on the TV & ‘net, of ongoing reforms in Colorado, Uruguay, Spain, Amsterdam (been there), Australia (been there), Canada, Israel etc. Some Eastern countries turn a blind eye, because its good for their tourist trade. eg India(been there)
The NZ Assoc. Minister of Health (Mr Dunne) is responsible for ‘Drug Law/policy’ in NZ. He has been reportedly/allegedly:
1) been seen having lunch with Big Tobacco & Big Pharma reps. One of the current ‘ruling party’ MPs is an ex-Tobacco industry rep.
2) his son was a legal employee of a group pushing Synthetic Cannabis etc. The minister claims there was no ‘conflict of interest’ when he introduced/passed the ‘Psychoactive substance act 2013’ that excluded ‘natural herb’ BUT legally regulated the manufacture, supply, sale & use of ‘synthetics’.. this law has since been overturned, after a public outcry. Interestingly a TV reporter who highlighted a lot of these facts, was dismissed from his job, soon after.
3) the minister attended the recent UNGASS 2016 at the UN & publicly announced that NZ is supporting reforms.. but then returned to Aotearoa & went back to ‘business as usual’ NO further reforms
4) he has allowed the ‘Medicinal use’ of Sativex (an extract of cannabis, dissolved in peppermint flavoured alcohol, from GW Pharma). But this drug, is not funded by the Govt. agency & costs about $1200/month (more expensive than illegal buds). In many OECD countries, i read that CBD oils, Cannabis oils, & even chocolates with THC extract in the recipe are on sale. BUT in NZ we need to jump through several ‘official hoops’ to get approval. Many other drugs (inc. opiates) only require a GP (doctor) to prescribe & nothing more. Talk about Cannabis OVERKILLED !
5) a recent application for funding of Sativex (to bring price to $5 per prescription) was rejected by the funding board.. because; 1) There was supposedly not enough evidence of its validity as a ‘medicine’ (because it does NOT ‘tick all their boxes’) & is best described as ‘Therapeutic’ rather than medicinal 2) there was MAJOR CONCERN, it could be passed to the black-market. NOT bloody likely.. it costs about 4x the price of illegal weed !
6) now I read that a petition signed by 4000+ was ignored by the Govt. It was calling for a terminally ill, cancer patient to get legal access to cannabis, which she is using already (illegally made cannabis oil) Double standard PLUS
7) I just think that there is a conspiracy going on.. to keep ‘Natural herb’ from being grown/used in Aotearoa/NZ.. other than a couple of small-scale Hemp farms. The Green party passed the amendment to the law in 2006 to allow it. “Good onya Nandor & Metiria”
8) I remember hearing an interview with a senior Dutch Police officer (Amsterdam) who said “you have to be wary of Govt. officials (inc. police) making a BIG DEAL about DRUGS” suggesting it was just like the corruption that occurred in 1920s Alcohol prohibition in USA !
“Remember when you were young… shine-on you CRAZY diamond !” 🙂