I watched a current affairs chat show, last evening (on Maori TV) the ‘kaupapa’ (theme) was around recent cannabis issues in Aotearoa/NZ. There were 3 segments of ‘korero’ (talk) :
1) the two hosts, with the female co-leader of the Maori party & the head of NORML NZ. To much surprise, it seems the Maori party have now moved from eff. status quo, to ‘decriminalisation’. She said it was mainly because they see it as the ‘lesser of 2 evils‘ in Maori communities. She went on to say that many ‘tinnie houses’ (that once sold cannabis ‘tinnies’ $15-20/gram) have now moved to the more lucrative sale of ‘Meth/P’, which goes for about $1000/gram. She said there was real evidence that this drug is much more harmful & that cannabis (whilst not harmless) would be the better option.
The head of NORML said that whilst this was good news, if they go only with ‘decrim.’ they are only taking the smallest of steps. This still leaves the option of ‘on the spot fines’ & does nothing to address the ‘supply chain’ which would still be run by the black-market.
They both agreed, that more Korero is needed.
2) the next part was with a lawyer, who has been in the news recently for defending at least one ‘high profile’ medicinal cannabis user. They mentioned that NZ is really ‘at the back of the pack’ in the OECD. NZ only allows Sativex (‘big-pharma’ product, mouth spray containing THC/CBDs extracts). There is a move to allow other ‘cannabis products’ to be imported.. (with many hoops to jump through), but the ‘natural herb’ is still on the totally banned list. They also mentioned the fact that there is a total inconsistency in the way Police deal with this matter; some ‘use discretion’ others just go with the ‘tried & true method’.. ZERO-Tolerance only !
3) the last part was with 2 people who work in Drug harm reduction/treatment. They agreed that a move to education & treatment/rehab. was the better option rather than prohibition.. BUT seemed hesitant to support more radical reforms. One of the hosts asked ‘Is treatment the only option for all drug users.. even those who seem to have no issues ?’ They conceded that; Yes its true that not all drug users are addicts or need to be put into treatment.
All ‘Ka Pai’ (good) BUT again a lot of ‘hui’ (meeting/talk) BUT little actual ‘Dui’ (action)