I watched a political debate on TV last evening; at Auckland University. It was run, to gauge the views of local youth.. many either voting for the first time (on 23/9) or likely to do so in 2020 (next election). The two main issues were around; housing (un)affordability (under this Govt. houses in Auckland have reached average $1million) & issues around Climate change. Most of the panel (political candidates, in upcoming election) said they could not afford to buy a house in Auckland at current prices.. only 2 currently, do own a house (or two) Climate change was another; with 2 of the candidates (from the Right) saying it was not their main issue.. the other 5 (left & centrist parties) had varying views from ‘yes its a concern’ to others who stated ‘Its a major issue that needs urgent action‘
They had a question on Natural cannabis law reform, not synthetics (directed at just 2 candidates; a current Govt. MP & the replacement for the outgoing minister resp Drug Policy);
The Govt. MP said that they have no intention to reform the drug laws further, if they remain in power after the election. He then added ‘Police use discretion & no one is arrested for smoking a joint‘ to which some one (audience ?) yelled out “YES they do !” this was followed by grumbles & boos from other panel members & the audience. It shows how ‘out of touch’ he & his Govt. really are. Aotearoa/NZ still has effective Zero-tolerance & people are still being arrested/prosecuted regularly for ‘minor possession’ charges.
The other candidate replied that his party (currently in coalition with Govt.) are more supportive of a legal/regulated regime, with strict rules.. not ‘open slather’ or anything goes. BUT it seems ‘too little, too late’ as he will likely not get into the next parliament (based on recent polls)
As I’ve said many times.. Aotearoa/NZ is severely lagging behind, at the ‘back of the pack’ (among OECD) on cannabis/drug reform. In the run up to the general election, there was a flurry of media interest, in what the political parties were saying on this issue. Several big news items were screened about advances in; Canada, USA states (Colorado etc.), Australia, parts of the EU & even Sth America which we are often compared to on the political ‘world stage’.. with the questions ‘When are we going to catch up ?’ at least on medicinal cannabis
BUT with the election only 11 days away (23/9).. it has suddenly gone very quiet on the ‘kiwi-front’, on this issue. There has been a few TV debates, when it was briefly mentioned, but its gone from ‘probably will be’ & ‘very likely reform coming’ (esp. Medicinal) to ‘um, ah & maybe’ from the main parties. The only TV ads I’ve seen which are still actively promoting it, being; Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (ALCP). It is still mentioned on other parties websites, but almost seems to have slipped into the ‘fine print’ or near the bottom of the list.. VERY Disappointing sez I&I 😦
I see in the TV news that advanced voting has already commenced…
I read that Australian Singer/Actress Olivia Newton-John is promoting medicinal cannabis. A recent press release stated the following:
‘The Grease star was in Australia to raise money for her wellness centre when she talked to 60 Minutes about her use of the drug to treat the symptoms of her breast cancer.’
‘Let’s get medicinal, says Olivia Newton-John, who has spoken out about the use of medicinal cannabis on a recent visit to Australia.’
“I will do what I can to encourage it. It’s an important part of treatment and it should be available,”
‘The Australian entertainer said the drug – which is legal in her home state of California – had helped her during her second fight against cancer.’
‘Cannabis is a “magical miracle plant” says singer Olivia Newton-John.’
“I use medicinal cannabis, which is really important for pain and healing,” she said.
“It’s a plant that has been maligned for so long, and has so many abilities to heal.”
I have previously read that Australia, has recently approved clinical trials of medicinal cannabis.. similar to other OECD countries, but still way ahead of Aotearoa/NZ !
btw; she once had a song called ‘Lets get Physical’ (just in case you didn’t know)
I watched a current affairs show on Maori TV this morning (indigenous NZ).. one question was about, where their parties stand on Cannabis reform; it was split between the 7 candidates (across all political parties); 4-3 in support of reform, mainly along Right-Left lines. One party have stated that they support a referendum.
Two on the right saying “NO !”, to any reform.. a few said ‘decrim.’ only, but not legalise it, sounding like they are tiptoeing around it. One said ‘we accept that it should not be a criminal offence, but does not want to see it lying around, where kids can get their hands on it’
The only party who said it should be legalised, so it can be better regulated/controlled, was The Greens !
Again their does seem to be a lack of will, to accept the recent polls; that show over 66% (two-thirds) want some level of reform; Medicinal & Personal R18+ use.
It has often been rumored, that the global ‘illegal drug trade’ is really being run by those in ‘authority’:
1) connection between the Mafia & Vatican ?
2) here in Aotearoa/NZ, the outgoing Minister (resp. Drug policy) was saying ‘Synthetics are low risk’ BUT not natural herb, until it was discovered his son was employed by a company, importing & distributing them (legal for a while, under a law the minister introduced)
3) The President of the Philippines, has been waging a WAR on DRUGS, with reports of several thousand killed, since he took power less than a year ago. Now I see on Al Jazeera TV, that his son & son-in-law have been allegedly connected to a Black-market gang, being investigated for a huge Meth importation !
So again; I have to wonder why is it that the current Govt. in NZ are so staunchly opposed to any drug law reform ? just saying….
I see in the TV news, that the outgoing Assoc. Minister of Health (resp. Drug Policy) has announced that his ‘parting gesture’ is to further ‘relax’ the law, allowing GP doctors to prescribe CBD oils/extracts in Aotearoa/NZ, for patients who will benefit, without further approval by the Minister.
This sounds good, at first glance.. BUT; these drugs will still not, be approved for local production in NZ & will not be funded by the Govt. This means that they will still only be available, imported from overseas ‘Big Pharma’ companies & will cost the patients the full ‘retail price’.. eg. Sativex (the only currently available cannabinoid) costs over $1000/month. I’m guessing any approved CBDs will be in a similar price range ?
A further example of this Govt. appearing to be moving forward.. BUT if truth be known, it is just the tiniest of steps. What we need is a total change of Govt. on 23/9 (election); the parties of the left (currently in opposition), have nearly all committed to further drug reform (spec. Medicinal)
I see that Walter Becker, from the band Steely Dan passed recently, aged 67
They (with Donald Fagen) were one of the favs in 1970s onward.. I have no doubt he was ‘experienced’ in the herb 🙂
Rest in Peace Walter