Rainbow smoke poured out of Parliament last night as marriage equality passed its second reading! NZ got one step closer to entering the 21st century.
Louisa Wall made me feel proud to be a New Zealander, and so did every MP who voted for this and who articulated their position so gracefully. Special props to the Greens who saw this not as a conscience vote, but as a human rights vote. Respects to the many Labour MPs who had been around long enough as a Party to have remembered the fight for equality and also the National MPs who put aside any moral conservatism and helped progress our country forward.
Now we’ve shown how reason and dignity can go hand in hand, how about the decriminalization of medicial cannabis?
Last year, Stephen McIntyre was intimidated and bullied into suicide by Police who threatened him with further charges after he was arrested at Green Cross Auckland, a medicinal cannabis clinic. That case is now with IPCA and is under investigation, but his life and the countless other NZers arrested for possession of a joint or bong will not have been in vain if we can now progress this debate and force a reasoned position on our ridiculous and draconian cannabis laws.
People who are ill and seeking medicinal cannabis are not criminals and they should not be treated as such. If we can come together to see the farce of a cultural sacred cow like gay marriage, then can’t we also take another step already walked by America and decriminalize medicinal cannabis?
There is a petition at the health select committee supporting medicinal cannabis, and it must be the focus after marriage equality to continue with a movement of progress. It disgusts me that patients and people with personal use are being arrested and put into prison.
If we can be open to wisdom on gay marriage, let’s push on with social reform elsewhere in our political and legal framework.
If nothing else, it would make that biblical reference in Leviticus about stoning men who lay with other men a little bit more humorous.