Now NZ seems to have gotten over our petty hatred of gay marriage, how about decriminalizing medicinal cannabis?



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.

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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.


  1. What really needs to happen is that marijuana comes under the same controls as alcohol. It’s certainly no worse than alcohol as a recreational drug. Then we’d probably need to have some rules regarding what could be considered medical marijuana.

  2. hello..

    ..why not argue for legalisation/regulation/taxation..?

    ..reasons for:..income taken from gangs..

    ..consumer protection by pot able to be tested for chemical muck sprayed on it by growers..

    ..consumer protection from pot able to be clearly identified as to its’ effects..(from strains suitable for people to go to work guaranteed knock-out drops for those who find it difficult to sleep..and seek that effect..)

    ..a 60 mins piece on colorado pot-laws told us that the regulation regime there is so strict that seeds are traced from germination to end product..

    ..licensing growers/production in areas like northland/east cape would go some way to easing the economic-woes of those areas..

    ..legalising/regulating/taxing would also encourage our tourist industry..

    ..legalising/regulating/taxing would also see a huge drop in alcohol consumption..(and given every expert/casualty-doctor knows/says..alcohol is our number one drug problem..this would be no small improvement..)

    ..of with the gay issue..such legislation would be an example of our maturing as a nation/people.. our realising/accepting that all cultures use intoxicants..

    ..and that aside from the ever-increasing medical/health benefits from pot..

    ..that we have realised that pot is the safest intoxicant of all..

    ..this fact brought clearer into focus by the farce of these proposed ‘legal-highs’ having to spend a million bucks to prove they are ‘safe’..

    ..’tis an upside down world..

    ..and one way of putting it straight..

    ..will be to legalise/regulate..and tax..cannabis..

    ..(with that tax earmarked to be spent on health..?..)

    ..check this out for what we are missing out on..

    phillip ure..

  3. Why you aren’t just calling for blanket decriminalisation? Play the facts – it costs hundreds of millions to enforce marijuana laws in NZ, and legalising medicinal marijuana still makes criminals out of your average harmless pot smoker. I know people that smoke a lot and people that drink a lot; the ones that drink are considerably worse to interact with when under the influence. I’d rather streets full of happy, hungry stoners than streets full of angry drunks, and I don’t even own a kebab shop. I agree with the thrust of the article, though. On the ‘becoming a progressive, enlightened society’ checklist, we should probably tick the ‘overhaul pointlessly punitive marijuana laws’, box now we’ve nearly sorted the ‘legally treat homosexuals like people’ thing.

  4. Well said Martyn. A regulated medical marijuana market would end a lot of suffering in this country and give the NZ a chance to examine decriminalisation.

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