TV Review: The Vote – another missed opportunity



I’m too angry with the pitiful lack of debate on The Vote last night to dwell too much on it (Tim Selwyn will be reviewing it in depth in his TV review on Saturday). The decision to mix cannabis reform with bloody synthetic cannabis was a terrible editorial decision that served to just create a moral panic platform for the usual shouty bullshit behavior that has become the hallmark of this show.

Thankfully despite Garner & Espiner, a debate did occur amongst viewers who overwhelmingly called for decriminalization. This should have been the focus rather than dragging synthetic cannabis into the debate in the first place. There is only a synthetic cannabis problem BECAUSE of cannabis prohibition and the new drug testing regimes aimed at disqualifying beneficiaries from the benefit.

It was an other wasted opportunity by TV3 and one must ask oneself how this managed to get so much money from NZ on Air as a current affairs show. The money for this should have come out of the lite weight gladiatorial entertainment funding budget.

Ever since the death of cannabis activist Stephen McIntyre at the hands of NZ Police last year, I have been involved in the medicinal cannabis movement he helped start and the IPCA investigation into the Police bullying, threats and intimidation that led up to his death. I believe the political environment on the left simply won’t allow cannabis decriminalization in my lifetime, but I do see the possibility to legalize medicinal cannabis.

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The reality is that Labour are just too gutless on ANY drug issue to trust them to do anything about it, while the Greens are too concerned about not spooking the middle class suburban vote to resurrect all those images of Nandor by taking decriminalization seriously. Where I do think they would make change is in the medicinal cannabis area.

Locking up AIDS sufferers and terminal cancer patients would cut through all the marijuana hysteria Peter Dunne could muster.

Rather than that debate occurring last night, The Vote deteriorated into ‘stoner madness’ rhetoric.

If you want to see some real debate on cannabis before the next election – think about crowd-funding the cannabis documentary I’m currently working on because based on last nights ‘The Vote’, you won’t see that debate occur on NZ mainstream TV.


  1. i did a review of the pot-debate..


    “….and funny/ironic story about garner being so anti-cannabis..just the other day i carried a news-report about cannabis being shown to help prevent diabetes..(something to do with in whoar-searchengine..)

    ..and given garners diet/body-shape/drug-choice/age..that anti-pot stance should be reconsidered by him..if only on those grounds..

    ..”put down that beer..!..duncan..!!..have a joint instead..!..”

    phillip ure..

  2. I too watched the debate, along with 3 friends. Although it did descend into a shouting match (poor, poor Timaru!), we still enjoyed the fact that there was any debate at all on the matter.
    The subject has become so taboo that credit where credit’s due; putting the ‘whole war on drugs’ fiasco in the spotlight is a brave move by a generally cowardly mainstream media.

    The results speak for themselves. Was it 73% pro vs 22% no? Close too it anyway.
    I don’t care about the fact they lumped the synthetic in with the natural. I’m just glad there was any debate on it at all, and it proves that we really, *REALLY*, need to sit down and have a proper discussion about the status of drugs in this country. At least it gave the brainless twats that worship the infotainment that is television something to think about.

  3. The worst aspect of The Vote was lumping synthetic cannabis in with the natural stuff. Though both are bad for young, developing minds, the synthetic crap can’t be judged alongside naturally group marijuana. For one thing, we’ve no idea what’s in the synthetic stuff.

    So I didn’t vote.

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