Why NZ First is the only route to legalising Cannabis and why we will need to start a citizens initiated referendum to get real change

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It was J Day this weekend.

I appeared at 3.30pm to give a speech to the cannabis brothers and sisters and I pointed out that the greatest symbol of just how gutless our political establishment is on cannabis reform can be summed up by the following shocking revelation – the only way we are going to legalise cannabis with a  regulated and taxed market is through NZ First.

I know.

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It scared the hell out of me as well.

Let’s look at the political landscape to help explain why bloody NZ First is our only chance and why we need to start a citizens initiated referendum.

National: The Nats are such uptight arseholes to begin with, it’s hard seeing them relax enough to even have a smoke.  It’s funny that the Party who needs a joint the most will resist it until they die. Their farmer mates and forestry bosses already hate workers who smoke and Bill English has attempted to explain the high immigration rate is because kiwi workers are all stoners. National have too much political capital invested in opposition cannabis reform. Sure Nikki Kaye might have used medicinal cannabis while she was sick, but as the education spokesperson National won’t allow the two issues to mix. National are also in the pocket of big tobacco and alcohol and these two industries will fight tooth and claw to stop cannabis legalisation. So don’t expect National to do a god damned thing on cannabis.

Labour: They wish this issue would just go away. Yes Helen Kelly died  and was forced to be a criminal to get the medicine she needed, but Labour are far too focused on being respectable to suggest something as innovative as a legalised cannabis market. Dear old Damien O’Connor has pointed out that we could make billions in medicinal cannabis, but Labour would far prefer to not have to get their hands stained with any green after they were burnt so badly when they supported the Psychoactive Substances Act. The solution for Labour is for someone else to do the heavy lifting.

Greens: Passionate and still trying to claim some radical cred on the issue, but this Party…

…aint the same environmental radical hippies of yesteryear.

Straight-edgers with organic vegan cookies who bike to work every day after yoga? Yes.

High level THC smokers down with the ganja culture? Not so much.

The Greens ‘solution’ is a talkfest after the election. I’ve watched these Drug Foundation talkfests it will amount to sweet fuck all going no where fast.

Maori Party: Marama Fox has finally acknowledged that prohibition hurts Maori most, but is too frightened by the conservative nature of Maori politics to lead on the issue.

MANA Party: Ditto for Hone.

ACT: The only Party that would openly support legalisation, but David Seymour is such a suburban bigot there isn’t any Cannabis strain with enough THC to make hanging around that smug prick tolerable.

NZ First: Here’s the shocker, NZ First’s position is a citizens initiated binding referendum to be held after 18 months of debate.

Conclusion: If we look at the reality of the next Government, NZ First will be pivotal to either a National led or Labour led Government, so their policy on controversial legislation like cannabis reform would be the only way forward. Labour and the Greens who are doing everything possible to look straight and bland would be grateful the issue won’t be attached to them and National would feel the same. NZ First’s policy would mean a citizens initiated referendum which is how the States in America have managed to bypass the gridlocked political interests.

I propose we in NZ do the same thing. The gutless coward Politicians won’t lift a finger on this issue, they are far happier that cannabis users are locked up in prison in greater numbers, they are  far happier that a huge chunk of the country have to operate under organised crime and they are far happier their mates in the booze and tobacco industry can keep their profit margins.

The truth is that gutless politicians are not the answer, we are.

So where do we need to go from here?

I propose we start putting together the question for a Citizens Initiated Referendum now so that it can be set in motion the day after NZ First announce which Government they will be helping to form.

Now folks, I’m not for one second suggesting any of us vote for NZ First, Christ no – but I am suggesting that if we want a taxed and regulated cannabis market in NZ, then NZ First policy is the only serious way that can be achieved.

Labour will sit on their hands, National will chop off their hands and the Greens will talk and talk and talk. NZ First however will leave it to us to put the effort in to make real change.

I think the most difficult part of the next 4 months will be when Labour + Green activists suddenly wake up to the very obvious fact that they can’t get to 51% without NZ First – they will go into meltdown when the reality starts dawning.

Watch those micro aggressions become macro and some of the Wellington Twitter elite are going to have to go on suicide watch.

If we want a regulated and taxed cannabis market we will need to do it ourselves, forget relying on cowardly politicians.

 

23 COMMENTS

  1. Ok…my vote goes to NZF again!

    …pity the young wannabe trendo Greens canna get their act together on this one..they lack the courage of the former Greens

    ….especially when the drugs being used on our elderly are positively shocking eg Fentanyl…and our elderly are denied legal cannabis

  2. Ok…my vote goes to NZF again!

    …pity the young wannabe trendo Greens canna get their act together on this one..they lack the courage of the former Greens

    ….especially when the drugs being used on our elderly are positively shocking eg Fentanyl…and our elderly are denied legal cannabis

    • ‘Dose of Justice – Ex-pharma execs arrested for allegedly bribing doctors to prescribe fentanyl’

      https://news.vice.com/story/ex-pharma-executives-arrested-for-allegedly-bribing-doctors-to-prescribe-fentanyl

      “Several former top executives at a pharmaceutical company that sells the powerful painkiller fentanyl were arrested Thursday and accused of bribing doctors, defrauding insurance companies, and fueling America’s opioid addiction crisis.

      Federal prosecutors in Massachusetts charged Michael Babich, the 40-year-old former CEO of Insys Therapeutics, with conspiracy to commit racketeering and a range of other crimes related to sales of Subsys, a sublingual fentanyl spray intended for cancer patients experiencing severe pain. Six other former Insys executives, including the company’s former national sales director, were also arrested and charged in the conspiracy, prosecutors said.

      Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that’s about 100 times more powerful than morphine and 40 times more potent than heroin. The drug has been blamed for contributing to the massive spike in fatal overdoses across the U.S. in recent years…

  3. Actually some quite intelligent balanced people within NZF, and some good common sense policies, if New Zealand is to have a future we need NZF holding the balance of power at the coming 2017 Election. There is more to NZF than just Winston however MSM does not give the party any oxygen, it just wants to put the boot in on behalf of the Tory and ACT Brotherhood.

  4. How many elderly New Zealanders, denied the legality of cannabis and medicinal cannabis for pain, are being legally prescribed Fentanyl and other dangerous opiods by doctors? This is a national scandal!

    ‘Prince’s death drug prescribed to New Zealand’s elderly’

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/83570824/princes-death-drug-prescribed-to-new-zealands-elderly

    “The drug that killed popstar Prince is being prescribed to New Zealand’s elderly in record numbers, prompting a warning from the Government health watchdog.

    The spike in prescriptions of fentanyl – a synthetic opioid 50 times more potent than heroin – is being described as “opioid rain” by alarmed medical professionals.

    An investigation has found rates of prescribing have doubled in rest homes in four years, while doctors are dishing out strong opioids to already frail over-80s around 10 times more often than to those under 65. Prescription rates varied wildly between regions…

    ‘A grim tally soars: More than 50,000 overdose deaths in US’

    https://www.statnews.com/2016/12/09/opoid-overdose-deaths-us/

    Ex-Insys executives arrested for bribing U.S. doctors to prescribe painkiller

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-insys-court-idUSKBN13X27M

    • @ Red Buzzard … state sanctioned genocide in other words!

      There should be no lethal chemical, when a much safer alternative could be available in the form of legalised medicinal cannabis.

      I suffer from osteoarthritis and believe me, if I could get my hands on medicinal cannabis to relieve my pain, I would!

      In memory of a great Kiwi Helen Kelly, vote for the legalisation of medicinal marijuana.

      • +100 MARY_A

        there needs to be a public Commission of Inquiry about the denial of NZers medicinal cannabis and the use of opioids by the so- called ethical medical profession on NZ’s elderly ( elderly European women over the age of 80 are the most prescribed opioids and Fentanyl …why?…ageism , sexism?…elderly white women easy targets?…lack of value?…lack of respect?…medical experimentation?)

        http://www.hqsc.govt.nz/our-programmes/health-quality-evaluation/projects/atlas-of-healthcare-variation/opioids/

        eg. are any of these so called ethical medical professionals personally funded by drugs companies to prescribe opioids?( as they are overseas )

        eg http://www.reuters.com/article/us-insys-court-idUSKBN13X27M

        eg what is the Nact government attitude to those of an economic non productive age?…our NZ elderly…?…release of scarce housing? ….economic savings?…retirement savings/benefits cancelled due to death?…public health savings ?…more economic savings?…a push towards privatisation of health care

        Many of our NZ elderly have paid all their lives through their taxes for a high quality public health system….many elderly pay for private health care in private rest homes and hospitals

        …we need more statistics on sudden unexpected deaths due to opioid use on the elderly

        People can 1.) request hospital records( note:these may not show exactly what prescribed and by whom) through a lawyer if their loved one is deceased)…2.) request an inquiry by the Health and Disability Commissioner if they are not satisfied with the use of opioids on their elderly and loved ones 3.) contact Grey Power 4.) contact Labour and the Greens who are pushing for an inquiry into treatment of the elderly in New Zealand 4.) talk to people

        • Hi again Red Buzzard … you are doing a great service to Kiwis young and old, by keeping this issue out there. The more we know of this, hopefully more Kiwis will contact opposition parties to voice their concern over the high use of Fentanyl on seniors in the NZ health system.

          You state the following

          ” … there needs to be a public Commission of Inquiry about the denial of NZers medicinal cannabis and the use of opioids by the so- called ethical medical profession on NZ’s elderly ( elderly European women over the age of 80 are the most prescribed opioids and Fentanyl …why?…ageism , sexism?…elderly white women easy targets?…lack of value?…lack of respect?…medical experimentation?)”

          All of the above.

          However, my particular take on this one is govt making savings, particularly on payment of superannuation and health care. One aged person dying as a result of the misuse of opioid drugs and other toxic chemicals such as Fentanyl, makes for one less pension to pay out!

          I believe there’s a fine line between relieving an elderly person’s pain and knowingly sending them over the edge towards death … state sanctioned genocide (as I’ve stated before).

          Also another one is denying decent health care to older NZers, simply because of their age. Every Kiwi, particularly those who have worked and contributed towards providing the public health system, deserve the best care possible, the same as anyone else.

          Yep some investigation is needed here. But it won’t come from msm, so we rely on alternative media to keep us informed, through posters such as yourself.

  5. The BIG PHARMA companies that oppose legalisation of cannabis and medicinal cannabis for the people, particularly the elderly in pain, have vested interests …are the politicians and doctors in their pockets?

    ‘Fentanyl Maker Donates Big to Campaign Opposing Pot Legalization’

    https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-09-08/fentanyl-maker-donates-big-to-campaign-opposing-pot-legalization

    “An embattled pharmaceutical company that sells the powerful painkiller fentanyl has donated $500,000 toward defeating a ballot initiative that would make recreational use of marijuana legal under Arizona law.

    It’s hard to imagine a more sinister donor than Insys Therapeutics Inc. in the eyes of pot legalization proponents, who long have claimed drug companies want to keep cannabis illegal to corner the market for drugs, some addictive and dangerous, that relieve pain and other symptoms.

    Insys currently markets just one product, according to an August filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission: a sublingual fentanyl spray it calls Subsys.

    Two former company employees pleaded not guilty last month to federal charges related to an alleged kickback scheme to get doctors to prescribe Subsys.

    Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit late last month against the company alleging Insys hawked the drug to doctors for off-label prescribing, saying the company’s “desire for increased profits led it to disregard patients’ health and push addictive opioids for non-FDA approved purposes.”…

  6. Is this a joke?

    ‘A pharma company that spent $500,000 trying to keep pot illegal just got DEA approval for synthetic marijuana’

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/03/24/a-pharma-company-that-spent-500000-trying-to-keep-pot-illegal-just-got-dea-approval-for-synthetic-marijuana/?utm_term=.94149b78f0d9

    “Insys Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company that was one of the chief financial backers of the opposition to marijuana legalization in Arizona last year, received preliminary approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration this week for Syndros, a synthetic marijuana drug.

    Insys gave $500,000 last summer to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, the group opposing marijuana legalization in Arizona. The donation amounted to roughly 10 percent of all money raised by the group in an ultimately successful campaign against legalization. Insys was the only pharmaceutical company known to be giving money to oppose legalization last year, according to a Washington Post analysis of campaign finance records…

  7. This IS a VERY BAD JOKE!…does anyone need any more proof that Big Pharma is corrupt?

    ‘More Dangerous than…DEA says fentanyl company’s synthetic marijuana is less dangerous than real weed’

    https://news.vice.com/story/dea-says-fentanyl-companys-synthetic-marijuana-is-less-dangerous-than-real-weed

    “A troubled pharmaceutical company known for making the powerful painkiller fentanyl just took one step closer to getting into the legal marijuana business — with help from the DEA.

    InSys Therapeutics, the Arizona-based manufacturer of the fentanyl spray Subsys, has been developing a new product called Syndros, which is a liquid that contains a synthetic version of delta-9-THC, the ingredient in marijuana that makes users feel high…

    …In December, the ex-CEO of InSys and six other former top executives were arrested and accused of bribing doctors, defrauding insurance companies, and fueling America’s opioid crisis. Federal prosecutors in Massachusetts say the company paid hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bribes and kickbacks to doctors who operated pain clinics in exchange for the physicians prescribing the company’s fentanyl spray to non-cancer patients. They pleaded not guilty and a trial date has not been set.

    The company’s stock plummeted after the arrests late last year, but rebounded last week after the DEA’s scheduling announcement, with one analyst calling it “the best marijuana stock on the market right now.”

  8. One word cover this “corruption”, simple as that, these pharmaceutical companies are insulting our intelligence ?

  9. One word covers this “corruption”, simple as that, these pharmaceutical companies are insulting our intelligence ?

  10. I was under the impression Hone was staunchly anti pot, leading to some tension with the internet party.

    No to tax and regulate.
    Decriminalize is the way forward.

    • Why tax (as in excise, or sin tax) when a legal market has bonus of saving huge sums of money, legal market pays PAYE, legal market imputes GST.

      That taxing cannabis absent appropriate use of that money suggests it is just a treasury grab and has no correlate to allaying harms.

      Where people talk of education, the key is not more money, rather it is enabling credible (all) drug information.

      The more we tax cannabis the more we favour alcohol and its shareholders.

      • That depends whether new money is pumped into an orphan drugs market ie government programes or borrowing. If no new money goes in then youre pretty much taking a slice of big pharma profits and giving it to an orphan market, in which case, big pharma keeps funding parties like act to block cannabis reforms as long as possible but the tide against reforms seems unstoppable at this point. Opinion poll after opinion poll puts deregulating cannabis as the number one issue believe it or not, and thats generalised right around the world.

        I think the people are onto something. Maybe global citizens aren’t hard against international trade after all.

  11. Look how long it took hemp to be deemed fit to consume, even after several years of the food safety authority deeming it beneficial to eat it… And we still have up to another 18 months to wait till regulations well be changed, for hemp.

    Don’t hold your breath for cannabis reform!

    • Sir Richard Branson suggests New Zealand farmers swap cows for marijuana

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/richard-branson-new-zealand-farmers-marijuana-cows-cannabis-weed-profit-virgin-ceo-a7655371.html

      …”“Communities around the world have been ravaged by decades of a brutal, repressive and completely ineffective war on drugs,” the Virgin founder wrote in a blog post last March.

      “The consequences of these strategies include soaring violence, overcrowded prisons, and pervasive corruption. Presented as an investment in a better future, the war on drugs has been an epic, costly failure,” he said, adding that “we need a new course of action.”

      He is a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, a group of international politicians and experts whose aim it is to reduce the harm caused by drugs to people and societies…

  12. Cant say I go much for it myself, but there is worse – alcohol and tobacco, for instance. There was a time when I thought there’s already enough bad stuff out there, however…

    This bit was quite funny …
    …………………………………………..

    ”the only way we are going to legalise cannabis with a regulated and taxed market is through NZ First.

    I know.

    It scared the hell out of me as well.”
    …………………………………………..

    Fact is , we are not quite Scandinavia , but we are almost in a lot of ways – and certainly pre 1984 we were more like them. Regards this issue, it SHOULD be put forwards in a Citizens Initiated Referendum.

    And if it passes, perhaps make it binding to stop the issue being used in future as a political football. The only problems I can see is health and safety – such as at work or on the roads. There would have to be some way of monitoring this. Adequate medical advice given for pregnant women , etc.Just like any other drug.

    It would have to be monitored and a licensed substance to produce commercially, – and those growing their own would need a quota ,… perhaps based on gram weight. Some sort of regularity practice would need to be drawn up , similar to alcohol.

    Gets quite complicated simply because you can grow the stuff just like a few backyard tomatoes… bit of a tricky one tbh.

  13. B4 going down the medical marijuana path, people can legally take this stuff http://www.mms-supplement.com/ TPTB don’t like it, so for me that means you have to give it a try, and for an outlay of $38.00 nz what the hell, if you are sick you have nothing but 10 minutes a day worth of effort to lose

  14. It’s funny you say that, but I’ve noticed that a few Labour hating libertarian straight edge kids who washed out of the hardcore scene over the years popped up Green.*

    *Not talking about Ritchie though, he’s for real

  15. Also:

    “ACT: The only Party that would openly support legalisation, but David Seymour is such a suburban bigot there isn’t any Cannabis strain with enough THC to make hanging around that smug prick tolerable.”

    I reckon I could sit the man down and blaze him ’til he’s woke.

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