Isn’t it odd?
We are having two referendums, one that seeks the Right to die without pain and another that seeks the right to smoke cannabis to not feel pain.
We will allow you to commit suicide to end a life of pain, but not smoke a joint to alleviate the pain that makes you want to die?
This referendum overload highlights the existential confusion of NZ.
The Euthanasia referendum will trigger the adoption of the law because David Seymour had the courage of his convictions and crafted the law inside Parliament, where as the cannabis referendum triggers nothing because Parliament has been too cowardly to write the legislation.
The individual is supposedly adult enough to choose to die, but not adult enough to choose cannabis.
We are a confused, uptight society and these two referendums manage to highlight that.
Personal freedom in NZ has the low imagination horizon of private property rights. My body, my personal property, so it is up to me to end that life if I’m suffering. That freedom can not be extended to cannabis use however because the freedom to be stoned is freedom from a coercive state, and property right fetishists demand a strong state to protect their precious property.
Our collective sense of personal freedom has all the sophistication of a garden variety settler nation culture that hasn’t settled.