Simon Bridges’ Cannabis Comments A Smokescreen For What National REALLY Believes

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Simon Bridges’ statement that legalized cannabis opens the door to “effectively incentivising cannabis over other legal drugs at the moment – like tobacco and drink” dependent upon the excise tax levied … is a bit of an odd objection to make.

I am not aware of any evidence to suggest that tobacco and/or alcohol are *less* harmful to the consumer, or to society than cannabis. I am aware of a rather considerable *mountain* of evidence that cigarettes and alcohol are much *more* harmful to both country and citizenry than cannabis …

… so if, in addition to raising excise taxation revenue, the legalization of cannabis leads to a relative disincentivization of the consumption of tobacco and alcohol, what’s the problem?

Other than for the alcohol and tobacco industries which have long been closely linked to the National Party.

You know, it is curious how timings work out. Yesterday was four years since the funeral of a good man from NZF. Barry. He was of the vintage where temperance and teetotalism for an individual of quiet Christian faith was a virtue, not a vice. Something I’m not sure the modern National Party would be altogether too keen on.

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But I recall him at this late hour, because he would from time to time bring up at NZF electorate meetings out in Pakuranga something he had noticed – that in 1998 or thereabouts, he’d read a headline reading something like “Beer Baron Weeps Into His Beer” , about hte declining profits of Lion Nathan. And then, not long after that, National suddenly announcing its push for the reform of the drinking age down to eighteen .. which, of course, notably improved and underscored the alcohol industry’s profit margins and facilitated the ensnaring of the *next* generations in our worrying drinking culture.

Personally, I am not actually too bothered about the alcohol age of purchase being 18. But Barry’s words have stuck with me.

And when we see this kind of display from the Nats here in 2019, I cannot help but recall them with greater wistfulness; for the man who had departed us those years ago, I mean. And for an older generation of voters who were … not so easily fooled as some are today by the conduct of our political classes when it comes to ‘moneyed interests’ demanding a return upon their ‘investment’.

Something else which struck me about Simon Bridges’ recent statements against the cannabis legalization referendum … is that by suggesting “this has the risk of being New Zealand’s Brexit”, he is not actually suggesting that it’s going to lead to a protracted period of political intransigence and the potential derailment of governing and governments for a three year period.

I mean, he allegedly *is*, but I really really really don’t think it’s in any way shape or form plausible that setting an excise tax level upon legally bought and sold cannabis is anything like as complex as unraveling a half a century’s worth of legal, constitutional, and foreign policy entanglement with a continent and a market of almost half a billion people.

So if that’s not what he’s saying … then what is he *really* getting at by comparing the cannabis legalization #reeferendum to #Brexit?

Well, it’s quite simple, really. He’s telling you that he, and an array of other Technocrat style pseudo-political “leaders”, the managerialists of our epoch, who’ve tried time and time again to stymie the “uncouth” Will Of The People, from Ruthanasia onwards … that these sorts, who think that “democracy” means carefully stage-managing a back-room negotiation process’s pre-determined outcomes being brought into the light as a faux-inevitability – they’re *opposed* to Legalization winning.

And – more than that, much more – they’re *worried*, they’re *frightened* even, that they might actually *lose* this vote.

Which is where the Brexit analogy comes into its own. The reason why Brexit hasn’t been indefinitely shelved thus far, is in large measure because even though the majority of the UK’s political class don’t want it – they know darn well that to just put a *stop* to it , would be to downright *show* the ordinary people of Britain *just how little regard* they actually have for what voters think and feel and believe.

And so they’re paralyzed and forced into attempting to at least *look like* they’re going through wit hit … little by little and inch by inch, pending somebody producing enough polling showing that a vast majority of Biritons may have turned against actually going through with it. Or something. I’m not sure even *they* know anymore.

The point is – the Nats *know* that they would be hard-pressed to try something similar here. So they’re making out like the cannabis legalization proposal – rather than the whole Democracy Thing – is what’s fiddly, unworkable, and likely to all end in tears should they be forced to go through with it.

A bit odd, also, that they’d choose Brexit as a point of comparison, considering that a reasonable swathe of National’s traditional voter-base are probably in favour of it – from a distance, admittedly; and also that New Zealand stands to benefit significantly from Brexit in economic terms.

The latter of which, at least, is something which rather *directly* maps on to the results of cannabis legalization here.

Now I don’t mean to imply that anything which terrifies Simon Bridgs and his ilk is axiomatically a Good Idea … but it certainly doesn’t automatically mean it’s a bad one.

12 COMMENTS

  1. That politicians get all serious about an issue that was proven fake news 30 yrs ago demonstrate just how corrupt they are. I’ve seen the wards ( note plural) of Kids destroyed by their parents use of alcohol, but I will bet if there was one in similar condition from thier parents abusing cannabis , photos would be on the front page of every paper.

  2. Simple Si’ has obviously smoked too much pot. He’s only got a few braincells left and can’t speak properly!

    • So you do agree with all the experts who are against this drug being made legal if you think it kills brain cells which it does.
      Do you seriously think all the young people are going to hold of smoking weed until they are of legal age .The gangs will get this market so I trouncing a young market and they will know to get them onto harder drugs before they lose them as they turn 20

      • Geez I’ve read some rubbish in my life but none more so than this. Where’s all your evidence that any of this will happen Trev, seriously? You make statements, but cannot provide any evidence.

        You say “ALL” the experts, who are they?

        “Do you seriously think all the young people are going to hold of smoking weed until they are of legal age .The gangs will get this market so I trouncing a young market and they will know to get them onto harder drugs before they lose them as they turn 20”

        You may want to proof read that lot also, as it looks like you’ve been on the hardest drug of them all(alcohol) whilst writing this.

      • Thats a very weak argument, Trevor.
        Alcohol kills just as much, if not more, brain cells than cannabis but it is legal.

      • Alcohol is also mostly responsible for MOST of the violence in our country pot heads don’t usually get violent unless they mix it with alcohol. Trev the gangs are already the main sellers of pot so what are you talking about.

  3. I am more inclined to take notice about the impact of gangs from people who actually deal with them ie the police, rather than Simon Bridges rhetoric. Interesting from latest issue of NZ Police Magazine:

    https://www.policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/police-news/police-news-magazine
    Police News December 2019

    Chris Cahill:
    Summing up what he learnt from his trip to Canada, Chris says: “What became clear to me was that if cannabis is legalised in New Zealand, it must be accompanied by strong and enforceable legislation which will require resourcing and planning for it to be a better alternative than the current regime. “You’ve got to be able to produce enough supply, and cheap enough, to shut gangs out of the black market.

    “In New Zealand right now, gangs have suppressed the supply of cannabis with the aim of selling more lucrative methamphetamine. Any market, even if it is providing jobs in communities, would have to be done in a way that cut out the black market.”

    And also VERY MUCH THIS:
    “The overwhelming response from everyone he met was that the law change had not caused any major issues. “Everyone compared it to the Y2K moment before the year 2000. There was a lot of fear about the changes in the drug law and then… nothing happened. And a year later that is still the case.”

    So that is a more accurate metaphor: Y2K not BREXIT!

  4. Right now I am feeling completely fed up with the NZ National Party.

    I am tired of their(National’s)ridiculous and pathetic attempts at destroying support of this current government through an utterly juvenille, immature, childish, bullying smear campaign.
    I am not a full supporter of this current government but they(this Coalition government)have done a damn sight better things to New Zealand and New Zealanders than the previous National government did for New Zilland and New Zillanders(as John Key called the country and its population).

    National eagerly had their hands out for whatever political donation they could get from overseas persons whenever it suited them and there was not a PEEP out of MP Simon Bridges whilst that was all going on i.e from 2008 through to perhaps now i.e 2019.

    I will not be bothering listening to another National MP ever again. Whenever Simon Bridges, Paula Bennett or any of the other self-serving rats from the NZ National Party appear on the telly I will be quickly grabbing the remote control(thank goodness someone invented that device)and either changing channels. turning off the telly and of course turning off the sound.

    I am switching off from the NZ National Party completely.

    Their antics and tactics have become ridiculous and of course embarrassing because it’s OUR(NZ taxpayers)money that is PAYING THEIR WAGES AND PERKS OF THE JOB. These National MPs are the very ones who disparage the poor NZ taxpayers at every opportunity when in government.

    So lets have a Make Angry National Go Away Soon aka MAN-GAS sign and of course have Simon Bridges as being the Emblem of MAN-GAS.

    • Ditto your comments about the National Party, JM.
      They simply cannot debate issues without resorting to populist mass hysteria and fabricating false statistics.
      If Labour wins the next election it will likely be because people have lost confidence in National to BE an alternative government because they just look and sound like a pack of baying hounds chasing any fox that passes by.

  5. Someone very close to me has smoked pot for nearly 50 years. This person functions normally and has an engineering design job and has to process complex building work every day. Another friend smokes a huge amount of pot every day and holds a management job and is highly motivated. I know a lot of people similar and more or less pot situation and all I can say is that none of them have been effected by pot even after decades of use. So someone like you Trev comes along obviously with fuck all real world experience and I can’t believe anything you write. You are just like most “experts”, you don’t know sweet F.A.

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