A long overdue cannabis debate

September 26th, 2011 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Just blogged at Stuff on the long overdue debate. I note:

The Law Commission has also advocated a mandatory cautioning scheme for anyone charged with a personal possession or use offence. For Class C drugs such as cannabis they recommend that a person only be prosecuted from their fourth offence. This could be a sensible compromise between full decriminalisation and the current law.

The debate will not go away, just because some do not want to admit the current approach is failing.

 

Tags: , , ,

187 Responses to “A long overdue cannabis debate”

  1. ben (2,380 comments) says:

    I can’t help but think the outrage at Brash’s suggestion has rather a lot to do with the fact that the current arrangement gives politicians, police, lawyers and courts a large problem to solve, which in turn raises demand for what they do i.e. gives them power. In practice that means bigger budgets, higher fees, and higher status compared to decriminalisation. Decriminalising would see a large fraction of $100 million go elsewhere. No wonder they are unhappy about it.

    Their interest in maintaining their lifestyles doesn’t justify locking up folks who harmed nobody but themselves.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. m@tt (629 comments) says:

    Yes a long overdue debate is needed here but Brash picking this up is ridiculous, especially when he looks to have alienated Banks in Epsom.
    Of course Brash back pedalling in an interview this morning where he said this is not policy but his ‘musings’ gives him the classic ability to be remembered for supporting this, even if he never actually does…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. kowtow (8,475 comments) says:

    Prime Minister John Key totally opposed,good on him.
    Doesn’t Don want to get elected?

    Canabis users harm lots of people,especially those close to them who have to carry the useless fuckers.

    There’s a term currently in use among young people who don’t use that shit and they describe their drug using peers as “Brain fucked”,I wonder why?

    Isn’t it extraordinary that in these oh so PC times when all and sundry are out to destroy tobacco ad alcohol that we now want to have increased dope use.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    All substances should be legalised immediately. That would free up much-needed police resources to check on election billboards!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    Perhaps Brash is positioning himself for hostile takeover of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party when the ACT party totally implodes.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    Isn’t it extraordinary that in these oh so PC times when all and sundry are out to destroy tobacco ad alcohol that we now want to have increased dope use.

    Not sure what political correctness could have to do with tobacco and alcohol. Is it racist tobacco and homophobic alcohol?

    Personally, my desire is not for “increased dope use”, it’s for “decreased Nanny State”.

    Cannabis overusers can be a burden on those close to them, yes. Alcohol overusers can be a burden on those close to them. Computer game overusers can be a burden on those close to them. Kowtow, is it your Nanny State’s responsibility to ban those things? Or individuals’ responsibility to enjoy them in moderation, and to help friends/family who can’t?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I’ve always felt Don needs to chill out and smoke a serious amount of weed.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Pete George (23,562 comments) says:

    I’d welcome a full debate on this too. Speculating on it as a part of the election campaign is a far from ideal way to do it. It deserves much better unemotional scrutiny.

    This would be a prime issue to debate with electorates and then poll or run a referendum (logistically for me that would have be local only). I’ve been considering initiating a proper debate on cannabis early next year, when it would get much better attention without the distraction of the election.

    Until it’s been properly debated with as much relevant information as possible I support the status quo, decriminalisation should be approached very cautiously. I could personally be persuaded either way but I don’t think that’s the point, this sort of issue really deserves as much input as possible involving as many people as possible, as should any decision – ideally culminating in a national referendum.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Ross Miller (1,704 comments) says:

    When the Leader ‘muses’ and his life-line candidate sez ‘f**k you’ one can reasonably ask ‘what’s left’?

    One suspects ‘trouble at Mill’.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Banksie should smoke some too.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    Until it’s been properly debated with as much relevant information as possible I support the status quo, decriminalisation should be approached very cautiously. I could personally be persuaded either way but I don’t think that’s the point, this sort of issue really deserves as much input as possible involving as many people as possible, as should any decision – ideally culminating in a national referendum.

    I wonder if the gangs would be organised enough to lobby against legalisation.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    kowtow – alcohol users harm lots of other people. Face it, you and every other beer guzzling prohibitionist are hypocrites. What do you think tobacco does to people? Visit a hospital some time and see how families are affected. Yet you presume to have the right to stigmatize others simply because it’s not your preferred method of intoxication.

    And before you delude yourself with notions of drinking in moderation try being honest with yourself. When our politicians like Bolger and Winnie were being dragged into their ministerial limo’s they weren’t drinking moderately. When Muldoon was calling a snap election while off his face he wasn’t drinking moderately. When our current PM invites the world to come to party central you can bet your arse that people down there are NOT drinking moderately.

    It says something about your argument that you defer to the opinion of teenagers (which you probably just invented). How about you defer to the opinion of experts who have studied the effects and relative harm of drugs and the numerous world leaders who have witnessed first hand the devastating toll prohibition has taken on their countries.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    What would happen to New Zealand’s crime rate if pot was decriminalized like the Netherlands?

    Head to head comparison New Zealand verses the Netherlands in crime stats:

    Adults prosecuted per capita NZ three times that of the Netherlands.
    Assault victims NZ more than twice that of Netherlands.
    Car thefts NZ more than twice that of Netherlands.
    Rapes NZ nearly twice the Netherlands.
    Prisoners per capita NZ one and a half times the Netherlands.
    Suicides NZ FOUR TIMES the Netherlands.

    CANNABIS USE NZ 14.6% NETHERLANDS 5.4% *NEARLY THREE TIMES AS MANY KIWIS SMOKE POT!!*

    http://www.nationmaster.com/compare/Netherlands/New-Zealand/Crime

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annual_cannabis_use_by_country

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. 3-coil (1,220 comments) says:

    John Key wades in on TV today condemning marijuana as a gateway drug leading to hard drugs – I know it’s not his style, but if he doesn’t know what he’s talking about he should STFU.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    Scott,

    Do you know what the alcohol consumption rate of New Zealand is compared to the Netherlands?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Yeah 3-coil, imagine if cannabis was legal, people might go voluntarily on to other stuff they might enjoy.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Have polls been done on this issue? Scientific ones of course.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    From Stuff,

    Goff did not support decriminalisation, but said locking people up for using marijuana is “going far too far”.

    ——————————

    Goff is such a fool. What does he thinks happens to people when they commit crimes? Eventually they’ll go to jail. And if we remove jail as an option then it may as well be decriminalized. What purpose does a conviction serve other than to limit the job opportunities of those caught out (usually minorities while rich white brats go unpunished)?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. redeye (629 comments) says:

    My belated contribution to yesterday’s dope debate that I’m reposting here cause I’m too lazy to rewrite;-

    Who cares if decriminalisation results in more people using it? Surely it’s their choice, as long as they are sane adults.

    Show me a Class A drug user who did not start out with the odd ‘joint’ or two and I’ll show you a liar.

    I have a family member that was herion addicted for 20 years. He started by sneaking the Blackberry Nip from the old man’s liquor cabinet. I know this to be a fact because I was there and, I’m not a liar. Surely you don’t propose to outlaw Blackberry Nip (although an argument could be made)?

    Most of the arguments in the negative in this thread are based on the fact that losers smoke dope. While personally ‘tea total’ now, I know of many recreational cannabis users that are good parents, hold down good jobs & with the obvious exception are generally law abiding citizens and contributors to society. They just prefer to relax at the end of the week with a non alcoholic, less dangerous relaxant. They shouldn’t be risking jail for that.

    The argument constantly seen in this blog when the increased regulation of alcohol comes up is “Why should I have to pay for the irresponsible consumer?”. Apply the same standards I say.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. nasska (11,510 comments) says:

    People who have smoked dope for 30/40 years are not going to change the habits of a lifetime regardless of the legal status of the drug. Those that oppose cannabis use could do well to consider the likely reaction to decriminalisation by the teenagers they seek to protect.

    Take away the illegality of dope & you take away the allure & attraction. In the world teens create for themselves if it’s not cool it doesn’t happen.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    redeye – nice drug-alogue. Well said. :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. vendetta (60 comments) says:

    Would like to see more research around possible links between cannabis use and the development of mental health disorders such as schizophrenia before any decisions are made to decriminalise. Studies have proven a correlation between cannabis use and schizophrenia, but are inconclusive at this stage with regards to which is the causative factor (does cannabis use cause mental disorders? Or are those with mental disorders more likely to use cannabis?)

    If it’s proven that users are harming nobody, and aren’t risking permanent brain damage resulting in mental illness I’m all for it. But until then, caution seems the best approach.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    Ryan

    Pure litres of Ethyl Alcohol per capita over 15 years of age:

    Netherlands 9.55l
    New Zealand 9.12l

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_alcohol_consumption

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    nasska – moreover, make it legal and regulated with a +18 age limit and teenagers will find it harder to obtain. Tinnie houses don’t ask for ID whereas liquor shops do.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “Tinnie houses don’t ask for ID whereas liquor shops do.”

    Really? I think thats naive.

    Decriminalisation yes, legalisation no. It should be treated as a medical problem, not a criminal one, but it SHOULD be treated as a problem. Anyone who thinks legalisation will prevent those underage from getting it are fooling themselves.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    vendetta
    Who care? If that had any relevance the debate would be about banning alcohol and tobacco due to their danger.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    # vendetta (48) Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Would like to see more research around possible links between cannabis use and the development of mental health disorders such as schizophrenia before any decisions are made to decriminalise. Studies have proven a correlation between cannabis use and schizophrenia, but are inconclusive at this stage with regards to which is the causative factor (does cannabis use cause mental disorders? Or are those with mental disorders more likely to use cannabis?)

    If it’s proven that users are harming nobody, and aren’t risking permanent brain damage resulting in mental illness I’m all for it. But until then, caution seems the best approach.

    ———————————–

    What about the links between alcohol and depression? Alcohol and suicide? Alcohol and domestic violence?

    Anybody who has any experience living in the real world (as opposed to living in a bubble like most social conservatives) already knows that most Cannabis users harm no one but themselves. They might be risking permanent brain damage if they abuse the drug, but how is this any different to risking death by abusing alcohol? No matter how much weed you consume it will never kill you. The same cannot be said for alcohol and indeed people are dying left right and centre. Yet hello Heineken sponsor of Rugby World Cup 2011, everyone down to the waterfront to get shit-faced!

    It makes no sense.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    # Lee01 (921) Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    “Tinnie houses don’t ask for ID whereas liquor shops do.”

    Really? I think thats naive.

    Decriminalisation yes, legalisation no. It should be treated as a medical problem, not a criminal one, but it SHOULD be treated as a problem. Anyone who thinks legalisation will prevent those underage from getting it are fooling themselves.

    ———————

    You’re selectively quoting Lee01. I said “harder” I didn’t say impossible. And yes tinnie houses, generally, do not ask for ID. That is not naiveity that is a fact.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. nasska (11,510 comments) says:

    redeye

    You bring up a good point. I’ve always considered that there are people out there who are addiction prone. By this I mean those who will seek out a high or a way to avoid reality at any cost. Alcohol & dope are the usual vehicles but to them manufactured psychedelic drugs, opiates, meth or even boiling up a cactus for soup are all preferable to reality.

    Their drug taking even transcends addiction…oblivion is the goal & nothing will stand in their way. Take these people out of the loop & we don’t have a drug problem….just a society using the softer recreational drugs for fun & relaxation.

    Once again the moralists & wowsers wish to treat the general populace as children with the futile idea of keeping a few no hopers in line.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    Weihana,

    “Anybody who has any experience living in the real world (as opposed to living in a bubble like most social conservatives)”

    Thats an extremely stupid statement. Social conservatives live in the same world you do and have to deal with the same problems you do.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. George Patton (349 comments) says:

    If you are in a cnetre-right political party, and you want a conversation on the merits of legalizing cannabis, then the response “fuck off” is technically a conversation.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “And yes tinnie houses, generally, do not ask for ID. That is not naiveity that is a fact.”

    I used to be a drug addict in my misspent youth. Dope, coke and heroin, so please do not lecture me about facts and reality. Many tinnie houses will not sell to anyone they think are kids, and many will. Thats true of legal liquor outlets as well. And please do not claim conservatives are lving in a “bubble”. Some of us became conservatives the hard way, through harsh experience of the realities of life in a liberal cesspool.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    Have to laugh at the total predictability of the ‘legalise dope’ brigade – as soon as this debate opens, out come the bollocks comparisons between dope / other illegal substances / legal alcohol / legal tobacco. So rather than debate whether dope should be legalised, the theme soon degenerates into an ‘alcohol bad / tobacco bad’ and ‘dope good’ campaign. In the absence of any rational ‘pro dope’ argument, this line against alcohol and tobacco, is futile and actually pathetic.

    I also note that the ‘look what happened in Portugal when dope was decriminalised’ line has now stopped – most likely as a result of the facts set out in material posted that destroyed that particular argument. Now its become ‘look what happened in the Netherlands’ – again totally predictable.

    If this is the best argument available in support of the ‘legalise dope’ campaign, then don’t hold your breath for any politician from any major party to look seriously at this issue.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    ACT At Odds With Brash’s Dope Stance:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5684154/ACT-at-odds-with-Brashs-dope-stance

    Fucking pussies. What a pack of fucking amateurs. I just got off the bandwagon.

    Sigh. Key just went down massively in my estimation as well.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. vendetta (60 comments) says:

    Weihana & milkenmild,

    Alcohol is always the elephant in the room. I’m not denying that it is, the way it’s currently used by a lot of people, a total blight on society.

    But just because one very harmful thing is legal (alcohol) doesn’t mean we should automatically legalise something less harmful but still bad overall (pot).

    I don’t honestly know what the answer is with alcohol at this point (there must be one, because what’s going on out there is awful) but I’m treating it as a seperate issue here otherwise things get pretty murky.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. redeye (629 comments) says:

    Elaycee the comparisons to alcohol are legitimate if you want the laws of the country to appear in any way consistent.

    And consistency is important if you want those laws to be respected. No?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    vendetta
    I agree, the legality of alcohol and tobacco is only a supplementary reason for legalising all other substances. Aother subsidiary reason would be to promote law and order by not criminalising actions which do not harm others. The most important reasons though are overall harm reduction and the promotion of adult choice in what we choose to put in out bodies.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. nasska (11,510 comments) says:

    Elaycee

    Agreed it is poor debating practise to immediately start one’s argument with invalid comparisons. What is valid is that many, many of those who oppose liberalisation of laws dealing with soft drugs do so with a double scotch in one hand & a cigarette in the other.

    Some commentators see this as a hypocritical stance.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    Alcohol is always the elephant in the room. I’m not denying that it is, the way it’s currently used by a lot of people, a total blight on society.

    But just because one very harmful thing is legal (alcohol) doesn’t mean we should automatically legalise something less harmful but still bad overall (pot).

    It’s all a question of whether you want a government that treats you like an adult who can make his or her own decisions, or a government that tries to limit your choices by deciding it knows better than you do what is best for you.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. dc (144 comments) says:

    “It’s not a drug, it’s a drink!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9tdcGmBefM

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. MikeE (555 comments) says:

    I’ve just got back from Amsterdam (was literally there last week), so find it very interesting that this debate is happening. Purchased and enjoyed a few joints from a coffee shop (The Green Place, Amsterdam) and visited the Cannabis College and Hemp Museum.

    Firstly, I’ve never felt safer walking at night than I did in Amsterdam, even with shock, horror, legal soft drugs and prostitution, its the safest place I’ve ever been at 3 or 4am. Much safer than Auckland, Wellington, Rotorua, Sydney, London or Bristol.

    Secondly, Cannabis is NOT legal in the Netherlands. I repeat it is ILLEGAL. The Dutch have a system of “Tolerance” where its effectively been decriminalised, but you can still get arrested for misuse of cannabis over there. Its a bit of a grey area legally (and funnily enough, one such coffee shop is named “grey area” after this).

    In practise though, you can grow up to 5 cannabis plants on private property providing they are not grown under lights. The police do however have the power to remove these if a neighbor complains of the smell or anything related to them, so its up to the indivdual concerned to be repsonsible. You can smoke on private property, but not on the street – and “hard” drugs are not tolerated.

    The only issue is supply to the coffee shops, as obviously they need to be served by commercial growers. This is still as far as I know illegal, but I get the feeling that the police turn a blind eye to this. I wasn’t really explained very well while I was over, and I wonder if there is perhaps still some underworld involvement in this over there.

    There is no street dealing in Amsterdam, why would you bother if you can either a) grow your own, or b) purchase from a coffee shop. Any attempts at street dealing are clamped down upon by the local cops. You do however get the odd dodgy african offering to sell cannabis, cocaine or mdma to unsuspecting tourists, but this is just a (well known) scam.

    Coffee shops are allowed to hold a quantity of cannabis to supply to customers, and are only allowed to sell to those over 18. This is enforced and I saw kids without ID kicked out of coffee shops when they tried to enter. Coffee shops are relaxed and safe environments, most of their customers are tourists from the look of it (locals just grow their own, you can buy cannabis starter kits on the Amsterdam flower market for between 2.5 and 6 euros, or from Sensi Seeds or one of the other seed banks around the red light district). I didn’t see any of the supposed issues regarding tourists causing trouble at the shops, from what I can tell this is just conservative politicians over there trying to get votes by being “anti foriegner” – kind of like a dutch version of Winston Peters. It may however be slightly different around the border towns where people from other countries might try to purchase and smuggle overseas.

    Since cannabis has been tolerated use by locals has declined, to around 5% of the population, well below the approx 10% of the population that is suspected here in NZ. I’m pretty sure that most employers would have policies regardng turning up to work stoned.

    They don’t appear have an issue that I can tell with Drug driving around the dam, as most people either ride bikes, or use public transport. I am unsure however what this would be like outside of the cities where people would be more likely to use private cars.

    So yeah, based on my experience in Amsterdam, legalising cannabis has been largely positive. The main issue I can see with it was who was growing at the scale needed for coffee shops. Apart from this however, amsterdam was peaceful, friendly and NOT overrun with drug fiends. Children weren’t using drugs, and I didn’t see any addicts begging for money like you see around Auckland or wellington (or worse in the UK).

    Just to put things in perspective a little.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. vendetta (60 comments) says:

    milkenmild,

    Thanks for clarifying. I’m in agreement, which is why I stated I’m in favour if the mental health links can be disproven. This has relevance because having fewer individuals with mental health disorders is positive for society for a number of reasons. Yes, users might only be damaging themselves. But if they damage themselves to the extent that they require costly ongoing medication and treatment through the mental health system, this isn’t desirable. Neither is ending up on a benefit due to being unemployable. Not to mention the strain put on families through having to cope with a mentally ill family member.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    @nasska – why should anyone see this as a hypocritical stance?

    Having a double scotch and smoking a cigarette are both legal activities in NZ.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. nasska (11,510 comments) says:

    vendetta

    I have no connection to mental health professionals but as a layman I have noted that those who suffer from bi polar & or schizophrenic conditions are the world’s greatest experts in self medication. This may be partly because of the adverse side effects of prescribed drugs or boredom but I would suggest that consumption of illegal drugs is because of a preexisting condition, not the cause of it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    Elaycee

    How do you explain this?

    Cannabis users aged 15-64 in 2006 (World Health Organization):

    NZ 14.6% (pot illegal)

    NETHERLANDS 5.4% (pot decriminalized)

    *NEARLY THREE TIMES AS MANY KIWIS SMOKE POT!!*

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annual_cannabis_use_by_country

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. nasska (11,510 comments) says:

    Elaycee

    They are both legal activities & the people bothering to debate the issue want the use of soft drugs to enjoy a similar status. The proponents of decriminalisation here are not holding their fingers up to you or the police….they are using the forum to generate understanding of the issues.

    It’s the legal way to change something we don’t agree with.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    vendetta,

    “This has relevance because having fewer individuals with mental health disorders is positive for society for a number of reasons.”

    What evidence is there that prohibition reduces the number of consumers and thereby reduces the number of people who may be affected by mental health issues? You’re starting from a false premise.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    # Elaycee (1,316) Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    @nasska – why should anyone see this as a hypocritical stance?

    Having a double scotch and smoking a cigarette are both legal activities in NZ.

    ————————

    So lets make it illegal. If one accepts the arguments against legalizing Cannabis then there is an even stronger case for outlawing tobacco and alcohol.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  49. wreck1080 (3,917 comments) says:

    I vote for decriminalisation, and I’m not a smoker either.

    There would be little change in the number of weed smokers.

    If cannabis was legal, then , it would be possible to run the same public education campaigns — maybe, use would decline?

    I say give decriminalisation a try for a few years, and if it is not working then reverse the law.

    If you really want to stop cannabis use, introduce the death penalty for consumption and dealing.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  50. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    vendetta,

    But just because one very harmful thing is legal (alcohol) doesn’t mean we should automatically legalise something less harmful but still bad overall (pot).

    I don’t honestly know what the answer is with alcohol at this point (there must be one, because what’s going on out there is awful) but I’m treating it as a seperate issue here otherwise things get pretty murky.

    —————————

    But why treat it as a seperate issue? What justification is there for that? If prohibition reduces usage then why wouldn’t it reduce alcohol consumption? With respect, the only thing murky I see is your thinking. You’re trying to skirt around a fundamental contradiction in your argument.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  51. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    wreck1080,

    “If you really want to stop cannabis use, introduce the death penalty for consumption and dealing.”

    I wouldn’t suggest that. There are a few sickos here for whom human life is very cheap.

    As to your point, that’d probably have a significant effect on cannabis use since cannabis is not particularly addictive, relatively speaking. But places like Singapore and elsewhere still have significant abuse of hard drugs despite the state sanctioned murder being carried out and this is because real addicts do not act rationally and cannot fully appreciate consequences.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  52. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    @nasska – my comment was tongue in cheek – but I just find it disingenuous that the proponents of the ‘decriminalise dope’ brigade, cite alcohol and tobacco use as the reason why they want an existing Law relating to an illegal substance changed.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  53. Griff (7,715 comments) says:

    Criminalization encourages the use of legal drugs which are more harmful than the ones being banned. It can be argued that the epidemic of alcohol-related health harms that New Zealand is experiencing now is partly driven by people who might use drugs that are safer than alcohol, such as cannabis and ecstasy, being deterred by the risks of criminalization and/or misinformation about the relative harms of these drugs, so are driven to drinking instead. It is seriously questionable whether there is any health justification for criminalizing the use of drugs that are safer than alcohol. Punishing drug users – but not drinkers or tobacco smokers – to protect them and society from health harms is ineffective, uneconomic, morally indefensible and patently unjust. The growing use of cannabis in retired people in the USA when they no longer have to fear workplace drug-testing reflects the true deterrent effects of the law to limit free choice.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  54. scanner (340 comments) says:

    Stoners don’t go home and bash their wives or children to death, wish the same could be said for booze.
    Seems that the results of research seem to go with where the researchers original loyalties lie.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  55. redeye (629 comments) says:

    If cannabis was legal, then , it would be possible to run the same public education campaigns — maybe, use would decline?

    As I’ve said before, in the 70’s I used to smoke a minimum of a pack a day as did almost everyone I knew. Further it was almost a badge of honour to be able to get your car home pissed.

    Now days I really only know of one person that smokes tobacco and I honestly don’t know anyone that’d drive as pissed as we used to then

    We’ve changed societies attitudes towards tobacco and drunk driving by education and clever marketing. Not by prohibition (it was illegal to drive drunk then)

    100 million a year could be better spent for mine.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  56. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Elaycee,

    “I also note that the ‘look what happened in Portugal when dope was decriminalised’ line has now stopped – most likely as a result of the facts set out in material posted that destroyed that particular argument.”

    I repeat, go look what happened in Portugal. And by look I mean actually read reports into the effects of the policy change, such as the Cato report which I cited in another thread, instead of selecting quoting stats posted on Wikipedia.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  57. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Lee01,

    “I used to be a drug addict in my misspent youth. Dope, coke and heroin, so please do not lecture me about facts and reality.”

    Sure hope you’ve paid your debt to society. Or is punishment only for other people?

    Also, if you don’t like contrary opinions then go elsewhere. Don’t be so precious. You offer your version of the facts and I will offer mine.

    “Many tinnie houses will not sell to anyone they think are kids, and many will. Thats true of legal liquor outlets as well.”

    It is much less likely for liquor outlets to sell to people underage as they are regulated and monitored. Yes some tinnie houses don’t sell to kids. Many of them however do not have such high moral standards.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  58. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    Elaycee

    You haven’t answered my 3.53 question. I repeat:

    How do you explain this?

    Cannabis users aged 15-64 in 2006 (World Health Organization):

    NZ 14.6% (pot illegal)

    NETHERLANDS 5.4% (pot decriminalized)

    *NEARLY THREE TIMES AS MANY KIWIS SMOKE POT!!*

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annual_cannabis_use_by_country

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  59. nasska (11,510 comments) says:

    To add to “redeye’s” 4.14pm. If, inside fifty years, our society can evolve from the six o clock swill, people driving as pissed as a fiddler’s cat & the average person smoking upwards of a pack a day surely it is within our wits to handle a soft drug that has been around for yonks.

    I feel we can safely presume that life as we know it could continue even with decriminalisation.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  60. vendetta (60 comments) says:

    Quite possibly you are correct about my thinking Weihana – this isn’t the simplest of arguments! And I do have a vested interest here – working on mental health projects, I’m really reluctant to support anything which might cause more harm.

    I’m considering alcohol seperately because prohibition of alcohol is nearly impossible. Ignoring for moment the fact that no politician in their right mind would touch it, users outnumber non users hundreds to one, and it’s very easy for anybody to make at home (simpler, and easier to hide than growing cannabis).

    Plus, the question this post asks is ‘should we decriminalise cannabis’. To which I said, ‘if it can be proven that we’re not going to be putting extra strain on the health/benefit system or on the families of users, why not.’

    If there is evidence that shows rates of use would drop with the event of decriminalisation (and I don’t believe comparing our usage rates to Amsterdam’s is sufficient, we’re very different countries with completely different cultures and attitudes) then I suppose I would lean towards it regardless.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  61. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    redeye

    Show me a Class A drug user who did not start out with the odd ‘joint’ or two and I’ll show you a liar.

    Then you mention the blackberry nip… which would have come after they experimented with eating sugar as a child. So I think the key gateway product is probably sweets – if not breast milk.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  62. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    @ vendetta I don’t have any evidence just opinion but I very much doubt cannibas use would drop on decriminalisation. I also doubt it would meaningfully increase. What would happen though is a whole lot of people’s activity would move from illegal to legal. I can’t help think that’s a good thing.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  63. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    KiwiGreg

    And add to that – a large drop in income for the gangs…. But I guess the politicians like status quo – why would that be?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  64. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    vendetta – “I’m considering alcohol seperately because prohibition of alcohol is nearly impossible.”

    So why would anyone think that prohibition of something you can grow in your backyard *is* possible?

    I concede cannabis abuse can lead to or exacerbate mental health problems, but our current policy of criminalizing users is counterproductive and expensive. The problem has to be brought out into the light without this bone-headed law to contend with as well.

    I believe that if a child wishes to smoke dope in New Zealand, he will do so, as it is freely available, and has an added attraction of being taboo. Kids are attracted to the forbidden like moths to a flame, especially rebel teens. Why would the number of users increase if cannabis were to be decriminalized?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  65. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    Brash’s big mistake is that the drug of choice among Epsom voters is cocaine, not cannabis.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  66. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    toad

    Brash isn’t a lefty.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  67. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    toad

    What is the official Green party line on decriminalisation of pot ?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  68. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    This latest brouhaha is very entertaining for those watching the disintegration of ACT. We have their caucus ruction, then Brash condescending to take them over, Boscawen dropping out and now Banks saying “Sorry Don, you think you’re the leader but I’m the one who really counts.” What next.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  69. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    vendetta,

    “I’m considering alcohol seperately because prohibition of alcohol is nearly impossible.”

    Well I think the same could be said of cannabis… and meth for that matter. It’s not just the number of users, it’s the economic demand they create. Remember that even if something is only consumed by ten percent of the population that’s still about 400,000 people. Any drug consumed by anything more than a very tiny minority is going to create a very profitable market.

    But I do think you’re approaching the issue correctly which is the idea of harm minimization. Basically you don’t want to make things worse and you’re concerned whether liberalization will make things worse. Caution should be used though as the concept of “harm” is not a straightforward question and simple questions like “will usage increase or decrease” and “is the substance associated with mental health issues” can’t fully address the basic question of whether harm will increase or decrease.

    Elaycee, for instance, cited Wikipedia stats on Portugal and drug usage rates which over a period after decriminalization slightly increased in some categories and used this as a basis to say decriminalization hasn’t worked. But if you look at the effects in depth, and I have recommended the Cato report, it is plainly obvious that decriminalization has been a huge success and has made many other people stop and think seriously about drug policy. From decreasing usage amongst teens to reduced overdoses and infection rates and uptake of treatment, it’s been a success.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  70. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    toad – “Brash’s big mistake is that the drug of choice among Epsom voters is cocaine, not cannabis.”

    Evidence?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  71. rightrightbloodywellright (14 comments) says:

    The Don should have pushed the anti gang side firstly and more prominently. He blew it, the small money is 100M in policing per year.
    With 400000 users each say 1 oz year minimum 160M per year, even if gangs sold half of that amount that would take about 80M year from those scumbags if it was decrimalised. Legalise it and collect some GST as well.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  72. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Weihana

    We also need to look at the consequences of reducing gang income. The gangs are not likely to lay off staff as a result of their reduced revenue – rather they will find other activities to replace that lost revenue.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  73. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Elaycee

    toad has no need for evidence, he’s a lefty so he will just continue to repeat the same line over and over until people think its true.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  74. nasska (11,510 comments) says:

    burt

    …”And add to that – a large drop in income for the gangs”…..

    Only if recreational drugs were made legal. Decriminalisation would only affect the end user, ergo the gangs would still control the production & means of distribution.

    I am unsure whether NZ is even close to ready for full scale dumping of all drug laws. It would allow for taxation & duties to be imposed, would hurt criminal gangs & would probably see the end of the deficit but our homegrown conservatives & probably our trading partners would balk at such a move.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  75. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    Elaycee

    You haven’t answered my 3.53 or my 4.24 question. I repeat:

    How do you explain this?

    Cannabis users aged 15-64 in 2006 (World Health Organization):

    NZ 14.6% (pot illegal)

    NETHERLANDS 5.4% (pot decriminalized)

    *NEARLY THREE TIMES AS MANY KIWIS SMOKE POT!!*

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annual_cannabis_use_by_country

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  76. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    If legalisation was the answer, why does Singapore continue to have one of the lowest rates of drug use (alongside one of the harshest penalties for drug related crimes) in the World?

    “Singapore has one of the lowest prevalence of drug abuse worldwide, even though it has not been entirely eliminated. Over two decades, the number of drug abusers arrested each year has declined by two-thirds, from over 6,000 in the early 1990s to about 2,000 last year….”

    According to the 2008 World Drug Report by the United Nations office on drugs and crime 8.2% of the UK population are cannabis abusers; in Singapore it is 0.005%. For ecstasy, the figures are 1.8% for the UK and 0.003% for Singapore; and for opiates – such as heroin, opium and morphine – 0.9% for the UK and 0.005% for Singapore.

    Singapore’s use of capital punishment has come under criticism. However, contrary to the assertions of anti-death penalty campaigners like Gallahue and Lines, Singapore laws that specify the death penalty for certain drug offences do not contravene international law. Notably, at the United Nations general assembly in 2008, 46 countries, including some of the world’s largest democracies, voted against a draft resolution proposing a moratorium on the death penalty. Another 34 countries abstained.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/05/singapore-policy-drugs-bay

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  77. rightrightbloodywellright (14 comments) says:

    This CC should investigate the monopolastic practices of the gangs. Maybe the gangs could fix the price like Fonterra for the rest of the year. I just can’t help wondering how we allow this much $$$ to be sent directly to the gangs every year. Smokers all know the health risks and can make their own decisions.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  78. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @burt 5:11 pm

    What is the official Green party line on decriminalisation of pot ?

    Cannabis specific initiatives

    * Eliminate penalties for personal cannabis use for people aged 18 years and over.
    * Introduce a legal age limit of 18 years for personal cannabis use (this is consistent with alcohol). Those under 18 found in possession of cannabis would be treated in a way consistent with the Government’s 2002 Youth Development Strategy.
    * Define in law the limits on growing cannabis for personal use.
    * Ensure it remains an offence to drive while under the influence of cannabis.
    * Ensure that cannabis smoking is covered in the Smokefree Environments Act.
    * Commercial cultivation and trading of marijuana for profit would remain illegal, and areas currently relying on large scale illegal cultivation for their income will be assisted in making a transition to other work.

    Personally, I would go further, and decriminalise possession for personal use for all drugs. They did that in Portugal 10 years ago, and drug-related deaths have halved over that time.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  79. nasska (11,510 comments) says:

    burt

    re Gang Income.

    The foot soldiers of the gangs may look & act like mock ups of Cro-Magnon man but the arseholes who are in control don’t lack intelligence. If there was an extra non drug related way to generate income they’d be on to it now & use it as icing on the cake.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  80. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    nasska

    I don’t share your opinion that nothing would change in terms of production and distribution. The risk of dealers being caught goes down considerably once consumers are not being dragged into court after they get nabbed with a few joints.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  81. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    toad – “Brash’s big mistake is that the drug of choice among Epsom voters is cocaine, not cannabis.”

    Hmm, I dunno. I’d say:

    1)Alcohol
    2)SSRI anti-depressants
    3)Viagra
    4)Diazepam
    5)P
    6)Cocaine
    7)Religion

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  82. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    # burt (5,134) Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Weihana

    We also need to look at the consequences of reducing gang income. The gangs are not likely to lay off staff as a result of their reduced revenue – rather they will find other activities to replace that lost revenue.

    ————————-

    Which they already do. They cannot arbitrarily create further market opportunities that don’t exist. Legalization and regulation will take away perhaps their most profitable market which will have a detrimental effect. While we should not be so naive as to believe we can eliminate gangs and gang activity, we should not pretend like nothing we do will have any effect on them. Economics applies to them just as it applies to other enterprises.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  83. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    toad

    Cheers. Thats a sensible policy (IMHO). Now all you guys need to do is sell that position to the people rather than selling them the position that keeps Labour happy. IE: Stand up – take the lead and stop being puppets to the useless self serving Labour party.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  84. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @Elaycee 5:20 pm

    Oh, FFS, it was a comment in jest. Most lefties can’t afford cocaine. Most Epsom voters can.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  85. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    nasska,

    “If there was an extra non drug related way to generate income they’d be on to it now & use it as icing on the cake.”

    Exactly. To imagine that there is this undiscovered market for criminal activities which gangs are not wise to because drugs are illegal makes no sense. If there are other opportunities you can bet gangs are already trying to exploit them and the profits they earn from the drug trade goes a long way to help fund these other activities.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  86. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    toad

    Most lefties can’t afford cocaine. Most Epsom voters can.

    In terms of that comment being fucked up – it’s right up there with this…. Perhaps if they didn’t spend all their money on booze, cigarettes and lotto they could afford Cocaine…..

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  87. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    Heh, Elaycee’s solution:

    Kiwis magically turn into conservative secular Chinese and become a punitive one-party state. LMAO.

    And she’s still avoiding answering my question.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  88. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @Scott Chris 5:33 pm

    Mother’s Little Helper still at No 4 in Epsom electorate? Really! I would have thought that would be a North Shore thing these days.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  89. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    toad,

    “Commercial cultivation and trading of marijuana for profit would remain illegal, and areas currently relying on large scale illegal cultivation for their income will be assisted in making a transition to other work.”

    I don’t get this part. They’ve just made cannabis use much less risky in terms of getting in trouble with the authorities and now they expect to be able to tackle commercial cultivation and trading in marijuana despite the fact that complete prohibition has failed to do this?

    All they need is to be “assisted” in the “transition” to other work? This makes me think the Greens really do not appreciate or understand the economics of the situation and WHY prohibition has failed.

    But I don’t want to be too critical because their policy is still lightyears ahead of the other parties.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  90. exile (34 comments) says:

    Singapore has a lot more going on than harsh penalties under law. The entire island is the size of Panmure to Glen Eden, CBD to Onehunga. Over 5 million people live on the island. 85% live in government built housing projects, and ‘free’ public space is limited. It is very hard to get away with a crime without witnesses. This contributes as much to low crime as any deterrent effect of harsh punishment.

    Singapore officials live and die by their statistics too. Under reporting of crime is rampant, as ‘Singapore has the lowest crime rate in the world’. Relatively minor crimes like bicycle theft are a chronic problem but are almost impossible to report. You basically have to have evidence that you didn’t forget your bike somewhere, like a cut lock that you can prove ownership of, or CCTV footage.

    The rich and connected routinely get their charges downgraded or dropped. See the NZ girl caught smoking weed here last month, as an example. Meanwhile, a local I know here did a year in jail for the same ‘crime’ as a teenager.

    Resorts in Thailand and Indonesia are rammed full of young Singaporean drug tourists. You can have a weekend away at a nearby resort with a Saturday rave party including meals and transport for less than NZ$200.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  91. wat dabney (3,756 comments) says:

    Ben,

    I can’t help but think the outrage at Brash’s suggestion has rather a lot to do with the fact that the current arrangement gives politicians, police, lawyers and courts a large problem to solve, which in turn raises demand for what they do i.e. gives them power.

    Indeed ‘war is the health of the state’

    Most politicians don’t get into politics just to leave you alone to quietly go about your business.

    Elaycee,

    If legalisation was the answer, why does Singapore continue to have one of the lowest rates of drug use (alongside one of the harshest penalties for drug related crimes) in the World?

    Legalisation is the “answer” to not criminalising and coercing people who haven’t harmed anyone else.

    Cannabis consumption may well increase significantly when it is legalised. And that, by definition, would be a good thing, since it means not enough is being consumed right now.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  92. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Elaycee (1,319) Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    If legalisation was the answer, why does Singapore continue to have one of the lowest rates of drug use (alongside one of the harshest penalties for drug related crimes) in the World?

    “Singapore has one of the lowest prevalence of drug abuse worldwide, even though it has not been entirely eliminated. Over two decades, the number of drug abusers arrested each year has declined by two-thirds, from over 6,000 in the early 1990s to about 2,000 last year….”

    —————————————–

    Elaycee,

    Rates of arrest are not the same as rates of use which Singapore does not keep and even if they did no drug user would ever participate honestly. Suffice to say I can accept usage rates for cannabis are low and the punitive measures would contribute to that.

    But this really misses the point which is that a cannabis user (or dealer) no more deserves a bullet in the head than those who are getting drunk on the viaduct or those who supplied them with the liquor.

    To say that state sanctioned murder “works” only reveals the callous nature of your attitudes towards life and does not offer a viable solution to more evolved human beings.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  93. nasska (11,510 comments) says:

    Weihana

    F E Smith opined yesterday that gangs would only suffer a temporary setback if they lost the drug trade & he’s usually pretty much on the money. I still can’t see what else is lucrative enough to attract their attention other than illegal gambling & prostitution which they already control.

    With the current attitude of our leaders in waiting I doubt that the gang leaders are exactly worried about impending penury anyway.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  94. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    Weihana “But this really misses the point which is that a cannabis user (or dealer) no more deserves a bullet in the head than those who are getting drunk on the viaduct or those who supplied them with the liquor.”

    Different issue altogether. I know you don’t like the death penalty but I have no problem with it for the worst cases. But if you ask whether I think its a good idea that 12 year old kids are getting pissed on full strength RTD’s in NZ, then I’d say: “Hell, No”. This call for legalisation of an illegal product, is a different matter altogether.

    Your comment “Suffice to say I can accept usage rates for cannabis are low [in Singapore] and the punitive measures would contribute to that.” is totally correct. This applies to all drugs and not only dope…. imagine how this would stop the ‘P’ epidemic we have here if we treated the pushers and manufacturers in the same manner they do in Singapore.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  95. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    @ weihana/Elaycee or turn it round – if the death penalty threat doesn’t stop drug use (and it clearly hasn’t in Singapore) criminalisation can be shown not to work.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  96. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @Weihana 5:45 pm

    This makes me think the Greens really do not appreciate or understand the economics of the situation and WHY prohibition has failed.

    Prohibition has failed because it has inflated the price of a commodity which is extremely easy to grow. So people have chosen to grow it, because it provides the best return they can anticipate.

    Decriminalising it would cause the price to fall, and consequently will cause the incomes of the communities that rely on it for their economic survival to fall. There is therefore a need, imo, to provide those communities with some transitional assistance to move into developing other economic activities.

    Some here will no doubt disagree, saying the State has no role in subsidising business. But I don’t have a problem with transitional subsidies to mitigate the impact of government policy. It is when they get locked in (as with farmers’ SMPs in the early ’80s and with accommodation supplement from 1993, which has become a subsidy to landlords rather than tenants) that a problem emerges.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  97. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    exile says: “Resorts in Thailand and Indonesia are rammed full of young Singaporean drug tourists. You can have a weekend away at a nearby resort with a Saturday rave party including meals and transport for less than NZ$200.”

    That says more about the slack attitudes in Thailand and Indonesia rather than the tough (excellent) penalties in Singapore.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  98. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    nasska – “F E Smith opined yesterday that gangs would only suffer a temporary setback”

    As you say, what else out there has a 5000% profit margin?

    BTW, you were right about the brain fart. I thought Brash was smarter than that, and that he had a plan.

    The fucker’s gonna force me to give my party vote to Green, as there is no chance that the Greens will have any effect on economic policy, but are the only party with liberal social policy.

    Fuck I hate John Banks. I wonder if he’s married to Elaycee….

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  99. nasska (11,510 comments) says:

    Elaycee

    I am in no way defending “P” which I consider a dangerous drug of addiction. It’s worth pointing out ,however, that as in the case of opiates the”pushers & manufacturers” are themselves addicts.

    NZ Customs & Police were slow initially in acting against the large scale importation of precursor chemicals & the penetration of meth into NZ society reflects this. To knock the trade involves getting the king-hitters not pissing around with street dealers.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  100. Griff (7,715 comments) says:

    Elaycee

    Ill save the explicative However if you think life in Singapore is so great go live there.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  101. wat dabney (3,756 comments) says:

    SC,

    the Greens…are the only party with liberal social policy.

    Just because they happen to agree with you about something doesn’t make those authoritarian statists “liberal.”

    If they disagreed with it then they would vote to ban it. They wouldn’t take the position that they disagree with it but recognise that basic human rights decree that the state cannot intervene.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  102. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    @griff – lost your argument, have you? Haha… :P

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  103. Pete George (23,562 comments) says:

    Brash has made a mess of how he’s handled this, like talking to colleagues is a basic, and timing looks party and election orientated rather than for the good of constituents.

    But it’s a question that should be raised and a debate the public should be able to have.

    I’d like to propose a decent information and debate process, and I’ll do what I can to get this happening on a local level. It’s a stupid time to be doing it, the election is a distraction and it will take time to do, so I suggest getting something going on this early next year.

    I can help drive this online, but ideally it should also include public meetings and collection opinions of different interest groups, I can only do that on a local level. If a debate is generated and reasonable accurate determination of public wish achieved it could be a powerful public lobby.

    Warning though – the majority expressed result wouldn’t be what everyone wanted.

    Any thouights on this? There’s no point in getting into occasional arguments over it, most parties/politicians are happy not to do anything about it, so this needs to be driven from the grassroots.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  104. nasska (11,510 comments) says:

    Scott Chris

    …”Fuck I hate John Banks. I wonder if he’s married to Elaycee”….

    Bingo! I predicted that having the recycled wanker standing for ACT would prove to be their undoing & I fear that I’m going to be proved correct. He is generally loathed outside of Auckland & he’ll collapse their much needed party vote.

    I think you may be a few degrees out with “Elaycee”. Indeed the pseudonym hides a bundle of fully functional Y chromosomes.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  105. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    @nasska – thanks for correcting another cocked up assumption from Scott Chris. Thanks to the wonders of software, I’ve been able to skip his many, intellectual ‘pearls’ lately.

    Ain’t that a shame? :P

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  106. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @nasska 6:20 pm

    [John Banks] is generally loathed outside of Auckland

    There are plenty of us in Auckland who loathe him too.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  107. exile (34 comments) says:

    Elaycee says: “That says more about the slack attitudes in Thailand and Indonesia rather than the tough (excellent) penalties in Singapore.”

    The penalties in Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore are basically identical though. It is not the penalty that keeps the rate low, but the living standard of the population. There is simply no place to hide in Singapore.

    Singaporeans face the same penalties at home if they take drugs in other countries too. Anybody can be required to take a mandatory drugs test upon return to Singapore.

    Singapore is a small and paranoid country. Most public gatherings are attended by Internal Security Department agents in plain clothes. Each housing estate will have several agents on a beat, frequenting the local markets and Hawker centres, especially before an election. All bank accounts, phone accounts and financial transactions are linked to your ID card. Stores can simply scan your ID card and recover your address details.

    Recently, a western academic and permanent resident of Singapore (since she was in her early teens) had her PR status of 15 years cancelled because it was mentioned in a recently published book that she had participated in anti-death penalty advocacy in her late teens. Deported for thought crime.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  108. big bruv (13,895 comments) says:

    Toad

    “Decriminalising it would cause the price to fall, and consequently will cause the incomes of the communities that rely on it for their economic survival to fall. There is therefore a need, imo, to provide those communities with some transitional assistance to move into developing other economic activities. ”

    What utter crap, once again you use any means (always based around a blatant lie) to support the legalisation of drugs.

    Any community that bases it economy around the suffering of others deserves nothing from the tax payer, what we should be doing is locking each and every one of them up, hopefully a few will ‘resist’ arrest so we can shoot the bastards.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  109. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    exile
    There’s our answer to drug abuse then. Increase our population density to that of Singapore and institutionalise a one-party state.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  110. wat dabney (3,756 comments) says:

    Elaycee,

    So, to summarise, you plan to turn NZ into a prison in pursuit of your scheme to stop people enjoying hash.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  111. big bruv (13,895 comments) says:

    “@nasska 6:20 pm

    [John Banks] is generally loathed outside of Auckland

    There are plenty of us in Auckland who loathe him too.”

    I bet you do Toad, Banks stands for everything you want to ban, freedom, money, family and personal responsibility.

    Never mind, he will be in the next parliament, your lot might not be so lucky.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  112. Griff (7,715 comments) says:

    Elaycee
    No Your world wide search for statistics that prove your case annoys me Few of us would like to live in Singapore rather than here.

    PG
    It is being driven from the “Grass roots”. More informed debate on blogs such as this and in the media are far more valuable as that pushes the debate more into the mainstream as opposed to Rasta Nandor or the Dakta green.

    Get your leader to treat this as a health issue and honestly find out the harm criminalization does. He himself inhaled. The harm a conviction makes is far greater than the harm smoking pot does He would not be a MP if he was caught with that joint in his hand surly he can see that. A conviction would have altered his life far more than the harm of smoking pot when a youth did.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  113. Pete George (23,562 comments) says:

    Griff – it needs to be more organised rather than ad hoc occassional flurries. United Future are prepared to debate issues and listen – but it needs to be more than a bunch of random bloggees saying what they think should happen.

    What I’m proposing here are public meetings, online debates, and then some sort of poll or referendum.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  114. DavidC (179 comments) says:

    Just spent weekend up in Auckland doing rugby and rum and took the chance to catch up with a guy that knows a thing or two about this stuff…
    2 small hydroponic tents (600 mm sq each) in his roof with carbon filters and around $500 cash a week income.
    Not bad at all !

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  115. UpandComer (537 comments) says:

    I’ve passed that thang around with the best of them. I still can’t work out causation. Does weed make people depressed/sleepy/unmotivated or are those the kind of people that smoke weed? What I know is a lot of people from beneficiaries to judges will be out of pocket in Gisbourne at least if this gets legalised. I don’t think it’s a good idea to make stuff legal for people that makes them listless when they are in their twenties and in the prime of their lives. My two cents.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  116. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    @griff – Firstly, some posters here trotted out Portugal as some utopian state where the drug Laws were fantastic (liberal) and so I found some info that actually confirmed the opposite. Then out came The Netherlands – and we know that there is a bigger cannabis and ‘P’ problem there than in NZ (per capita). So I’m not globe trotting – I’m just responding to some of the points made.

    I hate illegal drugs. Of all types. They can destroy people / families / communities. Successive Governments of the day have considered the evidence and passed the Laws that determined what is illegal and what is OK. I can’t remember the cop who said it, but it went along the lines that throughout his career he came to know many, many crims who didn’t use dope, but ALL drug dealers he had encountered in his career, had used dope. Not exactly scientific evidence, but the suggestion is clear that dope use was one of the steps in their decision to deal (or manufacture) drugs. Our current drugs Laws are far too slack IMO – in fact I support them being toughened up! But I guess you can see that….

    I’m clearly lucky that no loved ones have been affected with illegal drugs but within my circle there are others who support the ‘liberalisation’ meme. In fact, one (I know of) has a conviction. But he doesn’t bleat about it – he accepted he broke the Law / paid the fine and moved on. But now he has no option but to declare his drug conviction when he travels overseas – and getting caught with a joint in his bag has taught him a lesson he now regrets. But I travel a fair bit and have no problem at all with drug dogs sniffing my luggage / no issue with filling out arrival cards that tell me of the death penalty for bringing drugs into their country and no issue with criminals being locked up for drug offences – anywhere. Because I know that I’ll never be one of them.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  117. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @big bruv 6:35 pm

    I thought Brash was your hero, bruv. Now you are abandoning him in favour of Banks, who wants to ban far more than anything either the Greens or Brash would. What does that say?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  118. redeye (629 comments) says:

    Just out of interest what else do you support being made illegal Elaycee?

    What other of life’s activities do you think our government should be disallowing us to participate in?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  119. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    Upandcomer – “I don’t think it’s a good idea to make stuff legal for people that makes them listless when they are in their twenties and in the prime of their lives. My two cents.”

    That’s the whole point. The criminalization of cannabis use has done NOTHING to stop people smoking the stuff.

    In 2006 14.6% of Kiwis between the ages of 15 and 64 smoked pot.

    In 2006, 5.6% Dutch between the ages of 15 and 64 smoked pot.

    In the Netherlands, you can grow 5 plants and carry enough for personal use, yet three times as many Kiwis smoke pot.

    How do you explain this?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annual_cannabis_use_by_country

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  120. nasska (11,510 comments) says:

    PG

    What you proposed in your 6.19pm & 6.40pm needs to happen. Now is not the time as with the impending election & the RWC it would get buried without trace.

    Perhaps you can put it in your 2012 diary & run it past us all then.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  121. Griff (7,715 comments) says:

    A wardrope set up will grow 500g+ in ten weeks. selling as 1g tinnys would equal a income of $52,000 “tax paid”
    add to that the dole and that would be about a 90,000 a year salary Imagine a spare bedroom ….

    You can not stamp this out face reality Make it a health issue and treat it like tobacco and usage will fall. Carry on with WAR and reap the collateral damage, crime and destruction this causes

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  122. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    @DavidC………………………..2 small hydroponic tents (600 mm sq each) in his roof……………….

    Good on him, Until a local gang prospect knocks on his door and informs him he has a new employer,- it wont be long because if he was stupid enough to show you his set up he will have shown others.

    Druggies just cannot help themsleves, they think they are really fucking clever.. but its their own stupidity that gets them caught.

    And after three days, I have not seen one comment that would justify the liberalizing of the cannabis other than very tired arguments that we used as 16 year olds in 1976.

    If you want to drug, drug. Why does it need to be decriminalized,? Just do it, no one cares about you having your joint in front of the TV on Saturday night making you feel like you are living on the edge, you rebel bastards The enjoyment will not be enhanced by a bunch of troughers saying “I” in our Parliament .

    And we have had the ….., it will take gangs out of the equation blah, blah ad nauseum. It won’t. It wont do anything fiscally for our country either like I said these arguments have been around for ever .

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  123. Pete George (23,562 comments) says:

    Here’s an interesting post from Dim-Post:

    You might be interested to read my new book “Matters To A Head: Cannabis, mental illness & recovery”. You can check it out through my website http://www.matterstoahead.co.nz The book discusses extensively the relationship between cannabis and mental illness, and why the decriminalisation argument is far less important to NZ than the real issue of providing and resourcing appropriate treatment and services to those who become unstuck by the drug. Of which our mental health services and prisons have many such sufferers.

    This sounds like it could be getting more to the important point of the issue.

    nasska – yep, but I’ll trickle away with seeing who I can get interested. Peter Dunne supports me doing this ie public discussion, debate and determine what the public wants to happen.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  124. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay – “And after three days, I have not seen one comment that would justify the liberalizing”

    Help me out here.

    1)Is the prohibition of cannabis in New Zealand effective in stopping people from using it?

    2)Why is New Zealand’s use of cannabis THREE TIMES Dutch use of cannabis?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  125. nasska (11,510 comments) says:

    UpandComer

    Tough one to answer as dope doesn’t affect everyone the same way much the same different people react to alcohol in various ways. In my own unprofessional opinion it depends greatly on a person’s makeup. If they are highly strung achievers they will have a few hours of relaxation….if they are torpid by nature then getting out of bed the next day will be just too much trouble.

    Throw in a few more wild cards….indica (cannabis) endemic to Afghanistan will induce sleepiness. Sativa native to Thailand & Central America is more likely to produce a “high”. Dope grown indoors under lights is usually more potent than that grown outdoors.

    Then there’s the amount smoked…one joint shared amongst three people isn’t going to make much difference to anyone but some individuals may smoke 6 or 7 joints a day or more.

    Different strokes for different folks.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  126. Pharmachick (235 comments) says:

    FWIW I say legalise it and tax it. I know a little more about this than average and there is no currently defendable scientific/medical basis for having legal alcohol and illegal marijuana. Of course we could ban them all, but then; we’ve seen from the USA in the early 20th century, how well alcohol prohibition works. The “war on drugs” as started by Nixon and overtly continued by Regan administration has been and continues to be an abject failure. And by the way, any of you parents of teenagers out there: the biggest thing you have to worry about is **NEITHER** alcohol nor marijuana … its the fact that several of your kids are swapping/buying Ritalin, oxycodone etc with each other.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  127. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay – ‘Good on him, Until a local gang prospect knocks on his door”

    Yes, and the drug laws ensure this will continue to happen. He’ll have to get a gun to protect his stash, might get a little paranoid and shoot a couple of cops too. Fucking Pigs always fucking hassling him, watching him, stopping something that he thinks is his right to do.

    It’s so fucking obvious that these laws are fucked and people like you who should know they’re fucked because you were charged with the fucked responsibility of having to enforce them, making you hate them and them hate you and yet you CONTINUE TO FUCKING DEFEND THEM.

    For fucks sake face up to fucking reality.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  128. Pete George (23,562 comments) says:

    Long fight back from drug
    Author warns of cannabis addiction

    A Paraparaumu woman, who took seven years to overcome her cannabis addiction, has questioned its notion as a soft drug in her book Matters to a Head.

    Kate K, who would not use her last name due to Narcotics Anonymous policy, started using cannabis when she was 13.

    “It was just kind of social at first, but I quite quickly developed a real liking for it.”

    As her drug use increased Ms K became increasingly depressed, developed bi-polar disorder and in her 20s had a break-down, spending time in a psychiatric hospital.

    “I went on a huge manic episode. I was doing lots and lots of drugs and really I just blew my mind up.”

    She spent seven years trying and failing repeatedly to come clean.

    She dismisses the idea that a person cannot be addicted to a “soft drug”, like cannabis and said it had her in its clutches.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  129. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay (1,353) Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    And we have had the ….., it will take gangs out of the equation blah, blah ad nauseum. It won’t. It wont do anything fiscally for our country either like I said these arguments have been around for ever .
    ..

    As has all the crap spouted by control freaks, policemen et al that want life banned or jailed.

    The argument is about decriminalizing the stuff not legalizing it, although we could probably make a an argument for that as well.

    Your attitude epitomizes a policeman’s mantra in this country.
    Every man women and child is already guilty, we just haven’t found out of what, yet, but when we do we gottcha.

    Said that to a copper the other day in a friendly conversation. He nodded and said “yep if I knew you would on the ground and in handcuffs right now.” Charming bastard.

    The problem here is that cops, lawyers, judges spend so much time with the subject and the people they are a village of their own and develop attitudes that are encompassed by the village. They become what the believe.
    Fortunately for the rest of us there is another world away from crime, criminals, policeman, judges, jail cells et al.
    They just don’t bother to join. More at home in their own club.

    A bit like school teachers really.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  130. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    @Scott Chris
    ……………………….Why is New Zealand’s use of cannabis THREE TIMES Dutch use of cannabis?

    because we have an unbelievable quantity of useless bastards in this country, the same useless bastards that most here rail against continually.

    Scott , how will the decriminalisation stop people using it? No wank from overseas either, just sound reasoning based on our society and the make up of its citizens and no regurgitating from the last three days, like I said there was nothing there that even made me consider your line of argument

    And as this is the only type of thing you appear to understand, why are smoking numbers declining directly in relation to the hardnose approach being taken against tobbaco?

    Next
    Why do we kill so many of our children in New Zealand Scott?
    Why are our literacy and numeracy rates so bloody poor Scott?
    Why do we have such a huge number of people on benefits in this country Scott?

    Because again, we have a huge ( the same ) number of useless bastards in this country Scott, who sit on their arses and party rather than work. These are the same useless bastards that most on KB crack on about as being the reason we are borrowing 300 million per week. And you want these people to have even easier access to drugs so they will achieve less with their miserable lives , Good on ya.

    As I stated above, there has been no new argument, just school boy stuff by those who have probably been spouting the same drivel since they were at school. Time to move on.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  131. Pharmachick (235 comments) says:

    A long fight back from Pica
    This is modified from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Lotito

    “Michel Lotito (1950 – 2007) was a French entertainer, born in Grenoble who came to be known as Monsieur Mangetout (“Mister Eat All The Things”). He disassembled, cut-up, and consumed bicycles, shopping carts, televisions, a Cessna 150 and other items. The Cessna 150 took roughly two years to be “eaten,” from 1978 to 1980. He began eating unusual material as a child around 9 years of age and performed publicly from 1966.”

    OH MY GOD … as with Pete George’s “very useful”, single person’s account; I submit Michel Lotito’s personal account as well. Now we should also use this “personal addiction account” as a valid reason to ban bicycles, shopping carts, televisions and Cessna airplanes.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  132. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    redeye says: “Just out of interest what else do you support being made illegal Elaycee?”

    Nothing. Dope is already illegal. I just support the rule of Law.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  133. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Elaycee

    I just support the rule of Law.

    So if dope was already legal then you would resist it being made illegal ? Surely you have a position on this that is bigger than “status quo must remain” ?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  134. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Pharmachick

    Good call. I was thinking something similar but yours is a better example than I had. Next ‘refer madness’ will be compulsory viewing again in schools. All we need to top this off is to start the debate about dope being correlated with incidents of vs causal for schizophrenia.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  135. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Pete George

    I think alcohol can be addictive for some people, sounds unbelievable given it’s legal and all that – must we make it illegal as well ?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  136. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    V2
    Ya silly old bugger, it was me who pointed the fact out regarding the difference between legalizing and decriminalizing yesterday to you as you were confused ,again, and now you are telling me what the debate was about. Take someone into the voting booth with you or you’ll fuck that up to.

    It not about control, what its really about is protecting members of our society who cannot look after themselves. its very easy for the wealthy ,educated and people who have a support network but inevitably the real damage is done to members of society who can’t cope and end up rooted because the libertarians wanted to make a point.

    And you are also wrong regarding those involved in our crimianl process as I once was and now am not, especially regarding drugs they see it daily, everyday. I know of many defence lawyers who have little time for the police but they will have little time for liberalizaing drug laws. Not because of income and other immature rambling here but they see the damage, they have to sit beside these people in Court and have to pretend to like them, daily.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  137. Pharmachick (235 comments) says:

    burt,
    Thanks. And as for “reefer madness” don’t EVEN get me started on the “gateway drug” argument. I have an (extensively referenced) talk that I sometimes give detailing the history of this argument as a lobbying effort from the early-mid 20th century, to enable a tax rise in the USA and a curtailing of the US’s constitutional freedoms when Hoover was around.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  138. Griff (7,715 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay

    So in order to target the “useless bastards” you are ok at trampling all over the rights of the rest of us.

    Then you wonder why police get called names and are losing respect.
    Not all pot smokers are useless bastards. A useless bastard on pot is way less likely to commit any crime than a pissed useless bastard. You have been a cop how would you describe your clientele on Saturday nite hint “drunken yobbos”.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  139. Pete George (23,562 comments) says:

    burt – alcohol is a separate (and important) issue. There are quite different considerations between the two, as you know one is entrenched and legal, the other is entrenched and illegal.

    I’m not supporting keeping cannabis illegal, I support not changing anything until we have a decent public debate with as many facts as possible and then determining what the public wants. It’s not a simple decriminalise or not decision.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  140. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Griff

    The good old boys… It’s OK to get drunk, start a fight and end up in A&E – that’s cool. But to have a toke and a few laughs with your mates – the end of the world…. It’s illegal don’t you know !

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  141. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Pete George

    Fair enough. Open and informed debate is what is required.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  142. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Pete

    I use to laugh at my old man when he use to tell me how addictive pot was and how I would ruin my life if I even had a single toke… He would tell me that as he was sly sipping on one of his hidden whiskey bottles telling me if I told the old girl he would ruin my life….

    Some people are just addicts and they lurch from one addiction to another all through their lives.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  143. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Griff

    Yep, trampled , I’m a really good driver, I can drive in excess 0f 100 kph safely for long periods of time, but the statues of this country say I can’t,so, its not the end of the world, …by your rather flawed logic.. my rights are being trampled over .

    Your logic is flawed in that where is it enshrined that its your “right” to get off your tits? or to reverse that, why does it have to be enshrined in statute , so you can get off your tits?

    Flawed logic number two- that you have to be twisted to be out on a Saturday night at all – the idea for a mature socirty would be to have no public intoxication out on a Saturday night full stop.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  144. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay – “because we have an unbelievable quantity of useless bastards in this country”

    So a cop goes out to do his duty with this attitude.

    We’re doomed.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  145. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay

    I think if you followed Griff’s logic then nobody would be allowed to drive because some people crash from time to time. Your version is not a representation of what he said.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  146. freemark (580 comments) says:

    ahh, must be getting close to an election, my surfing habits have gone back to the blogs rather than TradeMe !
    As I see (and have experienced ) excessive consumption of ANY mind-altering substance (pot, booze, caffeine, nicotine) has undesirable consequences to the development of immature brains. My line to the youth I encounter/train/employ is always “get your qualification/career whatever out of the way, earn some money, then if you need or want to experiment with whatever” I can’t help but think the $$ spent on enforcement would be better put towards education, counselling, training etc. The war on drugs is a total failure, globally, I challenge anyone to deny that with evidence. Anyway, I’ll go back to my 2nd bottle of wine, if I only had some Kronic or pot i would be on the water!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  147. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    John Campbell just conducted a poll on the back of interviews with both Don Brash and John not-over-my-dead-body Banks.

    Should cannabis be decriminalised and 72 percent texted YES.

    A Stuff poll shows 77 percent support.

    A NZ Herald poll is less emphatic with 48 percent of over 16,000 saying yes.

    Honestly? I am surprised but very pleased at that result.

    As for the Brash/Banks schism, business as usual for ACT. Just much more publicly overt.

    http://lindsaymitchell.blogspot.com/

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  148. Pharmachick (235 comments) says:

    V2,
    I’m interested in that too. One of the things I think that these 3 polls shows is the divide between the older and younger community. To whit: texting is primarily a thing “younger” people do (I’d venture to say that people 35 and under text 200% more than those 36 and older (on average)).

    Same thing goes for stuff vs. NZHerald. Using a [dreaded] personal example: the grandparents recently said “Oh yes we heard about that “Stuff.co.nz” but you know we read The Herald online – it is a reputable newspaper. That “Stuff” website doesn’t even have a real name, and what website or TV new program do they represent anyway?”. While I found that hilarious (due to it blatantly illustrating the generation gap, old/new media etc), it also gives insight into poll results like you mentioned.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  149. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Burt ,
    my version is correct , the example above also holds up. I am talking about me the singular, I can drive as I stated, just like you presumably smoke, you as a single unit, you presumably can handle it, but we don’t exist as single units ,we are part of a commmunity and for better or worse we have to consider the whole before decisions are made., we as a society have an obligation to look after the vulnerable in our society.

    I don’t care whether you drug yourself to bits I really don’t, thats your business and as long as you are discreet you will carry on until you are 105 but as a society we would be doing ourselves no favours if the access to another intoxicating substance is liberalised , it would be madness.

    Scott Chris- we are doomed as a society if we are so completely selfish as to put ourselves as individuals ahead of the whole community. Sounds very socailist but its just basic humanity

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  150. big bruv (13,895 comments) says:

    “@big bruv 6:35 pm

    I thought Brash was your hero, bruv. Now you are abandoning him in favour of Banks, who wants to ban far more than anything either the Greens or Brash would. What does that say?”

    Is says that you are a liar Toad. Banks is not one for wholesale bans, nor is he one who wants to encourage our kids to take drugs as the Greens are keen to do.
    Again Toad, this is the difference between those of us on the right who are free to disagree with each other and those of you on the communist left who do not allow freedom of speech.

    Come to think of it, should the Greens ever be in a position of power (thankfully that will never happen) then you and I both know that the second thing you will do (after legalising all drugs) is to pass a law banning what you class as hate speech.
    Of course racist brown mofo’s like John Hatfield will still be allowed to racially abuse whites under your law, it will just be white males who will not be allowed to speak their minds.

    So come on Toad, how about you start telling the truth for once in your life.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  151. Griff (7,715 comments) says:

    none so blind as can not see

    The stupid cannabis laws

    1 criminalize average New Zealanders
    2 are based on non science
    3 result in kids being branded as losers and denied schooling
    4 do massive harm to the cohesion of society
    5 do not work to decrees use
    6 take up massive amounts of time and resources
    7 funds criminal gangs
    8 hinder the availability of help for a health problem
    9 Entrench anti law and society views in “Useless bastards”

    And all the anti legalization can come up with is its illegal.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  152. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay – “I can drive in excess 0f 100 kph safely for long periods of time”

    So it’s got nothing to do with another driver doing something unexpected, and you having that much less time to react, and that much more kinetic energy when you hit the tree?

    100kmh limit makes sense. Prohibition doesn’t.

    100kmh limit is easy to police. Prohibition isn’t.

    100kmh limit saves lives. Prohibition doesn’t.

    100kmh limit pays for itself. Prohibition doesn’t.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  153. big bruv (13,895 comments) says:

    none so blind as a useless stoner

    The stupid cannabis laws

    1 criminalize average New Zealanders (bullshit, the ‘average’ Kiwi is not a druggie)
    2 are based on non science (bullshit, there is now a mountain of evidence to prove that cannabis is far more dangerous than we ever thought it could be)
    3 result in kids being branded as losers and denied schooling (because those who smoke cannabis on a regular basis are losers and do not deserve to be sharing the same class rooms with kids who want to learn)
    4 do massive harm to the cohesion of society (junkies and stoner’s do far more harm, there is NO basis for this point)
    5 do not work to decrees use (no, we need to toughen the laws)
    6 take up massive amounts of time and resources (then stop smoking the stuff, you, and those who support drugs are wasting police time)
    7 funds criminal gangs (then don’t buy it)
    8 hinder the availability of help for a health problem (bullshit…the least credible argument of all for legalising cannabis)
    9 Entrench anti law and society views in “Useless bastards” (that is because they are)

    And all the anti legalization can come up with is its illegal. (only if you are a moron and refuse to listen to the other side of the debate, however given that you are undoubtedly a heavy user you are not interested in the facts.)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  154. Paul Marsden (998 comments) says:

    Interesting (out today)

    “More than one in ten Canadian adults, and about one in three young people aged 16-25, report using cannabis during the past year. Despite the prevalence and health risks associated with cannabis use, the study points out that Canada has not yet taken a public health approach to address its harms, as we have with alcohol, tobacco, and even injection drug use.

    “A broad-based public health approach to cannabis use would include a prevention strategy for young people, risk reduction strategies for at-risk users, and better access to treatment for problem users,” explains Dr. Fischer. His latest study addresses the risk reduction component, based on a comprehensive review of existent scientific data identifying the preeminent cannabis use patterns and practices leading to key health risks and harms. Based on this evidence, guidelines are offered on how to modify these practices and patterns at the user-level as a public health-oriented policy tool to reduce the harms.”

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  155. Griff (7,715 comments) says:

    big bruv
    1 I could name school principles, lawyers, policemen who smoke I would bet that there are right wing MPs that have or do smoke. Lots do have the odd toke .
    2 Give us your evidence then usual standard applies peer review and reputable journal only thanks.
    That will keep you amused for a while.
    3 tossing kids on the scrap heap for acts of rebellion does no one any profit.
    4 gang culture us and them mentality racist rates of enforcement are not cohesive for society
    5 toughen the law. why the present law does more harm than good making a stupid law more stupid is stupid
    6The police are wasting there time and smokers time for a law that has failed
    7why should anyone stop smoking pot its not any ones business but those who chose to use
    8dont even need to reply to this obvious bullshit
    9chicken or egg

    By the way BB insulting language and personal attacks do nothing to enhance your view points they just make you appear stupid and ignorant

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  156. Dazzaman (1,140 comments) says:

    Dak is not so much a gateway drug but for youth from the more vulnerable lower socio-economic groups, the associations (gangs, etc.) of the marijuana “culture” lead to a greater opportunity for these kids to get into harder drugs & crime.

    Even with the supposed narrow field of medicinal benefits, do we really want to legalize this shit?

    Stupid. Another libertarian driven issue without a shred of common sense…..but I guess middle class yoof need their kicks to show just how with it they are.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  157. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    RIP Dirty Don: faithless, conceited and foolish.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  158. GJ (329 comments) says:

    Goodby Don, Goodby Act!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  159. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    big bruv

    You can’t have it both ways – you can’t have the government out of your life not being nanny and support laws such as criminal prosecution for personal use. Which way do you want it big bruv – and status quo is a wimps answer.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  160. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    @griff says: “7 why should anyone stop smoking pot its not any ones business but those who chose to use”

    And the same people who choose to smoke it, shouldn’t bleat if / when they are caught and they’re convicted.

    Personal choice is fine, AS LONG AS people are prepared to accept the consequences of their actions. Illegal or otherwise.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  161. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    @burt says: “So if dope was already legal then you would resist it being made illegal? Surely you have a position on this that is bigger than “status quo must remain” ?”

    Your question is hypothetical but for any product to be re-classified as illegal, I’d assume that the decision would be based on sound evidence – the same logic that was applied by successive Governments when they have decided and ratified that dope is illegal. And that doesn’t include anecdotal support from a group of self confessed partakers.

    As I’ve said many times, I support the rule of Law and as such I choose to respect the Laws of the Land in preference to disregarding one of them because I don’t like it.

    The defence “but everyone does it” doesn’t fly. If you think it does, then try it in Court.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  162. big bruv (13,895 comments) says:

    Griff

    I am not in the habit of being polite to habitual liars, should you ever come up with reasoned arguments as to why we should legalise drugs then I am all ears.

    Until then statements like “criminalize average New Zealanders” is always going to elicit a short and sharp reply.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  163. big bruv (13,895 comments) says:

    burt

    “You can’t have it both ways”

    Yes I bloody well can thanks.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  164. Griff (7,715 comments) says:

    The logic of making pot illegal was flawed this is the excepted modern rating of drug harm.
    http://www.tomfeiling.com/archive/reclassification_of_drugs.pdf
    Note that cannabis is considered less harmful than tobacco and alcohol

    bb insulting language and personal attacks do nothing to enhance your view points they just make you appear stupid and ignorant

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  165. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    i have half a heap of mates that smoked pot at high school. half of them carried on into their 20’s and were a burden on society.. the other half are successful.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  166. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    apart from the fact that most pot smokers are losers. its just a gross drug. gross smell, bongs are horrible.

    pot smokers are also like AMWAY people “we have lawyers and architects in our group” blah blah blah

    i also love the old “alcohol is bad too” argument. ah well in that case we may as well make dope legal ffs

    a nice bedtime song for all you stoners out there:

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  167. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    I keep running through “Act Leader Dr Don Brash announced today he was in favour of decriminalising Marijuana” in my mind, and all I keep seeing is this image…

    http://i1010.photobucket.com/albums/af230/RRM22/DonBob.jpg

    (Apologies for very poor quality photochop)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  168. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    # Elaycee (1,327) Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    “but for any product to be re-classified as illegal, I’d assume that the decision would be based on sound evidence – the same logic that was applied by successive Governments when they have decided and ratified that dope is illegal”

    ————————

    You’d ASSUME a government decision to be based on sound evidence? Because truth be told you actually have no clue yourself and therefore when you cast your vote the rest of us must be burdened by your ignorance.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  169. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    big bruv (9,394) Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    “bullshit, the ‘average’ Kiwi is not a druggie”

    How very wrong you are. Indeed the vast majority of people consume alcohol which is a drug and hence they are druggies. Something for you to memorize:

    “A psychoactive drug, psychopharmaceutical, or psychotropic is a chemical substance that crosses the blood–brain barrier and acts primarily upon the central nervous system where it affects brain function, resulting in changes in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, and behavior.”

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  170. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Pete George (11,277) Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    “I’m not supporting keeping cannabis illegal, I support not changing anything until we have a decent public debate with as many facts as possible and then determining what the public wants.”

    So…. this doesn’t qualify as “public debate” and whatever the “public” wants (defined as 51% of the vote, damn the other 49%) you’ll go along with regardless of reason, logic or facts?

    The prohibitionists don’t want to debate. When and where is this mythical debate supposed to occur if not here? This issue is not going to be resolved by John Key sitting down with Dakta Green on a Breakfast TV special to provide inane sound-bytes to a brain-dead audience.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  171. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    toad,

    “Prohibition has failed because it has inflated the price of a commodity which is extremely easy to grow. So people have chosen to grow it, because it provides the best return they can anticipate.”

    “Decriminalising it would cause the price to fall, and consequently will cause the incomes of the communities that rely on it for their economic survival to fall. There is therefore a need, imo, to provide those communities with some transitional assistance to move into developing other economic activities.”

    Sorry, but this is central planning nonsense in my view. Markets change all the time and communities adjust. The last thing they need is for the government to intervene and try to plan what countless individuals are going to do in response to their own individual circumstances and opportunities brought about by market change.

    These people aren’t helpless lambs, they have enough ingenuity to establish a business trading in illegal drugs I think they can manage just fine by themselves. Indeed legalization of cannabis would only reduce the price it wouldn’t eliminate the market for it, and that market would still need to be supplied. Joe Bloggs is unlikely to suddenly want to start up a cannabis producing company, and those who produce most of it now can easily continue to produce it in a legitimate way that is regulated and controlled.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  172. Pete George (23,562 comments) says:

    When and where is this mythical debate supposed to occur if not here?

    We can keep debating here as much as we like for as long as we like, it serves a purpose – but unless it’s taken to another level it will never make any real progress, it will just continue it’s fuss and fizzle cycle.

    John Key is not likely to chance upon one of our KB debates and change his mind based on that.

    I’m planning to escalate the debate, planned probably for next March, too many distractions until then. I’ll promote it online (including here) as much as possible, and I’ll also do what I can to organise it in public in Dunedin, meetings and debate involving as many inputs as possible, including legal, social, medical, University, special interest groups etc and linking back to online and using the media where possible.

    Talking the talk is fine, sometimes to actually get somewhere you have to walk.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  173. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    Question:

    Does the illegal status of cannabis make it more attractive to a rebellious teenager?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  174. Pete George (23,562 comments) says:

    Answer:

    To some, yes. And to some it may be a deterrent to use, or to use as freely as they might otherwise use it. The only way to find out would be by research, or to decriminalise and try and determine the usage change, although that would take years. Risky experiment?

    I wonder though if this is the wrong question. Rebellious teenagers need boundaries set. Stealing a car and going for a joyride is attractive to some teenagers, it doesn’t mean we should legalise it. Burning couches and rubbish in the middle of streets is attractive to some teenagers, it doesn’t mean we should legalise it. Attacking firemen and ambulance officers is attractive to some teenagers, we shouldn’t legalise that. Or does that restrict freedom?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  175. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    Pete George – “The only way to find out would be by research”

    I’m pleased you are open to the idea that decriminalization *may* work. The reasonable PG is re-emerging.

    I agree. I propose Government appoints an expert, non-partisan body to thoroughly examine the issue from all angles.

    1) Health
    2) Effectiveness of policy and law
    3) Establishing societal goals and following a rational path, not the path of least resistance, to achieve those goals.
    4) Examining the ethical aspects of this issue, such as liberty, from all points of view.

    The findings and recommendations should be binding.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  176. Pete George (23,562 comments) says:

    There is no indication the Government is interested, neither are most of the other parties. I think this debate needs to be generated from grassroots. That’s why I’m proposing we make this happen ourselves.

    Cannabis deserves a decent debate

    If you think you can get then government to examine it regardless then go for it. Otherwise we need to compel them with reasoned debate – if the people decide they do want change.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  177. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    This story is relevant to the debate:

    Family Traumatized After Home Invasion:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/5689052/Family-zombies-after-home-invasion

    “…indecently assaulting her, and robbing her of a laptop, jewellery, a camera and clothing valued at $4000.”

    “….also charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of two bongs for smoking cannabis and possession of pipes for smoking methamphetamine.”

    Would he have invaded the home in the first place, if it wasn’t just to feed his habit? The sexual assault was an afterthought.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  178. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    Good on you Pete.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  179. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    Weihana says: “You’d ASSUME a government decision to be based on sound evidence? Because truth be told you actually have no clue yourself and therefore when you cast your vote the rest of us must be burdened by your ignorance.”

    FFS – wake up! I’m not a thief either but I still know it is illegal according to the Laws of the Land. I’m not a kiddie fiddler but I know thats wrong too. I’m not a dope head or a smack junkie either but I know its wrong according to the Laws of the Land. But you think its OK so therefore it should be OK???

    The biggest problem is that you take the defence ‘everyone else is doing it’ to try and justify your inability to remain within the Law. And if you choose to play outside the Law, then don’t start bleating when you get caught and punished. Ignorance of the Law is not a defence either.

    The good news all round is that this Law will not be changed any time soon. And based on some of the inane comments on this thread, I can totally understand why – the ‘pro’ brigade have no arguments (apart from the tenuous comparison to alcohol consumption and the ‘everyone is doing it so it should be legal, meme).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  180. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    For Elaycee: (someone please pass this on to her, because she’s too scared to read my posts anymore)

    “I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them. If I find them too obnoxious, I break them.”

    “I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.”

    Robert A. Heinlein

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  181. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    is smoking pot like binge drinking?

    having a few beers is like a right of passage in this country. after a game of rugby or at a bbq you may have a beer or two cause its the done thing. youre not really going to get anything out of a beer.

    smoking dope is pretty much one result. youre going to feel it.

    its also easy to get smashed real quick. it generally takes longer with alcohol and if a teenager tries to get drunk to quick they end up sick as a dog and swear off alcohol.. for the day.. but there may be a lesson learned.

    smoking dope is the easy, lazy option (probably why it appeals to lazy people).. have a couple of tokes and youre done.

    sounds like something we should legalise…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  182. cabbage (455 comments) says:

    Dak is not so much a gateway drug but for youth from the more vulnerable lower socio-economic groups, the associations (gangs, etc.) of the marijuana “culture” lead to a greater opportunity for these kids to get into harder drugs & crime.

    Even with the supposed narrow field of medicinal benefits, do we really want to legalize this shit?

    Um, If one made personal use Legal, and made cultivation for personal use Legal, then one would all but eliminate the gangs from the picture.

    How many ‘Yoof’ (whether lower socio economic or middle class) would choose to associate with gangs if they didn’t need to in order to procure some smoke? 2/5 of fuck all is the answer.

    Weed culture is only Gang culture because of its legal status. Many Youth only fall into this sub culture because of their need to frequent tinnie houses run by the Mongrel mob and Highway 61’s and (Name Gang here). Why must we continue to subject our younger generations to these scum when we refuse to even have an open debate on this subject?

    According to the World Health Organisation, 41.9% Of adult Kiwis have tried Cannabis. That makes 41.9% of kiwis guilty of at least one narcotic offence. It is clear by this number alone, that the law is an ass.

    Decriminalisation is a good step toward Marijuana Law reform.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  183. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I’m pretty sure that within 20 years the present drug laws will seem as odd as laws against homosexuality in the 1980s.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  184. redeye (629 comments) says:

    There is little doubt legalisation or decriminalisation would send a message devaluing the harmful effects of cannabis. That’s probably inarguable.

    Unfortunately the current message being sent is, if you want to get shit faced then alcohol is a safer bet and that is a worse and incorrect message.

    It is a cold hard fact that a teenager is more likely to be injured or killed if he/she decides to get shit-faced on alcohol rather than pot.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  185. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    thats probably true. but if they are like the 99.9% of teen drinkers that dont die, they will no doubt go on to be more successful than their pot smoking loser buddies

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  186. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Elaycee,

    Gosh you are retarded. No one is advocating breaking the law. The debate is about CHANGING the law.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  187. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Scott Chris,

    “Would he have invaded the home in the first place, if it wasn’t just to feed his habit? The sexual assault was an afterthought.”

    Yeah, I think some people are just scumbags regardless of drug laws. His actions probably have more to do with his upbringing and environment and of course there’s always HIMSELF to blame as well.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote