Firstly, the Greens lost this battle. This is not what they wanted. They wanted a vote, and for that vote to be law on the spot. Their original win was to get a vote in the first place. That was part of their confidence and supply document. It was a sop that, with yesterday’s details, reveals the chances of us ending up in a government supplied pot café is slim indeed, thank goodness.
Because if a yes vote gets up, the proposed legislation goes to the house. What does the house do with it? Potentially scuttle it. If the Parliament is roughly the same as it is now, it should be scuttled. New Zealand First will see to it.
It is impossible to believe the two heaviest hitters in that party – who come from Northland, an area ravaged by drug abuse – are going to proactively promote more drug use, use taxpayer money to supply drugs, and then stand by writing the cheques required to mop up the social and economic harm of their actions.
It is hard to imagine Peters and Jones implementing the results of the referendum.
Of course, National will campaign against this sort of madness, and there are votes in that. Taking a strong stand against drugs is a path to popularity, as it connects with large swathes of middle New Zealand.
Which leaves Labour, who may or may not be for any of this, stuck in a quagmire of indecision, just like with the CGT. They want us to be smoke-free – Helen Clark’s idea – but not dope-free.
They rail against social ills and deprivation, yet support, if not encourage, our right to obliterate our brains. It’s a mixed message, and it’s the price you pay for hanging out with the wrong crowd.
I think this will become a major issue for next year’s election.