Cross blog support for cannabis law reform?

David Farrar has a post at Kiwiblog showing a marked shift in the US towards cannabis law reform – US views on cannabis legalisation.

NZ Herald reported in June: Poll shows opinion shift on cannabis

A poll shows most people want smoking cannabis to be decriminalised or made legal.

The latest Herald-DigiPoll survey shows just under a third of those polled thought smoking cannabis should attract a fine but not a criminal conviction, while a fifth went further and said it should be legalised.

Forty-five per cent said it should remain illegal, and 2.6 per cent said they did not know.

And in August: Fast Fire on Cannabis: Who’s for legalisation?

A new survey shows that an emphatic majority of voters want to partially or fully legalise cannabis, but there is little appetite for change among most political parties.

In the latest Herald-Digipoll, almost 80 per cent of those polled wanted cannabis to be at least partially legalised; 63 per cent wanted it legal for medicinal use, while 16 per cent wanted it completely legal.

Almost one in five – 19 per cent – wanted cannabis to remain illegal, which it currently is.

In the Herald’s Fast Fire series about decriminalisation of cannabis, most leaders were against it.

It’s a pity then that apart from the Greens who seem lukewarm on actually changing anything most of the rest of the parties seem cold on addressing cannabis law reform in New Zealand.Current law is not working well but it doesn’t look like anything will be done about it. Parliament moved with international trends on marriage law reform but are backwards on this,

There are genuine concerns about the harms involved with cannabis use but there’s an unwillingness to deal with the harms done by our law policing as they are.

I think there’s quite strong support for reform across the blogging world, perhaps this is a good candidate for joint non-partisan social media pressure to encourage our elected representatives to represent us on this.

Farrar is pro-reform, and I know Cameron Slater (Whale Oil) and Russell Brown (Public Address) have been as well. There’s some support at The Standard but I’m not sure how much there would be across the authors. Same for The Daily Blog.

What about other bloggers? Who would support a cross-blog campaign?

Leave a comment

16 Comments

  1. kathy maddren

     /  26th October 2014

    I have never been a Marijuana user. But I would have no objection to it becoming legalised here in New Zealand.

    Reply
    • I’ve never been a user either but I think we need to change our approach to cannabis law and policing, what is happening now isn’t working and seems to be out of step with moving public opinion.

      Reply
      • Mike C

         /  26th October 2014

        Most of the people I have known who use it, have basically utilized it as a sedative, and the only major contra effects seem to be the munchies, a higher grocery bill and turning into a bit of a heifer or lardo 🙂

        Reply
        • J Fred

           /  29th October 2014

          Totally agree. Though many years of smoking has impacted my cardiovascular and circulatory functions. The munchies is not as benign or humorous, when you are 25 kilos overweight with diabetes nearing. Indeed, being overweight is a precursor to many many health problems.
          I dont believe this is authentic to cannabis use as many fat people dont use it, and many thin people do.
          However, footage from Colorado shows many pudgy types using cannabis, and I believe it to be a genuine problem in terms of a harmful side effects, for some seeking comfort. Maybe once their sorrows subside, their oral addictions may also lessen.
          Not taking anything away from an arguement to more forward on legalisation.

          Reply
  2. What I would really like to see is a someone who supports the status quo come up with a reasonable argument in support of their position. IMO the best argument for reform is medicinal use, and it’s got industrial applications as well. There is a risk that using it can adversely affect your mental health, but cannabis use is neither a necessary cause or a sufficient cause for any mental illness AFAIK.

    Maybe a cross blog campaign could generate enough publicity to force the politicians to actually address the issues instead of just towing the party line.

    Reply
  3. I am traditionally a little right wing politically, (8+ years in defence force and all that that entails) but I 100% support Decriminalization and Full medical use. The reason I support its application medically is chronic pain. My wife had a fall on Ice at age 22 and ruptured 2 lumbar discs, which then pushed on her nerves going down the legs. She was put on strong opiates after 9months as it seemed surgery was iminent, to allow her to continue working and moving. Then ACC happened, and it took nearly 2 years to get the surgery, in that time, the pain wind up on nerves became permanent, and her tolerance to opiate based pain killers went up. The surgery removed the mechanical aspect of her pain, but the nerves are permanently fried, and the pain does not abate, because of this, she has had 40+ ED visits when we cant get a handle on the pain, and they have overdosed her 3 times, once requiring Naloxone, and once while pregnant, putting our unborn child at risk of cerebral hemorrhaging when her oxygen sats dipped to a mere 70%…… When her pain is in flare mode, few things fix it, Ketamine, (administered by the Angels at St John) Intra Muscular Morphine, Cannabis, and if the pain is due to muscle spasm, Diazepam suppository. Considering she has been Overdosed 3 times in 4 years, CNS depressants are less than ideal, so long term scratch Ketamine and Morphine off the list, (she is now on a low dose of Methadone, which is actually a very effective Opiate for Nerve Pain, and I wish someone had the balls to put her on it years ago….) Look at the Ovedose rate in the states, MMJ has very quickly reversed the trend in ever increasing deaths from Overdose of Opiates such as Oxycodone. We are law abiding citizens, but a long term future on Methadone is far more grim than a bit of cannabis soaked in olive oil. I have created an Advocacy group to gather like minded people in the chronic pain side of things to begin advocating for change, please feel free to join and contact me. https://www.facebook.com/groups/309407972575666/

    Reply
  4. sorry about the punctuation in my post above, use to MS word autocorrecting for me

    Reply
  5. Good to see it at least being discussed.. hopefully not just swept under the carpet AGAIN. Many ‘western countries’ are moving away from zero-tolerance & at least allowing medicinal use.. whilst Aotearoa/NZ just ‘floats in the doldrums’ (going nowhere). Cannabis is being shown to be effective in treating many conditions from : general pain, epilepsy & maybe even cancer, the ‘reefer madness’ excuse is just plain past its ‘use-by date’. Cannabis had been used medicinally for over 5000 years prior to the 20th century. Time for an honest debate & not just an excuse to reaffirm the status quo !

    Reply
  6. btw ” I have a blog dedicated to ‘End the Drug War in Aotearoa/NZ’
    just my thoughts on the issue & recent events… esp. medicinal use of CANNABIS

    Reply
  7. J Fred

     /  29th October 2014

    I’m a 51 yr old recently diagnosed with ADHD. The stimulant medication I have just started using is highly problematic in terms of side effects and long term damage to the brain and heart.
    For years I self medicated with cannabis, though for a big part of my life I lived like a monk, with nothing but clean living, quality food, meditation and exercise.
    Whilst this protocol is obviously the best way forward, some recent years of severe bullying has seen me reach for a little helper, as well as getting a DX from the quack.
    This is common and to be expected in times of stress.
    Scoring weed involves dealing with unsavoury and psychotic heavy drug abusers.
    Many of the other customers are like me, neurologically or physically impaired, or just plain different from most people and in the minority, and have to deal with hardened criminals and psycho’s.

    I believe cannabis is ideal for soothing neurologically impaired people who have had to suffer bullying at home, in schools, from employers and workmates, in public, in stores, and also police and counselors, one cop I shall quote as saying:

    ‘Everyone has a problem with you, so you must be the problem’.

    Putting the final boot in by police is common for those who have endured a lifetime of bullying at the hands of their community.

    Something needs to change. As Oz moves forward on medical cannabis, I may sell up and leave NZ because of its archaic and morally reprehensible position re treatment for the neurologically divergent.
    I have a lot to offer in terms of contributions to my community, and have volunteered myself a great deal to help others and wild animals. I am bright as a spark but avoid contact with authority and others due to bullying and marginalization by the state.

    Reply
    • I think one the reasons that cannabis can be effective for people who have difficulty with society is that it can assist in the process of of making meaningful associations from the thoughts that bubble up from the subconscious, finding the connections that help you understand what makes people act as they do.

      As for bullying, it’s part of our culture – I know of a school where bullying is a problem among the teachers, not the students. Bullying from police an district councils is par the the course for people who don’t fit in, but I think that they see it as doing what is necessary to maintain order.

      IMO the solution for the bullied is to develop your self esteem through self discipline and acting according to your values rather than being a placater. Don’t be nice, but don’t be an asshole.

      Reply
      • J Fred

         /  29th October 2014

        Thanks for your advice.
        Dont be anything is my current tactic.
        I avoid all levels of engagement with the ‘normal’ majority like the plague.

        After reading and commenting in todays herald comments re Teina Pora, I was gobsmacked to read some of the ignorant and discriminatory rants.

        There is no winning by any engagement, with these sorts of people.

        It doesnt matter how you are with them, they see weakness and they will exploit it, even for the fun of it.

        Reply

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