Grey shifting from Cannabis Party to TOP

Abe Grey, president of the Cannabis Party (ALCP – Aotearoa Cannabis Party) is switching to TOP (The Opportunity Party).

I think this is a sensible move, the Cannabis Party has managed to get a creditable amount of votes, comparable to ACT and United Future, but had little hope of growing that to anywhere near the 5% threshold.

NewsHub: Cannabis Party leader quits for Opportunities Party

ALCP President Abe Gray is resigning his office to join TOP, saying the Cannabis Party does not have a future. He is urging members of his former party to join him. “It’s been eclipsed,” he told The AM Show.

“The Cannabis Party – no one’s really taken it that seriously recently, but it had to exist because none of the other parties were prepared to speak up about the cannabis issue, and it’s a very important issue in New Zealand.”

He is throwing his support behind The Opportunities Party to help it reach the five percent threshold needed to enter parliament without winning an electorate seat.

“The only people who have a real policy that is workable and that are willing to campaign on it aggressively is The Opportunities Party, and they have exclipsed the Cannabis Party,” Mr Gray said.

“All the other parties were worried about their political appearances, but especially the Greens, who have historically taken up that issue.”

For years Greens have laid claim to being the cannabis law reform party but have disappointed many due to not being prepared to put any priority on promoting their drug policy.

The Green Party’s drug policy would see cannabis, including culivation, legalised for personal use. The Greens say overseas evidence would be assesed to determine the best model for New Zealand.

The Opportunities Party’s cannabis policy would see a taxable retail trade established and would allow each person to grow two plants for personal use. Unlicensed culivation and dealing would still be a crime.

Mr Gray said it is “exactly the policy [he] would have written if [he] had the resources of an economic policy think-tank like Gareth [Morgan] does.”

The Opportunities Party cannabis policy would:

  • License suppliers to encourage small-scale regional supply and regulate the potency of supply.
  • Use a tax (based on THC potency) and minimum price to ensure the price doesn’t fall.
  • Allow retail sales only through Cannabis Licensing Trusts (local charities) or a Government online store. It will not be sold in the same outlets as alcohol.
  • Ensure the placement of retail outlets (if any) will be subject to local authority regulation.
  • Use revenue generated by the tax and profits of the Trusts (estimated at $150m) for education, after school projects for youth, treatment of addiction for all drugs and regulation to control demand.
  • Allow home growing of up to two plants.
  • Set the legal age of purchase & use at 20 and ensure education campaigns discourage use until 25.

TOP still have a big challenge. They first have to look like they stand a chance of getting up to somewhere near the 5% threshold to encourage voters to nudge them over the line.

In a recent Listener political poll TOP got an adjusted equivalent of 3%, which is promising, but that will need to be backed up by other poll results. They haven’t yet featured on Roy Morgan polls so will just be a part of the 1.5% of Other in their May poll.

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3 Comments

  1. The questions being;
    will Abe get onto the TOP list (neat the ‘top’) ?
    Will TOP get 5% ?, if not he will still not get what he wants.. an active pro-cannabis voice in parliament.. but I wish him well

    • PDB

       /  June 7, 2017

      Even if he gets a low position on the list no doubt he will be high.