Politics pissing on people over cannabis bills

Parties playing politics are taking precedent over popular public opinion on cannabis laws.

Newsroom: Cannabis bill more politics than policy

National has drawn up its own medicinal cannabis bill, but the real story isn’t the policy, but the politics behind it, Thomas Coughlan reports.

National has released its alternative medicinal cannabis bill, which it says will make cannabis medication products more widely available.

The party also says that the bill adds some much-needed regulatory detail to the Government’s bill, which largely delegated such detail to officials.

But the real story of the day was a political one, with National blindsiding Labour, whose medicinal cannabis bill returned from select committee today.

Surprised Government MPs were unable to comment on National’s bill, which they had only been made aware of after it was reported by Newshub on Wednesday night.

The bill puts pressure on the Government’s support parties, particularly the Greens, whose own medicinal cannabis bill brought by Chlöe Swarbrick was defeated in January.

I don’t think it puts pressure on the Greens. They are the only party to come out of this shemozzle with any credit.

If National’s bill is drawn from the ballot and found to be popular, pressure could mount on the Green party to break ranks with the Government and support it.

The obvious problem with National’s bill is that there is no chance of it getting anywhere in the short term and there’s a low chance of it being drawn in the medium term.

In the House, Bridges accused the Government of not “doing the work” and said National’s detailed bill was evidence of a “Government in waiting”.

But National has been accused of time wasting and petty politicking.

Instead of using the select committee to recommend changes to the legislation, the party opted to draw up its own bill.

Woodhouse said the Government members on the Health select committee were “ambivalent” about National’s proposals, while Bridges said the Government’s bill didn’t even have “the makings of a framework”  to look at the regulations National members demanded.

But Government sources who have seen the bill said the issue was not so much the difference between what the two bills permit, but whether Parliament or officials dictate the regulatory regime.

The Health Select Committee’s Chair, Labour’s Louisa Wall, said the introduction of a new bill on the day the select committee was to release its report undermined the integrity of the select committee process.

Her comments implied it was unlikely Labour would support National’s bill, even if it was found to be an improvement on their own.

Disappointing crap from National and Labour.

With polls showing 80-90% support for decent medical cannabis law the public are getting pissed on by politics and parties.

 

37 Comments

  1. duperez

     /  July 26, 2018

    After nine years of being in a position to be able to deal with the hard stuff, Simon Bridges has his team all geared up, ready with dramatic action to deal with the hard stuff! Well, they’re really serious – they’ve bought a ticket in the parliamentary raffle.

    The press releases carry the good news and we have a headline “Giant step forward for National.”

    Simon Bridges has taken a bit of a pounding lately but surely this is the sign of the emergence of a truly great leader. Oh, small question: Exactly how much would one have to smoke to believe that?

    • Gezza

       /  July 26, 2018

      What headline?

    • PartisanZ

       /  July 26, 2018

      Giant step forward my arse!

      Perhaps when combined with National’s willingness to work cross-party on Zero Carbon, this Cannabis Law Reform represents a tentative dipping of the toes into the icy, fearful waters of progressive social policy …? Can we win any more voters without losing any existing ones?

      I think they want to delay Zero Carbon and obfuscate Cannabis Law Reform – e.g. very limited medicinal further delays comprehensive medicinal/therapeutic & recreational law reform – and play Party pressure politics simultaneously …

      That the fuckwits in Labour didn’t support their Green coalition partner’s Amendment Bill shall forever remain a shameful misjudgment on their part … an unnecessary blight on their failing record so far …

      The Dogs of Politics are showing themselves to be the mangy, flea-ridden Corporate-Capitalist-Political elites’ wolf hounds they really are …

  2. Seabird

     /  July 26, 2018

    An interesting discussion on talk back yesterday morning. Apparently the plan is to ban smoking in NZ by 2025 or something, and they want it to be legal to smoke cannabis???

    • Griff

       /  July 26, 2018

      1) There was no plan it was what someone no longer in politics wanted but no one supported her idea.
      2) You dont have to smoke cannabis you can vape or eat it. You can also removed most of the plant matter so significantly reduce the harmful content .

    • Zedd

       /  July 26, 2018

      ‘An interesting discussion on talk back yesterday morning. Apparently the plan is to ban smoking in NZ by 2025 or something, and they want it to be legal to smoke cannabis???’ sez seabird

      This discussion is around MEDICINAL use of cannabis; NOT ‘smoking dope to get high’ I think some folks need to get their heads out of their A’s & stop looking for excuses to fit other agendas ! 😦

    • PartisanZ

       /  July 26, 2018

      The tobacco smoking ban is already being talked about officially as impossible and counter-productive … It’s creating another cannabis-like Black Market …

      Cannabis law reform will, if anything, rationalize this, because there will have to be some kind of parity between retail tobacco and cannabis prices …

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  July 26, 2018

    This kind of crap demonstrates exactly why Bridges should not be leader. He is destroying his party’s credibility.

    • PartisanZ

       /  July 26, 2018

      Oh well … there’s one positive thing about it then!

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  July 26, 2018

        Honestly, what kind of idiot thought that strategy was a good idea?

        • PartisanZ

           /  July 26, 2018

          Maybe National and Labour use the same strategists then?

          Idiots Inc.

  4. Zedd

     /  July 26, 2018

    I heard Louisa Wall (chair HSC) saying that all this talk that ‘Lab. did not listen to Natl.. that is why they came up with their own bill’ is just pure politics. She said they accepted all the recommendations from the Natl MPs on the HSC on this bill & were willing to work collaboratively to improve it, if necessary

    It does look like Bridges is trying to say ‘The Leopard has changed its spots’.. believe it or NOT !
    9 looooong years of blocking every move to reform med-cannabis laws & now saying “we DO support it”; after NZ Drug Fdn poll 87% support..

    Ms Swarbrick’s comment; (paraphrased) ‘Natl voted down her bill & now have come up with one that does much the same.. except use of ‘raw herb excluded’

    “Natl are just trying to derail it & put it back in the too hard basket !” for whatever OR who ever’s reasons ! :/ 😦

    • Griff

       /  July 26, 2018

      raw herb excluded
      Way to go national.
      Give the control to the pharmacological industry because your rich mates really need more money.

      • PartisanZ

         /  July 26, 2018

        Got it in two … you two! National also have very strong Police representation in their ranks … Another nail in the coffin of decency and compassion …

        It must be soul-destroying for Chloe Swarbrick, who took over sponsoring their sensible and compassionate Amendment Bill … She seems to have a lot of heart.

        I think of the many submitters I watched on FaceBook live at the HSC … People with all sorts of medical conditions who poured their hearts out to those MPs … once again, as 17 years ago, in the VAIN hope of bringing about change … Many of them will not live to see any change at all now … even marginal ‘Claytons’ change …

        Whatever credibility Labour had is destroyed as far as I’m concerned.

        Although this battle is lost … The Greens undoubtedly carry the day.

        • Zedd

           /  July 26, 2018

          ‘Whatever credibility Labour had is destroyed as far as I’m concerned.

          Although this battle is lost … The Greens undoubtedly carry the day.’ sez PZ

          The bill maybe looking ‘piss weak’ & now losing support (from Natl).. BUT it is still set down for 2nd reading & as long as NZF still support it.. it could still get some change ?
          Chloe has said Greens are not giving up.. yet

          • PartisanZ

             /  July 26, 2018

            And the statistical likelihood of change at 2nd reading without any recommendations from the HSC is … ?

            Sorry Zedd … I’m so fucken infuriated by this … Even I didn’t predict the ‘Claytons’ Bill would go nowhere … That’s a Bolt from the Blue that is!

            And let’s make no mistake about who the Blue is. National could have put their efforts into rewriting this Bill rather than creating their own PM’s lottery Bill.

            That would have won them some kudos IMHO, even from me.

            It’s like … Oh well, we all just carry on regardless … all being minor criminals … and each in our own way supporting more major crime … like P being more accessible than cannabis …

            • Zedd

               /  July 26, 2018

              tautoko PZ

              nga mihi e hoa.. but ‘dont just get angry.. get active too’ 🙂

            • Zedd

               /  July 26, 2018

              email your local MPs & shout it from the rooftops ! 🙂

            • PartisanZ

               /  July 26, 2018

              Will do …

  5. That doyen of the left Russell Brown says:

    “The medicinal cannabis bill filed today in the name of National’s Whangarei MP Shane Reti is vastly better-conceived than the government bill it seeks to supplant.”

    “It’s no secret that members of the Health select committee were moved by many of the oral submissions they heard while considering the government’s medicinal cannabis bill. Reti, as deputy chair, was reportedly on the verge of tears after hearing from Sam Bartels about his struggle to access cannabis products for his daughters’ rare epileptic condition.

    Advocates have been hoping that the submissions would be enough for the committee to extend the bill’s statutory defence for the terminally ill to those with chronic illnesses who might benefit from cannabis. No one was really expecting what happened today – National presenting its own bill, which is both more detailed and more adventurous.”

    Seriously you advocates have waited long enough let’s get it right.

    “So what’s it all about? Let’s start with the government’s bill, which is very modest in scope – because, we were told, it was the most Labour could get New Zealand First to agree to. Its major feature is the introduction of a statutory defence for people with terminal illnesses (defined as being likely to die within the next 12 months) to possess and use cannabis. It would also de-schedule the non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) as a controlled drug – although that was a bit of a no-brainer given the World Health Organisation’s finding late last year that CBD “does not appear to have abuse potential or cause harm”.

    The bill also creates the power to draw up regulations for domestic production of medicinal cannabis products – but, crucially, does not contain those regulations or even any meaningful guidance towards them.

    Shane Reti’s bill does contain some of those regulations – for better or worse – and a good deal more beside”

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/25-07-2018/nationals-medicinal-cannabis-bill-is-far-better-than-labours/

    • PartisanZ

       /  July 26, 2018

      Maybe even Russell Brown has his price?

      The Greens’ Bill, with some very minor adjustments, would have been far better than both Labour’s or this National ‘Snake in the Grass’ lotto draw …

      So, aside from the Greens, I say fuck the lot of them!

    • Zedd

       /  July 26, 2018

      ho hum.. its just politics; Reti (smug prick) could have worked with Lab./Grns/NZF to make the Govt. bill better.. ‘Nat’s bill’ could sit in the ballot tin for years.. is this their real agenda; to derail it.. because they didnt have enough CONTROL !?

      9 loooong years & they just ignored it or voted against every other bill put up..

      • PartisanZ

         /  July 26, 2018

        And many people decry me when I say “we need a better form of politics” …

        Here’s the rotting carcass of our so-called democracy on display for all to see!

        • duperez

           /  July 26, 2018

          “we need a better form of politics” … A better form of politics sounds a good idea. Unfortunately any form of politics depends on people. And we know what they’re like!🙃

      • Reti( smug prick) say you. Charming

        Medical Doctor you mean at the coalface of suffering and substance abuse. I

        • Zedd

           /  July 26, 2018

          he maybe a doctor.. but he is Natl MP, who voted against all other efforts to reform med-cannabis; whilst in Govt. Now he is putting up ‘his bill’ which sounds like the Green bill (they voted against) with a few tweaks

          Its called politics & they are still playing ‘fast & loose’ with peoples lives & health ! 😦

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  July 26, 2018

      I can only guess that National’s caucus is hopelessly divided and this is an attempt to have a bob each way. All it does is piss everyone off and achieve absolutely nothing. Brain-dead.

  6. Zedd

     /  July 26, 2018

    Anyone who thinks Natl have ‘done the right thing’ with this..need to look beyond the end of their nose.. even though the Govt. bill was not what many wanted, it is better than the status quo !
    87% in recent poll say “YES to med-use”
    Natl say “only if we get our way on it”

  7. Zedd

     /  July 26, 2018

    just watched Paula asking Winston (Q-time) if he, as a/PM.. supports med-use of ‘loose leaf cannabis’.. then rephrased & asked again.. & again & again (4-5 times as supps.)

    Winston kept repeating the same answer; it is not his opinion that matters, but the decisions of all the Govt. parties to make together.

    he also pointed out that Natl are still welcome to be involved in 2nd reading & house committee etc. stages.

    ‘has the Leopard really changed it spots ?’; after a decade of denying any effective cannabis reform.

    It was also mentioned that Mr Dunne recently said that he (as Assoc. minister) had tried to get broader reforms.. but was blocked by Natl at every stage !?

  8. Zedd

     /  July 26, 2018

    ‘Politics pissing on people over cannabis bills’.. or should it be ‘PISSING OFF people’ ?
    :/ 😦

  9. nasska

     /  July 26, 2018

    National will be counting this as their achievement for 2018. In a last desperate attempt to appease their socially conservative minority they have managed to kick the can down the road for another couple of years.

  10. Cheryl

     /  July 26, 2018

    I apologise in advance if I am wrong. I thought the Coalition government plus the Greens did not need National to vote for Govt bills as they have a majority in Parliament.