Bennett refuses to appear alongside Swarbrick in cannabis discussion

National deputy leader Paula Bennett has refused to appear alongside Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick on Q&A last night to discuss the cannabis referendum. This is a continuation of Bennett, National’s ‘Spokesperson for Drug Reform’, refusing to take part in drug reform discussions.

This is extraordinary arrogance (that an opposition MP can ill afford), or fear of being shown up by Swabrick, who is very well informed on cannabis issues. Bennett has a habit of misrepresenting cannabis information, and scaremongering.

This isn’t the first time that Bennett has refused to discuss cannabis issues with Swarbrick. She has repeatedly  has refused to join a cross party group dealing with cannabis law reform.

 

I think that’s a fair response from Swarbrick.

It turns out that Andrew Little is going to lead the cross-party group, but National made a different excuse to not take part.

More on this from Stuff in National Party won’t commit to enacting result of 2020 cannabis referendum:

National Party leader Simon Bridges said his party cannot commit to enacting the result of the 2020 cannabis referendum if elected as he has not seen the draft bill yet.

Sort of fair enough on this. But…

“I would need to see the law and I would need to have answers to some basic questions like: What’s the tax rate going to be? Will gangs be able legally to sell drugs in New Zealand? Will edible gummy bears be legal?” Bridges said.

“Of course I trust the public, it’s the Government I don’t trust.”

This is nonsense. The public will vote on whatever the Government produces in their draft bill. Bridges is effectively saying he wouldn’t trust the decision made by voters who get a chance to judge the draft bill for themselves.

Bennett has rejected invitations from Green spokeswoman on drug reform Chloe Swarbrick to join this group in the past.

She said today she would be happy to join if it was led by a minister.

“I just don’t see how with all respect a junior member of Parliament that is not part of Government is the spokesperson on drug reform which could change the social fabric of this country,” Bennett said.

“If they are serious about cross-party, put a cabinet minister in there and I will happily sit with them and any other member of Parliament,” Bennett said.

If Bennett was serious about contributing to drug law reform she would have been contributing to the cross-party group already.  It sounds like excuses from her – and the excuses keep changing.

A spokeswoman for Justice Minister Andrew Little confirmed he would be leading the group.

Bennett still did not commit to joining the group.

“We will want to see terms of reference and what the group will be doing before deciding,” Bennett said.

This is a very disappointing attitude from Bennett and National. Their petty arrogance in Opposition, and their apparent determination to disrupt drug reform initiatives, is likely to hurt their support amongst the all important floating voters.

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60 Comments

  1. David

     /  14th May 2019

    The government needs to set out what it wants after all they campaigned on it, I am with Bennett why would she agree to sit on a committee with no idea what it was up to and what is the point of it aside from being a fig leaf from a clearly worried Labour party.
    Bennett sits on the committee it stops the opposition from opposing, handcuffs and in fairness to the lovely Chloe she has absolutely zero influence and is being used.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  14th May 2019

      Labour Campaigned on a referendum… the decriminalisation bill is going through parliament now, this one .
      Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill
      http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2019/0119/latest/LMS167550.html

      Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill has passed and also makes CBD products ‘non controlled’

      Reply
      • oh dear… more Disinfo.

        this bill does NOT ‘decrim. by stealth’ as has been stated by Natl. It just says ‘codify discretion’; If the cops are not going to arrest, for every potential ‘possession’ charge.. then they need to make it even/across the board. Stats still show maori/pacifika are being arrested at about 3:1 to ‘non-maori.pacifika’

        Its called ‘getting with the programme’.. UN are calling for less punitive & more health-based approach to Drug use (esp. addiction). Criminalising users, is actually more harmful, than their personal use… “freedom of choice” :/

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  14th May 2019

          Thats how ‘decrim’ is done in NZ. Arresting of course doesnt led to conviction thats the judges job. They arent going to ignore the letter of the law.
          You have no evidence that possession of small amounts are leading to convictions- unless they are in fact drug dealers

          Reply
  2. David

     /  14th May 2019

    Apparently last year more people were killed on the roads from drugged drivers than drunk drivers, its going to be fun out there folks especially when edibles become available.

    Reply
    • Pickled Possum

       /  14th May 2019

      Could we have a link to this drugged drivers vs drunk drivers.
      Otherwise your just making shit up, apparently..

      Reply
      • David

         /  14th May 2019

        Via Stuff this morning:
        “The latest available fatality data-set compiled by government agencies, and widely circulated by the Automobile Association, indicates that in 2017, drug-impaired driving cost 79 lives, compared to 70 deaths caused by drink-drivers.”

        You see just because its a cool thing to do you cant ignore the outcomes of legalization. I would legalize P, heroin, LSD the whole shooting match as its none of my business what you do to your body or how you live your life I just dont want to fund it or be caused harm by you doing it.

        Reply
      • Corky

         /  14th May 2019

        Chur Chur..PP… ever waited at an intersection and watched the glassy-eyed bros…drive on by?

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  14th May 2019

          Your brothers might do this, but don’t assume that other peoples’ do. Or is it a general racist comment ?

          Most people are watching the traffic at intersections and not going close enough to look into the eyes of other drivers to see if they are glassy. This would be dangerous, one would imagine.

          Reply
  3. NOEL

     /  14th May 2019

    Careful David the come back will be that data collected includes meds so it must be a meds issue. Next comeback will be that field drug samp!ing isn’t accurate enough to say that the person was impaired.
    Imagine the Court load post legalisation?

    Reply
  4. Pickled Possum

     /  14th May 2019

    David, Could we have a link to this drugged drivers vs drunk drivers.
    Otherwise your just making shit up, apparently.

    Reply
      • phantom snowflake

         /  14th May 2019

        A blatant misuse of statistics by the automobile association which conflates positive drug tests (e.g. someone has smoked cannabis in the last 3 months) with actual impairment. Was addressed on this thread: https://yournz.org/2019/05/11/open-forum-saturday-235/

        Reply
        • Gerrit

           /  14th May 2019

          Voters will be voting yes or no on those “facts”. Not addressed in that thread at all. With the growing concern about drug driving, surely Labour/Greens would pad out their bullet point legislation to at least look at this drug driving issue? The referendum is heading down a no vote path is not addressed.

          Reply
      • Griff.

         /  14th May 2019

        More road deaths in 2017 involved drivers with drugs in their system than over the alcohol limit, figures obtained by the AA reveal.
        The table below shows the number of crash deaths where a driver subsequently tested positive for some form of potentially impairing drug and compares those numbers to crash deaths involving a drunk driver. Some drivers will have tested positive for both drugs and alcohol.

        We do not know .
        The numbers that tested positive for both drugs and alcohol.
        The numbers for indervidual drugs.
        The numbers who tested positive for alcohol but were not over the limit.
        How many of those who did test positive for cannabis metabolites were actually stoned.
        If those who tested positive were actually responsible for the accident .
        The demographics of the results controlling for age and sex.

        Fear mongering nonsense any Statistician honestly interested in meaningful information would write off as meaningless without a lot more detailed examination

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  14th May 2019

          “The demographics of the results controlling for age and sex.”
          Why would that matter, we arent creating a normal distribution here. Its X vs Y

          ‘ those who tested positive were actually responsible for the accident – never head of drivers avoiding cars in their side of the road, might be good for your wellbeing to the alert and able to avoid an impending accident.

          gee the cannabis theologians are busy today with their whatabouts. Coming the meaning of filioque

          Reply
          • Griff.

             /  14th May 2019

            I see double down on the illogical nonsense .

            Duker doesn’t know what demographics are and why to make scene of such numbers you must control for them.
            Is it many young men having the accidents while on p and cannabis?
            Is it doddery old ladys on meds having the accidents ?
            You dont know .
            Young men drive a lot further than old women, young men are programmed to take risks. so they have more accidents Young men take more recreational drugs . Does the % of young men who have accidents and test positive for drugs correlate to the number of young men who use drugs or do more young men have accidents while not on drugs?
            You dont know.
            .Without knowing the age and sex of the deaths, the drugs found and controlling for social and economic factors you have no idea what the numbers actually mean.

            All you are doing is making connections you can not support based on the information supplied. Baseless Conjecture is useless for making good laws or identifying and solving problems.

            If they had solid evidence that smoking cannabis was causing the rise in accidents due to intoxication they would have informed us clearly not just giving meaningless numbers to stroke fear and prejudices.

            Duker also doesn’t understand that being in an accident is not the same as being responsible for an accident.

            Reply
  5. NOEL

     /  14th May 2019

    Why did Labour not have the referendum this year? Then they could enact it and in accordance with past practice National could repeal, tweak or leave stsnding.

    Reply
  6. As far as I can see, it is just Natl/Paula.. ‘barking at cars’. IF they want some input, into the referendum/process (rather than just FEAR-mongering) then why are they not joining the ‘cross party working group’ OR can it be, they are still going with ‘Status quo’, even though most polls clearly show, that majority of adults, do not support ‘more of the same’… so; 20th century !? :/

    Reply
    • Gerrit

       /  14th May 2019

      Not sure if the majority of adults actually favour a “yes” vote. National is still playing the long game where they will raise issue like drug driving to force Labour to have more than just few feelz good bullet point legislation outlined before the referendum.

      Labour and the Greens need to present a far stronger case for the referendum to succeed.

      Expect more exposer to the negative effects of legislation to come out for adults to make a decision on the referendum yes or no.

      Such as the illicit trade undercutting the state provided legal cannabis with cheaper and more potent products. Products made without the overheads that a regulated grower/retailer has to face or the excise tax the state requires.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  14th May 2019

        Bingo, Gerrit. This isn’t a done deal yet.

        Reply
      • @gerritt

        I did not say, that the majority favour ‘YES, lets Legalise Marijuana’ as a done deal.. still have about 18 months before the Election/Ref. for it to be finalised/debated further

        Even the recent ‘Family 1st poll’ showed only 7% appear to support ‘current status quo’.

        The real issue being.. what will the final ‘REGULATION’ bill look like & do the majority of Adults.. really want to continue the ‘status quo’ ?
        Which is what we will get, IF folks vote ‘NO’.

        The other point being.. the bill will still, have to go though parliament (If YES vote) & could be amended, at select committee & parliament committees etc. to ‘iron out any bumps’ before finally passing

        …oh dear.. Lets all continue PANICKING… the sky’s is about to fall; as happened (NOT) in many other countries already. We need to stop dragging the chain & cut out the B-S/FEAR-mongering & actually start Listening, to the Alternative views :/ 🙂

        It is 2019 folks… ‘Reefer madness’ was discredited at least 40 years ago, BUT some still seem to listen the drivel ?!

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  14th May 2019

          ‘majority favour ‘YES,”
          Didnt a random poll by ‘the project’ find the majority say NO .
          Ignore of course the self selected ‘panels’ used by Horizon and paid for by the Therapeutics’ crowd. Theres no money inn therapeutics in reality they will shift to the recreational.

          Reply
        • Duker

           /  14th May 2019

          “Even the recent ‘Family 1st poll’ showed only 7% appear to support ‘current status quo’.”

          That wasnt a binary question.
          , but we have medicinal and decriminalization is on the way.

          the reason for refeerendum during general election is voter turnout will be highest to give a clear result thats acceptable to both sides

          Reply
      • Griff.

         /  14th May 2019

        Expect more exposer to the negative effects of legislation to come out for adults to make a decision on the referendum yes or no.

        Such as the illicit trade undercutting the state provided legal cannabis with cheaper and more potent products. Products made without the overheads that a regulated grower/retailer has to face or the excise tax the state requires.

        At present 100% of the market is an illicit trade .
        Any reduction in that is a positive.

        Strength is a red herring alcohol comes in a range of potency from 2/beer to overproof spirits What matters is dose. no one drinks 100 proof like they drink 4 beer%. .

        It is obvious you are trying to make up any argument to stop legalization even if it is not logically coherent .

        Reply
        • tautoko Griff ! 😀

          All we are hearing from Natl.. excuses, excuses, excuses to terrify 😦 😦

          Reply
        • Duker

           /  14th May 2019

          “Strength is a red herring”

          And yet every bottle of alcohol has it displayed…. what you want is no regulation at all.
          Instead you will lose the lot when the votes are counted

          Reply
          • Griff.

             /  14th May 2019

            what you want is no regulation at all.

            Straw man argument.
            Do try to connect your thinking up .

            I have in the past given what I think should be in the regulation framework .
            It included testing for quality and potency, age restrictions, restriction on advertising, licensing for all aspects of the industry ,tracking product from seed to end user and of course taxing the product .

            As you read this at the time and even replied to the comment.
            One must ask
            Have you considered getting some testing done on your[p brain function? Some conditions leading to cognitive decay can be cured or the effect over time reduced if you catch them early enough.

            Reply
        • Duker

           /  14th May 2019

          “no one drinks 100 proof like they drink 4 beer%. .”

          really . So we dont have large numbers die from alcohol poisoning each year.

          Experts know differently that some people will actually drink themselves to death, That excludes those that die from ‘alcohol related’ conditions , like organ failure, injuring themselves, road accidents etc

          In May[2010], Chief Coroner Neil MacLean issued statistics showing 12 teenagers – some as young as 13 – had died from binge-drinking since July 1, 2007.
          Mr MacLean said this week there was a steady number of New Zealanders, of all ages, “simply drinking themselves to death”.
          He believed the problem had worsened during the 30 years he had been a coroner.

          can see the problem when ‘sensible’ people dont have enough life experience to know how the rest outside their privileged bubble operate.

          Reply
          • Griff.

             /  14th May 2019

            Umm your point is ?
            We know alcohol is a deadly poison.
            You can top your self with wine or beer as well as whisky.The LD 50 alcohol is about 30 standard drinks.
            Cannabis has no LD 50.
            There have been Zero cases of death from cannabis poisoning world wide ever recorded .

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  14th May 2019

              Losing power of speech after lifetime of regular smoking …like a friend of mine after a stroke.
              They are quibbling about the legal age as it’s harmful to brain development up to 25.
              Your point was that somehow smokers will know about over doing it…ha

            • Griff.

               /  14th May 2019

              Ah yes because he smoked pot and had a stroke the dak caused it.
              My brothers father in law never smoked cannabis in his life, he did drink .
              Stroke at 50 left him with two words fuckin hell dead from another at 54.
              Un like you I am not stupid enough to make connections based on such a simple correlation.

              Your point was that somehow smokers will know about over doing it…ha

              There is that fantastic imagination emerging again .
              The strength of a drug has little to do with over use.
              The alcoholics I have known have drunk every thing from cider to vodka .
              Does not matter what they drunk what did matter was how much they drunk and how often.

              Back in the seventy’s a mates brother was a roadie for Led Zep among other bands. When he came home from tour he used to smuggle in black hash. To get high you needed about half a match head.
              Did it make us all addicts ? Nope we just smoked far less.
              I have not even seen a joint in years . Most dont smoke joints now because you dont need to smoke that much to get high with modern weed.

              Those that are going to abuse a drug will do so no matter if its 100 proof or 4%.

  7. Blazer

     /  14th May 2019

    Swabrick has already run rings around Bennett on this topic…leaving the ex truck stop waitress gasping about ‘passive-aggressive ‘ discourse.

    Bennett is all hat and no…cattle when robust discussion is required.

    ‘How do you like my shoe collection?’

    Reply
    • the fact that Paula refused to debate it & has so far, also refused to joined the Cross party group.. just shows her petulant ‘WE KNOW BEST’ mentality 😦

      If you have listened to Paula (Q-time) in the last month, asking several totally INANE questions (to Jacinda/Winston), about ‘Legalising MARIJUANA !!’ you can see, how silly she/Natl really are acting, on this issue :/

      Reply
  8. Corky

     /  14th May 2019

    ”Their petty arrogance in Opposition, and their apparent determination to disrupt drug reform initiatives, is likely to hurt their support amongst the all important floating voters.”

    To be fair, these unprincipled pragmatists aren’t worried about the floating voter, they are worried about the blue rinse set sitting on their ornate poarches sipping lemonade and tut tuttering.

    Reply
  9. Corky

     /  14th May 2019

    Spot those with Prefrontal Cortex damage…duh 😂✔ And get use to it should herb be legalised.

    Reply
    • Griff.

       /  14th May 2019

      Yess we see those with damaged prefrontal cortex.
      You know like gibbering illogical nonsense and making connections that can not be supported from the information they provide.
      Probably due to the well researched cognitive effects of long term alcohol abuse.
      Without doupt if the referendum passes we will see even more gibbering from piss soaked conservatives who get all upset because someone might be using a drug they dont approve of .

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  14th May 2019

        Er, if I voted, I would be voting in favour of the legislation. People have a choice to do what they want with their bodies. However, if I was in charge, private health insurance would be a must for all druggies and piss heads. If you turned up at A and E under my system, and you had no insurance, you would be told to fuck off home and die. Now that’s where your socialist mentality hits a break wall, eh, Griff. The self responsibility bit.

        BTW..will be posting on the Cloud Buster soon. Don’t worry, it has pictures as well.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  14th May 2019

          *brick*

          Reply
        • Tom Hunter

           /  14th May 2019

          BTW..will be posting on the Cloud Buster soon. Don’t worry, it has pictures as well.

          How exciting. You can post it along with this famous video….

          Reply
      • Griff.

         /  14th May 2019

        You poor wee thing .
        For a start you
        1 Don’t know what socialism is.
        2 Don’t know what my economic politics are .

        USA under your system spends 17 % of its GDP on health and their life expectancy is lower than most the west.
        The rest of the west under a single payer system pays about 7%of their GDP for a better outcome.
        Your system cost every one more.
        As alcohol is a major cost on the health system It would be great for Pot heads. Cannabis smokers would pay almost nothing and piss heads would be paying huge amounts.

        Cloud buster
        ROFLMAO.
        Point some plastic pipes at the clouds and make it rain .
        What an absurd idea.
        Only someone with no idea about even basic science would ever think such a non physical concept is worth a try.

        As I have often pointed out .
        You are so Ignorant of reality any thing you say is a total screen lick.
        That others up tick your nonsense shows you are not alone in being a right wing gibbering idiot.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  14th May 2019

          Griff, did you HAVE to mention the Cloud Buster ?

          I wonder why the people who have them are not using them to save lives in places where there are droughts. Cork says that they don’t go there unless they are invited, but if people see an emergency, they don’t wait to be invited, they act or at least offer their services. When a stranger saw a house in the Waikato burning, he didn’t wait for the sleeping occupants’ invitation to do something, he rang 111 and ran around the house waking the people up, thus saving the lives of an entire family.

          Reply
  10. IF you are so certain, that further drug law reform.. will make the sky fall; then why not go for a ‘level playing field’ & demand that they make Alcohol ILLEGAL too ?
    **Causes more Harm than cannabis.. by far

    OR are youz all just talking, total one-sided, narrow-minded DRIVEL…. again ???

    The ‘Reeferendum’ is not saying ‘Lets Legalise the herb, & allow kids to smoke it, BUT; adults only R20+’ “WAKE UP”

    WTF is wrong with the picture.. that Natl are painting ? pretty well.. EVERYTHING !

    Reply
    • NORML (Nat. Org. Reform M-J Laws) used to have a poster.. that had a bunch of 1920s Gangsters , with machine guns.
      At the Bottom, it said ‘Remember Prohibition (Alcohol).. it still is NOT working !’

      Never a truer word.. ‘spoken in jest’ :/

      Reply
  11. Corky

     /  14th May 2019

    The ‘Referendum’ is not saying ‘Lets Legalise the herb, & allow kids to smoke it, BUT; adults only R20+’ “WAKE UP”

    I wonder how that would negate the need for private insurance under my system? Given as I understand, growing a few of your own plants may be a possibility under this legislation, who needs an R20 rule? Like a 15 year old in South Auckland won’t grow his own. Who’s going to stop him..his dad? He will probably be growing for his dad.

    And it’s bs to say I think the sky will fall in. That will only happen three years down the track..and it’ll be bad. Social services will BEG the government to reinstate the status quo.

    Reply
    • WTF are you on about ? more B-S as per usual ! 😀

      @PG
      Thx for at least presenting these items.. to at least get SOME folks thinking 🙂

      Reply
  12. Q) what do your downtickers/naysayers, say to those who use cannabis as opposed to alcohol, because they are either allergic to alcohol OR just do not like it ?

    I think this is becoming a debate along ‘party lines’, rather than rational ??

    Q) Do you downtickers/naysayers actually think the ‘sky will fall’ IF the law is changed ”

    Q) Do you downtickers/naysayers actually think, that PROHIBITION is working for either reduce harm or stop drug use ?

    Q) Do you downtickers/naysayers believe that Cannabis law reform will make Cannabis use Mandatory for all adults ?
    Its sounds like it; to I&i 😦

    “I see it I hear it.. BUT FFS I dont believe it.” :/

    enufsed2day

    Reply
    • addendum:

      Do you downtickers/naysayers, think that ADULTS deserve ‘Freedom of Choice’ with personal use of Drugs ?

      Do you downtickers/naysayers believe ADULTS are entitled to personal responsibility. around Drug use OR is Aotearoa/NZ really a Police-state (as some say) ??

      B-S is still B-S regardless of the spin that some add to it

      have a nice day………….. but not from smokin’ the herb eh-wot 😀

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  14th May 2019

        keep it up with the ‘stream of consciousness’ – thats even more votes against.

        Stoners need to hide under a rock and zip it if they want nay chance of winning

        Reply
        • ‘Stoners need to hide under a rock and zip it….’ sez Duker

          Thats what we have been doing since at least 1975.. its called Prohibition, we actually want to put this B-S behind us & ‘stand up to be counted !’
          Then we can come out of the shadows & stop ‘hiding under the rocks’ :/ 🙂

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  14th May 2019

            Was it you or Griff at the DAK factory?

            Reply
            • Dak factory ??

              There was a cannaclub in Akld (Daktory)… closed several years ago ? but Ive never been

  13. adamsmith1922

     /  14th May 2019

    I am sorry that you like so many have fallen prey to the Swarbrick cult of personality. She is extremely dogmatic and chooses to ignore facts which do not accord with the story that she is spinning

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  14th May 2019

      I thought that her comment about Paula Bennett was disrespectful and unprofessional, as well as being immature. It’s not becoming for a first-term list MP to slag off the Opposition in such arrogant, rude and generalising terms. She looked childish.

      Reply
    • harryk

       /  14th May 2019

      ‘She is extremely dogmatic and chooses to ignore facts which do not accord with the story that she is spinning’

      And supports terrorist violence in Indonesia [W.Papua] along with 16 other mostly Green NZ Parliamentarians.

      Reply
  1. Chlöe Swarbrick on the cannabis referendum (Q&A) | Your NZ
  2. Bennett refuses to appear alongside Swarbrick in cannabis discussion — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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