75% Māori support for legalising cannabis

According to a poll a significant majority of Māori – 75% – say they would vote for legalising cannabis for personal use. This is in line with general population polls, but it shows that Māori views are similar to overall views.

Support legalising cannabis for personal use:

  • Yes 75%
  • No 14%
  • Unsure 11%

78% favour seeing legislation before the referendum (so that the referendum approves or rejects the legislation).

RNZ: Poll shows 75 percent of Māori support cannabis legalisation

A Horizon Research poll for Three’s The Hui programme found 75 percent of 620 Māori surveyed would vote for legalising cannabis, if a referendum was held tomorrow.

Drugs Foundation chair Tuari Potiki said today’s results puncture the belief this is solely a white, middle class issue.

Mr Potiki said cannabis was a totally unregulated market, harming whanau.

“We want to see the toughest regulation possible to add an element of control to a market that’s out of control,” he said.

“Three times more money and resourcing goes into police, customs and correction than providing treatment, so we want to see that resource shifted.”

Māori were being disproportionately harmed by current legislation and the survey results showed Māori want change, Mr Potiki said.

“Because there’s a a criminal justice approach to dealing with cannabis use, that means our whanau or more likely to end up being arrested, charged, convicted and sentenced than others, unfortunately the law isn’t applied equally,” he said.

Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick:

“What I do know are the facts about the disproportionate impact of those negative stats around cannabis prohibition and also the fact that if we are to move toward that health base model, we do have a opportunity to right wrongs”.

“That’s demonstrative… of the maturity of discussion we’ve so far been having around cannabis reform and ensuring we have a system that minimises drug harm”.

RNZ:  Cannabis referendum to cost more than $2.2m

A referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis will cost taxpayers more than $2.2 million.

A Cabinet paper shows the health and justice ministries will receive the bulk of the funding, $1.9m, to provide dedicated, expert resources.

The remaining $296,000 is billed for the Electoral Commission, to carry out the binding referendum in 2020.

Justice Minister Andrew Little said the referendum should not detract from the general election, which it is being held in conjuction with, and no preliminary vote count will be done.

Instead, the referendum votes will be counted after election day and released along with the official 2020 election results.

Mr Little also noted the need to inform people to avoid confusion between the cannabis legalisation referendum and ongoing work on medicinal cannabis.

The ongoing personal, community, policing and health costs of not reforming cannabis law would be far greater than $2 million.

Canada legalises recreational cannabis

Canada’s Parliament has just passed a law that will legalise the use of recreational cannabis with a clear majority via a 52-29 vote in the Senate.

CBC: Senate passes pot bill, paving way for legal cannabis in 8 to 12 weeks

Senators have voted to pass the federal government’s bill legalizing recreational marijuana by a vote of 52-29, with two abstentions, paving the way for a fully legal cannabis market within eight to 12 weeks.

“I’m feeling just great,” said Sen. Tony Dean, who sponsored the bill in the Senate. “We’ve just witnessed a historic vote for Canada. The end of 90 years of prohibition. Transformative social policy, I think. A brave move on the part of the government.”

Dean said he thought the Senate functioned well throughout the process and he was proud of the work the Red Chamber did.

“Now we can start to tackle some of the harms of cannabis. We can start to be proactive in public education. We’ll see the end of criminalization and we can start addressing Canada’s $7-billion illegal market. These are good things for Canada.”

Initially, the government had planned for the bill to be passed by both houses of Parliament in time for retail sales to begin by July 1. That timeline was pushed back after the Senate requested more time to review the bill.

Now that the bill has passed, it’s up to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet to choose the actual date when the legalization of recreational marijuana becomes law of the land. Bill C-45 comes with a provisional buffer period of eight to 12 weeks to give provinces time to prepare for sales of recreational marijuana.

So it will take 2-3 months to get organised and for the law to come into effect, and Canadians have been warned that using cannabis until then will remain illegal, but it’s hard to see it being strictly policed – Canadians can’t light up yet, justice minister warns after ‘historic’ bill to legalize pot passes.

This may improve Canadian tourism, especially from south of their border.

I expect that many in New Zealand will take a keen interest on how the transition works and how the legalising of recreational cannabis works out in Canada.

We are going to have a referendum on recreational cannabis use before or at the next election.

It is widely accepted that current cannabis laws are working very poorly here.

Cannabis as a gateway drug

From Start the Conversation (Facebook):

It is cannabis prohibition which forces users to associate with the illicit drug black market, rather than the use of cannabis itself, that often serves as a doorway to the world of hard drugs.

The more users become integrated in an environment where, apart from cannabis, hard drugs can also be obtained, the greater the chances they will experiment with harder drugs.‪#‎StartTheConversation‬




Canada promise to legalise cannabis

Canada’s new Prime Minister Just Trudeau has promised cannabis legalisation policy since becoming Liberal leader two years ago and hios Government has repated it’s pledge.

The Guardian reports: Canada’s new Liberal government repeats promise to legalize marijuana

Canada’s new Liberal government has repeated its pledge to legalize marijuana in a speech outlining its agenda as parliament resumes after the 19 October election.

A speech delivered by governor general David Johnston reiterated new prime minister Justin Trudeau’s plan to legalize and regulate the recreational use of marijuana. It is a position Trudeau has held since becoming leader of the Liberal party in 2013. However, for the first time, the government said it will restrict access to marijuana but did not elaborate.

Trudeau has said that legalizing marijuana would fix a “failed system” and help remove the “criminal element” linked to the drug. He also has said Canadians would benefit from analyzing the experiences of Colorado and Washington state, which recently legalized pot.

I think it’s just a matter of time before this change of tack on recreational cannabis use works it’s way around the Western world at least.

I wonder if Trudeau talked to John Key about this when they met recently at an APEC meeting.



US now favours legalising marijuana

Pew Research shows that a majority in the US now favour legalising marijuana and the demographics show that the trend towards legalising is likely to continue.

Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal or illegal?

  • Legal 52%
  • Illegal 45%

In 2010 it was 41% for legal and 52% for illegal.

When broken down by generation it’s easy to see where the trend is headed.

  • Silent (born 1928-1945) 32%
  • Boomer (born 1946-1964) 50%
  • Gen X (born 1965-1980) 54%
  • Millenial (born 1981-now) 65%

The newly-arrived Millennial generation is the most supportive of marijuana legalization. The more liberal views of this new cohort are replacing the more conservative views of the Greatest and Silent generations, and contributing to the overall shift in public opinion toward legalization.

Who uses marijuana?

Nearly half (48%) of all adults have tried marijuana, including 57% of Millennials. In the past year, 12% of Americans have used marijuana either for a medical issue or recreationally, or both. Age makes a difference: 27% of those under 30 say they have used marijuana in the past year, three times the percentage in any other age category.

Views on marijuana:

  • 77% say marijuana has some medical uses.
  • 72% say enforcement isn’t worth it.
  • 32% say marijuana is morally wrong (down from 50% in 2006)
  • 50% say it is not a moral issue (up from 35% in 2006)