Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A cannabis moment in the Parliament

10 Responses

  • Russell Brown,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22537 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    And despite what various people have been keen to tell me on Twitter, that process will not be a simple or straightforward one for the government.

    Word up on that. However simple individual views may be, finding a pathway to turning 2 million views into new and well designed laws is anything but simple.

    But this is, as you say, a moment. National outflanking Labour on the liberal side on cannabis reform was not something I would have expected 2 years ago. But we were all staring down the barrel of another John Key term then, so it's pretty amazing how fast politics can change, at times. Since then the elected PM is junior to me and has carried a child to term, and had her maternity leave while had our first ever NZ First MP essentially in charge of the country. I'm pretty optimistic about what NZ can achieve at the moment and I think National under Bridges has realized that times, they are a-changing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10541 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Some terrific work there, Russell (& co).

    Specifically on the legalisation referendum, I think the politics of this is fascinating. Here in PA World (or even Shane Reti’s world) we might like to envisage an informed debate by reasonable people, but experience suggests that a referendum encourages a good deal of unreasonableness too. In that ‘other world’, of Newstalk ZB and the AM show, it is axiomatic to link the Greens with “wacky baccy”, as Pavlovian a phrase as “PC gone mad” or “Treaty nonsense”.

    National distancing themselves from that sizeable chunk of their base would be very welcome, and might finally bury those prejudices. But it might also provoke a conservative counter-reaction, and I haven’t seen much indication so far that Simon Bridges would face that down, in the way that Key did on smacking, for example.

    “We supported the idea, but this wasn’t the referendum question we wanted, ours was better, the government rejected it, so unfortunately … ”. Le’s hope we don’t hear those words, some time in 2019.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1252 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank,

    Reliance on parliamentarians to co-create consensus-based legislation on a common good basis won't suffice. How about the Drug Foundation creates a suitable design and calls for public feedback? That process could crowd-source all the wisdom required to produce an effective synthesis.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 212 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    But some flexibility on previous convictions, which may be prohibitive as I’ve written it, I have flexibility on that. That is something we can tak about.

    An elagant solution is to allow the clean slate legislation to do its thing.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4011 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to simon g,

    Here in PA World (or even Shane Reti’s world) we might like to envisage an informed debate by reasonable people

    I think the trick is, and what we're actually seeing, is to get the reasonable people to come up with a proposal that they all think is likely to work. Then reverse the Brexit-style game of chicken by essentially daring the looneys to come out and oppose the consensus bill. We all know that some of them will, but it's being carefully set up so that it will be very hard to not come across as a wrecker and an idiot. A bunch of very measured doctors and lawyers say (in their very best Geoffrey Palmer manner) "on balance we believe this proposal..." {snoring noises}... meanwhile the opposition is reduced to the wingnut end of talkback radio "today on XSFM we have a neo-nazi, a convicted pedophile and some opposing the cannibis bill"

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1111 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB, in reply to Moz,

    Dear Moz... I so wish PAS had a "like" or "thumbs up" button...

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 882 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    Thanks, Russell, for following this along.

    Great to see serious work being done, handy now we're not the first that there's a chance to learn from others and people are doing just that. We'll hopefully be pardoning and quashing convictions on possession in a few years, and then even supply because they weighed the dirt stuck on the roots as well.

    Maybe even run the odd medical trial instead of relying on wishful thinking. It's like a possible future of using science to minimise harm instead of racist and crushing laws ruining people's lives to "protect", well, something nebulous about gateways.

    Since Nov 2006 • 594 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to tussock,

    faddy lipids...

    ...something nebulous about gateways

    Then there's always DMT...
    ...as recently espoused by Irvine Welsh

    "...What DMT does - it allows you into an antechamber between life and death. You get to hang out on the fringes and talk to the gatekeepers… All the learned behaviour and culture... We get right down back to the human essence. It's interesting to think that there is a human essence that is bigger than our cultural learned behaviours, norms, values. Human existence."
    .......
    "Is this based on Welsh's own experiences? Yes. He has taken it four times. Always present are what he calls "geometric gnomes," which vary in physical form but are consistently soothing and comforting, caring for you throughout the trip."

    No, Mon! They're gnomons!
    :- )

    Plus The new science of psychedelics
    A better life through chemistry!

    It's the physics of the affair...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7704 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Plus The new science of psychedelics
    A better life through chemistry!

    I'm reading that to review right now. Great book!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22537 posts Report Reply

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