Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Cabinet and the Reeferendum

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  • Andre,

    I can't stand the way the naysayers like Paula Bennett couch everything they say on the subject as if no-one currently smokes marijuana in New Zealand, especially not teenagers. Oh no. They don't currently have access to weed, apparently. My kids are surrounded by teenagers as young as 14 who buy, sell and smoke the stuff. Don't tell Paula. They act as if anyone will be able to buy marijuana when legislation is brought in, when in reality that is the case now. So all these 14 year-olds hang out with all these gang members who sell dope. Fantastic.
    The referendum should definitely be based around legislation to be enacted after the election. The idea that the vote will be taken during an election and therefore having the legislation ready to go makes sense is not coming across at all in TV and radio interviews featuring members of the National Party. Hayley Holt did a good job of pushing back against some of the bullshit this morning on TV1 Breakfast, though.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 350 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Nice work by Dan Satherly on Newshub's story, in which Simon Bridges dismisses Chloe Swarbrick's statement that what National has isn't the Cabinet paper:

    "What would she know? She's not part of the Government," said Bridges, who is also not part of the Government.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Andre,

    Oh no. They don’t currently have access to weed, apparently. My kids are surrounded by teenagers as young as 14 who buy, sell and smoke the stuff. Don’t tell Paula. They act as if anyone will be able to buy marijuana when legislation is brought in, when in reality that is the case now. So all these 14 year-olds hang out with all these gang members who sell dope. Fantastic.

    Yep. It's precisely why Canada opted for legalisation: because prohibition deprived them of any tools for curbing youth use.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Russell,

    I don't think we should be getting our hopes up too much about the referendum. The Government's responses to the Tax Working Group and the Welfare Expert Advisory Group have really helped to redefine the word "underwhelming" without accomplishing much else. So the outcome here may be equally lukewarm.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Andre,

    So all these 14 year-olds hang out with all these gang members who sell dope.

    Seriously? Thats just the far other end of the same spectrum that Paula Bennett is on. “The Gangs” is getting to be a worn out argument. Its right up there with “alcohol is more damaging, so stick that in your pipe”.

    legalising marijuana is not going to stop “The Gangs”. They will continue to sell meth. And they will continue to use violence to get what they want. And alcohol is still going to destroy lots of people (and their children) regardless.

    Legalising cannabis has less to do with those other two things, than those two things have in common with each other.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And here’s the reveal, such as it is:

    7 May 2019

    New Zealanders to make the decision in cannabis referendum

    The Government has announced details of how New Zealanders will choose whether or not to legalise and regulate cannabis, said Justice Minister Andrew Little.

    The Coalition Government is committed to a health-based approach to drugs, to minimise harm and take control away from criminals. The referendum is a commitment in the Labour-Green Confidence and Supply Agreement, as well as a longstanding commitment from New Zealand First to hold a referendum on the issue.

    “There will be a clear choice for New Zealanders in a referendum at the 2020 General Election. Cabinet has agreed there will be a simple Yes/No question on the basis of a draft piece of legislation.

    “That draft legislation will include:

    · A minimum age of 20 to use and purchase recreational cannabis,

    · Regulations and commercial supply controls,

    · Limited home-growing options,

    · A public education programme,

    · Stakeholder engagement.

    “Officials are now empowered to draft the legislation with stakeholder input, and the Electoral Commission will draft the referendum question to appear on the ballot.

    “The voters’ choice will be binding because all of the parties that make up the current Government have committed to abide by the outcome.

    “We hope and expect the National Party will also commit to respecting the voters’ decision.

    “I have today released the actual paper considered by Cabinet,” said Andrew Little.

    The Justice Minister also confirmed there will be no other government initiated referendums at the next election.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    It's a shame the law won't be passed before the election, so they'd better make sure the question is watertight.

    Still, National are now screwed (assuming they don't join the party, which would still be their best option politically). National have to oppose the referendum happening at all, or campaign for a 'No' vote, because simply saying "let's talk about issues XYZ instead" won't wash. The media will keep asking.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1321 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I imagine Russell will be writing something more detailed but in the meantime, here's the actual Cabinet paper (pdf, 30 pages).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    To guarantee a change, citizens will need to:
    - lobby the govt consultation process, and
    - vote yes in the reeferendum, and
    - re-elect the current govt, and
    - ensure party vote proportions do not shift coalition power towards those who are likely to dilute the law after the election.

    Resisters gonna resist.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • simon g, in reply to Sacha,

    That's true. But National's quandary is that Labour and the Greens can simply say "We will accept the result of the referendum". They want a Yes, but will accept a No - however unhappily. Status quo remains.

    Whereas National will want a No, but dare not say that they will ignore a Yes. Imagine going into an election campaign saying "Vote for us to be the government, and we promise to ignore the majority vote".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1321 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 566 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to simon g,

    There are many ways to fatally dilute a proposed law while pretending to agree with it, as Winston and the Nats both know.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Sacha,

    lobby the govt consultation process,

    So that means getting to Wellington at the right time and place. I hope finding that out is made easy for members of the public. Then theres the cost of getting there.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    I imagine Russell will be writing something more detailed but in the meantime, here’s the actual Cabinet paper (pdf, 30 pages).

    Yep, just writing something for the dirty old Spinoff right now. There is a lot of detail in that Cabinet paper. It's fascinating.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Well, now we know National’s official line. It’s “Gummy Bears”. The new “Slushies”.

    Simon said “gummy” 4 times in his short stand-up this morning. He wanted to make sure we all got the message. His deputy has been repeating it too. Honestly, where do they get their ideas from? Old Simpsons episodes?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1321 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Nats twisting and turning like a twisty turny thing about joining the constructive cross-party process.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to simon g,

    where do they get their ideas from?

    Republicans

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to andin,

    They are bound to travel on something like this, surely.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to simon g,

    Dummy bores gonna prate on 'bout gummy bears.

    We can sum up the 2019 Nats: sausagey slushy gummy bears by stealth.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    Toothless, but still sucking away,
    gumming the issues, and the works.

    Just a shame that Labour has ended up offering so little of a contrast on so many matters where they promised to make a difference…

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1887 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to simon g,

    Simon said “gummy” 4 times in his short stand-up this morning. .... Honestly, where do they get their ideas from? Old Simpsons episodes?

    Just replace "Gumboots" with 'Gummy Bears' and you've got National's next election anthem... Daggesque of course!

    ...Gummy Bears are different to M&Ms right?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    Attachment

    We can sum up the 2019 Nats: sausagey slushy gummy bears by stealth.

    We can now also add the ’Bridges of Sighs’!

    National leader Simon Bridges was kicked out of the House on Tuesday after loudly sighing before an argument with Speaker Trevor Mallard over an alleged “barnyard noise”.

    On his way out of the house, Peters said that Bridges had made a “seal” sound.

    Gee, it’s not like Simon to do things by ‘arfs’…

    Of course the real Bridge of Sighs is in a ‘real city of intrigue’, Venice, where the 2019 (58th) Art Biennale opens this week (aptly named too on the poster above) – and of course NZ is there with Dane Mitchell’s Post Hoc (nice to see Debbi Gibbs continuing a fine family tradition and acknowledged as a patron sponsor – Onya !)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Andrew Geddis is kind of relaxed about this whole 'binding' business.

    So, while it is true that any bill endorsed by the voters at the referendum may be changed by MPs before being enacted into law, so too can (and has) an existing Act endorsed by the voters at a referendum. If there is a difference between the two situations, then it is once again a politico-moral one; can it be demonstrated that in practice the former is more likely to occur than the latter?

    Which means that I’m simply not all that upset about the Government’s chosen process here. I’d have preferred the “legislate, then let the people endorse” process as a simpler, tidier and more publicly discursive one. However, the difference between that ideal and the proposed model really isn’t that great.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Just want to say thanks Russell for keeping the constant feed of good quality info on this unfolding process. I don't have much more to say other than it looks like it's well in hand. In fact, that's really why I don't have much more to say. Swarbrick is doing an astounding job of keeping the whole thing real and perhaps it's quite sound of the government to let her get on with it. Even the sad lack of coherent debate from the Opposition is not really that bothering - I think Bridges neverending single digit popularity is a sign that the public just can't take him seriously, because he is inherently not really a serious leader.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

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