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Speaker: Cannabis: make it legal but don’t let anyone make money from it

47 Responses

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  • Verity Thom,

    Totally support this remarkably common sense, sound argument.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2018 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Boden,

    Makes a great deal of sense, but some of us are blessed with "black thumbs", the magical ability to kill any kind of plant we might try to grow.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • Nic Beets, in reply to Joe Boden,

    Joe I am also a notorious plant murderer. That's where the sharing part comes in

    Since Dec 2018 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This is essentially the system that Washington DC accidentally ended up with – it's legal to possess, use, grow and "gift", but commerce is forbidden.

    It works pretty well – in part because a permissive medicinal regime takes up the slack – but there are still some issues, including weed being given away to promote other things.

    I think there are some problems with forbidding commercial growing. It makes it impossible to standardise the product, and to deliver specific strains, including those with a less anxiogenic ratio of cannabinoids. If you end up with everyone getting the same (high THC/low CBD) weed as the black market was delivering, that's not necessarily a good result. Am I going to go to the bother of growing one strain for going to gigs or doing housework and another to relax and deal with my back pain? Probably not.

    Also, growing your own in, say, an apartment isn't necessarily easy. It might still be easier to just go to the black market.

    So I'm more in favour of a model where producers can get paid but retail supply is non-commercial: something like the cannabis social clubs of Europe. This has the additional benefit of providing tax revenue to help deal with the negative health effects of cannabis and other drugs.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22744 posts Report Reply

  • SimonD,

    I agree that the standard of weed is likely to drop but that devotees will use careful cultivation to keep standards high for their own crops. The general lowering of the strength of cannabis is not really a problem though. Less strength less potential harm. As for a black market, it exists now. All cannabis is a black market product (well up until yesterday’s parliamentary decision anyway) but legalizing personal crops will radically reduce the profit and therefore any black market will be restricted to those with significant net worth who want the Rolls Royce of weed. Growing bush weed or mass product hydroponic simply won’t be as profitable as growing lettuce. As for the issues with CBD and THC levels, if you need cannabis for pain relief then you will be able to obtain medical stuff from the chemist.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2018 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • SimonD, in reply to SimonD,

    Edit function discovered.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2018 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Bell,

    Some organisations tasked with harm minimisation seem fixated on getting more funding for their education campaigns rather than coming up with proposals to minimise harm.

    Low blow, and not true.

    The Drug Foundation's* model drug law is a pretty good starting point

    *I assuming the author means us because we're the only organisation funded by govt to do harm minimisation health promotion stuff.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to SimonD,

    but legalizing personal crops will radically reduce the profit and therefore any black market will be restricted to those with significant net worth who want the Rolls Royce of weed.

    Or people who can't or don't want to grow their own. Which is a lot of people.

    Growing bush weed or mass product hydroponic simply won’t be as profitable as growing lettuce. As for the issues with CBD and THC levels, if you need cannabis for pain relief then you will be able to obtain medical stuff from the chemist.

    Medicinal cannabis products will be prescription-only, at least at first, and the approved conditions may be a very short list. It's far from certain that any whole cannabis flower will be approved. It doesn't really make sense to have to go to the doctor to get some chillout weed. As I noted above, the permissive medicinal regime in DC picks up the slack there, but that's not the system we're going to have here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22744 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    It’s a pretty safe bet that there isn’t going to be much profit if you can grow it yourself for free.

    supermarkets and fresh produce sellers might disagree with that

    I have a garden but get my veges from the supermarket - why because I don't like nor care to garden and then there is also in season and quality issues to consider, same goes for cannabis

    I think there is room for legal sales that aren't necessarily profitable - I don't want a fully commercialised marketplace but I also don't want access to be dominated by who you know regime for a legal substance... I'd also like to pay tax on my pot so the state is gaining additional revenue to put towards harm minimalisation and care for those whom need it

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • Rob S,

    Where do I get my starter kit from?
    What say I want to grow some good shit but can't source seeds/plants?

    Since Apr 2010 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Rob S,

    What say I want to grow some good shit but can’t source seeds/plants?

    Happy to be corrected, that’s something I’ve not seen much discussion of specifically wrt decriminalisation of cultivation, whether for personal use or clubs, namely the loosening of restrictions on seed importation from reputable sources.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • SimonD, in reply to bob daktari,

    Yes but supermarkets operate in a market where it is legal to sell. This is why they sell tobacco. No body bothers growing tobacco and hence it is profitable to major international companies. My feeling is if you can’t be bothered to grow it or find someone to give it to you then go without. I’m not suggesting we make getting blazed a compulsory act. What will happen if we make it legal to sell is that British American or their equivalent will swing into action. Maybe people are happy with that concept but it doesn’t in anyway minimize the potential for harm. You simply replace tinnie houses with far more sophisticated,well resourced and amoral sellers.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2018 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • SimonD, in reply to mark taslov,

    Seeds will become more available over time. We discussed this at the pub the other night. It is an issue and as Russell sort of said it is easy to see them being given away with other products such as potting mix and 20ltr tubs. Not sure that needs to happen. One thing is for certain there will be a ton of seeded head out there when people are planting out all over the country.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2018 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to bob daktari,

    It's more like the supermarket herbs produce than the fresh produce. If you smoke as much cannabis as the lettuce in a small salad you will get high as. It's more like the mint in the garden than the potatoes, and probably about as much trouble to grow and harvest.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to SimonD,

    there will be a ton

    I’m not sure if you checked the link but there already are a ton of seeds coming in.

    19,000 – 2018
    43,000 – 2017

    It covers most of the country, Adams said.

    the issue is that importation is grounds for a search warrant.

    My feeling is if you can’t be bothered to grow it or find someone to give it to you then go without

    Kind of forces those with social anxiety into a difficult spot.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • SimonD, in reply to mark taslov,

    Even the most socially anxious can manage a pot plant surely?

    Auckland • Since Dec 2018 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to SimonD,

    Even the most socially anxious can manage a pot plant surely?

    As Russell said:

    people who can’t or don’t want to grow their own. Which is a lot of people.

    As Joe said:

    some of us are blessed with “black thumbs”, the magical ability to kill any kind of plant we might try to grow.

    As Nic said:

    Joe I am also a notorious plant murderer.

    And as Russell also said:

    Am I going to go to the bother of growing one strain for going to gigs or doing housework and another to relax and deal with my back pain? Probably not.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to SimonD,

    No body bothers growing tobacco

    But they do and its a growing (sorry) pursuit from what I gather due to the continual price increases

    I'm not suggesting for a second we allow the likes of tobacco companies be allowed to be involved in any legal cannabis market, thats the last thing I want... nor do I want to see a continuation of the black market for those that can't source free stuff either via contacts or their own garden - we can choose to have a state regulated market where they entrust the growing and selling to a non profit(s), with a tax regime that sees money funneled to the state - and all of it can be kept local (I am guessing)

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to bob daktari,

    I grow tobacco – for exactly that reason. It’s daylight robbery stimulating night time robbery.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • SimonD, in reply to bob daktari,

    Interestingly that is much like the Uruguayan model. You can grow 6 plants for personal use or you can form a cooperative and grow up to 90. However if you register as a user then you can buy a certain number of grams a month grown by (or on behalf of) the state. The question is though should the state be involved in the cultivation and supply of recreational drugs? The word in Uruguay was that people were a bit queesy about registering as users as it wasnt that long ago that their government wasnt that friendly.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2018 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to SimonD,

    I'd rather the state wasn't directly involved in any way other than clipping the ticket (tax) and supplying and enforcing regulation - which may include licensing the growers and sellers

    I don't have the answer nor perfect solution but I do know I totally disagree with Beet's premise

    The solution is simple: make it legal but don’t let anyone make money from it.

    legal or illegal - someones going to be making money, the solution is to decide who and how

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • Nic Beets, in reply to bob daktari,

    legal or illegal – someones going to be making money

    I believe this is not a given. There will be a time of transition and the black market may linger for a while. This is still preferable to opening the door to big businesses. In the long run I think there will be little money to be made and those who want to make money will look elsewhere.

    Since Dec 2018 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Nic Beets,

    Beautifully clear, thanks Nic. Great to see your name again so many years after WellMen.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Nic Beets,

    This is still preferable to opening the door to big businesses.

    totally agree - allowing "big pot" to dominate a potential market is however only one potential outcome from legalisation, the one thing I've not seen anyone support, thankfully :)

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • Rob S, in reply to bob daktari,

    allowing “big pot” to dominate a potential market is however only one potential outcome from legalization, the one thing I’ve not seen anyone support.
    Will we see an astroturf campaign of some sort come out of the tobacco/alcohol business groups?
    Who has the ear of the relevant decision makers?
    When push comes to shove will the Nats and Winnies mob actually let legalization happen?
    To get through Parliament one of these parties will have to vote for it or will it be a conscience vote.
    A large majority in favour of some form of legalization will be the best option to go ahead.
    A lot of hard yards ahead methinks.

    Since Apr 2010 • 135 posts Report Reply

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