Posts by Nick Russell

  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yeah. It might not be a religion or a cult but its members share the characteristic of believing that they know best and that they have an obligation impose that certainty on everyone else, with or without their consent.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Cabinet and the Reeferendum,

    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

  • Hard News: Splore 2019 – Please Don't…,

    I think there is very little prospect of the Bill or the referendum being debated in the same sort of bipartisan spirit we have seen on gun control this week. Politicians are gonna do politics with this. Why wouldn't they? It's a Green Party initiative which Labour has agreed to so the Nats have a political incentive to campaign against it. They will want the Government to fail. Cannabis is a political football like any other.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The korero we've been waiting…,

    I don't think the referendum has really captured the public imagination yet. There seem to a relatively small number of people who are passionately engaged in the issue one way or the other. But beyond that there have been crickets. Maybe that will change as the referendum draws closer. But bearing in mind it will be held at the same time as the general election, I am not confident about that. It could be that a big part of NZ just doesn't care that much either way.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We have to rethink the annual…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Hence my concern about giving the Police more discretion. On the whole I think it would be better if they had less.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We have to rethink the annual…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I agree with all of this except the bit about privacy in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act. Privacy is not one of the rights guaranteed in that Act. It isn't even mentioned.

    Having Parliament change the law would be good. Sooner the better. The bit I worry about is when we start either allowing politicians to dictate to the Police which laws they should or should not be enforcing, or when we give the Police more "discretion" to make those decisions themselves. I think those are exactly the sort of good intentions that pave the way to somewhere unpleasant. Do you trust the Police to make those sorts of decisions in a fair and reasonable way?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We have to rethink the annual…,

    I agree that this is a waste of public resources that could be better used elsewhere, and highly intrusive for residents in the areas getting searched like this. But I have mixed feelings about the complaint concerning the medicinal cannabis grow. I don't doubt the therapeutic value of these products, but everyone involved in the manufacture and supply knows they are breaking the law and they should not be surprised when this sort of thing happens. People seem to think that it is fait accompli that cannabis is going to be decriminalised and even that they can start behaving now as if that had already happened. The reality is that it is probably going to take years for that to happen (if it does at all), the outcomes may not be optimal even if/when it does, and that the Police are not going to just look the other way in the meantime.

    And while I sympathise with Pearl Schomburg, I really don't want to live in country where politicians get to give orders to Police about which laws they should be enforcing and which they should just let slide.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: When drug law gets so…, in reply to Sacha,

    It was a chicken and egg problem. There was never any guarantee that the results of any such tests would be acceptable to the Ministry of Health. So the Ministry expected producers to go ahead, do the testing and submit the application along with a very hefty fee without having any certainty whether the application would ever be accepted - and no guarantee that the Government would not ultimately reclassify the substance even if the application was granted. Oddly enough, nobody wanted to take that offer.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Getting serious about the…,

    On the other hand, a big part of the problem was the Ministry of Health taking forever to come up with regulations, .

    Would that be the same Ministry of Health that will probably end up administering a regulatory regime for cannabis? In between the Ministry and the inevitable problems that will arise if local Government is given a role in, for example, licensing retailers like it does for alcohol, you have all the ingredients for a really first class omnishambles. If they are allowed to, Councils will probably try to adopt policies prohibiting retail licences from anywhere within a kilometre or so of a school. I dunno, maybe we'll do better this time. I hope so.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Getting serious about the…,

    Assuming the referendum succeeds, I hope we can also learn some lessons from the failed experiment with the Psychoactive Substances Act. The moral panic and consequent scramble by local Government to find ways of prohibiting retailers could easily happen again. There is also no reason to assume that a newly legal cannabis industry will be ethical or well-organised. A lot of people will be less concerned about health and welfare than turning a profit. It could easily be a shambles. And well-meaning regulation can be counterproductive. The Psychoactive Substances Act required that new products should be proved safe (or safeish) but also made it impossible to use animal testing to prove that without providing any alternative process. The result was that AFAIK nobody ever even applied to register a product. I don't think anyone even has licences any more. So let's not do that again.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 121 posts Report Reply

Last ←Newer Page 1 2 3 4 5 13 Older→ First