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Glurp
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  Reply # 2146611 17-Dec-2018 16:35
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Simon Bridges on why he will probably vote against the referendum:

 

"I worry about the harm, I see the debilitating effects in all manner of communities, I worry about the mental health and I think the messaging of saying 'look decriminalisation, no issue in term of harm' will mean harm rises."

 

Um, this is about cannabis, not meth or synthetics. But since your mind is already made up, don't let yourself be bothered by the facts.

 

 





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  Reply # 2146614 17-Dec-2018 16:54
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If he's worried about harm I expect he will propose a bill to criminalise alcohol. Good luck with that Simon.


 
 
 
 


gzt

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  Reply # 2146711 17-Dec-2018 21:18
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What are the exact questions/options for the this referendum?



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  Reply # 2146814 18-Dec-2018 07:20
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This charitable organization, NZ Drug Foundation, seems to have a balanced view

"Schools keep young people engaged in education.

Drug laws are changed to treat drug use as a health issue.

Prevention, harm reduction and treatment interventions are fully resourced and are made more responsive to community need.

Innovative solutions to reducing drug harm are developed that support communities to respond to new challenges. "

Here's their media releases

https://www.drugfoundation.org.nz/news-media-and-events/


And to the previous question

https://www.drugfoundation.org.nz/matters-of-substance/july-2018/the-big-ask/

"The big ask: Ensuring the best legalisation referendum question"

Next year, or perhaps the year after, New Zealanders will vote in the first government referendum anywhere in the world on legalising cannabis. Right now, however, there is no clear picture of what question will appear on the ballot or how that question might be arrived at. That’s going to be important, and really, that’s just the start of the complexities we’re going to have to work through. Russell Brown tells us more.

Justice Minister Andrew Little told Matters of Substance that deciding on the question put to the public in the impending cannabis legalisation referendum is obviously going to be very important.

But does he have any views about what a good question would look like?

“I haven’t really given it any depth of thought at all,” he says

The irony is that the art and science of using direct democracy to reform cannabis law is now well established – in America at least. But in US states, ballot questions have been composed by their proponents who design them for a winning outcome. California’s bullet-pointed question only reached state voters after it had been repeatedly tested and refined through polling, with the aim of crafting a proposal acceptable to the greatest possible number of voters.

That process can’t be applied to a referendum in which it is the government that writes the question and where the goal is not to push a result one way or the other but to provide for a fair vote. Nonetheless, there are lessons that might apply. And the first is that it’s not just the question but how it’s asked that has an impact.

And in a tight contest, it could easily swing it one way or another. There will, for example, be a natural bias towards a position framed in the positive rather than the negative, so ‘Should we legalise YES/NO?’ or ‘Should cannabis remain illegal YES/NO?’ might produce marginally different outcomes, even though they are essentially the same question.

“We know from polling research that more people say yes if asked if they support the legalisation and regulation of cannabis than merely the legalisation of cannabis. And support rises further if you ask ‘Do you support the legalisation and regulation of cannabis in the same way as alcohol?’.”

Alison Holcomb, Director of Strategy for the Washington State branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, helped design the successful I-502 legalisation initiative in Washington where she saw a desire for reassurance.

“Seven years ago, in Washington State, voters responded strongly [in polling] to messages that reassured them about tight control of this novel policy experiment,” she says.

“Messages about freedom and individual rights fell flat. I’m not sure how relevant those insights may or may not be today, but I continue to believe that acknowledging basic human nervousness about change is always important.”

Drug Policy Alliance Legal Director Tamar Todd, who helped write California’s successful Proposition 64 in 2016, says that even where voters there were “on board” for legalisation, they still wanted to know what it meant.

“Who gets the licences, who grows it, how big are the companies? It’s not so much of an issue in the US, but should the government itself be the producer or seller? What should be the legal age to use? What products should be made legal? What should the legal allowable amount be? Should people be able to grow it at their homes non-commercially and share it?

“It’s not necessarily good for the voters in a referendum to answer all those specific policy details – but at the same time, if the government itself and the policy makers and regulators and law makers aren’t on board with the concept, there’s a lot of ways they can obstruct the will of the voters.”

The two New Zealand constitutional lawyers consulted by Matters of Substance, Graeme Edgeler and Andrew Geddis, strongly believe that New Zealand voters should be presented with a specific proposal as an alternative to the status quo. Indeed, Edgeler believes the proposal should take the form of a law to be triggered by a vote in favour and that it should be “a fully worked-through proposal of exactly what a regulated cannabis market would look like”.

Glurp
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  Reply # 2146829 18-Dec-2018 08:46
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It is worth adding to the preceding that we already have a thriving cannabis market, and it is regulated by the gangs. The above questions are not in opposition to a situation where cannabis does not exist and is unobtainable, yet that implication seems to hang in the air. The real question is not should cannabis be legalised and regulated and made available for purchase, it is should the current sources and methods of supply be changed to something else? Remember what it is you are voting for. Cannabis is already here and it already permeates society. The only question is how it is to be accessed by consumers in the future. 

 

 





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SJB

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  Reply # 2146943 18-Dec-2018 10:16
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Cigarettes permeated society far more aggressively than drugs ever have and we are heading to eradicating them.

 

Why can't we do that with drugs and eventually alcohol? 


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  Reply # 2146946 18-Dec-2018 10:28
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SJB:

 

Cigarettes permeated society far more aggressively than drugs ever have and we are heading to eradicating them.

 

Why can't we do that with drugs and eventually alcohol? 

 

 

Tobacco wont be eradicated, it will just be added to the gangs list of products for sale.


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  Reply # 2146957 18-Dec-2018 10:49
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Tobacco is an aberration. If you are an addict, smoking gives you mild pleasure but it mainly just relieves the discomfort of needing your fix. If you are not an addict, it gives you nothing at all. If anything, it makes you feel sick. It is amazing that anyone ever manages to become addicted in the first place.

 

The health penalties of being a smoker are severe. Initially this wasn't fully understood. Over time it has become more apparent. For most people, it is a simple cost/benefit analysis. The mild pleasure an addict gets from smoking is not worth the health cost so there is incentive to quit and for non-smokers not to start. The huge taxes on smoking are an added incentive.

 

Other drugs are different. You don't have to become addicted to them first in order to enjoy them. Drugs like alcohol and marijuana give you an immediate high. The health consequences are less dramatic. So the cost/benefit equation is different. People get more pleasure at lower cost compared to tobacco. This might change with alcohol as the consequences of drinking become better known, but prohibition was tried once and failed spectacularly. More likely is that more people will become more conscious about their drinking and will moderate it accordingly, while a minority will continue to destroy themselves with it.  

 

 





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SJB

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  Reply # 2146963 18-Dec-2018 10:53
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Cigarettes seem to be heading towards eradication through a combination of higher price and being socially unacceptable. Gangs won't make any difference to the social acceptability.

 

Total eradication in the short term is not realistic. Longer term I'm more hopeful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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  Reply # 2146985 18-Dec-2018 11:15
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I guess it to be expected the cigarette taxes have turned some otherwise law-abiding people into criminals.

Just hang out at any plane arrival from China. It's amazing how much effort some Chinese arrivals use to smuggle in cigarettes.

Given how the cigarettes are hidden, and even dump attempts when its too late, it's clear they know its a criminal activity. the temptation is too great

The same can be said of "moonshiners" avoiding paying taxes.

Just like guns, alcohol, tobacco, gambling and prostitution, a balance has to be struck between controlling harm without encouraging too many "back-alley" operations.

"Just say no" is naive at best, and destructive at worst.

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  Reply # 2147080 18-Dec-2018 13:19
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There is to be a binding referendum in 2020. This is great news. It should yield a clear verdict instead of the usual politician's dance. There is also talk of a referendum on euthanasia. I am also in favour of this. Direct democracy doesn't always work well on the minutiae of self-government, but on big, fundamental issues like this I don't think it should be left to politicians. The people deserve a voice.

 

For the record, I am in favour of both cannabis legalisaiton and end of life choice, but even more I am in favour of citizens having the final say on such matters. If the questions are honestly framed and the majority votes against my preferences, at least we have been given a proper choice. That makes the result, whatever it is, much more acceptable and I for one am prepared to live with it. 

 

 





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SJB

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  Reply # 2147104 18-Dec-2018 13:50
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Rikkitic:

 

That makes the result, whatever it is, much more acceptable and I for one am prepared to live with it. 

 

 

I agree with you 100% but unfortunately it seems that in this day and age if the margin of victory is not substantial a lot of the aggrieved on the losing side seem to think it's OK to campaign vigorously for another referendum to overturn a result they didn't like.

 

If say the cannabis result was 50.01% against 49.99% for how would you feel?


gzt

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  Reply # 2147120 18-Dec-2018 14:18
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Rikkitic: It is worth adding to the preceding that we already have a thriving cannabis market, and it is regulated by the gangs.

Most gangs have found that P/meth is more profitable and requires less effort. It is unlikely that medical users are obtaining marijuana from gang controlled distributors. Thriving implies that multiple products/varieties are available from that source. That's not the case. Classic total prohibition issues.

Glurp
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  Reply # 2147123 18-Dec-2018 14:27
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SJB:

 

I agree with you 100% but unfortunately it seems that in this day and age if the margin of victory is not substantial a lot of the aggrieved on the losing side seem to think it's OK to campaign vigorously for another referendum to overturn a result they didn't like.

 

If say the cannabis result was 50.01% against 49.99% for how would you feel?

 

 

This is probably another of those situations where there should be more than a simple majority so those on the losing side are less inclined to feel cheated. I think in polls roughly 75% favour legalisation so the result is more likely to be convincing. With euthanasia, it is probably not so clear-cut.

 

If people accept the rules of such a vote, and the rules are that a simple majority wins, then that has to be accepted. There is an out, though. If the consequences of the winning decision are so dire, and create so much uncertainty and confusion that the result cannot be implemented without major upheaval, and if this causes many people who voted one way to have doubts, and a significant number of people, possibly a majority, want to do it over, that should also be possible. In a democracy, major decisions should reflect as well as possible the will of the people, including the will to change their minds.





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Glurp
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  Reply # 2147125 18-Dec-2018 14:35
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gzt: 
Most gangs have found that P/meth is more profitable and requires less effort. It is unlikely that medical users are obtaining marijuana from gang controlled distributors. Thriving implies that multiple products/varieties are available from that source. That's not the case. Classic total prohibition issues.

 

Are you speculating or do you know that to be true? If cannabis is a niche market, suppliers will pop up to fill that niche. I don't know much about the scene here, but I do know from examples elsewhere that there has always been a wide choice of products and varieties available. As for medical users, I have seen several published reports of medical users depending on illegal supplies, though I don't know if any of those were specifically gang-related. 

 

 

 

 

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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