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MurrayM
1995 posts

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  #2572512 23-Sep-2020 08:50
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Oldmanakbar: Legalization allows for the consumption of a product from known sources, quality control and taxation to offset the social harm aspect.

 

So you're 100% sure that legalising weed will stop the underground trade (eg through gangs)? You really think that people are prepared to pay 3, 4 or 5 times the price to get legal weed vs what they're paying now for illegal weed? Maybe a rich white person may be prepared to pay that but I bet that poorer people (of which Maori make up an disproportionate number) who struggle to make ends meet will carry on getting their supply from their underground contacts. And the underground illegal weed is from an unknown source, has no quality control, isn't taxed, and therefore has none of the benefits of legal weed.

 

The proposed legislation has a limit on how potent legal weed can be. Longtime users may find that this limit is too low for them and they may desire a stronger version. Their only option will be to turn to illegal weed to get the stronger stuff.

 

I've seen pro-legalisation people claim that legalisation will help Maori because they're the ones ending up with convictions, but it can only help them if Maori turn their back on illegal weed and spend more for the legal stuff. Actually that's a good point; under the proposed legislation will buying from an illegal source still be illegal? Could someone be convicted for buying some weed from the guy down the road who grows it himself?

 

I understand that what we have at the moment isn't working and that changes need to be made. I agree that prosecuting people for possession of weed is stupid and that people will find a way to obtain it no matter what. I just think that the proposed legislation won't have the benefits that the pro-weed people say it will have. I'm also concerned about the mental health implications which pro-legalisation people seem to be silent on.


GV27
2389 posts

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  #2572525 23-Sep-2020 09:10
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MurrayM:

 

Oldmanakbar: Legalization allows for the consumption of a product from known sources, quality control and taxation to offset the social harm aspect.

 

So you're 100% sure that legalising weed will stop the underground trade (eg through gangs)? You really think that people are prepared to pay 3, 4 or 5 times the price to get legal weed vs what they're paying now for illegal weed? Maybe a rich white person may be prepared to pay that but I bet that poorer people (of which Maori make up an disproportionate number) who struggle to make ends meet will carry on getting their supply from their underground contacts. And the underground illegal weed is from an unknown source, has no quality control, isn't taxed, and therefore has none of the benefits of legal weed.

 

The proposed legislation has a limit on how potent legal weed can be. Longtime users may find that this limit is too low for them and they may desire a stronger version. Their only option will be to turn to illegal weed to get the stronger stuff.

 

I've seen pro-legalisation people claim that legalisation will help Maori because they're the ones ending up with convictions, but it can only help them if Maori turn their back on illegal weed and spend more for the legal stuff. Actually that's a good point; under the proposed legislation will buying from an illegal source still be illegal? Could someone be convicted for buying some weed from the guy down the road who grows it himself?

 

I understand that what we have at the moment isn't working and that changes need to be made. I agree that prosecuting people for possession of weed is stupid and that people will find a way to obtain it no matter what. I just think that the proposed legislation won't have the benefits that the pro-weed people say it will have.

 

 

I find the 'you'll have to buy it from a regulated dispenser!" and "you can grow your own stuff at home completely unregulated!" to be the weirdest parts. If I can grow my own at home, why would I pay the extra taxes involved in the retail product? There's also some discrepancy around the possession limits and how much you can harvest from the two plants - you'd end up throwing most of what you grow away to comply, or you'd just give it away. That could be easily resolved through the normal legislative tuning process. 

 

I like the idea of decriminalisation and retrospective clean-slating convictions where the person has no other serious convictions, but I am having a hard time understanding how this bill will do everything the proponents say it will. It seems like it's trying to do a lot of aspirational things, but they may not play well with each other. Having said that I would say I'm far from comfortably informed on this to the point where I'd back my own opinion. 


 
 
 
 


Fred99
11128 posts

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  #2572531 23-Sep-2020 09:35
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MurrayM:

 

Oldmanakbar: Legalization allows for the consumption of a product from known sources, quality control and taxation to offset the social harm aspect.

 

So you're 100% sure that legalising weed will stop the underground trade (eg through gangs)? You really think that people are prepared to pay 3, 4 or 5 times the price to get legal weed vs what they're paying now for illegal weed? 

 

 

That depends on the excise tax applied and regulation.  I understand that in California excise priced the stuff higher than black-market prices, but when I look at the facts, the tax is only US$9.65 per ounce of buds plus 15% sales tax (I think less than NZ charges on tobacco?).  An ounce of good quality flower buds is one hell of a lot of weed IMO, the total tax is trivial.  But it's very easy to grow high quality/strength weed, if the risk of being caught is low, then sure, a continued black-market is possible.  What people pay for at the moment is a price premium applied to cover risk to the grower of being caught and fined/jailed - the higher the risk, the higher the price, so the more effective the war on drugs the more incentive for organised crime to push much higher value very easily concealed and highly addictive product like meth, opioids, amphetamines etc, which is exactly what's been happening since the '70s.  And that's the stuff which may kill your kids.  If the war was working, then how come things are worse than before we started?  

 

As for strength/quality, it's not the same risk as per drugs like opioids, you're not going to die from an overdose,  If you have too much, you'll probably feel horrible and get a headache and think twice before doing it again.  "Quality" is somewhat subjective.


PsychoSmiley
86 posts

Master Geek


  #2572532 23-Sep-2020 09:38
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Given how pervasive and damaging alcohol is with that being socially acceptable and legal, I'm on the yes side.

 

 


GV27
2389 posts

Uber Geek


  #2572534 23-Sep-2020 09:42
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PsychoSmiley:

 

Given how pervasive and damaging alcohol is with that being socially acceptable and legal, I'm on the yes side.

 

 

Isn't the question there "given what we know about alcohol and its effects, if it were illegal today, would we vote to legalise it?". Past that, I don't really see what the 'but alcohol is legal' argument really has to do with weed given that I'm not sure alcohol would actually get legalised today were it not already. 


PsychoSmiley
86 posts

Master Geek


  #2572557 23-Sep-2020 09:58
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But alcohol is legal and the horse has well and truly bolted. Sure it may be banned if we new what we knew, but you'd be in the same position of forcing something underground and making it more dangerous than it could be. Weed is already out there, you can't stop people getting their hands on it either. Might as well open the gates and collect some tax dollars and save the system money from not having to put various people through the legal system for offences relating to weed.

 

Legalise it. Regulate it. Control it. Tax it. The matter is then clearly in the open no longer hidden away.

 

EDIT: And on the grow your own versus buy from a store it's no different to alcohol either. I can brew my own or I can buy it from a shop.

 

If there is any considered notion of my bias towards being yes, my background is I've smoked it once and hated the effect, and also had to endure being terrified as a child over the violent arguments my older (then teenage) brother had with my mother over use of it. By all accounts I should rationally be no, but I believe the current approach to it hasn't worked so lets try something new.


Blurtie
277 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2572623 23-Sep-2020 10:28
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I think I will vote yes. 

 

But taking a step back, it's my understanding that this referendum is a non-binding referendum... The next elected government can choose to disregard the results, although this is unlikely to happen with a Labour led govt, but it might get dropped completely if National get through..

 

In terms of the legislation, I believe the bill will still need to introduced first, then go through the select committee stage - so you would hope any concerns around access, concentration, or any other points raised by other posters here this thread would be heard and dealt with there and then..

 

I totally understand the concerns from the other side, but from my point of view it's already out there and widely available - has been and always will be. What we've done to date hasn't worked. It's time to try something else. Voting no isn't going to make the problem go away. 


 
 
 
 


MurrayM
1995 posts

Uber Geek


  #2572634 23-Sep-2020 10:56
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Blurtie:

 

I totally understand the concerns from the other side, but from my point of view it's already out there and widely available - has been and always will be. What we've done to date hasn't worked. It's time to try something else. Voting no isn't going to make the problem go away. 

 

 

The same could be said about many things that are illegal. Meth is widely available and becoming more so, the war on meth obviously hasn't worked. Should we legalise it so we can regulate it, control it and tax it?


Rikkitic
Awrrr
12938 posts

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  #2572641 23-Sep-2020 11:22
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MurrayM:

 

The same could be said about many things that are illegal. Meth is widely available and becoming more so, the war on meth obviously hasn't worked. Should we legalise it so we can regulate it, control it and tax it?

 

 

This is a false equivalence. The damage caused by meth use is enormous and its addictive properties far exceed that of cannabis. It also contributes to extreme violent behaviour, which cannabis does not. Because it is so addictive, there are big profits to be had from supplying it, which attracts organised crime. It is truly dangerous stuff and of course it should not be legalised. The reason the war on meth hasn't worked is because the war is based on a stupid, ineffective punitive approach to the problem that wins votes but doesn't fix anything. A much better approach would be one based on the Portuguese model, which has proven its worth. And no, drugs are not legal in Portugal, but their use is treated as a health issue, not a police one. This has had dramatic results in reducing drug consumption.

 

https://www.drugfoundation.org.nz/matters-of-substance/may-2013/drugs-are-legal-portugal/

 

https://www.apa.org/monitor/2018/10/portugal-opioid

 

https://www.emcdda.europa.eu/countries/drug-reports/2019/portugal/drug-laws-and-drug-law-offences_en

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


Blurtie
277 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2572703 23-Sep-2020 12:11
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MurrayM:

 

The same could be said about many things that are illegal. Meth is widely available and becoming more so, the war on meth obviously hasn't worked. Should we legalise it so we can regulate it, control it and tax it?

 

 

Apart from the fact that this referendum's on cannabis reform and not on wider drug policy reform, the difference between meth and cannabis is that cannabis is more widely accepted or perhaps tolerated by society. IF - and that's a big if, meth gets to the same stage as cannabis, where a large population uses it or has tried it, can function on it, and the majority of users can use it responsibly without causing harm to others, then yes sure I'm all for having a conversation about it at that point. However, we're nowhere near that stage with meth, nor do I think we'll ever get there with a drug like meth, but hey I could be wrong.

 

The fact that something is legal does not mean everyone will use it. It's the same with alcohol. Will be the same with cannabis, and if Meth ever gets to that stage then it will be the same for that as well. 

 

I think both sides readily agree that cannabis is a problem. To me, this vote is about what the better approach is in attempting to deal and/or solve the problem. I just can't see how voting no will address this problem (or at least attempt to) or achieve anything. We'll still be left with the same problem.


Fred99
11128 posts

Uber Geek


  #2572750 23-Sep-2020 12:29
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MurrayM:

 

Blurtie:

 

I totally understand the concerns from the other side, but from my point of view it's already out there and widely available - has been and always will be. What we've done to date hasn't worked. It's time to try something else. Voting no isn't going to make the problem go away. 

 

 

The same could be said about many things that are illegal. Meth is widely available and becoming more so, the war on meth obviously hasn't worked. Should we legalise it so we can regulate it, control it and tax it?

 

 

Yes.

 

(At least decriminalise use, regulate supply to kill the profit, and dispense with an policy to rehabilitate users).


Oldmanakbar
101 posts

Master Geek


  #2572752 23-Sep-2020 12:31
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MurrayM:

 

Oldmanakbar: Legalization allows for the consumption of a product from known sources, quality control and taxation to offset the social harm aspect.

 

So you're 100% sure that legalising weed will stop the underground trade (eg through gangs)? You really think that people are prepared to pay 3, 4 or 5 times the price to get legal weed vs what they're paying now for illegal weed? Maybe a rich white person may be prepared to pay that but I bet that poorer people (of which Maori make up an disproportionate number) who struggle to make ends meet will carry on getting their supply from their underground contacts. And the underground illegal weed is from an unknown source, has no quality control, isn't taxed, and therefore has none of the benefits of legal weed.

 

The proposed legislation has a limit on how potent legal weed can be. Longtime users may find that this limit is too low for them and they may desire a stronger version. Their only option will be to turn to illegal weed to get the stronger stuff.

 

I've seen pro-legalisation people claim that legalisation will help Maori because they're the ones ending up with convictions, but it can only help them if Maori turn their back on illegal weed and spend more for the legal stuff. Actually that's a good point; under the proposed legislation will buying from an illegal source still be illegal? Could someone be convicted for buying some weed from the guy down the road who grows it himself?

 

I understand that what we have at the moment isn't working and that changes need to be made. I agree that prosecuting people for possession of weed is stupid and that people will find a way to obtain it no matter what. I just think that the proposed legislation won't have the benefits that the pro-weed people say it will have. I'm also concerned about the mental health implications which pro-legalisation people seem to be silent on.

 

 

 

 

I didn't say it would 100% stop the underground trade. But it would almost certainly remove a large proportion of that aspect I think you would agree?

 

As you yourself say, what we have is not working. Voting yes allows those changes to possibly be made. Will they be perfect immediately? Probably not, but the legislation can be edited later.

 

Voting no is voting for keeping the status quo of what we have right now.


MikeAqua
6058 posts

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  #2572765 23-Sep-2020 13:08
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Fred99:

 

MurrayM:

 

The same could be said about many things that are illegal. Meth is widely available and becoming more so, the war on meth obviously hasn't worked. Should we legalise it so we can regulate it, control it and tax it?

 

 

Yes.

 

 

Fred, apologies in advance, if I have misunderstood ..  are you suggesting we should legalise meth?  I could understand decriminalising possession/use of meth by users, accompanied with taking health approach. But not full legalisation.

 

I've just seen too many people ruin themselves with it - job, home, family all gone. It's the only drug I've seen detected in post accident testing and I've seen it in turn up so many times.  It's a devastating drug.  Way more impactful per user than alcohol.

 

I would think quite different from pot/alcohol where recreational use could is seen as acceptable.

 

 





Mike


Rikkitic
Awrrr
12938 posts

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  #2572768 23-Sep-2020 13:20
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The way it is used in this country puts it in a league of its own. There is a world of difference between a meth tablet to stay awake and squirting it into your arm. 

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


antonknee
489 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2572778 23-Sep-2020 13:42
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Absolute yes voter to legalisation - there can only be improvements on what we have now.

Decriminalisation is a half-baked measure with few of the advantages and plenty of drawbacks when compared to legalisation of cannabis. However, I don’t believe criminalising any drugs is effective. They should be a health issue and not a crime issue, accordingly use should be decriminalised.




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