Loomio
Tue 3 Jun 2014 9:49PM

Should the Internet Party support the decriminalisation of cannabis?

SG Sam Gribben Public Seen by 412

Using cannabis is against the law in New Zealand. Every year thousands of young people are convicted for cannabis possession, often for small amounts, meaning they have to go through life with a criminal conviction.
In the US natural cannabis has been decriminalised in 21 states for medicinal purposes. A range of countries in Europe and other parts of the world are also moving towards decriminalisation.
Consistently high political barriers remain in New Zealand, despite growing public support for the decriminalisation of cannabis for personal use. Parliament’s latest rejection of the medicinal use of cannabis came from the Health Select Committee in May 2014.
What does everyone think? Should the Internet Party support the decriminalisation of cannabis in New Zealand? Tell us what you think, and why...

Anyone affected by addiction issues should call the Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797 or visit http://www.drughelp.org.nz/

SG

Poll Created Tue 3 Jun 2014 10:01PM

Should we decriminalise cannabis? Closed Fri 6 Jun 2014 10:09PM

I think that decriminalisation of cannabis is a good first step. This step will not be the end of the discussion, but it's something we should do as soon as possible. Vote away!

Results

Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 82.0% 210 MS AV FH TK TSI AP SG DU JT DG AR KR JG KH DU JD M MS JR HM
Abstain 4.3% 11 JR AR CD HL WA MS RC JH SS RC CS
Disagree 8.6% 22 DU JB CJ DU DU JP DU NT MT DU LM DU BB NH AG MW PB CG DR WV
Block 5.1% 13 DU TH JO JC KE JC RR DU DU F RR NC JT
Undecided 0% 398 C T CE JA SR SM KG VC TF ISI AP MM CV SG DU NG NF BL NC NH

256 of 654 people have voted (39%)

JR

Joshua Roberts
Abstain
Tue 3 Jun 2014 10:20PM

I am not a user of cannabis and do not know enough about it to make a proper decision

SG

Sam Gribben
Agree
Tue 3 Jun 2014 10:32PM

I've watched Dr Sanjay Gupta's documentaries 'Weed' and 'Weed 2' and I think the evidence is very compelling.

AP

Andy Pickering
Agree
Tue 3 Jun 2014 10:33PM

Yes, it's time to decriminalise cannabis in NZ. Lets move forward with a sensible evidence / health based approach to the issue. Prohibition doesn't work.

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Tue 3 Jun 2014 10:34PM

I agree to cannabis decriminalization simply because it is a waste of taxpayers dollars to continue convicting cannabis users as felons rather than treating the offense as a misdemeanour, or no crime at all.

TSI

Tobias Siataga IP
Agree
Tue 3 Jun 2014 10:43PM

I have seen first hand the benefits to people with MS (multiple sclerosis) and people who are managing chronic pain. Better results than any prescription medications.

JT

Jim Tucker
Agree
Tue 3 Jun 2014 10:50PM

We have passed the point where this is some kind of wacky alternative medicine. Many countries and US states have accepted that.

DU

[deactivated account]
Block
Tue 3 Jun 2014 11:26PM

This is not a policy area I feel we should be exploring as a new party. I believe we should avoid as it will split the party and potential votes. I myself feel the current legal status of cannabis should remain. I'm okay with penalties being reduced.

KR

Kim Robinson
Agree
Tue 3 Jun 2014 11:49PM

I have psoriatric arthritis which cripples my mobility every day. I'm currently on Methotrexate it causes vomiting and 'the runs'. I have a number of pain relief meds with side effects. Please Legalise cannabis asap.

AR

Alaxander Robinson
Abstain
Tue 3 Jun 2014 11:54PM

I'm on the fence their could be benefits to legalisation but it needs to be done very very carefully, I'm also not sure this is an issue we should deal with during our campaign I think we can cover this by saying we're open to exploring the idea.

JG

Jaya Gibson
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 12:18AM

I think we should do this as a first step and eventually legalise it but I believe it should be done within an overall review of our drug laws including alcohol, tobacco etc.

JB

Jo Booth
Disagree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 1:16AM

Decriminalising cannabis is not enough. Before your average Joe is permitted to buy it'd I'd like to see it reduced to a pharmaceutical like any other, that is measured is milligrams of active ingredients, with well understood side affects & benefits

KH

Keri Henare
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 1:18AM

It is ridiculous to criminalise cannabis when alcohol and tobacco are illegal. We are needlessly wasting money and police resources. All we've achieved is that we've handed easy money to gangs.

CD

Colin Davies
Abstain
Wed 4 Jun 2014 1:18AM

I want to see the plan that will become legislation first.
Whilst the current law is an ASS,
I don't want to see a worse law take its place.

KH

Keri Henare
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 1:18AM

It is ridiculous to criminalise cannabis when alcohol and tobacco are legal. We are needlessly wasting money and police resources. All we've achieved is that we've handed easy money to gangs.

M

Mkj.
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 1:19AM

The taxation benefits alone speak for themselves... But other considerations such as Bio Oil, Hemp manufacturing etc should make this a no brainer. :o)

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 1:25AM

We should be a party that defends civil liberties. You should be able to do what you please with your body without fear of being kidnapped by the Government. I don't think we should stop with Cannabis, we should decriminalize every drug.

DU

[deactivated account]
Block
Wed 4 Jun 2014 1:28AM

This is not a policy area I feel we should not exploring as a new party. I believe we should avoid as it will split the party & potential votes. I myself feel the current legal status of cannabis should remain. I'm okay with penalties being reduced.

DU

[deactivated account]
Disagree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 1:28AM

This is not a policy area I feel we should not exploring as a new party. I believe we should avoid as it will split the party & potential votes. I myself feel the current legal status of cannabis should remain. I'm okay with penalties being reduced.

JR

Joseph Ramsay
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 1:33AM

I feel the legalisation and Taxation of Cannabis similar to colorado is the best move forward. this would create a huge amount of tax income.

HM

Hugo McDonald
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 1:35AM

There are many examples around the world that show we need to do this.

JD

Jerrick Davis
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 1:41AM

Yes even some states in the USA have begun decriminalizing not only for medical use but recreational use as well and those states have done much better financially as well as a small drop in street crime.

CJ

Chas Jago
Disagree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 1:41AM

While I agree that it should be decriminalized within the Medical arena, I disagree it should be decriminalized for public use until more is known about it, I do however believe that too much of Police resources are centered around Cannabis use.

AV

Amanda Vickers
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 1:42AM

I opposed cannabis before I realised I'd not been told all the facts - including: it is not a gateway drug, it has powerful medicinal properties, crime goes down.... Careful regulation and education would be a sensible proviso.

DW

Daniel Waite
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 1:55AM

I agree this should be decriminalised .

I do not agree that it should be freely sold in an open market (Like certain states in the US) , however people should no longer prosecuted for growing a plant with such low social harm.

DW

Daniel Waite
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 1:56AM

I agree this should be decriminalised . I do not agree that it should be freely sold in an open market (Like certain states in the US) , however people should no longer be prosecuted for growing a plant with such low social harm.

DW

Daniel Waite
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 1:57AM

I agree this should be decriminalised . I do not agree that it should be freely sold in an open market (Like certain states in the US) , however people should no longer be prosecuted for growing a plant for personal use with such low social harm

NK

N King
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:00AM

Legalise it look at Colorado & Washington state

C

Carolper
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:00AM

Work in the health sector. Believe people will always look to something to blot out the problems of life. Better Evil in a way.

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:01AM

The health benifits. The Social benifits. The removal of stigmatism. Tax benifits. Better controls through legalisation. Better education through legaisation. Innovation.

LN

Laurence Neville
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:05AM

Prohibition does not work. Take the power away from teh gangs and give the income to the govt.

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:06AM

Absolutely, I don't need to state why I think so, it's been well covered above.

PU

Paul Urquhart
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:09AM

This is a no-brainer. Drag NZ kicking and screaming into the 21st Century plzkthx.

CS

Christopher Smitley
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:10AM

Look at the stats. Math doesn't lie.

CH

Calvin Hona
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:12AM

I support decriminalisation as I feel the courts and Police have more important crimes to attend to, however I feel it must be in tandem with an increase in drug counselling services to assist those where drugs have taken over their lives.

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:13AM

I think Colorado is a good example of how this can be handled. If we are able to proceed slowly and carefully I would support decriminalisation.

TH

Thomas Henry
Block
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:14AM

I Don't want it in our Community we already have to many other drugs that are killing our youth in the south Auckland area

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:16AM

Its absolutely disgraceful that we still give people criminal records for cannabis when there are pubs on every corner. This is the most studied plant ever, we know its safer than alcohol. Let's treat it like its safer.

LW

Luke Williams
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:17AM

I agree that decriminalisation can be a first step but think full legalisation solves a lot more problems. quality control, age restrictions and tax revenue dont get addressed by decriminalization, but do with full legalisation.

DU

[deactivated account]
Disagree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:20AM

I personally think it should be decriminalised but I don't think it's a good issue for the Internet Party. A big hurdle for the Internet Party is building credibility across multiple socio-economic groups and this policy won't help that.

C

Colvin
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:21AM

The harms of cannibas aren't large enough to justify it being illegal and giving convictions to good people who don't deserve it.

KM

Katharine Moody
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:23AM

And we must open up discussion about legalisation as well. Behaviour while under the influence of alcohol seems to have much more socially dire and fiscally costly consequences. We need a lot more evidence comparing the effects of these two drugs.

AV

Amanda Vickers
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:24AM

Full legalisation and regulation is better than just decriminalisation: cannabis is not a gateway drug, it has powerful medicinal properties, crime goes down and nobody's ever died from it.Careful regulation and education would be a sensible proviso.

DB

Damon Bree
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:24AM

If it is the only option, then we should decriminalise. However, by not legalising completely, we are missing out on millions in tax revenue through new, eco friendly business and industry. Legalise it.

MW

Malcolm Welsford
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:27AM

Criminalisation is only a form of revenue and has nothing to do with taking drugs and healing yourself. We need more self responsibility in this country period.

MS

Mark Stewart
Abstain
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:27AM

I personally cannot stand cannabis or cannabis users. I've seen lives and families wrecked from the use of this drug. However I don't think users should have a criminal record for using it so find it hard to vote either way.

AW

Alfie West
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:28AM

We're well overdue for a reform of our current drug laws. Most of us appreciate that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. Treat drug use as a health issue - not a criminal offense, and we'll save tens of millions of dollars every year.

DQ

David Quinn
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:28AM

Cannabis or not cannabis is not the question here. It exists. Prohibition doesn't work. Criminalising the use of is the issue. There's sound and growing research that the harm from alcohol and tobacco can be worse. No brainer. Decriminalise!

DW

David Whitfield
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:30AM

I think that the decriminalisation of cannabis would allow police to concentrate on real crime. I do not use cannabis, but I think people should be free to choose. Also, it would be a good source of tax revenue for the government.

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:34AM

I think natural cannabis be much less harmful than synthetic drugs and we could simply allow people to grow their own... not necessarily allow imports, or commerce.

SB

Steve Brooks
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:38AM

This is a no brainer. It’s a waste of resources; it turns the young against the police and society for no good reason. It empowers gangs and puts the young in the company of people that can encourage harder drugs and other crime.

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:41AM

For recreational use, I think it should have the same restrictions as cigarettes, maybe more. It should at least be allowed for medical use.

AS

Aaron Singline
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:44AM

If beer and tobacco are the standard then that should be applied evenly.

MO

Matt O'Brien
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:45AM

Legalise it, tax it, police it.
Consider the amount of effort, time and money the police already expend on this drug. Why not give some of the industrial growers a chance to be legitimate and actually contribute to society? It will pay for itself.

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:47AM

To restrict access to minors, tax on cannabis and control over distribution

MR

Michael Rushton
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:49AM

I do feel its an area that needs to be tread around carefully. If it does go in the direction of support then definitely use an R18 or over for it. Or even use a system that Colorado is using and other nations that have legalised the substance.

SW

Stuart Woolford
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:55AM

This should be considered no different to tobacco and alcohol, both of which cause significantly more damage.
It should be legalised, managed, and taxed.
This would significantly reduce crime related to this illegal industry.

MS

Mark Stevens
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 3:02AM

Yes, but conditional to public referendum.

EP

Edward Peachey
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 3:32AM

LEGALISE IT, TAX IT, REGULATE IT, MEDICATE IT, R18 FOR RECREATIONAL USE, MEDICINE FOR ALL.

DO THIS AND YOU HAVE MY VOTE & THOUSANDS OF OTHER NEW ZEALANDERS !!!

WR

William Rea
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 3:32AM

I agree that the internet party should support this. I also believe they should go a step further and propose that we regulate and tax cannabis similarly to alcohol. THE WAR ON DRUGS HAS FAILED!

AVR

Arthur Van Resseghem
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 3:38AM

The reason for my desicion is simple I have used Cannabis for forty years and have not experienced any adverse reaction ,although I no longer use it ,I therefore also know from personal experience that cannabis is not addictive no withdrawal symptoms

DM

Daniel Millar
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 3:40AM

Long overdue. Many valid medical reasons for it. Alcohol is a drug of choice for most of the people opposed to it and look at the harm on sociaty with that! Would also boost tourism :)

DM

Daniel Millar
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 3:41AM

Long overdue. Many valid medical reasons for it. Alcohol is a drug of choice for most of the people opposed to it and look at the harm on society with that! Would also boost tourism :)

MW

Murray Ward
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 3:42AM

Overdue, free up police time for more importan issues and stop making criminals out of ordinary people.

MW

Murray Ward
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 3:42AM

Overdue, free up police time for more important issues and stop making criminals out of ordinary people.

JC

John Conneely
Block
Wed 4 Jun 2014 3:50AM

I've worked in mental health services for 27 yrs & have witnessed the distress and misery cannabis can bring to individuals, families and communities. Cannabis use can trigger life-long & serious mental health problems, this remains under-reported

NS

Nicholas Shearer
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 3:53AM

The same standards should be applied to all recreational drugs. If it causes less harm than Alcohol and Tobacco then either it should be legal or they shouldn't...

DN

David Noblet
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 3:56AM

Personally, I am opposed to the use of all drugs, be they sugar, caffiene, heroin, or whatever. Politically, I advocate the legalisation of ALL drugs. My personal opinions are mine, but they should not over-ride sensible regulation, taxation & use.

AF

Antony Foote
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 3:57AM

Why continue to criminalise people over something so trivial. The money it costs for prosecution, not to mention the police time which would well be used in a far more effective manner on crimes which actually have a victim. It should be legalised.

DU

[deactivated account]
Disagree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 3:59AM

Until we can remove drugs that are damaging society, that being Alcohol and Cigarettes, we can not in good faith approach an introduction of a new one, even given the extensive health and economic benefits.

DU

[deactivated account]
Disagree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 4:02AM

This is not a policy area I feel we should be exploring as a new party. I believe we should avoid as it will split the party & potential votes. I myself feel the current legal status of cannabis should remain. I'm okay with penalties being reduced.

TC

Teone CAPPER
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 4:02AM

It is a crime that the NZ Govt legalize synthetic cannabis and criminalize natural grown Cannabis when all info states it is a natural herb, fibre and food and will end poverty, the need for toxic pharmacy products and end our environmental problems

WG

William Gittoes
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 4:03AM

Even if you think cannabis is terrible, prohibition is doing nothing to prevent people from accessing it. At least when it's legal it'll be harder for kids to get it and easier to punish those that give it to kids.

DH

Dave Hargreaves
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 4:07AM

Needs to be more regulated,keep gangs etc out of the picture.Way safer that that toxic shit Dunne permitted.Should be 18 & over though

SS

Simon Smith
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 4:07AM

Much of the harm ascribed to cannabis is really from its criminalisation, and the remaining harm (ie. abuse) is harder to monitor and relieve due to the stigma, and necessary secrecy, of criminal activity.

JP

Jeff Parks
Disagree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 4:14AM

In order for decriminalisation of cannabis to go forward I would like to see stricter penalties against harder drugs, this is in essence to deter people from the likes of "P". Also, we'll need programs in place ready to help people who do overindulge

CM

Colin McCabe
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 4:20AM

I agree with decriminalization - not legalization. If we do that the money generated by weed smokers MUST be used to educate the next generation from intermediate level.

CM

Colin McCabe
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 4:21AM

I agree with decriminalization - not legalization. If we do that the money generated by weed smokers MUST be used to educate the next generation from intermediate school level.

RR

Romeo Rabina
Block
Wed 4 Jun 2014 4:22AM

I've seen the effect of cannabis and I don't want to see people turning into slow thinking/slow moving zombie like folks where no urgency on their actions are the norms.

CM

Colin McCabe
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 4:23AM

I agree with decriminalization - not legalization. If we do that the money generated by dopesmokers MUST be used to educate the next generation from intermediate school. At the same time I'd like to see much harsher sentences for hard drug dealers

CM

Colin McCabe
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 4:24AM

Decriminalization - not legalization. Pot smoking is a health issue NOT a judicial one. Tax generated by dope smokers MUST be used to educate the next generation from intermediate school level and much harsher sentences issued for hard drug dealers

NT

Nick Turzynski
Disagree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 4:32AM

Decriminalise for medicinal use for 2 years then decide whether to extend to the wider community. If people really want to smoke, they can, but if you need it for illness its too hard to obtain.

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 4:34AM

I have not tried cannabis, however the evidence for making it illegal is not very solid when compared to alcohol and tobacco.

SB

Stefan Bower
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 5:02AM

Yes, we need to legalise cannabis. Protect cannabis smokers rights, and reverse ALL cannabis convictions in New Zealand.

Lets make cannabis safer instead of wasting our taxes imprisoning good kiwi folk :)

NK

Newton King
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 5:05AM

Colorado is raising $4.3 billion in the first year of legalization alone. If NZ could raised 20% of that figure more good would come of it than bad.

NT

Nick Taylor
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 5:06AM

Yes, we should focus on evidence-based, harm-reduction policies. The war on drugs is clearly a catastrophic failure - attempting to turn a medical problem (such as it is) into a racially driven legal one.

DJ

David Johnston
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 5:09AM

Legalize and tax.

MT

Merrill Taylor
Disagree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 5:12AM

I support those in disagreement with this policy. THC as a chemical, negatively affects productivity and confidence levels of the individual. Particularly young users in the lower socio -economic areas, who may not know about other additives.

IK

Ian Kiddle
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 5:38AM

There are plenty of reasons not to use cannabis but in my view they are outweighed by the basic right for individual adults to make their own choice about the use of drugs such as cannabis and alcohol. Prohibition brings its own set of costs.

BS

Brendan Schwass
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 5:55AM

Decriminalisation does not go far enough. We will not be able to collect taxes, provide warning labels, control where it is sold, enforce age restrictions or hold producers accountable unless we legalise cannabis as we have with alcohol and tobacco.

JM

John Martin
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 6:03AM

If cannabis use is illegal because of health issues then why aren't busted users being arrested by nurses instead of the police.

SH

Simon Humphrey
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 6:06AM

Criminalising cannabis produces WAY more harm than the (relatively harmless) drug itself.

BW

Ben Wallace
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 6:10AM

Cannabis should be legalised or decriminalised, while other ecstasy-type drugs should have to go through testing before market release, possibly via pharmacies that would monitor their distribution.

SS

Stephen Schoenberg
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 6:39AM

Criminalization of cannabis has been a disaster. It is the only drug known with no fatal toxic dose (LD50 for geeks). Banning the drug makes it expensive, and makes synthetic "legal highs" possible. The police could make better use of their time.

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 6:42AM

I hate marijuana because I've seen it very strongly correlated with psychosis and other mental illness, particularly in Maori and particularly in Maori youth. However, being at the mercy of the police and justice system is an added complication.

TP

Tanea Paterson
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 6:44AM

Decriminalizing cannabis reduces pressure on the legal system/jails, increases access to services for people who are having problems associated with use. Medical cannabis shows great benefit with issues such as cancer, epilepsy, autism to name a few.

CB

Clayton Brasch
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 6:50AM

If you lock someone up for smoking a plant that makes them happy, you're the criminal. Our laws should be based on science, not politics.

RR

Rico Reinhold
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 6:51AM

War on drugs and hard approach does not work, history is the best proof. Legalisation combined with proper education is the way to go

FL

Fred Look
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 6:51AM

The costs of criminalisation are unsustainiable. these laws corrupt the police and destroy law and order

TR

Tim Rowlands
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 7:10AM

I agree. This should be something the internet party addresses because no other party has the balls to do it.

JH

James Hunt
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 7:12AM

IMO this is a health issue, not a criminal issue. Criminalising cannabis does not seem to have had an impact in getting rid of it. Take control of it with legislation, generate tax and use this to increase awareness around the health implications.

JW

John Whitmore
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 7:20AM

free up the courts.....It should be an offence to possess Marajuana with a instant fine.

RC

Raymond Calver
Abstain
Wed 4 Jun 2014 7:33AM

I think this is something that should be looked at after the election. Having a position on an issue such as this which is quite contentious and polarising, potentially opens up the Internet Party for criticism from the media and National.

DU

[deactivated account]
Disagree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 7:33AM

While cannabis has positive benefits, too many people get messed up by it and without dis-incentive to not using it it could easily be abused. If it was tightly controlled i.e. doctor prescription only, then this would be much more viable.

DU

[deactivated account]
Disagree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 7:35AM

Positive benefits, but too many people get messed up by it. If it was tightly controlled i.e. doctor prescription only, then this would be much more viable. Also pursuing this now will damage public perception of the Internet Party.

YB

Yadran Bilish
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 7:37AM

I have seen good people suffer under the current law.

RS

Ryan Simmiss
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 7:38AM

Full legalization of Cannabis and Hemp for Industrial, Medical and Recreational use. The benefits to the economy would be huge. A no-brainer really

RK

Rhys Kempen
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 7:58AM

Not decriminalised, the Laws should be repealed.

The archaic laws are obviously to benefit big industry and have nothing to do with health, public welfare or common sense.

Prohibition does not work and only feeds the black market.

RM

Robin Mcilraith
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 7:59AM

the fear is over

JP

Jeremy Peaks
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 8:22AM

Even if only for health reasons, cannabis offers relief to those who face extreme pain every day for which conventional medicine offers little (I know someone in such a position and in the UK they would have been prescribed cannabis).

AS

Aiisha Smith
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 8:23AM

Absolutely. Simply compare the deaths/driving accidents ect to those of drinking alcohol. Enough said right there. If anything alchohol should be criminalised!

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 8:29AM

420

NH

Nicolas Hudson
Disagree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 8:32AM

I quite like the Smokefree campaign and decriminalization of cannabis isn't going to help this.

BUT if it goes ahead, it should be treated as a prescription drug with known side effects, sold at licensed pharmacies & equivalent DIC prosecution.

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 8:36AM

How about selling cannabis legally in controlled stores with a high tax like tobacco and having the tax collected go towards free education?

AH

Aphrodite Hannah
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 8:39AM

It needs to be legalised to stop the criminal element.

JV

Jamie Voidseeker
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 8:44AM

Long-term cannabis use has minimal impacts on long term health, and these impacts are far less severe than those of Alcohol and Tobacco.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1311782/?page=1
This is a health issue, not a criminal one.

DB

David Brydon
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 8:46AM

I believe it should however aim concerned that a policy like this could distract from more important policies because it's so controversial or sensationalistic.

MM

Matthew Meek
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 8:47AM

I think the results out of Colorado say a lot. I see no point in criminalizing something where there is no victim, other than self-inflicted damage. Addiction is an illness not a criminal offense!

MBC

Michael Brent Caddick
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 8:54AM

It has grate potential in medicine, but should be discouraged in recreation

AM

aaron musso
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 8:54AM

Studies show that although cannabis can cause some side effects tothose that smoke it (pm me for links to research) so do both alcohol and Tabaco. Cannabis, is really the lesser of the evils, so should be legal for those who want a recreational drug.

MA

Michael Allen-Andrews
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 8:55AM

it make sense science supports it ..

JMP

Juan Manuel Parada Diaz
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 9:13AM

war on drugs has gone on for years and gotten nowhere. the approach needs to change. Plus, marijuana is safer than alcohol.

JH

Joshua Howe
Abstain
Wed 4 Jun 2014 9:15AM

I abstain at this point. Although this is an important issue, waving the marijuana flag can lose you conservative votes and create media distraction from the core business of the party. It didn't help Don Brash last election.

ML

Maxwell Levett
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 9:40AM

If I inhale this natural substance that has been used for centuries I don`t consider myself to be a criminal.

PB

Peter Baxter
Disagree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 9:42AM

It's not a good place to get bogged down in at this stage of the game. It isn't simply about decriminalising, but about controls that need to be put in place, and the infrastructure that's needed to support these.

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 9:43AM

I don't feel that criminalising fits the crime as smoking cannabis only effects yourself, and adults should have the freedom to do what they want with their lives.

CE

Craig Ewins
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 9:52AM

It destroys lives yet not as much as the conviction when most users are generally sensible people. It is way less harmful than alcohol, and synthetic canabis and the country would benefit more if it was controlled by legislation allowing it.

CE

Craig Ewins
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 9:54AM

It harms young ppls lives yet not as much as the conviction when most users are generally sensible people. It is way less harmful than alcohol, and synthetic canabis and the country would benefit more if it was controlled by legislation allowing it.

JC

Joseph Cook
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 11:04AM

On prescription, and self-cultivated for those with a prescription, I agree, it is better for cannabis to be used medically and risk it being used for recreational use as it is far less damaging than alcohol and other drugs in many ways.

NH

nathan hanna
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 11:09AM

I say yes. Ive been a part time smoker for 20 years ive also been in full time employment for 23 years it has never effected any of my life negatively or others I don't consider myself a criminal for having the odd social smoke.

NH

nathan hanna
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 11:19AM

I say yes.

HK

Hugo Kappes
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 11:31AM

Look seriously its just like having a beer, im 50 and smoked enough in my youth, you grow out of it, like anything moderation is best, and for some its a way better safer and more fun buzz than being drunk, wast of police time busting stoners.

HK

Hugo Kappes
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 11:32AM

Look seriously its just like having a beer, im 50 and smoked enough in my youth, you grow out of it, like anything moderation is best, and for some its a way better safer and more fun buzz than being drunk, wast of police time busting stoners.

DG

Damian Goldsmith
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:17PM

The proven medical applications, and hemp for sustainable materials.

SK

Suresh Kuttan
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 3:24PM

We should legalise it like the US etc
We should tax it just like alcohol and tobacco

SK

Suresh Kuttan
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 3:25PM

PB

Peter Barron
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 3:26PM

As a pharmacist for many years it is ridiculous that we deny our population the benefit of medicinal cannabis. I also think that it is nonsensical to criminalise recreational users. I support decriminalisation

PY

Pete Young
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 5:30PM

I hope we can form a joint policy (pardon the pun) with Mana and ALCP to hold a binding referenda on ALCP's proposal for legalization, with a one or two year lead-in time for public education and debate of the issues. Let the People decide!

PY

Pete Young
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 5:31PM

I hope we can form a joint policy (pardon the pun) with Mana and ALCP, to hold a binding referenda on ALCP's proposal for legalization, with a one or two year lead-in time for public education and debate of the issues. Let the People decide!

PY

Pete Young
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 5:31PM

I hope we can form a joint policy (pardon the pun) with Mana and ALCP, to hold a binding referendum on ALCP's proposal for legalization, with a one or two year lead-in time for public education and debate of the issues. Let the People decide!

GH

Gregory Hornell
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 7:05PM

i would actually go one step further to legalisation similar to that of colorado in the states,and create a new legal taxable (to a fair extent not rediculously like cigarettes) industry

CM

Christine McCartney
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 8:00PM

I am not now nor have been a user of cannabis I agree further discussion on the decriminalisation of cannabis is needed and expertise bought to bear, I will accept the party policy position.

IM

Ian Miller
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 8:03PM

You cannot have an open discussion about a topic like medical or recreational marijuana if it is deemed illegal. It truly is time for a law change to enable us to openly address the issues of the health and well being of our children.

NC

Nobilangelo Ceramalus
Block
Wed 4 Jun 2014 9:18PM

A welter of scientific evidence proves cannabis is bad for individuals & society, so should be banned on the grounds of health & safety. And if we had this policy we would be branded looney left; the media &the polls would trash us. And rightly so.

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 9:40PM

Decriminalization in many countries (Netherlands, Spain, Colorado...) has been positive. This drug is, in many ways, less addictive and dangerous than alcohol. Criminalization has a much higher social cost than the alternative.

DW

david westcot
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 10:01PM

this archaic prohibition policy rooted as it is in the xenophpbiao & bigotry of 1930`s America has to go.It is a grossly hypocritical ,counterproductive & wasteful nonsense .Peo[ple against reform need to do a little research to counter propoganda.

SW

Stanley Williams
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 10:12PM

I wasn't too fond of the idea but Laila convinced me otherwise this morning on the Breakfast Show. We need to take a balanced, evidence-based approach to policy formulation. I have to retire my own personal 'opinion' in favour of the evidence.

HL

Howard Lange
Abstain
Wed 4 Jun 2014 10:17PM

While there are medical benefits from cannabis, it would not be wise to make a decision before any thought has been put into a policy on the matter.

MO

Michael Osborne
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 10:21PM

Cannabis is not without harm. But is criminalising it minimising that harm? No. Well over 50% of kiwis have smoked cannabis - so prohibition isn't very effective. It enriches gangs and the underworld and puts a criminal record on a victimless crime.

ZK

Ziegfried Kritzinger
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 10:32PM

The medicinal value of Cannabis is a proven fact in a wide variety of medical conditions. Cannabis is a God given natural medicine and cannot be patented. My humble opinion is that Big Pharma wants to keep it criminalised to protect their market.

TJ

Timothy Jackson
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 10:58PM

Its a nice relaxing herb that does have benefits other than 'creating' drop outs. In a day and age when modern medicines really destroy the system, cannabis is an effective and natural pain relief. There are many reasons why it should be legalised.

DR

Daniel Richardson
Disagree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 11:05PM

Only if this potentially harmful drug is regulated properly, with any tax revenues being spent on education and addiction services. Also should only be offered for sale in designated areas/outlets.

MC

Mike Chamapgne
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 11:06PM

I don't think cannabis is very harmful to adults with moderate use. Not nearly as harmful as alcohol. There should definitely be an age restriction on cannabis use though. Lets take money out of the drug dealers' hands and into taxes

MS

Mr Solomon
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 11:30PM

Herb
this was created by the creator
it has spiritual botanical agents

AM

Amanda May
Agree
Wed 4 Jun 2014 11:35PM

Use of cannabis should be decriminalized and further education of it's use and properties should be made widely available as the plant offers therapeutic benefits at low cost which allows more people to benefit from it. Running out of room...

FH

Firas Hermez
Agree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 12:30AM

This has the potential to reduce crime overall, it can also become a decent source of Tax revenue which could be used to improve the quality of life of the people living in NZ, education and proper dealing with substance abuse cases is needed though!

DS

Dennis Sosnoski
Agree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 1:07AM

Yes, we should support the decriminalization of cannabis. We should advocate a phased approach, first making it available for medicinal purposes and then to adults of legal age. Use the Colorado and Washington state experience for guidance.

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 1:07AM

No-one should be penalised by loss of job for what they do after hours at home. Cannabis can be detected in the bloodstream for up to 30 days after last use. This does not indicate any degree of impairment.

TK

Tim Kibblewhite
Agree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 1:08AM

Whilst I fully agree with the decriminalization of cannabis we need to ensure our policy proposal is based on studies from credible sources.

In addition cannabis should have an age restriction of 20 - not enough characters left to type why! Sorry

JS

Jeremy Sayer
Agree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 2:06AM

With America doing the same,or in the process of any way,we could supply NZ branded cannabis to the states.Cannabis is also available in a smoke free option where it can be added to butter and then used in baking.This could be new revenue for NZ.

NS

Neil Scott
Agree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 2:10AM

All drugs should be decriminalised and any negative effects of drugs treated as a medical issue.

We should invest in health rather than prisons.

The funds released from policing and prisons will more than pay for medical bills.

LA

Leo Alexander
Agree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 2:42AM

Decriminalisation is the first step towards responsible use, research, and legitimate medical application

EB

Edward Bridgman
Agree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 3:13AM

Criminal convictions for cannabis are holding young people back as well as wasting police resources. The social harm caused by the black market will disappear and it will boost our economy. It's pretty much legal in most young Kiwis minds anyway.

KK

Kenneth Kopelson
Agree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 3:30AM

I think this stuff is far less dangerous than alcohol and if we permit people to drink for pleasure, it is quite inconsistent and even hypocritical to get all legal about something less dangerous.

JT

John Turner
Block
Thu 5 Jun 2014 4:17AM

Unless it is for medical use & benefit only.

P

pilotfever
Agree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 4:26AM

A good first step. Legalisation for those over 21 would be a better goal.

RR

Rion Roben
Block
Thu 5 Jun 2014 4:39AM

This wont work with some free new zealand. remember all forms of smoking cause cancer.

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 5:27AM

Absolutely. Get it out of the criminal circuit, tax it and make money on drugs instead of spending heaps. Use that money to EDUCATE kids about drugs. When legal it also looses a lot of its appeal to the youth. EDUCATION = KEY (no, NOT John!)

CG

Colin Gale
Disagree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 5:36AM

I say legalize it, gather revenue from it, and do some proper valid study on it's use and effect along with gathering revenue for addiction services

BLB

Brenda Louise Bacica- Harrison
Agree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 5:54AM

Then the Police might be able to concentrate on the real killer P. Decriminalise Cannabis you could use it as a profit for the country. Make it safer for the children as they are lining it with other substances.

NM

Nick McMullan
Agree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 6:32AM

Law reform will please the far right (libertarians) and far left (anarchists) and if everyone on the fringe is happy then this party benefits. Strategic move, i think.

CW

Carl Winnie
Agree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 6:43AM

The 'status quo' on this issue is fabricated bad joke.

JC

Joseph Cook
Block
Thu 5 Jun 2014 9:35AM

On prescription, and self-cultivated for those with a prescription, but I chose to block as Laila Harre presents this when it is not an important issue.

ML

matthew lambermon
Agree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 10:30AM

i believe people are coming to realize that there is more to what they have been told, mainly the demonisation of cannabis. it's simply ignorant to ignore the options available and to ignore the people who want to be heard.

AT

Andrew Trainor
Agree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 10:42AM

100% yes.

HB

Harry Baynes
Agree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 11:55AM

Decriminalisation should be the first step. Then regulation and taxation: as the legal changes showed in the US there will be no catastrophe what’s more the capital generated by its taxation could be funnelled back into health and education.

TH

Troy Haronga
Agree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 12:38PM

It will reduce taxpayer spending.

MS

Mr Solomon
Agree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 8:06PM

it has spiritual botanical agents
& being made a criminal for partaking in this
sacramental herb in a spiritual context
is a breach of religious freedom & human rights.

DR

Dominic Ranson
Agree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 8:59PM

Reasons;
Cannabis oil has many medicinal properties and there has been so much evidence lately of it helping with many illnesses. Also Cannabis can be vaporized for little to no effect on the lungs.

SRB

sophia rose byles
Agree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 10:37PM

Yes decriminalise cannabis first to help educate the people toward the positive aspects against what good it leads to. We already know that the mental health system is in a disarray without cannabis so keep the issues separate I feel

HT

Harry T
Agree
Thu 5 Jun 2014 10:47PM

As an ex smoker I agree there are very bad side effects especially with motivation and developing a negative out look but its as dangerous if not more sending kids who just to try it to gangs, addicts etc.

MW

Marc Whinery
Disagree
Fri 6 Jun 2014 12:11AM

There's no reason to "decriminalize" when we should instead be legalizing (and regulating and taxing)

RL

Robert Lee
Agree
Fri 6 Jun 2014 12:18AM

I support full legalisation of cannabis please stop a system that allows discrimination of a part of our society and let us smokers contribute to the governments coffers

TH

Thomas Howard
Agree
Fri 6 Jun 2014 12:53AM

I'd like to see a coffee shop arrangement like in Amsterdam where stoners can go for a coffee and a smoke. It's fairly discrete and would create jobs.

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Fri 6 Jun 2014 1:42AM

It would solve a lot of problems in courts, and policing.

AT

Amanda Tunstall
Agree
Fri 6 Jun 2014 1:48AM

decriminlisation is a very good start. however, i really like Uruguay's marijuana position and i would ultimately like to see similar policy implemented in Aotearoa

VD

Viv Deaker
Agree
Fri 6 Jun 2014 2:22AM

I don't believe nz is ready for legalisation of cannabis but the current stance is clearly not working either. Decriminalisation and education would be a good first step.

W(P

William (Piri) Pflugradt White Ratana
Agree
Fri 6 Jun 2014 2:45AM

A considerable percentage of NZ society participate in a fleeting if not a regular form of social and recreational drug use. High Synthetic Cannabis usage stats reinforce this fact. Criminalising such activity merely empowers black markets, its a yes

WV

Wade Vuglar
Disagree
Fri 6 Jun 2014 3:44AM

I think the commercial production and sale of cannabis should remain illegal, but growing at home for personal use should be legal.

AB

April Blackburn
Agree
Fri 6 Jun 2014 4:43AM

to allow the money that is spent on the lower level "crimes" to be used elsewhere..to free up the justice system for the more pressing issues in crime

DS

Dave Salt
Agree
Fri 6 Jun 2014 5:26AM

Police will never stop it. stop wasting all that money on something that can make more money controlling it plus it Would make a lot of money.for New Zealand Maybe stop gangs making all the money. and Help pay off New Zealand det in really quickly

SP

Stephanie Peacocke
Disagree
Fri 6 Jun 2014 6:21AM

I don't think we should make a big fuss of it, I think if questioned our policy should be an in-depth look into the matter with a vote put to the public. I think we need to look more serious.

RC

Russell Clarke
Abstain
Fri 6 Jun 2014 6:37AM

Decriminalising it just so some idiot teenager doesn't end up with a criminal record doesn't actually seem like the best reason to move this forward. Decriminalising to save police time is a more appealing reason to me.

RM

Rob Macleod
Agree
Fri 6 Jun 2014 6:59AM

no brainer

RG

Roslyn Gaston
Agree
Fri 6 Jun 2014 7:10AM

..... but delivered in a very controlled manner, more talk has to happen around this of course ...

AG

Arianne Go
Disagree
Fri 6 Jun 2014 7:34AM

I support decriminalisation of cannabis for medicinal purposes only. I disagree on allowing its recreational use. Unless the proposal explicitly states this, I will vote no.

HM

Hamish MacEwan
Agree
Fri 6 Jun 2014 8:39AM

Prohibition is the worst solution to such problems.

AR

Alicia Reynolds
Agree
Fri 6 Jun 2014 8:56AM

Criminal records for the use and possession of weed is a waste of Police and Courts time, there's harder criminals to chase out there. The effects of "legal" alcohol abuse fill up our A&E's, weed isnt AGGRO, DIC charges affect future employment too

AL

Andrew LePine
Disagree
Fri 6 Jun 2014 10:05AM

While I agree that the majority of negative outcomes from cannabis originate from the fact that it is illegal than the actual use of cannabis, I don't believe it is the sort of issue we should take a position on before we become more established

TR

Tracey Rawson
Agree
Fri 6 Jun 2014 12:23PM

The current law make thousands of normally law abiding citizens criminals, a position we all hate intensely and in comparison to alcohol laws, totally fed-up with. To increase your parties support, this is one policy that will get thousands of votes

NC

Nathaniel Currier
Agree
Fri 6 Jun 2014 10:09PM

Main reasons:

Cannabis causes less harm than other intoxicants which are legal.

It has medical benefits.

Banning it gives money to gangs and clogs the justice system with people who are mostly harmless.
We have the natural right to use it.

SG

Sam Gribben Tue 3 Jun 2014 10:34PM

Here is the documentary that sealed the deal for me personally, and here is the sequel!

JT

Jim Tucker Tue 3 Jun 2014 10:49PM

The private use of cannabis for medicinal purposes now has wide acceptance globally. The Dutch appear to have the best system - an Office of Medicinal Cannabis, that provides cannabis of varying kinds for the relief of pain for a wide range of medical conditions. There is now a big push in scientific circles to research its application to many complaints where pain needs to be controlled.

AR

Andrew Rudolph Tue 3 Jun 2014 11:32PM

Yes, decriminalisation - Lester Grinspoon, M.D., associate professor emeritus of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School says it all: http://patients4medicalmarijuana.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/harvards-lester-grinspoon-on-marijuana-prohibition/

AR

Alaxander Robinson Tue 3 Jun 2014 11:49PM

I'm on the fence a bit on this issue, I think there could be benefits to decrimlaztion however it needs to be very very carefully, regulated n should be R25 as that's the age the brain stops devolving and the addiction is less likely to take a hold.

DG

David Gollan Tue 3 Jun 2014 11:51PM

Pro's and cons of the stuff aside, I don't smoke dope, but I don't believe I (or 121 people who work in Wellington) have a right to impose my (or their) views on anybody else to this degree.

There seems to be a wealth of studies done exploring the lung damage done from smoking Marijuana, If we are allowing it only for medicinal purposes, a vaporiser only approach would probably be more palatable to the scientific community and to the conservative elements in the electorate

JT

Jim Tucker Wed 4 Jun 2014 12:22AM

For those interested in knowing more about the approach to medicinal cannabis in The Netherlands, there is a link: http://www.cannabisbureau.nl/en/ Note that they recommend sprays and inhalers - not smoking.

CD

Colin Davies Wed 4 Jun 2014 1:15AM

Yes, but we need to do it sensibly.
First real drug information in schools must occur.
As people will experiment with drugs whether legal or not, we should be educating the youth on the truth of drugs. Not horror stories or factious science but the facts.
People using MJ should be monitored by a health professional like any other medication or recreational medication.
Naturally we should be looking at how other western areas experiences, maybe we can learn from any mistakes in Colorado or Washington.
So - I believe our policy if positive should be that we will research a plan to legalise MJ.

KR

Kim Robinson Wed 4 Jun 2014 1:17AM

Popped up on my newsfeed a moment ago. It's like all of sudden today everyone is talking about this.

http://themindunleashed.org/2014/06/colorado-sells-19-million-cannabis-march-1-9-million-goes-schools-crime-10.html

DU

[deactivated account] Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:12AM

I'm a little annoyed that this movement has gone from stop spying on NZers and letting America dictate to Mana and now NORML which is about as far away from anything I care about as you can get.

LW

Luke Williams Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:13AM

Decriminalisation is not the right question.. It stops people being imprisoned for victimless crimes yes. But that's about it. It still leaves the product in the hands of drug dealers with no quality standards or age restrictions. Full legalization and regulation is a much smarter move. Would stop people being imprisoned, would allow for quality control (ensuring the product hasn't be laced with methamphetamine or synthetics etc), age restrictions and the real big one.. tax!! Look at Colorado or Washington state. I imagine a similar model to alcohol (R18) licensed manufacturers and distributors. Anything else just seems like a half step in the right direction instead of a whole step.

NF

Nathan Fehr Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:17AM

I am so excited to hear all the intelligent conversation happening here. Decriminalization will be a huge step forward for NZ as a country and will heighten the reputation of NZ as a progressive country. As Dylan stated it's very clear that it is a good idea to all those here and the only hang-up is how we will manage the 'launch'. I would like to suggest we look at alcohol, it is a far more harmful drug than cannabis and costs the tax payers more than cannabis in health care costs, rehab programs etc. Alcohol can also be chemically addictive, something that is impossible with THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

PY

Pete Young Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:19AM

I suggest that we adopt a policy that calls for a binding referenda on legalization/decriminalization, with a one or two year lead-in time for public debate. This approach is ethical in principle because it leaves the question up to the people of New Zealand to decide for ourselves. It would also mean that we, as a party, lead the way towards resolving the issue through promoting democratic debate and decision-making. We should be proud of ourselves if this also means that we are able to form an agreement with ALCP that gathers in their 0.5% of votes to our own cause.

EH

Edward Hackney Wed 4 Jun 2014 2:51AM

Colorado sold $19 million dollars worth of Cannabis in March alone this year, $1.9million went directly to schools and crime is down 10% year on year...

DU

[deactivated account] Wed 4 Jun 2014 3:11AM

Whether you agree with whether or not cannabis does harm, I think you can agree that it's the lesser of two evils. The other evil being the legal, and far more harmful, highs that have been produced to take the place of weed.

CV

Callum Valentine Wed 4 Jun 2014 3:54AM

@johnconneely It's not that cannabis is healthy, it's a problem that needs to be treated with rehabilitation rather than imprisonment.

WR

William Rea Wed 4 Jun 2014 5:01AM

@johnconneely yes cannabis causes harm, but our current approach only increases that harm. The criminal element also makes it hard for people who have dependency issues to get the help they need and deserve.

DU

[deactivated account] Wed 4 Jun 2014 5:02AM

@williamrea Agreed. With legalization could come a "Quitline" for marijuana.

DU

[deactivated account] Wed 4 Jun 2014 5:10AM

@nicktaylor1 I wouldn't say it's racially-driven, I just think that unfortunately racial inequality has meant that the racial make-up of people affected is disproportionate.

NT

Nick Taylor Wed 4 Jun 2014 5:20AM

@reidalexanderwicks look into the history of the war on drugs. Every moral panic has been racially based.

Look up Michelle Alexander on Youtube... probably the most erudite source.

GP

Glenn Parker Wed 4 Jun 2014 5:37AM

I agree

DU

[deactivated account] Wed 4 Jun 2014 5:49AM

In terms of the science and health implications, there's really no argument against legalising it. It might be a policy that's unpopular with generally conservative sectors of society but they are unlikely to vote for the Internet Party (let alone Internet Mana).

However we shouldn't be under any illusions that this is going to be a big vote winner, even among people who support legalisation.

RR

Rion Roben Wed 4 Jun 2014 8:19AM

While i support this idea in principal how do people invasion this working with the current smoke free 2025 policy. It would be decimalized, then become illegal some time shortly after, if the current smoke free policy was achieved.
Like the idea, but unsure how you these two policies will work together.

DU

[deactivated account] Wed 4 Jun 2014 8:52AM

How's this going to play with SmokeFree New Zealand? ;-J

RR

Rion Roben Wed 4 Jun 2014 9:48AM

David wong has never heard of 2nd hand smoking.

PY

Pete Young Wed 4 Jun 2014 5:33PM

I hope we can form a joint policy (pardon the pun) with Mana and ALCP, to hold a binding referendum on ALCP's proposal for legalization, with a one or two year lead-in time for public education and debate of the issues. Let the People decide!

DR

Daniel Richardson Wed 4 Jun 2014 9:09PM

On the fence. Only if this potentially harmful drug is regulated properly, with tax revenues being spent on education and addiction services. Also should only be offered for sale in designated areas/outlets.

GH

Glenn Hailstone Wed 4 Jun 2014 10:37PM

There is a very good argument on why marijuana should be legalised here. One being the huge revenue the government could pick up on taxes. Another one is people smoke it regardless of the law, so why spend millions of dollars a year in trying to enforce a ridiculous law. Marijuana is fine as long as its not abused. I know lots of people who smoke weed, I do, although I'm not addicted, in fact I hardly smoke it at all. But I should have the right to smoke it if I want. The amount of kiwis that smoke weed at parties or to relax is staggering. Its not for everyone, and thats fine, people find that out for themselves.

You cannot link marijuana to mental health issues!. People with mental health issues will have these issues regardless of whether they smoke weed or not. The government and people opposed to cannabis use it as an argument, even though they have no evidence what so ever. You need to find an intelligent person to argue this matter with any politician who is willing to debate this. They can start by asking why alcohol is legal, when it causes so much death, violence and destruction in peoples lives. Nobody has ever died from being high, and I dont know of one person who gets violent when they are stoned.

A public referendum on marijuana will not see it legalised because most people think that because something is law, it must be right, but if they took time to think about it alcohol tears families apart, "but its legal so it must be ok, right?" wrong!. Sadly, and in the nicest possible way, most people are squares, responsible members of the public who, through no real fault of their own, vote to continue to keep it illegal because they listen to the politicians who made it illegal in the first place. The same corrupt politicians who ring police to keep their business associates from being prosecuted because they accepted their bribes, and who are so drunk on power they forget themselves, and that they were meant to be serving the people of New Zealand not their greed. Vote Legalize It! Marijuana that is, synthetics were never intended for public consumption that is why they need to go.

MS

Mr Solomon Wed 4 Jun 2014 11:12PM

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/10058667/Criminalising-cannabis-is-adding-harm

my response

"young Maori men are four times more likely to be convicted of cannabis offences."

i am interested in this aspect as
this is also i believe associated the ever increasing popularity of reggae music
& the Rastafari message which condones its use as a sacramental herb.
with conscious lyrics about social injustices poverty oppression by Govts & law enforcers
strikes a cord with young adherents as "it makes them think for themselves" which is against the systems programming of what they want you to think about.
also the spirituality aspect of Rasta teachings coming from a culture of people of colour..
in contrast to the European churchs which influence spiritual thought .
Users & followers of the rasta faith have been in direct opposition to Church & state.
while the rasta faith is not limited to colour race or creed.
maori youth were the first to embrace these teachings
& now we have inter generations of its influence.& conviction rates.
acceptance of these teachings with the knowledge of the loss of maori language & land confiscation & all the low statistics from colonial days.has put a them & us attitude into the mindsets of people.
where herb frees the mind to think for yourself .

Herb
this was created by the creator
it has spiritual botanical agents
it is a tetrahydocannibanol
it is anti fungus anti virus anti trichoisis & anti dote
& Jah created it for the motivation of the mind of man
to relax the mind of man
& is to do with everything pertaining to the
upliftment of the mind of man to motivate inspiration

CH

Craig Hagan Thu 5 Jun 2014 12:39AM

Uhhhh, this is a rhetorical question, is it not?

This is the Internet Party, right?; where all the cool kids hang out?

AB

April Blackburn Fri 6 Jun 2014 4:40AM

everyone has covered most of the points, at the end of the day we have young ( and not so young ) people ending up with criminal records and court costs, while our justice system is stretchered to the max with the dealing of the lower level crime of pot..a no-brainer to change our out-dated laws..

NC

Nobilangelo Ceramalus Fri 6 Jun 2014 7:04AM

Mind-altering substances are essentially anti-democratic. Democracy only works properly when educated, informed people make well-reasoned decisions. Altered minds cannot do that. Their reasoning power is impaired.

It has been well-proved that all decision-making begins in the emotional centre of the brain. That underlines the fact that when drug-users make decisions about the chemicals they use to alter their minds they are fundamentally biased, not logical, not truly reasonable, and therefore whatever they say about those chemicals must be eliminated from democratic consideration.

A democratic party should support the reasoned will of the democratic majority of New Zealand, otherwise it cannot hope to have a position of power in Parliament. If this notion becomes Party policy, we will kneecapped ourselves.

AL

Andrew LePine Fri 6 Jun 2014 10:01AM

I personally believe that most of the detrimental effects of cannabis use stem from the fact its use is illegal. However I agree with Michael Marsom on this that it is a policy that New Zealand isn't quite ready for yet and taking a stand on it before we become more established would be unwise. I would support reduced penalties for casual users but not support reducing them for suppliers.

EC

Esther Cook Fri 6 Jun 2014 10:57AM

Young people know a criminal conviction will stop them traveling, and is therefore a good deterrent. If this is gone the incidence of schizophrenia will increase in those under 22 . The research suggests that this is due to nerve endings still growing in humans until 21 . The only supply I would agree to is marijauna use on perscription. Blocked . Alcohol does not have a criminal conviction under 21(18) and nothing has stopped young ppl harming themselves for life when binge drinking . Checkout the dementia unit on NorthShore for 20 yr olds.. too sad to contemplate adding to this waste of life.