Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Splore 2019 – Please Don't F*ck This Up Part 2: The Reeferendum

20 Responses

  • Russell Brown,

    So I went and talked to him and Paula this week, and I got the impression that they really don't care too much about the legislation, they just want to play politics with it. So that was a bit gutting.

    It also seems worth noting that when Paula Bennett asked the question of the PM yesterday, her supplementary asked whether Ardern thought a cross-party group of backbench MPs should be in charge of choosing the question in the referendum.

    That would be the cross-party group that Bennett has refused to join. I'm not seeing any good faith here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Given what Chloe has said here, the question of the referendum is not really particularly difficult: "Would you like to see the Legalise and Regulate Cannabis Act become law?" or some such wording. The real meat is in the drafting of the Act itself and National are idiots to not want to join in on that. They'll end up with no time to prepare in the Parliamentary debate over the passage of the Act, putting themselves at a disadvantage, risking looking like ignorant fools.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Russell,

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

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 122 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Nick Russell,

    Why wouldn’t they?

    It is possible, occasionally, as with guns, for bipartisan action in the common good to happen. I still like to think National is capable of it, but their current leadership is showing no aptitude, except in the face of something that is a complete no-brainer like gun control after a massacre. That it's also Paula Bennett, who dropped the ball so fucking badly on guns on her own watch, gives me even less hope.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    There’s the notion of a citizen’s jury, which is what happened in Ireland around the abortion referendum. But what I think could work, and this is just an idea, it’s obviously not set in stone, is to have a specialist select committee that works on it.

    I believe Chlöe is right about the latter option. I wish we used them for many public policy decisions but citizens' juries do have some limitations:

    Ideal circumstances for use
    - Issues are well defined, but a political consensus on the how to tackle the issue is not in place.
    - You want to consider value-based questions (citizen juries are less suitable for considering technical questions).

    Drafting this law change might fail both those tests.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    The real meat is in the drafting of the Act itself and National are idiots to not want to join in on that.

    They will prefer clean hands, to help wreck the law at their next opportunity in power. Booze barons will donate handsomely.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Sacha,

    They will prefer clean hands, to help wreck the law at their next opportunity in power. Booze barons will donate handsomely.

    So its important politically, for it to be elegant and able to be owned by ordinary people. ie: don’t fuck it up by getting too clever.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to steven crawford,

    So its important politically, for it to be elegant and able to be owned by ordinary people. ie: don’t fuck it up by getting too clever.

    Yes. The medicinal cannabis legislation is basically okay – the regulations it enables seem to be taking a good shape – but if you were to read the text of the amendment without knowing exactly what was going on, you'd be completely mystified by what it means and what it does. It's perfectly conventional to include an explanatory note in the text of a bill and it would have been a good idea in this case.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to steven crawford,

    Yes, and smart leaders like Chlöe sure help with that.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Sacha,

    She is one the best people we have for the job, IMHO.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Whoops.

    Chloe might need to lower the tone on the twittering a bit. Ordinary people don't know what the regulation model is yet. Not offering a decriminalisation option means half the population has to be convinced, not shouted at that the proposal for a regulation plan is going to be healthy, or it’s curtains for the whole thing.

    "Regulation isn’t liberalisation mate, it’s the opposite. It’s control. I know people who screwed up their lives accessing cannabis too young.They got that from the black market.The black market that your prohibitionist, scaremongering, cowardly, anti-evidence moral panic enables."

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to steven crawford,

    half the population has to be convinced,

    To quote Harry Anslinger apparently "Ive made up my mind dont try and confuse me with facts"
    If you dont know who Anslinger is watch this, starts off with a harrowing account of the persecution of Billie Holiday and carries on. I found it fascinating.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to andin,

    I found it fascinating.

    He is definitely a good speaker, and he makes a strong argument for decriminalising all drugs.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to andin,

    “Ive made up my mind don’t try and confuse me with facts”

    Most of the kids I grew up around got there dope from the
    Black market! ie: the hippies on Waiheke island.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to steven crawford,

    hippies on Waiheke

    That would have been pre-gentification Waiheke. Its very up market now.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to andin,

    True, I wonder what all those hippies are doing now?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    Will the legislation in question be a conscience vote (subject to referendum approval)? Because I can see some libertarian Nats voting for reform and some Labour social conservatives voting against it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 566 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to steven crawford,

    True, I wonder what all those hippies are doing now?

    Probably hard to generalize, other than they are all certainly very much older than they used to be.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to BenWilson,

    Probably hard to generalize, other than they are all certainly very much older than they used to be.

    And thay are not using the Internet.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Good news! The internet is back on Waiheke. Bad news, Waiheke is still miles from civilisation.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

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