I did actually mention in the interview for the show that I was in favor of a heavily regulated legal market, but they didn't use much of the interview at all (I was interviewed by Arwen rather than Paddy).
In their (partial) defence, much of the material was assembled late last year and early this year (I was interviewed last November), so it would have been well into production when the Cabinet paper came out in May. There's still an urgent need for discussion around the proposed rules and whether we're getting those right, but the general lack of evidence for increased use in places where cannabis has been legalized suggests we may be worrying too much.
Is this a fair argument? Some would say that there has been ample discussion of the pros and cons of the decriminalisation/legalisation of personal cannabis use within the New Zealand media: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/@ideasroom/2019/08/13/751236/cannabis-legalisation-ok-idea-bad-timing</q>
The argument is ok - a cautious approach is not usually a bad thing - but the author makes several statements that are just plain wrong.
I can now report that given Andrew Little’s announcement about imminent abortion law liberalisation, Family First regards pandering to vicious misogynist religious fanatics over women’s reproductive choices to take precedence over prohibiting personal use of recreational cannabis. Bob isn’t too good at strategic planning and multiple issue management. He’s asking his sycophants for dosh. One can only assume that this time, the US Christian Right isn’t bankrolling him as it usually does (the World Congress of Families, in case anyone’s interested).
Bob has trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time. Works for me!
I'm pleased to be able to announce that I have been appointed by the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor to the Expert Panel on Cannabis.
And there is plenty to discuss. Tax, could it create a perverse outcome for example?
Is this process of cannabis reform by referendum also an opportunity to take stock and look at our democratic health? How sophisticated is contemporary propaganda if there is even any at play?
And I like how Portugal didn’t just make cannabis reform the cool hipster thing to twitter about. They had a go at proper drugs law reform.
It's worth noting that Portugal's problem was primarily linked to opiate addiction. One of the things that we have not done well so far in the debate on drug law reform is being able to articulate clearly what problem we are trying to solve.
Family First telling porkies about cannabis psychosis?! Can it be…well, yes, it is: https://thespinoff.co.nz/science/26-07-2019/family-first-rebuked-for-non-fact-based-activity-over-cannabis-psychosis-claims/
I got quite a few messages thanking me for that. :D
Apparently, cannabis law reform initiatives are being directly funded by liberal US billionaire George Soros!!! Oh look, everyone… conspiracy theories…: https://www.familyfirst.org.nz/2019/07/george-soros-real-crusade-legalizing-marijuana-in-the-u-s-and-nz/</q>
Where's my cheque? :D
Bob McCoskrie’s doing his yeah but no but routine on medicinal cannabis again: https://www.familyfirst.org.nz/2019/07/medicinal-cannabis-false-hope-for-chronic-pain-sufferers-pain-doctors/
It’s starting to look like FF and the National Party are being backed by Pharma, who were the largest financial backers of the anti-cannabis lobby in the US. It’s well past time to have some investigative journalism into the extent to which the Pharma lobby is already at work here.
The NZMJ has accepted our letter responding the FF's press release. If you'd like a copy email me at email@example.com. I can't post it here due to copyright restrictions.
And among other things, I wonder how exactly the regulation is going to stop children from smoking dope. Will it be more or less a cut and paste of the regulation currently in place to reduce alcohol harm on children?
The Canadian idea is control of the supply chain. Currently, any 15 year old in NZ who wants to buy weed can get it. With control of the supply chain, that gets harder. The question is whether that can be achieved.
As for alcohol regulations, we pretty much don't have any (apart from age of purchase, which is broken).