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Mike's Minute: Cannabis reform goes up in smoke

Author
Mike Hosking ,
Section
Video,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 11 June 2019, 8:14AM

COMMENT:

In a world where polls are no longer to be trusted, and just before we completely throw them in the bin, I draw some genuine pleasure from the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll.

Whether its numbers around National and Labour and Simon Bridges are accurate is one thing, but a simple count around the cannabis reform issue is easier to accept as accurate.

And we are winning.

And when I say "we", I mean those of us who work in the department of common sense.

The poll suggests 52 per cent of New Zealanders intend to vote against the legalisation of cannabis, while 39 per cent want it legalised.

What is significant about this is that we are closer to voting time. My sense of it is that when the theory becomes reality — by which I mean we really are going to vote and it really is going to count — we wake up a bit and take it more seriously.

This latest result reinforces my belief in the simple truth that you should trust middle New Zealand.

And middle New Zealand doesn't want a bar of this Government's barking madness over drug liberalisation.

This debate of course, given the myriad social ills we face, shouldn't even be on the table.

And, irony of ironies, no one bangs on more than this government about poverty and deprivation and kids without shoes and food and clothes and families in cars and caravans and parks and yet is more than happy to have them all stoned.

It's driven by the naive concept that if the Government ran the dope market, it will all be tidied up and above board.

I know it's MMP and I know it's part of the coalition deal for the Greens, but they should never have been allowed to get away with it and stick it in there in the first place.

To watch a new mum like Jacinda wandering around pretending this is democracy in action and to watch a son of the Far North like Winston wander around pretending it's a good idea to put issues to the vote when not a single other issue has ever been put to the vote is farcical in the extreme.

New Zealand First is a party which represents the Far North more than any other region. Its home base is riddled with drugs and the carnage that goes with it, and yet it stands by and watches it potentially legalised.

Weak middle-class liberals like Andrew Little, who doesn't like three strikes, doesn't want you in prison, are driving the vote to make the very substance that drives so much crime a perfectly acceptable and normal part of their wacky, spaced-out new norm.

The Wellbeing Budget subscribed $1.9 billion to mental health, and yet the next move is to decriminalise a substance directly linked to psychosis.

How mad is that?

But thank God the rest of us have our heads screwed on.

How much social deprivation, trouble and crime do you need to see to join a few basic dots?

How many health professionals do you need to hear from to make up your mind about the madness?

Well, it looks like we are on the right side ... 52 to 39 is not just a win, it's a good win, and the trick between now and October next year will be to increase that gap by convincing the remaining 8 per cent that we are right and the Greens are dangerous.

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