Mike's Minute: Polls show the public knows better than Govt on cannabis

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 17 Feb 2020, 9:31AM

Mike's Minute: Polls show the public knows better than Govt on cannabis

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 17 Feb 2020, 9:31AM

There is a reassuring consistency to the latest polls around our referenda we get to participate in later this year. 

TVNZ gave us the numbers Friday night.

Euthanasia, the David Seymour law passed last year, is still well on track to be passed by us. Support for it is down slightly; is that because people are more focused, or second guessing themselves, or the polls are a bit wonky?

Who would know but at two thirds support that’s a majority and a comfortable one in anyone's books.

In a world where 50 plus one wins, two thirds is enough for a Senate in Washington to impeach a President so it's plenty to pass euthanasia law.

And then the cannabis, this is the one that has a real battle going on. People like me, and as it turns out the majority of the country who don’t want to legalise it, against taxpayer funded, concerted, ideologically driven obsession that somehow making drugs more available is good news.

There are a couple of clear reasons why the gap is 12 points - 51 per cent voting for it to remain illegal, compared to 39 per cent for it to be legalised.

And that is because, apart from the basic fact that most of us have seen a bit of life, have kids, worry about them, and know full well we already have an abysmal drug issue in this country, so there can’t be any good reason to exacerbate it, but the government has blown their messaging.

Firstly, they’ve left it to Chloe Swarbrick. That's a fatal mistake, she appeals to those who already vote yes. She's not a voice of reason, experience, or any sort of gravitas.

Where are the heavyweights? Where is Jacinda Ardern, Grant Robertson, Winston Peters, or James Shaw? You know where they are? Hiding, they are only involved in this because of a pathetic coalition sop to the Greens.

It is yet another weakness of MMP. We will spend millions on this farce when it never should have seen the light of day.

But perhaps more importantly than that, the reason the government can't sell this is because they’ve spent the last two years, and literally billions, on the myriad of social issues they’ve identified as being their calling card.

Poverty, deprivation, crime, emergency housing, feeding kids with no lunch, mental health, and every one of those social issues can be directly linked to drug issues of some sort. Mental health especially is riddled with drug abuse. They can’t be the government who wants to heal the ill, and yet pedal dope in a decriminalised environment.

We have all worked that out, of course, and that’s why the poll is the way the poll is.

Whether poor old Swarbrick gets that or not, who knows? But consistency in messaging is critical; you have to be authentic and they're not.

Fortunately, we are saving ourselves from ourselves, because tragically those charged with the job in Parliament are failing abysmally.