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NZ Cannabis Referendum – #1 : Little assumes we are all stoned as he brazenly misleads with his referendum announcement


Dave Granlund takes a look


Given that this is a topic that will be an ongoing political issue in NZ for some considerable time – this is the first in a series of posts about this issue and related matters

So Andrew Little has released the approach being taken regarding the cannabis referendum

There are several immediate concerns which come to mind and no doubt as things are clarified over the coming months some will prove to be unfounded. Though I will be pleasantly surprised if that proves to be the case.

First though let us address the rather peculiar interpretation placed on the concept of binding used by Mr. Little (from Jane Patterson at RNZ)

Cabinet ministers have agreed the referendum will be binding, based on agreement by all three governing parties.

“The voters’ choice will be binding because all of the parties that make up the current government have committed to abide by the outcome,” Justice Minister Andrew Little said.

Now this is not binding at all.

Indeed, Henry Cooke at Stuff points this out:

Little described the referendum as “binding” because all of the parties in the current Government had committed to enacting the result of the referendum.

However this doesn’t rule out the possibility of a Government made up of different parties either refusing to pass the bill or modifying it

Andrew Little must assume we are all stoned if he thinks we will buy into this guff. The phrase exceedingly economical with the truth comes to mind. Blatant lie might be an uncharitable but more accurate construct if one was inclined to be uncharitable.

This claim on the referendum being binding is an appalling attempt to influence the next election. It presumes that by running the cannabis referendum in tandem with the election and with so far, only Labour, Greens and NZ First, committing to accepting the referendum result – although as yet nobody knows what the legislation will look like – people will turn out for one of the parties in the unholy troika if they vote for legalisation in order to ensure that the legislation passes.

Yet the draft legislation will be just that draft. Based on the information so far there will have not been Select Committee hearings. There will not have been public submission as such, though apparently the ‘group’ drafting the legislation will have stakeholder input, whatever it means, but Little seemed to infer from remarks he made that such input may give preference to pro-legalisation advocacy.

There is more much more to consider for example

  • what are the implications of The Electoral Finance Act as regards a referendum campaign run during a general election campaign
  • will the scale of regulation seemingly proposed drive the probability of a substantial ‘black’market
  • how will the law be monitored?
  • what will be the case regarding cannabis use in the workforce?
  • what will the situation regarding driver drug testing?
  • as the legislation is draft and subject to parliamentary process, we are being asked to vote for what might only possibly be implemented – not what will

This seems more and more like an attempt to rig an election, than win a referendum.

From the Green Party perspective, they certainly seem to presume we are all smoking weed. Chloe Swarbrick certainly presumes we all are as she tweeted


But One News reports that Swarbrick said this morning:

Green Party’s Chlöe Swarbrick said “a referendum needs to be based on a legal regime that people can see, understand and make informed decisions about”.

“Having the proposed law developed and released ahead of the referendum is key. We’ve made it abundantly clear throughout the negotiations that our preferred position was to see legislation passed through Parliament before the referendum so it was ‘self-executing’ with a majority yes vote.

“But we didn’t gain consensus on that step. As it is, a yes vote will be informed by a clear regulatory regime set out in draft legislation that people will know and understand.”

This is not, in my opinion a truthful statement, it is misleading at best and in my view in reality untrue

Let’s finish with a bit of levity, and treat this piece of Labour?Green/NZ First crap with the derision and disdain the politicians are treating the electorate. As they presume we are all just waiting to drug ourselves silly here is George Melly

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