A challenge for Rodders

The ODT reports:

The new Minister for Regulatory Reform, Rodney Hide, is asking the public for ideas on what regulatory regimes he should scrap or modify.

Well, here’s a challenge for Rodders. He’s long been a supporter of cannabis law reform – just ask Liberty Scott, who blogged this – one of the few things you and I agree on Scott.

So if he’s wanting a public response on regulations that are unnecessary and waste public money, how about suggesting that he should get the new Government to support the repeal of the prohibition of possession of cannabis for personal use.

This silly law wastes heaps of resources in three Government Departments (Police, Courts, and Corrections), and makes criminals out of people who do no harm to anyone or anything.

Seems I also have the support of Steve Pierson at The Standard on this – it could be a cross-party campaign to finally get rid of this stupid law. Rodders just has to persuade the Nats, supposedly the other party of individual liberty, to get behind it and it’s a done deal. Greens+ACT+Nats = a majority.

Send your suggestions to rodney.hide@ministers.govt.nz.

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8 thoughts on “A challenge for Rodders

  1. Good luck pulling National around on that one, the most passionate opposition to this sort of thing comes from the social conservatives who are effectively National and Act’s base.

    I also have a sneaking suspicion that this sort of reform would come down to a conscience vote if it were proposed, assuming National is slightly freer with them than Labour was.

  2. The silly thing is; making cannabis legal would free up huge amounts of police resources to investigate real crimes, remove hundreds of thousands of NZers from dealing with people who make their living by illegal means, and cut many millions from out under the gangs.

    If there is an anti-crime policy, it is this one.

  3. As the Safety Manager of of NZ Factory employing a reasonable number of people, cannibis use is definately not by “people who do no harm to anyone or anything”. The results our accident investigations of every serious accident put paid to that. Once we put in place an acohol/drug-free policy and started testing as the result of any accident the serious accident rate dropped to a small fraction of what it used to be and has stayed there. We lost a few cannibis users that would not/could not see how their use of cannibis made them high risk of an accident. Note: most resigned, but a few pushed it and lost by being tested after an accident and then failed their probation period – we gave them a chance but most chose the weed over a job.

    So as the one that had to pick up the peices after a serious accident (you ever picked severed fingers out of a machine?) I know the real life effect of this “vicitmless crime”. The high finishes after a few hours but the user is a menance to themselves (and their workmates) for a number of days afterwards – unlike the other legal drugs like tobacco and alcohol, where the dangerous effects are metabolised much faster.

  4. Stephen said: …but the user is a menance to themselves (and their workmates) for a number of days afterwards…

    Stephen, I would dispute that. It is correct that cannabis metabaloid remain in the system for days after smoking it. However, THC and those metaboloids that cause impairment will have largely been metabolised to non-impairing metabaloids within 3-5 hours. There is some evidence of minor impairment of complex divided attention tasks for up to 24 hours in some studies.

    But someone who has a joint on Saturday evening is certainly going to be fit for work on Monday morning, and someone who has one on Sunday evening most likely will be for most tasks (although I wouldn’t want them flying an aircraft).

    I suspect the cannabis users at your factory most likely had a joint upon waking in the morning (typical of those with a dependency problem) and lied about when they had last smoked it.

    I don’t advocate anyone being at work in a condition significantly impaired by any drug (or driving while significantly impaired by any drug for that matter). But that doesn’t justify prohibiting the drug itself.

    The severity of the impairment also is a factor – I work every day under the impairment caused by prescription painkillers and probably will for the rest of my working life, but the degree of the impairment is mild and if I didn’t take them I would be unable to work at all and still on ACC.

  5. I’m sure ACT would support it (I know heather and rodney have both been supported of Met’s bill), the problem is National and Labour.

    I think ACT is your friend on this, they don’t need to be convinced. Its getting the rest of parliament on your side.

  6. Not to mention the Police, who are still campaigning to get more Police forces – they have no interest at all in having a large part of their excuse to harrass the populace disappear; and then there’s the American Embassy*, who are still prosecuting the “War on Drugs” in every country around the world who allow them jurisdiction.

    Let’s not forget that a lot of right-wing jobs and voters are involved here.
    Cynical, moi? ….

    [*well, the CIA attache and his/her minions]

  7. MikeE said: I think ACT is your friend on this, they don’t need to be convinced. Its getting the rest of parliament on your side.

    Yep, I agree – ACT (possibly with the exception of their nutjob lowest ranking MP David Garrett) will be on our side.

    The problem the Greens faced in previous Parliaments is that we couldn’t make any progress with Labour on this issue because one of NZF or UF were always part of the arrangement and they made a “no-change” provision to the cannabis laws part of their agreements.

    There is nothing in any of the current confidence and supply agreements about the issue, so ACT can promote it and try to persuade National of the sense of it – and Rodney Hide’s role as Minister for Regulatory Reform has to be the ideal position to do this from, given the vast waste of public money spent on administering this stupid law.

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