Editorial | Issue 20

Editorial | Issue 20

Land of the long white cloud?

Throughout this news week, a lot of debate has centred around Prime Minister John Key and his comments against legalising cannabis here in the ‘land of the long white cloud’.

The debate has reared its little head after the NZ Drug Foundation released its latest polls on how kiwis feel about the topic. The polls showed that around 85 percent of the population wanted the drug either made legal or decriminalised for those who have a terminal illness. 

If medicinal cannabis was to be legalised, I’m pretty confident that the sky wouldn’t fall, nor do I think we would see huge numbers of enthusiasts smoking up in school playgrounds as some suggest. Although, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that already? 

If it was to be made legal for medicinal purposes, and regulated by the powers that be, it would be no different to other drugs used to ease pain and suffering such as morphine or tramadol. Sure, those who suffer from drug abuse, who really wanted to get their hands on the drugs will probably be able to do so, but the truth of the matter is that if you wanted to get your hands on the devils lettuce, in most cases it's not too difficult a task. Perhaps, instead of faking a terminal illness and gaining a prescription pad, just head to the middle of the campus around 4.20 on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday or really, any other day ending in ‘Y’ and you’ll be able to sort something. 

The Drug Detection Agency has also come out arguing against legalisation, claiming that “people are just looking for a way to make money out of cannabis”. Funnily enough, people at the current moment are in fact making money out of cannabis. These people, who are filling their pockets illegally, also don’t generally tend to pay tax. If medicinal cannabis was to be legalised or decriminalised the benefits in terms of tax revenue would surely be enough. 

If we can have a referendum on what type of flags will hang from our flagpoles, then surely we can hold a referendum to seek the public's opinion on whether or not those who are dying are allowed to do so in some sort of peace.

Hugh Baird
Critic Editor

This article first appeared in Issue 20, 2016.
Posted 9:58am Sunday 21st August 2016 by Hugh Baird.