^ 1 minute Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party opening address for TVNZ
^ 15 second Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party election advertisement for TV3
^ 15 second Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party election advertisement for Prime TV
Alistair Gregory is a rising star in the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party. He’s our candidate for the high-profile Wellington Central electorate and #4 on the party list. He’s also the ALCP’s Wellington Regional Manager and President of the ALCP’s Wellington branch. (I’m the Vice President. Ali’s the main man!)
Vote Alistair Gregory in Wellington Central
Legalise Cannabis in WELLINGTON CENTRAL!
Hello, I’m Alistair Gregory, your ALCP candidate for the best little capital in the world.
I’m a 23 year old chef, born and bred Wellingtonian, and convinced that we have to stop making criminals of people having a joint.
Using natural cannabis for medical, recreational, industrial and spiritual purposes should be a standard human right.
Cannabis, also named marijuana, has been used for centuries around the world. It is not and never has been a ‘demon weed’.
Jamaica, Holland, Uruguay, Portugal, USA and many other countries are introducing relaxed cannabis controls. New Zealanders are repeatedly calling for the same choice.
Sensible reform is legalisation, with regulated supply and use, for adults. ALCP is the only party that will stop making our people criminals.
Alcohol prohibition was a failure. Cannabis prohibition is a failure.
Enrol to vote. Vote for civil rights. Vote ALCP.
I’ll also mention that Ali is a medicinal user, and a friend. He needs cannabis, I don’t. As a recreational cannabis user, I’m prepared to live like it’s legal and live through the occasional supply drought. But I’m not prepared to do nothing while my friends suffer because the law denies them the best medicine. That’s why I’m out supporting Ali on the campaign trail.
Voters in the Wellington Central electorate, I urge you to give your electorate vote to Alistair Gregory and your party vote to the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party!
Please read the DISCLAIMER first.
Okay, so that was full of nothing. 🙂
The reason I’m endorsing Grant Keinzley for Taranaki-King Country is because he co-authored (with Tim Kibblewhite) a Review of New Zealand’s Drug Policy. It’s an Internet Party draft policy document. And it’s good.
Here are the document’s seven policy proposals.
Oh, wait … looks like someone pressed the history eraser button. 🙁 Subsection 4.2 and all of section 5 (containing the policy proposals) seem to have mysteriously disappeared! What were they?
Lucky that I saved a previous edit of the document. 🙂
5.1 Implement a Rehabilitative Approach towards Drug Addiction
The Internet Party will focus on viewing drug addiction as a health issue and not a criminal issue. The Internet Party will support legislation that reflects this. Part of this approach will be the implementation of drug courts to deal with possession issues.
5.2 Decriminalise the Use of Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes
The Internet Party will propose legislation to decriminalise the possession, cultivation and personal use of prescribed small amounts of natural cannabis for medicinal uses. Large-scale (to be determined) cultivation, possession and sale of natural cannabis will remain illegal. Details of the new law will be drafted following research into global best practice and the study of successful models in Europe and the US.
5.3 Set up an Office for Medicinal Cannabis
Following decriminalisation, an office for medicinal cannabis will be set up along the lines of that operating in the Netherlands, with the objective of controlling and maintaining high standards for the supply and use of natural cannabis for therapeutic purposes.
5.4 Fund Research and Clinical Trials
New Zealand research into the efficacy and safety of medicinal cannabis and cannabis-based therapeutic medicines will be funded with a view to speeding up the availability of proven remedies. Clinical trials to determine the benefits of medicinal cannabis and cannabis-based medicines will be funded, but only if the veracity of clinical trials undertaken overseas cannot be confirmed by New Zealand health authorities.
5.5 Legalise Cannabis for Personal Use
The Internet Party understands that policy and change has to be implemented slowly due to political realities. However, it will be the official opinion of the Internet Party that, due to the evidence and research supported by the scientific community, cannabis should be decriminalised for personal use.
5.6 Decriminalise Possession of Class A, B and C Drugs
The Internet Party will follow the compelling example set in Portugal and decriminalise the possession of other drugs to ensure that rehabilitation and treatment is offered to drug addicts as opposed to jail sentences.
5.7 Remove the Presumption of Supply
Following the recommendations of the Law Commission and the Supreme Court of New Zealand the Internet Party will introduce legislation that is consistent with the Bill of Rights Act 1990 which ensures that there will be no presumption of supply without proven intent.
These are all sensible and modest proposals. I’m particularly impressed that
The Internet Party understands that policy and change has to be implemented slowly due to political realities.
New Zealand already tried rapid implementation of unreal drug law reform, viz., the interim period provisions of the Psychoactive Substances Act. Predictably enough, the PSA’s interim period provisions proved to be a load of abject FAIL. There was a public outcry and the PSA’s evil mastermind, Peter Dunne, pulled the plug on the whole shenanigans. But not until eleven novel, untested research chemicals had been approved for sale to the general public. They were on the shelves for nine months. Just long enough for us to find out if any of these substances cause birth defects in the children of mothers legally addicted to them. The National government is criminally insane.
As per my personal policy statement, one day I hope to see all drugs fully legalised. The sad fact of the matter is that this may never happen. But, if it does, it will occur through a series of tiny steps in the right direction. It will begin with cannabis legalisation.
4.2 Colorado Legalisation of Cannabis
In 2012 there was a referendum in the state of Colorado. This measure would amend Colorado’s constitution and allow state-wide legalisation of cannabis. A similar measure was also passed in Washington State, however, their legalisation was set at a later date and as such less information is available on the success or failure of the plan so Colorado’s model is more applicable for research purposes. The first legal cannabis stores opened in Colorado on January 1st 2014.
The law change has meant that adults over 21 years of age can possess and use cannabis for personal recreational use.
There was a fear that this law would lead to a spike in usage of cannabis. However, in a recent report John Hickenlooper, the Governor of Colorado, reported that “we don’t see a spike in adult use…we don’t think we see a spike in youth consumption.” He also remarked, ‘let’s face it, the War on Drugs was a disaster…it sent millions of kids to prison, gave them felonies – often times when they had no violent crimes.’
In addition to avoiding charges on those who were simply using cannabis for personal use, Colorado has reported that there are significant tax incentives to legalisation of cannabis. The state, which is of roughly comparable population and GDP to New Zealand, has reported that they have collected $25,307,067 in cannabis taxes since January 2014.
Full Colorado-style legalisation of cannabis is the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party’s policy. 🙂
It’s been all year since Colorado’s bud shops opened their doors. Almost all indicators from Colorado so far are good. But even implementing something along the lines of Colorado’s tightly regulated commercial cannabis market may be too much too soon for the sheeple of New Zealand. Colorado-style legalisation of cannabis would be a tiny step towards a future libertopia. But (I’m guessing) it’s still too big a step, according to the Internet Party’s policy advisors, and that’s why they’ve redacted the subsection above.
So what is the Internet Party’s cannabis policy? They don’t have one. Yet. I’m told by a couple of party insiders that the Internet Party will release its cannabis policy this Sunday 24 August. I hope that policy proposal 5.5 will make the cut. And I’ll be interested to see if their upcoming policy will be to legalise cannabis for personal use (as per the section heading) or merely to decriminalise cannabis possession and cultivation (as per the section body). (It’s worth stating the not as obvious as it should be. Legalisation and decriminalisation are NOT the same thing. Decriminalisation just means less draconian penalties apply.)
Here‘s another reason to vote Keinzley.
His work in Asia included setting up a non-profit China Typhoon Rescue Organisation, helping communities clean up and rebuild after a disaster.
I never really liked politics.
Voters in the Taranaki-King Country electorate, please give your electorate vote to Grant Keinzley and your party vote to the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party!
If the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party vote reaches the 5% threshold in the general election on September 20, I shall be an MP.
1. Julian Crawford (Dunedin South)
2. Abe Gray (Dunedin North)
3. Emma-Jane Kingi (Te Tai Tonga)
4. Alistair Gregory (Wellington Central)
5. Jeffrey Lye (Kelston)
6. Richard Goode (Mana)
7. Paula Lambert (Christchurch East)
8. Romana Manning (Tukituki)
9. Rob Wilkinson (Christchurch Central)
10. Richard Neutgens (Auckland Central)
The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party is a single-policy, multi-issue party.
We have a single policy, which is to legalise cannabis.
Cannabis legalisation affects multiple other political issues, mainly by providing additional revenue from tax revenues and the cost savings from not enforcing cannabis prohibition.
But still we get asked questions like, e.g., “What is the ALCP’s policy on the use of 1080?” One ought to be able to answer such questions by recourse to first principles.
Here are the ALCP’s principles. (This is a draft list. Some of the principles below have yet to be ratified by the ALCP Board.)
We support honest, transparent government, making rational decisions based on the best scientific and empirical evidence available.
We support personal responsibility and freedom of choice.
We support the rule of law, upheld by common law courts and an impartial justice system.
We support non-violent conflict resolution and the non-aggression principle.
We support protections for the natural environment and conservation of native plant and animal species.
We support economic growth, fiscal responsibility and job creation based on a sound supply of money.
7. Treaty of Waitangi
We support the principles embodied in te Tiriti o Waitangi.
8. Limited Authority
We support constitutional limits to the powers of the State, particularly where they undermine human rights or national sovereignty.
9. Personal Beliefs
We support the free exercise of religion or spiritual beliefs without involvement from the State.
We support participatory democracy, representative government and parliamentary procedure.
Comments are welcome.
This September 20, vote Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party for Truth, Freedom and Justice!
To vote ALCP, you’ll need to make sure that you’re registered to vote. Are you on the electoral roll? Enrol, check or update now!
But, dear readers, I do appreciate that you may not want to vote for the ALCP. In fact, you may not want to vote at all. Not voting at all is certainly better than voting for any of the other parties on offer! (With the possible exception of the revivified ACT Party.) And not voting is your democratic right. At least, it is in New Zealand.
Across the ditch, voting is not a democratic right, it’s a democratic duty! That’s right, in Australia voting is compulsory. But compulsion is tyranny! The day that voting becomes compulsory in New Zealand is the day I never vote again. I hope that day never comes.
If you don’t want to vote at all, you don’t need to be on the electoral roll, right? So how do you get off of it? There ain’t no easy way.
70,000 voters removed from electoral roll
About 70,000 local election enrolment packs have bounced back to Registrars of Electors marked ‘gone no address’.
The Electoral Commission mailed update packs to the 3.1 million people on the electoral roll at the start of July, to make sure everyone who’s eligible is correctly enrolled to vote in this year’s local elections.
“If you are one of the 70,000 or so voters whose pack has come back to us because you’ve moved house and not updated your enrolment details, you have been removed from the electoral roll, and won’t be able to vote unless you re-enrol,” says Murray Wicks, National Manager, Enrolment Services.
So one way to remove yourself from the electoral roll is to intercept your election enrolment pack, tell a little white lie by marking it “gone no address” and send it back whence it came. But telling lies is bad, even little white ones.
Death is another option, but it’s a tad extreme. How do dead people get removed from the electoral roll, anyway? I’m not sure. Across the ditch, at least voters are provided with a means to remove a dead relative. But here? I couldn’t find anything on the Electoral Commission’s website.
It looks like moving house is the only other option. And then hoping that the new residents of your old home return your election enrolment pack marked “gone no address”. Instead of simply binning it. Which is what I’d probably do …
I suppose the reason that there’s no easy way to get off of the electoral roll is that it’s compulsory to be on it. But why? Why does the government need a list of all eligible voters? I.e., a list of all adult New Zealanders not already in prison? Isn’t that what the Census is for? Sinisterer and sinisterer …
My outlook for Thursday was good but Thursday turned sour when I read the following report and watched a 3 News interview with Grant Hall of the legal highs industry lobby group the STAR Trust.
Today is a global day of action for groups around the world campaigning for drug law reform.
Really? It’s the first I heard of “a global day of action for groups around the world campaigning for drug law reform.” I belong to (at least) a couple of groups in New Zealand campaigning for DLR. I’m the Vice President of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis and a member (and former board member) of drug law reform umbrella group NORML. I’ve been a drug law reform activist for more than a decade. While it’s entirely possible that I was told about it but was paying no attention, I don’t recall ever hearing of a global day of DLR action on a Thursday. At the end of June. I spoke to a couple of other DLR activists and they hadn’t heard of it either.
(The global day of action for groups around the world campaigning for drug law reform is, in fact, the first Saturday in May. In New Zealand, we celebrate J Day. In Nimbin, Australia they celebrate the Nimbin Mardi Grass. Elsewhere, the Global Marijuana March is held in cities around the world.)
In New Zealand, advocacy group the Star Trust has released research it says shows that the Psychoactive Substances Act was working, before synthetic high products were pulled from the shelves.
I’m not sure what Grant Hall means by “working”. The Psychoactive Substances Act was supposed to ban all new psychoactive substances not already banned by the Misuse of Drugs Act, with the exception of products containing psychoactive substances that had been shown to pose only a low risk of harm after being submitted to a battery of scientific tests, which products would then be approved for regulated, legal sale. That was its stated intent. While all new psychoactive substances have now been banned, none has yet passed the scientific tests. The Ministry of Health, in charge of implementing the Act, has yet even to tell us what the scientific tests that NPS must pass actually are. I don’t call that “working”. I call that prohibition. (As for the fiasco that was the so-called “interim” period, during which untested, unsafe NPS were temporarily approved for sale, don’t get me started.)
The trust’s Grant Hall says they would like a “compassionate” approach to dealing with drug harm, instead of the current “punitive” regime.
What does a “compassionate” approach to legal highs retailers look like?
“All of the data during the interim period of the Psychoactive Substances Act… there were two things that came out of it that are really interesting,” he said on Firstline this morning.
“There was a reduction in crime – we saw a 22.7 percent reduction in cannabis-related crime… quite a significant number.”
There is no such thing as cannabis-related crime. Cannabis does not cause crime. So we saw a 22.7% reduction in what? A 22.7% reduction in cannabis use? A 22.7% reduction in arrests for cannabis “offences”? I say that the reason there’s been a 22.7% reduction in “cannabis-related crime” (whatever that is) is because it’s an election year.
Watching the actual interview, Grant Hall indicates that the reduction is in cannabis use. But people smoking less cannabis isn’t a good thing, because what are they smoking instead? Less safe, less fun synthetic cannabinoid products manufactured by the industry for whom Grant Hall is spokesman.
He says only 14 people contacted the Ministry of Health about addiction problems with synthetic highs, out of 11,000 people using them a day.
“We would say that’s a pretty good outcome.”
I’d say that’s a pretty good outcome, too. If only 14 people experienced addiction problems. But it wasn’t only 14 people, it was hundreds of people who became seriously addicted to legal synthetic highs. The 14 people who contacted the Ministry of Health were just the tip of a very large iceberg that advocates of the PSA’s interim period simply don’t want to know about.
I’ve been blogging on the PSA for a couple of years now. Synthetic cannabis addicts would sooner comment on my blog posts than contact the Ministry of Health. I mean, why on earth would someone with an addiction problem even contemplate for a moment calling the Ministry of Health anyway?
Synthetic cannabis addicts are regularly in the headlines. Here‘s a chap who appeared in the MSM the day before Grant Hall’s interview. Did he phone the Ministry of Health in between committing aggravated robberies, I wonder?
A “polite and well-mannered” South Auckland teen with an unblemished record committed two aggravated robberies in four days, driven by his synthetic cannabis addiction.
What the legal highs industry should have done is proactively investigate reports of addiction to their products. They should have front-footed it. But they don’t want to know.
Someone else who doesn’t want to know is Peter Dunne. He doesn’t want to know about the miraculous and thoroughly well-documented healing properties of natural cannabis. Anecdotal reports are not hard science but they do stack up. Here‘s one that’s hard to dismiss.
Christine said the cannabis oil had an immediate and dramatic impact. Ellen’s seizures reduced from hundreds each day down to only a handful, allowing her to return to school for the first time in five years.
“She’s gone from 120 hospital admissions in 2012 to just eight last year. It’s quite amazing. She is still on some pharmaceuticals. We’ve found that combination with the cannabis oil has been hugely beneficial.”
But Peter Dunne dismisses it.
“I have yet to see any evidence that cannabis in any form has contributed in any way to help children, or indeed anyone, recover from serious diseases,” he said.
I know that Grant Hall is a veteran campaigner for medical cannabis. Good on him. I know that Grant Hall wouldn’t dismiss any of the numerous reports of the benefits of medical cannabis as anecdotal. And yet he chooses to ignore the numerous reports of the addictive nature of synthetic cannabis.
In fact, the legal highs industry is well aware of the potentially addictive nature of some of their products. That’s why Matt Bowden was up front. His Stargate products came with appropriate warnings, e.g.
Frequent or daily use is not recommended, users should be aware that development of dependence on this type of product has rarely been reported, and appropriate limitations on use may be required in some individuals.
A report I read about a year ago, of a Nelson man arrested for selling natural cannabis to get the money to feed his synthetic cannabis addiction, should have sounded the alarm with the legal highs industry. That’s when the plot lost them.
Now Hall says people are turning back to hard drugs like P, and that synthetic highs were only banned because of the upcoming election.
Bullshit. We put people who are addicted to opiates on the methadone progamme, because methadone itself is an opiate and it substitutes for other opiates. Methamphetamine (“P”) is a stimulant. Synthetic cannabinoids are not stimulants. If I wanted to find the energy to stay up partying all night or simply do the housework … P would be great … but the last thing I’d do is smoke some synthetic cannabis. It’s not a stimulant and doesn’t substitute for other stimulants. I’d get nothing done at all and then fall asleep.
Speed freaks were taking stimulants before, during and after synthetic cannabis.
[Hall] There was a reduction in crime. So we saw a 22.7% reduction in cannabis-related crime during the interim period, now that’s quite a significant number.
[3 News] Was that inevitable? Because they’re just going to synthetic highs.
[Hall] Yes, but isn’t that a good thing? That’s a good result, isn’t it? So we’ve transitioned those people away from the black market into the white market where they are controlled …
Transitioning people away from safe, natural black market cannabis to unsafe, synthetic white market cannabis is harm reduction? Not in my book.
Check out what Grant Hall has to say about “congestion issues” and “restricted retail environments”. Weasel words! They had congestion issues and a restricted retail environment in Colorado in early January, and nothing bad happened. (Except that the cannabis ran out, obviously.)
As for the claim that “synthetic highs were only banned because of the upcoming election.” Actually, no. Synthetic highs were banned because a group of mothers whose teenage children had become addicted to synthetic cannabinoids or otherwise schizzed out kicked up one hell of a fuss. And then got on Campbell Live.
The reality is that journalists have got more power and influence around this issue than the scientists.
Grant Hall got that much right. It will be John Campbell who legalises cannabis in the end.
The demonisation of cannabis (and other drugs) started in earnest with prohibitionist propaganda campaigns like Reefer Madness in the ’30s. I’d say we reached peak demonisation in the ’70s. 1970 was when Keith Stroup, funded by a $5,000 grant from the Playboy Foundation, founded the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) in the U.S. That’s when drug law reformers started in earnest to undo the decades of prohibitionist propaganda damage. It’s taken 40 years of hard slog to counter all the prohibitionist lies and misrepresentations about cannabis.
I’m work shy. So it irks me when anyone, be they prohibitionists or non-prohibitionists, tells lies about and misrepresents the harms (whether by exaggerating or downplaying) of any drug. How are we ever going to have sane, evidence-based drug policy when those making and influencing the policies refuse to face up to the facts? I’m work shy but I’d still much rather spend my time getting the word out to the masses than spending it patiently pointing out to my fellow DLR activists that they’re doing it all wrong.
I’d like to see Grant Hall quit the STAR Trust and return to his roots. I reckon he’d make a great spokesman for GreenCross New Zealand. They could use a level head.