Category Archives: Vote 2014

Eternal Vigilance electorate candidate endorsement #2. Alistair Gregory for Wellington Central.


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!

Eternal Vigilance electorate candidate endorsement #1. Grant Keinzley for Taranaki-King Country.

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.

And another.

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!

I am not a number. I am a free man.


If the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party vote reaches the 5% threshold in the general election on September 20, I shall be an MP.

Top-Ten List Ranking Released

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 Act Party Waikato,BOP Regional Conference July 2014.

act conference 7 14 009

Is it possible to trust a man who turns down a free beer… a Waikato Draught… and exclaims “I don’t drink beer… I drink wine…” !!!????


A Libertarian friend, and I attended the Act party BOP/ Wakato Regional conference yesterday, held in an Hamilton Airport Hotel conference room.
I was interested to meet Act’s new Leader, Jamie Whyte, and to hear him speak.
I took advantage of the fine weather to take my Triumph for a scoot.

I did not hang around for Dinner, or the evening discussions.
I’m not a member of Act, yet I would like to just tough on a few highlights of the day from my Libertarian perspective.

The meeting was also a party fundraiser, organized by Vince Ashworth and his wife, and Hamilton City Councilor and one time party president Garry Mallett was MC.

act conference 7 14 003

The Meeting kicked off a little after 3pm with Act’s Hamilton East Candidate, Ron Smith.
I was very pleasantly surprised with the content of his speech!
It was in my view the best speech of the day.
Mixed with humour, it was very Libertarian… not what I was expecting from an ex Waikato Uni Professor.
He said he was stepping up to the plate because he thought New Zealand was at a crisis point, and needed people in parliament to protect what he saw as positive gains… esp ‘Fiscal responsibility’.

Ron discussed how over a period of may decades his political outlook had shifted
considerably from the commonly held view that politics was simply a matter of various opinions on how best to organize community projects, and interests etc, to a far more sophisticated and enlightened view…. having figured out via decades of trial and error that the ‘Big Government’ model simply *doesn’t work.*
(Applause from me! :-))
None the less Ron warns …“There is a ‘Gaggle’ of politicians and their supporters, and esp the media which continues to live in denial”
Ron was very critical of the Waikato Times saying that in the past they had interviewed six candidates of various other (socialist) parties, and given them each a substantial space in the paper, yet had not bothered to interview anyone from Act.
(I myself have experienced this sort of prejudice from the Waikato Times myself, and it is appalling that such an important paper fails so miserably… and so often, in it’s journalistic integrity!)
Ron also decried the calibre of the journalism… their silly and irrelevant questions about ‘Cats’, etc.

He expressed his high regard for Jamie Whyte’s prowess as a political analyst.

Some of the last things Ron said which had me nodding was that many of the problems being faced by New Zealanders are rightly ‘Individual problems’… thus best lest to the individuals themselves to solve, and rightly singled out Security… internal Law and order as being a legitimate concern of government, and External security.
I asked him later of by this did he mean that the government should stop wasting money on things like America’s cup, and spend more on our Military… speaking personally he said “Yes… but a have not discussed any of this yet with Jamie Whyte”.

act conference 7 14 005

Next up was Dianne Mulhern “Why I support Act”… she decried those New Zealanders whom harbour ‘a sense of entitlement’ considering welfare to be ‘A right rather than a privilege’.

She said she likes Act because they had a tuff stance on crime.

On Taxes she said… “I would like to hold on to more of my own money…
My Husband and I run a business, and we pay taxes and taxes on taxes, and we have had enough!”
She explained that they tried protesting paying GST on top of a particular government Levy yet were forced to submit and pay up when they were threatened with court action.

act conference 7 14 012

Before a coffee break Jamie Whyte stood up to speak.

His speech was primarily a summary of what he has been releasing as his ‘Sunday Series’, which are available to view on the net.

He started with saying that he is proud of the High calibre of personnel within Act’s ranks and is grateful there as plenty of wisdom there to tap into, and gain good advice.

He used David Cunnliffe’s “ I am Sorry I am a man” , to contrast his vision of Act as a Party championing Individualism, and self responsibility in comparison to Labour’s collectivist mindset with it’s ‘Guilt by association’ type mentality … their fixation with having a ‘gender equal’ spread in their party list as being more desirable than making *impartial selections* based upon personal virtues and merits rather than sex.

He said Equality before the Law was the most important principle of justice, and that Lady Justice is symbolically blindfolded so that she does not see the identity of the persons with whom she is judging.

Without mentioning the National parties culpability, he talked about the institutionalized Racism which New Zealand suffers which grants privileges to Maori.

Clearly New Zealand does not have a just system… we have race based seats in parliament, Raced based state ‘advisory boards’, etc .
The RMA says Maori are more important, and have more say in matters of Development, and land management.
He said that because Maori have poor statistics in areas of Health, wealth, and crime that it appeared to many that Maori are disadvantaged, and that these things meant that it was difficult for some people to appreciate the fact that legally speaking Maori are privileged, and non-Maori are discriminated against.

To further make his point he said he knew of a woman with two sons, one born to a Maori Father, the other had a non-Maori father.
He said currently the way the Law is written that the Non-Maori son would have to score an ‘A’ to be accepted into Law School, whereas the Maori son would be accepted even if he only scored a ‘C’.
This not only unfairly discriminates against Non-Maori, but that ironically it means that because Maori don’t need to exert themselves to the same degree to get by… many don’t… and thus this ‘easy road’ does not tend towards an ethic of striving for success.

This is the sort of reason why Legal privilege is not working out to be in the best interest of the Maori people… socialism is failing them!

He said that even their racial legal privilege if it was working for them he would still oppose it on principle.

He said that in post election negotiations with National, Act would push for some sort of inquiry/ board it investigate ending the current race based laws and institutions of government.

When the opportunity came for questions from the floor, I said I agreed with what he had said, yet asked if it was prudent to wait until post election negotiations to formulate Acts policy for ending racial privilege.
I said that he ought to draw a line in the sand before the election and lay out not negotiable conditions for entering a coalition, because this would strengthen his position post election, yet he was not prepared to do that.
I asked if at a very minimum he would be prepared to say that Act will not enter into a Coalition with National, if it also included coalition with the Maori party?

Again he refused.
He then attempted to suggest that the Maori Party were reasonable people!

For me this was very disappointing!
Had he not just spoken about Law and order, and that equality before the Law was the most important principle of Justice?… and yet he was not prepared to make a minimum condition of coalition with National … in any way shape or form, to end the travesty of Waitangi separatism and our apartheid laws and institutions!
What more I gather Jamie does not have a very good grasp as to just how great a swindle is being perpetrated upon the people of New Zealand.
I think to the degree that he has investigated these matters, that he has by and large swallowed the modern ‘Revisionist history’ which portrays the Maori as victims of Land alienation via Greedy and underhanded means.
One thing is clear to me, Jamie has obviously been deceived by the Maori party- Mana split, and considers The Maori party to be reasonable… in comparison to Hone Harawera!
He does not realize that they are both *exactly the same*, only the Maori party are more cunning… more politically savy… more sly… whereas Hone Harawera is far more open and honest!

It is truly a wonder to me that Act would even consider entering a coalition with the Maori party…the party which represents the vested interests which are capitalizing from the injustices of our current apartheid system?
But then again how could anyone even contemplate getting into bed with the National party anyway?


I asked him what’s the point of getting into parliament without your principles?
He insisted he was taking them with him.

For me it is difficult to witness.
I believe he is sincere in his convictions.
He certainly is honest enough to say that he wont be drawn to make pre-election non-negotiable coalition conditions.
I have no doubt that he believes this course of action is the best policy to get Act back into parliament as part of the ruling coalition… that is his focus.
Yet I cant help but think that he is making a massive mistake.
Not only is he failing on the moral level, but is making a grievous miscalculation, and not learning from the Ghosts of Acts past.

I will have to talk about these spooks in another post… I will simply say that by taking this course of action Jamie is not giving the enlightened voter any solid reason to believe a vote for Act is anything more than a vote for National… and a perpetuation of the Status quo.

act conference 7 14 020

Several other people spoke, including Richard Prebble, whom is a bit of a character and in the words of Gary Mallett… is the Act party’s hardest working, and most dedicated battler.
His speech was a reinforcement of Jamie as the best possible candidate to lead the party, and went on to discuss Acts chances at election time.
He sighted many ‘advantages’ Act had which are reason for optimism.
“…A vote for Act is not a wasted vote..”
He is full of assurance that their Epsom candidate David Seymour will be victorious, and with the party vote hoping for as many as 9 Mp’s.

During a short open forum, questions on Immigration were raised… most flavoured with the usual petty xenophobia and mean-spiritedness … “Foreigners steeling Kiwi jobs”, to which I was very pleased to hear Jamie’s (and others) enlightened and benevolent responses.
He clearly has sensible, and humane ideas about immigration, and tabled several arguments which thwart many of the phobias that fuel anti-immigration.
He mention that migrants were a much needed source of labour to do jobs that Kiwis didn’t want to do.
Beth Houlbrooke also pointed out that migrants contribute greatly to our economy, with many of the higher skilled individuals actually creating *More jobs* for Kiwis…not less.

The one negative comment I have to say about Ron Smith is that he seemed to harbour fears about Indonesian Boat people reaching our shores, and that in his opinion New Zealand should adopt/ partner up with Australia’s ‘Final solution’ (my words).

My heart breaks when I think about the horrific treatment of desperate refugees by the Australian government.

I just cant fathom how people can be so heartless against such people whom are simply looking to escape a hell hole, and find a safe place to raise their kids.

I am sickened by the inhumanity of those Americans whom equate innocent Mexican children crossing the US Border to escape the hell of the Drug war… as being Mexican Gangster killers!

I think about the Jews whom were trying to escape the Nazis being turned away and sent back to the German ovens.
I think about the Children drowning at sea.

Can we not have a more humane border policy which allows some sort of Private voluntary association to take in these people and work to assimilate them into our society?
This is a subject for another blogpost… back to the Act Conference.

act conference 7 14 023

The Act party as Jamie presents it is the most conservative flavour… the least radical.
Though apparently Act is the party of Law and order, personal freedom and self responsibility, we don’t hear anything as Brash as decriminalization of cannabis… at least not at this conference.
One of the biggest problems I see for Jamie is that if he thinks that he can start off this ‘luke warm’ way, thinking that as the party grows stronger that at a later date he will be able to steer the party in more Libertarian direction, that he will then realize that he has not created a ‘Liberal’ party at all!
He will have filled his ranks with conservative center right socialists (Quazi-Fascists) whom will resist any move towards *Real Reforms*… and if he thinks it is necessary to appease conservative center right socialists *to get into* parliament, I say he will have to continue to do so *to remain* in parliament
This has always been the curse of Act… The conservatives have always thwarted the Idealist ambitions… and this is why Act has achieved virtually nothing in all its time in parliament.

So I worry that because Jamie is taking the road of least resistance, that not only will this make it difficult to differentiate Act from National in the eyes of the most enlightened voting New Zealanders whom are looking for a *Real alternative* …costing him votes, instead of filling Act with principled Idealists, whom love justice, he runs the risk of simply swallowing up disgruntled National party voters and pragmatists whom would sell their own grannys to remain in parliament… ahead of struggling for progress.
His way may be quicker… but it will end miserably.
My way may be a bit slower… yet I believe the end results would be far more spectacular!


There were several other speakers and many other interesting questions debated yet sadly I have run out of time and space to report them.
It’s 1am and I start work at 6!
I will have to edit’ spell check this tomorrow nite.

They had a very good turn out…a full house… I estimate 50+.

To return to my original question, I think Jamie Whyte is an honest politician, whom is in stark contrast to the General Demagogue herd, in that he is careful not to make promises that he is not sure he can keep.

Despite my criticism…. Despite my disappointment… I like Jamie, and many of his Supporters.
I certainly believe he would be a good man for New Zealand to have in parliament.
I think Ron Smith is an excellent candidate for Hamilton east and I would encourage Easters to give him their vote but alas I don’t think he wants them… He’s fishing for party votes.

Though I am not a member of the Act party, I am certainly willing to help them expound the principles of Equality before the Law, of reducing the size and expense of government, of increasing Liberty, self reliance and self responsibility, etc and hope that I have opportunity to talk with Jamie again soon.

He’s a smart guy, and I look forward to watching him in action, and the rest of Act’s new line up which includes at least one Ex Libertarianz Party member, and another Libz Supporter.

No doubt in Jamie’s mind *any* movement he manages to pull our government in the right direction… no matter how small… is a real moral victory.
It’s hard to argue against that.

I would certainly love it if Act was to grow into a Powerhouse of Libertarian Idealism!

Dreams are Free!

Talk is cheep.

My criticisms have little weight.
Personally, as a Politician I am a complete failure…. I may make NZ history as being the most unsuccessful person who stood for election.. yet to me Politics is not about the art of compromise, but about Resolute and unwavering integrity to principle.
To me it’s *not a wasted vote* to vote for a candidate whom best represents your personal values and Ideals…. Even if … According to the mainstream media…they have no hope of governing.

I’m rambling again…

Now I’d better get my arse down to the Electoral office and get my paperwork to stand again as a Libertarian Independent candidate for Ham West.

Tim Wikiriwhi.
Libertarian Independent.

Update:29-7-14 Winston Peters is a politician for whom I harbour much contempt, yet having just received word that John Key is now willing to conciser a post election deal with him, having ruled out the Conservative party, none the less Peters has boldly announced that he will not join any coalition with The Separatists of the Maori or Mana Parties…. which is exactly the sort of courageous and principled stand I was hoping that Jamie Whyte would make a minimum condition in any deal with National.

Read about This line in the sand >>>Here<<<

Update 3-8-14.

Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it


It’s Henry David Thoreau‘s birthday today. 🙂

Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.

I heartily accept the motto,—“That government is best which governs least;” and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe,—“That government is best which governs not at all;” and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient.

All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or back gammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong, with moral questions; and betting naturally accompanies it. The character of the voters is not staked. I cast my vote, perchance, as I think right; but I am not vitally concerned that that right should prevail. I am willing to leave it to the majority. Its obligation, therefore, never exceeds that of expediency. Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men.

If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.

There ain’t no easy way


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 …

Last call for synthacrack!


I sense an impending ban on the so-called “legal highs”. Get stockpiling, synthapeeps!
‘Cuz if you don’t stock up now, you’ll be kicking your wicked habits sooner rather than later!

The witch burning anti-synthetics brigade has gone into overdrive!
Someone pressed the moral panic button!


Seventeen-year-old Jesse Murray is the face of synthetic high addiction!
He’s an engaging, bright, polite young man, who is horribly addicted to synthetic cannabis!


Legal high habit takes teen to rock bottom

Each morning, 17-year-old Jesse Murray wakes on his cardboard mattress in Christchurch’s hidden haunts and walks the streets, spitting into a white, bloodstained tissue before arriving at his destination.

His days are dictated by the opening and closing hours of the nearest legal high shop.

If he has the money, he will hand over anything between $25 and $80 a day – money he has begged for.

Despite it being illegal for him to purchase the drug because of his age, sometimes, out of sympathy, the storekeepers give it to him for free.

Watch this interview by Campbell Live reporter Jendy Harper and tell me that young Jesse Murray doesn’t have a great acting career ahead of him … if he can stay off the synthacrack!

But srsly. The unfortunate fact is that Jesse’s experience isn’t uncommon. (“Each time he tried to quit he began to vomit blood and convulse.”) Here’s a story left in the comments section on the 3 News website. It’s typical of many that I’ve read or heard.

Coming off synthetic cannabis is by far harder than coming off others drugs such as weed or P. Well in my experience any way. I had smoked weed for years. Done P too ! Quite often all together. Then once all that got to hard to find I started smoking synthetic. Worst mistake I every made. I got hooked fast. I was rolling joints to smoke at work. Walking down to Cosmic corner in my lunch break. I couldn’t stop. If I did I would get hot flushes, rage would fill me and I’d explode. One day I realised I couldn’t continue and locked myself in my bathroom for a week while coming off the stuff. It was literally the worst week of my life. I’ve never suffered such horrible symptoms before. I fear for those who still smoke the stuff.

This is a PR disaster for both the legal highs industry and those promoting the Psychoactive Substances Act as the pathway to sensible drug law reform. It was an error of judgement on the part of us drug law reformers not to speak out against the legal highs industry taking up the government’s offer to allow the ongoing sale of existing products for the duration of an extended interim period. We should have recognised that leaving 15 novel, untested synthetic cannabinoids on the market was an unacceptable risk.

The industry now looks to be shut down, if not by this government before the election, then by the next coalition government after the election. Winston Peters looks set to be “kingmaker” once again, and his NZ First Party has already jumped on the banwagon.

There is one remaining opportunity for the legal highs industry to reclaim the moral high ground and that opportunity is now. Voluntarily recall all your products! Before Peter Dunne cracks under the cognitive dissonance and bans all the substances.


How to legalise cannabis (Colorado)

Cannabis intended for recreational purposes can now be bought and sold legally in Colorado.

This is a very good thing indeed.

Nothing very bad has happened and nothing very bad is going to happen.

We’re going to legalise cannabis here in New Zealand, too. Sooner or later.

In this series of posts (the next two instalments are to feature Washington and Uruguay) I’m going to look at the specific regulatory measures which, of course, vary across each jurisdiction. Having done so, we can then ask, which legalisation model should New Zealand adopt?

The following bullet points are sourced from Wikipedia’s article on the drug policy of Colorado.

Since the enactment of Colorado Amendment 64

  • adults aged 21 or older can
    • grow up to six cannabis plants (with no more than half being mature flowering plants), privately in a locked space
    • legally possess all cannabis from the plants they grow (as long as it stays where it was grown),
    • legally possess up to one ounce of cannabis while traveling,
    • give as a gift up to one ounce to other citizens 21 years of age or older.
  • Consumption is permitted in a manner similar to alcohol, with equivalent offenses proscribed for driving.
  • Public consumption remains illegal.
  • Amendment 64 also provides for licensing of cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, testing facilities, and retail stores.

Note that Colorado’s is a mixed model. Cannabis cultivation, possession and use is effectively legalised for the individual user. Commercial cultivation and sale are heavily regulated—but hardly more so than anything else in today’s heavily regulated world.

I have no principled objection to the age limit of 21. But I think it’s unrealistically high, also I think the prohibition on public consumption is a bit austere and certainly hard to enforce. Who’s going to stop you getting high when you go hiking in one of Colorado’s beautiful National Parks?


Overall, I think Colorado’s on to a real winner. 🙂

There was plenty of paperwork to keep the bureaucrats happy.

Governor Hickenlooper signed several bills into law on May 28, 2013 implementing the recommendations of the Task Force on the Implementation of Amendment 64. On September 9, 2013, the Colorado Department of Revenue adopted final regulations for recreational marijuana establishments, implementing the Colorado Retail Marijuana Code (HB 13-1317). On September 16, 2013, the Denver City Council adopted an ordinance for retail marijuana establishments.
The first stores officially opened on January 1, 2014. The state prepared for an influx of tourists with extra police officers posted in Denver. Safety fears led to officials seeking to limit use of the drug in popular ski resorts.

Cue an interesting story about the effects of cannabis on skiing from Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico and the Libertarian Party’s candidate in the 2012 presidential elections, in an interview with Playboy Magazine.

PLAYBOY: Was there a specific moment, an epiphany, when you stopped drugs?

JOHNSON: I stopped pot because of a specific experience. I was going to be a professional ski racer and pursued professional racing. I skied a couple 125-day seasons in northern Idaho after college. I was racing gates every day. I never made a nickel at professional ski racing–I was lousy at it but I pursued it. One day, I set up a set of gates and punched my stopwatch and skied down the hill. I did it in 17 seconds. I went up the lift and skied down through the gates again and made 16 seconds. I went through the course again and did it in 15 seconds. The next time I got on the chairlift, a ski patrolman whipped out a joint–that was a common occurrence. We smoked pot up to the top of the lift and I went through the course a fourth time. Oh my God, I had the fastest run? It was smooth, perfect. But then I looked at my watch. I was thinking, 13 seconds! But it was 19 seconds! Whoa! It was a revelation. If I did 19 and thought I was so much faster than I really was, then this is carrying over into other areas, too. I thought, I don’t need this.

PLAYBOY: Was it the last joint?

JOHNSON: Not the last, but it broke the habit. People think they can function just as well, but they can’t. A lot of athletes smoke pot because they can’t drink and perform. Yes, you can smoke pot and perform–you can get away with it unless they are testing for drugs–but it has an impact. It has an impact on everything you do. When the Olympic snowboarder tested positive for marijuana, you have to think what he could have accomplished if he hadn’t been smoking.

PLAYBOY: Maybe the pot relaxed him so he could perform as well as he did.

JOHNSON: I don’t think so. I would argue that he could be that much better if he did no drugs.

Perhaps Johnson’s tale lends some credence to Reed’s claim that people that smoke regularly are stupid and lazy on a full time basis. But who am I to judge? 😎