Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Mike's Minute: We're waking up to the dangers of cannabis


Is the latest poll on cannabis reform the death knell for those who are desperate to legalise the stuff? It's got to be pretty close.

53 percent against it, 35 per cent for it, 11 percent don't know. That’s got to the point where even if every single person who doesn’t know, decided to vote yes, the yes vote would still lose.

And it's not like the yes vote hasn’t had a good run. The media in general has featured, to my eye, favourable coverage of why we should be legalising the stuff, as opposed to why we shouldn’t. I think the answer is relatively simple. Why would you look to create trouble, simply for the sake of it?

The yes camp has never really had anything more than the most spurious of ideas that it should be legalised simply because a lot of people do it. And in that, never really understanding just how stupid that concept is. If you can find enough people doing anything against law, is that good enough to legalise it?

Texting while driving, drinking while driving, hitting other people when you lose your temper, stealing other people's possessions whether by fraud or robbery, there's plenty of it about, so let's change the law?

And then having gotten off on the wrong foot logically, they then search the world for examples of how and when you do it, it all works out fine.

We are full of social ills woes and worries, and yet we want to add another to the list. We angst openly about suicide and mental illness, not to mention psychosis, and yet we want to ignore all that because lots of people only want to smoke a joint on a Friday and it never did them any harm.

It's seemed to be the most middle-class, indulgent load of nonsense heard in many a long year. They didn’t want to be criminals despite the fact no one who ever puffed on a Friday ended up in jail, despite the mad claim that they did. It's like denying alcoholism and its effects because you just have the one glass a night. The doctors who work with the damage are screaming for help, but none of that seems important.

A government, who should have known better, has wasted well in excess of a year having a debate that was never necessary, indulging a minor coalition partner who if they'd focused on core values like National Parks, mining, and clean air might not be in the fight for survival they are.

Lies have been told over and over about how harmless all this is. Photos of cops have been used in advertising, and claims it will bring better access to the medicinal side of the cannabis equation. The Drug Foundation, supposedly apolitical and heavily funded by the government, has been overtly political, not to mention dangerously disingenuous.

They went nuts, they looked slightly insane, and once people thought about it, and realised a vote counts, it was at that point the numbers changed dramatically and I think permanently.

The no vote has gone from 49 percent to 53 percent. The yes vote has gone from 43 percent to 35 percent. There's a trend driven by reality and common sense. It ain't over, but it's as good as.

Thank God we got there in the end. 

Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings.

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