Mike Yardley: Cynical cannabis referendum from a Government that’s soft on crime

NZ Herald 19 December 2018
Family First Comment: Well said, Mike.
“Would legalisation improve the health, well-being and productivity of New Zealand? No, it would not. How could it?”

So we’ve got a date for a referendum on dope: election day 2020.

It will be binding and its timing looks like a canny ploy by Labour and the Greens to mobilise the young, the bums and the wayward to get off the couch and actually vote.

Maybe I’m too cynical, but is the cannabis referendum actually being used as bait to try to woo them to the ballot box (and win their party vote too?)

There are many pros and cons to legalising cannabis. I accept that. But the bottom line for me is this: would legalisation improve the health, well-being and productivity of New Zealand? No, it would not. How could it?

So why legalise it? Why capitulate to the cannabis crowd, just because a few other countries have? Why surrender?

Why would we want to throw even more fuel on the fire of our mental health crisis, particularly among our youth? Why add to the scrapheap of wasted lives? I have seen its insidious effects on far too many people I care about. Stolen potential. Broken lives.

But there’s a broader theme unfolding here, that spells political danger for the Government. They could cook their own goose.

Andrew Little’s happy-clappy Justice Summit set the tone. Look at the firestorm over the Rouxle Le Roux sentence. The mood music is growing louder.

This Government is perceived as soft on crime and dysfunction. They want to empty the jails.
READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=12179476&ref=twitter

Mike Hosking: Stupid, naive drug move bungle of year
NZ Herald 20 December 2018 
Were we asleep or does no one care?

The headline the Government wanted you to hear was the one about cracking down on peddlers and producers of drugs.

Stuart Nash and David Clark, with their best earnest faces on, talked of the scourge of drugs and how they were coming after the bad guys.

“Has making drugs a criminal activity worked? No, not overtly successfully, which of course is the government’s argument.

But it’s no less successful than domestic violence or dangerous driving, are we making those health issues as well?

Part of a government’s role is a top down approach to behaviour expectation, agendas, outlooks, aspirations, and intent for the entire country.

If it looks loose at the top, it fast becomes a slippery slope.

A society’s success is based at least in part by what is not tolerated, what is not acceptable.
READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=12179487&ref=twitter

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