At last we have a plan. At least there is a plan. It has been discussed and agreed that to change the cannabis laws in New Zealand the first thing we need to do is change the Government.
Last night a group of friendly cannabis campaigners went along to watch the VOTE , a TV show that debates an issue in front of a live audience and requests that the audience vote on a topic.
Last nights topic was, Should we decriminalise cannabis and other soft drugs?
The staunch cannabis crusaders tend to feel that cannabis is not at all like the synthetic versions as cannabis is a real and safe plant . We really just don't know what is in the mixes for sale in dairies. However in being aware of the freedom is choice credo , it would be wrong to favour what we like and ban what others may like.
It also occurred to many of the cannabis-only users that , if we legalise both synthetic cannabis and eventually plant or real cannabis, that the fake product will gather dust on the shelf.
But for change to occur step one must surely be to rid ourselves of the nasty oppressive undemocratic bunch we have in power.
One way to achieve this is to make sure as many non-voters from 2011 get on the roll and vote. I may be wrong but it is assumed , the people who did not vote , did not feel sufficiently engaged to vote. We need these people to vote as it is also assumed , that not many of the un-enrolled voters would choose to vote National.
To change the Government is the first step but we also need to build relationships with people outside of the Cannabis Law Reform Organisations as well.
Step two follows that to build these new relationships perhaps we need to focus on the harm of prohibition and not focus exclusively on cannabis.
Safe access is the term I want to use. I mean safe access to cannabis but in order to not put people off with all the drug-talk we need to have some educational material printed.
What we need people to understand is, that prohibition of cannabis is costing this country hundreds of millions of dollars each year. this money could be much better utilised by spending it on health care in this country.
Also the those most harmful thing in this country for those who use cannabis is the punishment. Most psychologists also know punishment does not usually stop a behaviour. Rewarding good behaviour is how we make better and more lasting behavioural changes.
Health problems especially addictions do not get solved or resolve in jail. They get banished underground. Most people with a drug problem use drug within 24 hours of being released from jail.
so to recap what we hope may be the start of a new and workable plan is;
Step one. CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT
Step two. View cannabis and other drug use problems as a health issue not a criminal matter.
Step three. Focus on the negative aspects of prohibition