Good evening. Thank you all for coming.
My name is Richard Goode, I’m here tonight representing the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party. I’m the Legalise Cannabis Party’s candidate for the Mana electorate just north of here.
We have one policy. To legalise cannabis
Before another decade is up, New Zealand will almost certainly follow the lead of Colorado and other U.S. states and legalise cannabis for recreational, spiritual, medicinal and industrial purposes.
But, when the time comes, we need to legalise cannabis sensibly and safely. That’s why we need Legalise Cannabis Party representation in Parliament.
What does sensible, safe cannabis law reform look like? It looks like Colorado, the U.S. state where, since 1 January this year, cannabis is now regulated like alcohol and tobacco.
What’s been the result since Colorado legalised cannabis? Positive outcomes. The crime rate? Down. The homicide rate? Down. The suicide rate? Down. Motor vehicle accidents? The road toll is down.
The immigration rate? Up! Many of you will have seen recent documentaries about a strain of cannabis called Charlotte’s Web and its use in treating epilepsy. Whole families have picked up and moved to Colorado, since Charlotte’s Web cannabis is the only thing that stops life-threatening epileptic seizures in their children.
Now let me tell you what sensible, safe cannabis law reform DOESN’T look like.
It doesn’t look like the recent legal highs debacle which was presided over by the National government’s Associate Minister of Health, Peter Dunne.
Instead of legalising safe, natural cannabis, Peter Dunne gave the Ministry of Health’s seal of approval to dozens of so-called “synthetic cannabis” products that actually contained 11 different untested, unsafe research chemicals with almost no history of human use about whose likely long-term health effects we knew absolutely nothing.
And this was after he’d made the following promise.
We are going to reverse the onus of proof so the manufacturers of these products have to prove they are safe before they can bring them on to the market.
Here’s a harrowing tale of addiction from a friend who switched from smoking natural cannabis to smoking one of Dunne’s chemical concoctions, thinking it must be safe because it had been approved as “low risk”.
im 34 been smoking buds since i was 15 never had an issue had sweet jobs good life got my dream job as a dairy farm manager everything going sweet till i heard my boss was going to do drug testing so i thort id give this synthetic shit ago didnt expect much since i[t] was sold in dairys and yea it was down hill from there. one packet and i was hooked like with weed i could go a couple or more days without it with this shit i had to have it and i couldnt stop myself honest sometimes i would cry asking myself what the fuck i was doing tho the whole time chuffing away on the pipe like a cracker.
There were hundreds of such cases of severe addiction, psychosis, and seizures. Yes, seizures.
Right now, thanks in large part to the Associate Minister of Health, seriously ill New Zealanders, including children with life-threatening seizures, are being denied legal access to the medicine they need.
Peter Dunne’s bright idea was to give the MOH’s seal of approval to chemicals that caused addiction, psychosis, and seizures in our young people instead.
Now, the guidelines I was given for tonight were to introduce myself, my party and my party’s policy’s, but also to discuss local issues.
In fact, I’ve just been talking about the biggest local issue facing the Ohariu electorate.
Peter Dunne entered Parliament as a Labour Party MP when David Lange’s Labour Party won a landslide victory in 1984. We got rid of Muldoon, but we got Dunne! He’s been propping up both Labour and National government’s and impeding safe, sensible drug law reform ever since.
He did a deal with Helen Clark in 2002. One of the terms of the support agreement that Peter Dunne insisted on was
The government will not introduce legislation to change the legal status of cannabis and will implement a comprehensive drug strategy aimed at protecting young people and educating them on the dangers of drug use.
The voters of Ohariu will be the judge of how good a job the man behind the legal highs debacle did at protecting young people and educating them on the dangers of drug use.
Please, this September 20, give your party vote to the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party and your Mana electorate vote to me.
And, Ohariu voters, please consider very carefully to whom you give your electorate vote.