The push to decriminalise cannabis in New Zealand is an issue that should revolve around the damage that the drug does. The focus should be on weighing up the harm that it does now while illegal compared to the amount of harm it will do once it has been decriminalised.

In other words the debate should be about what New Zealand is going to gain by making this law change. If there is nothing to gain then we should not be doing it.

Not everyone shares my view, however, and the left-wing political lobby group Action Station has co-opted the Cannabis cause and made it all about race and “wellbeing”. Yes, really.

Kia ora, [redacted].

We have the opportunity of a generation to take a compassionate stand and transform the way we treat cannabis in Aotearoa. The cannabis referendum is fast approaching. This is a chance to put health, wellbeing, and justice for all at the heart of our laws.

That’s why it’s so important we start building the power of our movement now. Tonight our community has an incredible opportunity to learn from activists and organisers from the USA on the front lines of powerful movements calling for just, compassionate drug laws grounded in justice, health and wellbeing for all. 

Apparently, decriminalising weed will be good for my wellbeing, particularly if I am a woman of colour, because “There’s never been a drug law that wasn’t tied to race.”

I must have missed the fine print in the NZ drug laws that says to only prosecute a drug dealer if they have brown skin. Someone needs to let our NZ Police know about this fine print in the law. Last time I checked they were dragging drug dealers off to prison kicking and screaming regardless of what colour they were.

[…] Deborah Small leads Break the Chains: Communities of Color and the War on Drugs, an organisation devoted to enacting drug policies based on public health, compassion, racial justice, and human rights by building the power of communities of colour. 

asha bandele is an award-winning journalist and author of The Prisoner’s Wife, and the co-author of When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir.

Linking race and terrorism extreme activism to a lobby group that wants communities of colour to have “compassionate” access to weed, so that they can destroy their health in a racially-just way because they have the human right to make stupid decisions, sounds like a great idea.

[…] Their inspiring korero was packed with wisdom that will help guide our community in the leadup to the referendum. At the symposium, lawyer and academic Khylee Quince shared an insight she had learned from Matua Moana Jackson; “What is courage but taking a deep breath before doing something difficult?”
Let’s take a deep breath, and do this together.

bob marley smoking GIF
Let’s take a deep breath…

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