Cannabis decriminalisation now!


Chloe Swarbrick and the Greens proposed positive cannabis reforms worth supporting. New Zealand First and some Labour MPs have blocked this.

by Martin Gregory

Parliament’s so-called “progressive” majority fails to support Swarbrick’s medicinal cannabis reform


Within two days Parliament has considered two Bills on medicinal cannabis. The net result falls far below the reform of cannabis prohibition that the public wants and had a right to expect.


An extremely timid Government Bill passed its First Reading with all-party support. All it does is allow legal dispensation for only the terminally-ill to use regulated, commercially-produced cannabis products.


The second, a Private Member’s Bill piloted by Chloe Swarbrick, went beyond the Government’s as it would allow the use of cannabis in medically-certified cases of chronic pain. The patient, or their nominee, would have dispensation to grow cannabis, which would alleviate the problem of the prohibitive cost of commercially-produced medicinal cannabis products. This was too much. Parliament voted the First Reading of Swarbrick’s Bill down by 73 to 47.

[Read More…]

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From the archive

Anzac Day: Against the Carnival of Reaction

mobiliseagainstthewarOn Anzac Day 1967, at the height of New Zealand involvement in the ‘American War’ in Vietnam, with New Zealand troops taking part in the suppression of the Vietnamese struggle for national liberation, members of the Progressive Youth Movement in Christchurch tried to lay a wreath following the dawn service in memory of those killed by imperialism in Vietnam. They were arrested and charged with disorderly behaviour. Feminists a decade later faced down a media-driven public outcry when they laid wreaths to the victims of sexual violence during war.

Lest we forget? It’s more like lest we remember. Anzac Day serves as a carnival of nationalist reaction, a day of public ritual aimed at promoting forgetting: forgetting the real legacy of New Zealand imperialism and militarism in favour of a sentimental nationalism, an anti-political celebration of national unity. [Read More…]