THC News February 2017 - Page 8

The Green Party has long claimed to support decriminalisation of cannabis but as their members will tell you it is an ongoing source of infighting within the party.

The Green Party have been in Parliament since 1996 but have comprehensively failed to stand up for the rights of cannabis users throughout this time.

They have become obsessed with maintaining power and part of this involved targeting pro-cannabis voters, but there lack of action has lead many commentator to believe they are totally disingenuous in their support for cannabis reform.

Many people believe that Metiria Turei voluntarily introduced a medical cannabis Bill in 2009. However, the reality was that the bill was introduced by Nandor Tanczos and Jeanette Fitzsimons over a decade earlier. Metiria simply delayed it for a long as possible without making any effort to improve the quality of the Bill to ensure the support of a majority of MPs.

For example, Metira was widely criticised by MPs who would have supported the bill in a different form but voted against it because it relied on police busting recreational users to supply medical patients with the confiscated weed.

Ever since Nandor Tanczos became an MP, the Greens have moved to silence the pro-cannabis voices and marginalise the issue within their own party. According to former Green Party executive member Duncan Eddy, Helen Clark was willing to support cannabis law reform after the 1999 election, if Nandor fronted the law change. However, pressure from within the Green Caucus, particularly from Sue Kedgley and Iain Ewen Street, prevented the Greens going ahead with any law change.

Green Party conferences have often been dominated by a majority who are ashamed of having to support cannabis law reform, while only a vocal minority defend the policy. One former Green Party member defected to The Cannabis Party after Metiria Turei scolded him for asking her about cannabis at a public meeting. He believes the latest announcement from the Greens about an updated cannabis policy is another disingenuous attempt at vote buying, that will lead cannabis activists down a dead end street.

The Green have publicly expressed support for Peter Dunne's approach to cannabis policy. This is despite Peter Dunne being the arch-nemesis of cannabis law reform, who has used the balance of power to prevent reform since 2002. Green MP Marama Davidson even opposed a referendum about medical cannabis and said “it's better to continue with the work to date by Peter Dunne”.

Metiria Turei has refused to ask even a single question in Parliament about cannabis, despite promising party members that she would do so. The Greens have also been silent on the Industrial Hemp issue since Nandor took the first step towards reform a decade ago.

The Greens have admitted that cannabis is a low priority and will not be a bottom-line in any post election negotiations. This virtually guarantees that no reform will take place. The Labour Party has also been unwilling to support Helen Kelly's referendum legislation on cannabis, which was blocked by the Labour Caucus.

The Greens have never backed a regulated taxable marketplace for cannabis. This ignores the key aspects of cannabis reform, which would simultaneously undermine the black-market while generating significant public revenue for schools, hospitals and public services.

Since Julie-Anne Genter announced the slightly modified cannabis policy, the Greens have returned to the usual silence around the issue. They have refused to answer any correspondence from the Cannabis Party and have done nothing to further promote the policy

The Law Commission has said that cannabis would already be legalised if it wasn't for New Zealand's commitment to the United Nations global prohibition of cannabis. The Greens openly support the UN and Agenda 21. Therefore it would be contradictory for the Greens to break UN protocol and reform cannabis laws. The Greens have utterly failed to address how they be able to defy the UN if they were to implement their own cannabis policy.

It is obvious that the Greens are engaging in dog-whistle politics to try to suck-in as many pro-cannabis votes as possible while doing as little as possible to progress the issue. This is the same despicable tactic that Peter Dunne has been using on pro-medical cannabis groups like United in Compassion NZ and the Drug Foundation, to ensure the the movement is divided into factions which can be easily conquered by prohibitionist forces.

The Greens only care about preserving their own positions of power, while sacrificing meaningful political achievements. This is a classic example of a political party which has sold-out and embraced the disastrous Iron Law of Institutions.




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The Hemp & Cannabis News POLITICS

February 2017 8