Actually Kate, many of us agree with you.

Kate Hawkesby decides to spread a bit of fear, uncertainty, and doubt regarding the up coming cannabis referendum. Ironically, many on the ?Yes? side actually agree with the points she makes. quote.

Quote:As we edge ever closer to our referendum next year on cannabis, the debate’s heating up.

[?]But part of living in a democratic society is being able to look at debate from all sides. At the moment with the legalise cannabis debate, I tend to come at it from my standpoint as a parent.End of quote.

Agreed. And unlike the MSM, here at Whaleoil you will find intelligent debate and respectful commentary on all sides of the issue. quote.

Quote:But one angle which pricked [sic] my interest this week was that of its move into the hands of big corporates – and with that, it’s increased potency.

If we look to overseas examples, which we should, a Colorado native and author of the book “Weed, Inc”, Ben Cort has been shedding some light on what’s happened in his hometown.

Colorado legalised cannabis in 2012. Since then, commercial interests have taken over sales and they’re making millions.End of quote.

Um, wasn?t Family First NZ saying just a short while ago that the ?promised? cannabis profits hadn?t materialised? But I digress. quote

Quote:Not only that, the product’s been hijacked. The ‘natural plant’ as cannabis enthusiasts from the 1970s may’ve called it, is no longer just a plant. It’s concentrated and distilled into edibles, eye drops, gum, lollies, nasal sprays, ice cream – whatever you can think of now contains THC ? which is the active ingredient in marijuana. The part that gets you high.

Cort says it’s so dramatically more potent now than it was back then. Where plants of the 70s may’ve contained about 4 per cent THC, the levels now are more like 42 per cent.

Why? Because it’s now being grown in glasshouses and commercial production facilities, with pesticides, fertilisers and metals added to it.

[?]So with the increase in THC comes of course the increase in addiction. The key factors in terms of addiction are age of onset, frequency of use, and potency. It’s said that adolescents who take up cannabis these days have a 50 per cent chance of getting addicted. It used to be around 17 per cent.End of quote.

I?m calling bullshit on that. But in any case adolescents should be kept away from dope, which, incidentally, is a big reason to legalise. No one but the dopiest of dope heads (or maybe the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, but the same thing really) thinks that kids should be allowed to smoke cannabis. quote.

Quote:The arguments against ? that it’s a health issue and not a criminal one ? I hear that. But don’t we create a bigger health issue for ourselves than we already have with those other legalised corporatised addictive drugs such as tobacco and alcohol? End of quote.

So we should ban alcohol and tobacco? Oh, that?s right, we won’t because history tells us that prohibition doesn?t work. quote.

Quote:They’re legal: look how that turned out. Is this what we really want for our country? A more potent drug than ever before, and in the hands of corporate giants milking it for every cent?

I wouldn’t have thought so.End of quote.

And there we have fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

Cannabis being taken over by corporate interests is a major concern on the pro-legalise side, especially for those who see cannabis as ?their? drug. In fact, I rate it as more of a concern than people voting ‘no’, simply because they don?t like dope. No one wants to see a situation where the cannabis industry makes 80% of its profits from 20% of its customers. If we don?t get it right, this is will make many people who are actually on the pro-legalise side vote ‘no’. Or to put it another way, I?m talking about users who?d rather weed be in the hands of the black market than be in the hands of corporates.

Here?s what is likely to happen. Before the referendum, legislation will be drafted that will be ready to be made into law when and if the referendum is passed. This legislation will go into detail on age limits, maximum levels of THC allowed, where, when, and to whom cannabis can be sold etc. It?s very unlikely for instance that edibles will be allowed.

The legislation is also likely to be very conservative as it?s always better to let the genie slowly out of the bottle than to try and put it back in.

So nothing to fear, no uncertainty, and no doubt.

Finally, it should be remembered that the increase in potency that the guy that Family First NZ dragged over from Colorado talks about happened when cannabis was illegal.

So Kate, if the only reason you?re voting ‘no’ is that you?re worried about big corporates and your kids being sold strong weed then given that the legislation will address these issues, you must in good conscience vote ‘yes’. That?s despite your opinion on cannabis itself. Otherwise you?re just another bigot.