Duncan Garner: Cannabis flip-flop on the way

Opinion 06/05/2019

It's easy to make big social and economic promises when you think no one is watching, or following you.

For example, Labour, nine months out from the election - it could have promised each Kiwi a million dollars and still lost, that's how tuned out the voters had become. 

But that was then and now the eyes of the country are on Labour's every move and Jacinda Ardern's "year of delivery" is looking shaky.

So often it appears the Government is bluffing, or making it up as they go.

It's easy to promise big in opposition, harder to make it happen in office.

Kiwibuild is more like roadkill. The transformational bit of the Government got shelved when the capital gains tax was parked under the file "do not open unless you want to lose".

Now it's the referendum on cannabis.

Labour promised a binding referendum but there's talk it may not be, it may be up to the Government. 

Here's the thing, I quite like the sound of this particular, possible, policy flip flop.

I think if this legalisation doesn't go ahead we'll be winning.

We have so many drugs around our community now, why on earth do we need to legalise another when we have barely discussed this as a nation and with our young people.

Why on Earth would we send them the message that cannabis is harmful to the growing brains of young people, then turn around and say you can smoke it from age 20 - fill your boots. 

Let's focus first on setting up a proper medicinal marjuana industry for sick and dying New Zealanders.

On that, I fully support the change.

But let's put the referendum on hold. Why is there such a rush?

It won't hurt anyone if we go slow, we need to be careful what is being wished for here. 

On this one, I say, flip-flop right ahead.

Duncan Garner is host of The AM Show.