Dear Editor, in December of 2020 the Fijian Government initiated talks for hemp to replace the sugar industry as the backbone of the economy.
saw the need to diversify its economy away from tourism. They were aware the environmental advantages
to grow hemp were multiple, with no biosecurity risk. Domestic and foreign
investment into agriculture would greatly benefit the economy. The Fijians were
thinking about and planning the future with imagination. By December of 2021
the Fijian Government announced they will start to issue licenses to farmers to
grow (industrial) hemp.
all this was going on during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the people of
the Cook Islands were calling out the Government to diversify away from an
over-reliance on tourism.
far, that shout out has fallen on deaf ears and nothing has been done to
diversify the economy.
of joining the lucrative global cannabis industry with projected growth to
surpass over US$100 billion around the globe by 2025, Government has failed to
cash in, while the national debt soars.
letter writer called on Mark Brown to legalise the use, growth, and
distribution of cannabinoids in the Cook Islands over three months ago.
nothing has been done to reverse laws that ignorantly label cannabis a
dangerous drug. And in doing so continues to make life miserable for some
least that can be done is to allow for the importation of hemp seeds.
seeds can be grown into plants to make CBD oil. You can easily make CBD oil at
home. While it won’t be crafted with the same precision of professional
extracted CBD oils, a homemade batch is still safe. CBD oil is widely
recognised to reduce pain, ease anxiety, combat inflammation and improve your
response to stress.
and Pop cottage industries could pop up overnight to sell the many products
derived from hemp plants.
also needs to allow locals to grow a set number of marijuana plants for their
own personal use, and fine people, not jail them, if they exceed the limit.
CBD and marijuana are legalised it would prompt a lot of Cook Islanders to come
back home, thereby erasing our labour shortage Not to mention how attractive it
would be for tourist to visit our shores.
Right now, we allow four times convicted drunk drivers, riding on the wrong side of the road to escape jail time, while we imprison first time convicted marijuana users.
need a change in our society.
a long way to go before the next election. It could go the way of the 1990s
elections, where for the first and only time, those elections weren’t won on a
and their party were put under the microscope of an intense and relentless
media and letter writing blitz, that resulted in a new Government.
The mandatory 48-hour Covid test
pre-departure is making it difficult for double jabbed New Zealanders living
outside of Auckland and Wellington to consider holidaying in the Cook Islands,
particularly if flying out from Auckland on Sundays.
My own experience is that I can only
get my test done on Friday morning at my regional centre – they close Saturday
and Sunday. From there take our tests to my local DHB, pay $160 per person to
the laboratory there.
Collect the result from the
laboratory after they have done their tests and then start emailing the various
Cook Islands immigration authorities those negative results.
If my flight is delayed by 1 hour, I’ll
lose my ability to fly, and if it’s mandated to be 48 hours, then no health
official is going to risk their job by permitting my family and I to travel,
even if it’s 1 hour.
72 hours is too long, 48 hours is
too short. Somewhere in between would work better for regional NZ.