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OPINION: Cannabis referendum a political stunt?

Monday 11 July 2022 | Written by Ruta Tangiiau Mave | Published in Opinion

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OPINION: Cannabis referendum a political stunt?
A cannabis referendum will be held during this year’s general election. STUFF/22071002

If laughter is the best medicine and marijuana makes you laugh, does that mean that marijuana is the best medicine? By Ruta Mave.

This is the question for our upcoming election referendum. This is not a deal breaker or a decision maker, this is a question to gauge the opinion of the people of what they prefer. Spoiler alert – the government do not have to act on the will of people even if the majority vote for it. 

Take for instance the referendum asking Aitutaki residents if they want to have flights on a Sunday, the majority voted ‘No’, then what former prime minister Henry Puna do? Nada, zip, that’s right nothing, he ignored it and flights continued on Sunday.

Remember the protests by pensioners marching the streets against the Cook Island Party taxing their superannuation. Most disturbing was charging them two years of back tax placed with no notice and tolerance. They even removed money from pensioners bank accounts a week before Christmas. Many families believe they lost their elderly due to the stress put on them during this time by the government. If only they could have offered them a ‘brownie’ to chill and relax maybe they would still be alive today.  

Other petitions thrown out by this government signed by thousands include the protest against the Chinese re-building our water system due to the state of the justice, police and sports stadium buildings. Mark Brown defended the decision, then put down the NZ inspector who exposed the lack of proper work by the Chinese labour force brought in – denying jobs for locals. After securing a New Zealand firm to fix it, his government is going to sue the Chinese company for negligence – yeah right, smoke and mirrors, no word since.

WTF – where’s the fish? Purse seine fishing rights brought people marching the streets, thousands signed against it, government warned their office minions they could have an opinion so long as it was done in their time and no one would recognise them as a minion puppet of the government – one of those read between the line gags.

While chants rang in the streets, behind closed doors CIP’s Puna signed off the worst negotiated contract ever produced and sold our fish from the protected Marae Moana at a price so despicably low as to be an insult to us all – eight years licence for $8 million – a mere estimated 16 cents per kilo while we the people – if we can find any fish left – are paying $20 to $30 per kilo. Unbelievably, government extended the contract another three years with no adjustment to the contract price. You have to wonder if they were smoking weed to be so blind and compliant. I’m sure pot dealers use better math in their transactions.

The last petition thrown out before reading was the chlorine poisoning of our water. Why after the system was upgraded with added filters of sand, UV and in new pipes making it cleaner than what we had survived on since the 60s with no outbreak of cholera do we need chemicals? The $100,000 annual cost to taxpayers plus environmental damage of dumping the sludge is horrendous. Mark Brown mused we have had swimming pools for so long why are we worried about chlorine in the country? I think perhaps he got a ‘bong’ on the head, because everyone knows you don’t drink swimming pool water because people pee in it.

If we were to have medical marijuana legalised, we would have to determine who really needs it. I can imagine the man flu would become an epidemic unlike anything seen by Covid-19

It could help the economy if we diversified into planting organically grown medically approved cannabis for export. It may be the first-time agriculture has an excess of volunteers to work the fields. Unfortunately, I can see the old local habits kicking in and after weeding the ‘weed’ some brain addled worker will set the cutting piles alight and whoosh there goes the neighbourhood into a dazed state of red eyed oblivion. Another positive economic standpoint will be the increase in small businesses becoming munchie stores.

If we can’t protect our lemons and watermelon from theft, how will we ever be able to protect the cannabis plantations? We could use dogs especially those who are attacking the tourists and becoming a menace. However, I can see after a while and some burn off mishaps, we will end up with Scoobie, doobie, doo dogs with their handlers looking like Shaggy with a baggy.

So medical marijuana who knows if it will come in, it’s more likely a political stunt to make you believe this government will listen and give you what you think you want. If you believe our history doesn’t repeat, you’re very wrong.