Billy McKee should be discharged

Sick and injured New Zealanders deserve respect and dignity, but the prohibition laws on cannabis persecute and punish.  We have highlighted this before, put legislation up to fix the system and to make it possible for people to use cannabis as a medicine.  Thousands of New Zealanders agree to a compassionate law, but not yet the politicians. But the issues is urgent because people are being convicted for medicinal use.

The most recent high profile case is that of Billy Mckee.  Billy should never have been arrested let alone convicted.  There is a growing campaign to support him.

Anarkaytie has set out the background.

Billy McKee was convicted on five charges. Sentencing has been set down for Palmerston North District Court on the 30th October, 2012. Billy has been bailed to his home address while awaiting sentencing.

Billy McKee, who hosts the GreenCross NZ medical cannabis users website, was arrested in 2010 on charges relating to his medical cannabis use.

Billy campaigns for legalisation of cannabis, and considers that it is one of the best medications to deal with chronic pain.

Billy lost a leg below the knee when a drunk driver deliberately rammed his motorbike over 30 years ago. The incident resulted in him being confined to a wheelchair and in constant pain from nerve damage to the stump as well as suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

The pain medications he was prescribed by doctors caused intolerable side effects where even driving was considered unsafe. He found that the only thing that controlled his pain, depression, irritability and other symptoms, while still allowing him to function, was cannabis.

This led him to study the medical benefits of cannabis, become a counsellor and form GreenCross, an organisation devoted to helping sick people obtain relief through the medicinal use of cannabis.

McKee now faces jail time for running GreenCross and helping sick patients obtain their medicine.

He was entrapped by an undercover police officer posing as someone suffering from severe migraines. McKee said that migraines can indicate in the early stages of brain tumors and many people have found that cannabis relieves the symptoms of migraines and allows them to function normally.

McKee accepted the young man as being a genuine sufferer. The undercover cop appealed to his compassion in asking Billy to supply him with cannabis. Billy says, “I was really worried about him.”

58 thoughts on “Billy McKee should be discharged

  1. Dunne has called medical cannabis users “garbage”, their suffering is of no consequence to him.

    Dunne also receives money from the tobacco industry and as associate minister of health he spent more time meeting and receiving gifts from the alcohol industry than actually meeting doctors and health professionals.

    Dunnes a puffed up two faced rat, he is the perfect example of how our cannabis laws work and why they will ultimately fail.

    Its a shame that so many lives get hurt and resources wasted because of creeps like dunne and other dirty politicians.

  2. Dave said “Fin, I see you have no answeer to “If a parent can be prosecuted for disciplining a child with a smack, a dope smoker can be prosecuted for smoking dope.””

    Sorry Dave, I hadn’t realised you wanted a reply.
    Firstly, a parent (indeed anyone) can be prosecuted for assulting a child. A parent cannot be prosecuted for simply ‘disciplining’ a child. Also, the police are instructed not to prosecute when dealing with alleged assult cases involving parent/child where the ‘assult’ is deemed inconsequencial.
    http://www.police.govt.nz/news/release/4027.html

    I don’t think this thread is the place for further discussion aroung S59.

    Dave, I find you very difficult to understand, when you justify the 12mnth home detention of Billy on the grounds of your apparent mis-interpretation of S59.
    It seems that you do not agree with S59, and think that it’s not a good law. On this basis you think that Billy should be punished? Or maybe because you have to live with a law that you don’t agree with, you think that I should live with a law I don’t agree with…

    I don’t know.

    But you are wrong about Dunne listening to experts/best advice! He outright dismissed ANY changes to cannabis laws IMMEDIATELY after the latest Law Commision report. Although my next quote is not the one I was looking for it’ll do for now, unless you keep stating that Dunne follows the best advice.
    From http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/next-government-will-overhaul-misuse-drugs-act
    “Among the more controversial Law Commission recommendations in its May report was that clinical trials be conducted into the medical use of leaf cannabis.

    “We are not going with that recommendation.” said Mr Dunne

  3. nznative – I think the electorate of Ohariu should be dis-established considering only 13,500 odd votes were required to gain that seat.
    If you consider there are 4 million people in NZ and there are 121 seats in parliament, it would mean to be truly democratic the seat should require 30,000 votes.
    I can only think that this seat was created when MMP began was to allow Peter Dunne to get back into parliament.

  4. Dave Striger equates using Cannabis with hitting children, stealing cars and Grievous Bodily Harm ………… does his stupidity know no bounds?, certainly his moral compass is broken.

    And then he stands up for the sell out creep Peter Dunne, the same Peter Dunne who’s support will allow the Government to sell OUR asserts despite an overwhelming majority of voters in Dunnes electorate being opposed to this. Anti-democracy Dunne.

    Dunne is ship jumping rat who is in the pocket of the tobacco and booze industry’s to name but two.

    Each election his support shrinks and soon he will be flushed from parliament

  5. MArk
    You clearly do not understand how things work. The “officials” are appointed by the managers (depSec, etc.,) of the Ministry that they work in. They are not ministerial appointments.

    Since my post
    dave stringer Posted November 19, 2012 at 4:07 PM
    I’ve tried to help you understand the prevelant view of (as I see it) te majority of New ZEaland tax payers, As I said then, enough is enough. g’day

  6. Dave, who do you think appoints these ‘officials’?

    Ignorance is bliss, as such there is no point continuing this conversation with you Dave.

  7. MArk
    If you think Peter Dunne makes his own decisions on this, or anything else for that matter, you don’t know the man. He’s not going to be pointed at, like others, for rejecting the advice of officials, he takes it and points to their expertise in these matters. So: when he rejects an application he is reflecting what the best advice he has received told him.

    Sativex is not just another pain killer, I grew up in Europe in the 60/70s and spent a summer relaxing in Amsterdam. To suggest that the only effect of cannabis is pain relief, is to say the same with heroin replacing the word cannabis!

    Let the law be about laws, and let communities, abide by the laws passed by their elected representatives, otherwise, lets do away with all laws and let every man have what he wants when he wants it!

  8. Dave, what I am saying is that Sativex has been gazetted by the govt.
    The only people able to approve use is the Ministry of Health, not a doctor.
    Peter Dunne is Associate Minister of Health and drugs are in his control of who can use what, he is the one all letters get sent to in regards to cannabis or Sativex to which we get replies from a standard form letter he sends to everyone.
    He has made media releases that state we are not allowed to use raw leaf because this Sativex product is available yet he is also the one who signs off on who gets access to Sativex.
    Sativex should be prescribed just like any other pain killer.

    All of the above is why we have Greencross, because Peter Dunne is preventing us access to the legal alternative.

  9. Mark
    are you saying it has been approved for use by Pharmac and no doctor in the land is prescribing it, or are you saying that you should be able to buy it as easily as a pack of cigarettes or a can of beer?

    Fin
    I see you have no answeer to

    If a parent can be prosecuted for disciplining a child with a smack, a dope smoker can be prosecuted for smoking dope.

    typical hypocracy me thinks!

  10. Dave, Peter Dunne is the govts representative of drug laws, the previous election he got about 24,000 votes, this election just gone he got 13,500 odd votes. This same person doesn’t allow the medical use of cannabis in raw leaf form but does allow the prescripton form known as Sativex which is cannabis oil mixed with alcohol, it is not a synthetic, it is the real thing mixed with alcohol, put into a bottle that you spray under your tongue.
    As much as there is this legal alternative to the actual plant it is simply not available for use, even the distributor of Sativex has left the country due to lack of sales.

    As much as we would like to live legally and follow rules like everyone else, this cold heartless politician sees us all become criminals instead.

  11. Fin
    So lets change the comparison. If a parent can be prosecuted for disciplining a child with a smack, a dope smoker can be prosecuted for smoking dope.

    As for the question of the majority, well, let’s see the Green Party sponsor a binding referendum at the next general election on legalising canabis. If the majority of voters vote in favour of legalisation, we won’t have a problem will we.

    My bottom line is really quite simple. We have elections to appoint representatives so that we can get things done without everyone fighting for their end of an argument with swords, fists, guns or nuclear bombs. Our definition of democracy is government of the people by the people for the people and through it we give our elected MPs the right to make laws in our name. As far as I’m concerned, someone who blatently breaks laws that have been democratically put in place should be have tyher franchise withdrawn and be asked to emigrate – but that’s just my opinion of how a successful society works.

    g’day, I’ve had enough of this topic, and the debate has turned into an argument, so enough, I will respond no more.

  12. Dave says “If the law was repealed I would have no problem at all”

    That’s good to hear. And that is why your comparisons to someone stealing a car or assulting someone are poor comparisons.

    I doubt you are correct in thinking that MOST NZers agree with the cannabis laws. Do you have any proof of this? The most recent Law Commission report said that change was needed.

    With 6 states in the US legalising and 1 in Aus for medical use, it shouldn’t be too long before you will have no problem with Billy at all :)

  13. FIN
    I have no problem with Billy per se, I only have a problem with him breaking a law that MOST people think is reasonable. If the law was repealed I would have no problem at all.

    NZNative (will you ever stop hiding behind that name?)
    You just don’t get it do you. You like to hide your lawbreaking behind an edifice of sand, in the hope that you will be supported by taking people in over moral high and low ground interchanging. Instead of taking a situation from another era and social setting, take today’s setting and todays moral norms and work through a decent comparison therein.
    IF there were a law passed today saying jews must wear yellow stars and be transported to camps for execution, I would be watching thousands of german citizens at the front of the crowd PROTESTING AGAINST that abhorant law and doing what could LEGALLY BE DONE to remove the party who passed such a law from government.

    The situation we are discussing here is not about repression of basic human rights, it’s about obeying laws that, to the majority of people, make reasonable sense, and which people SHOULD be prosecuted for breaking.
    Lets get back to the simple stuff that relates to today, if it’s OK to break this law, why isn’t it OK to steal if by stealing you are able to feed yourself and stave off illness?

    Instead of taking a situation from another era and social setting, take today’s setting and todays moral norms and work through a decent comparison therein.

  14. fin what you must understand is that if there were a law saying jews must wear yellow stars and be transported to camps for execution.

    Dave would work at that camp ……..

    If the law sais its ok then its ok with dave, Infact its better than ok …… its the LAW ( no thinking required )

  15. Hi Dave, If you have thought of any good that will come from/has come from Billy’s 12 month sentence, please share. But what I am really wondering is; if it were decriminalised or even legalised, would that change your opinion of Billy?

  16. Dave, you’ll find that us cannabis consumers are no more likely than the general population to ‘indulge’ in those aforementioned activities, probably less so since we consume the currently illegal alternative drug that doesn’t cloud your senses, or makes you aggressive the same way as alcohol does.

  17. I comment on political blogs to expose creepy morons like yourself dave.

    Unlike you I seem to have been taught the difference between right and wrong.

    And speaking of wrong here’s a link to a story showing how rotten our police force has become enforcing bad laws http://tumeke.blogspot.co.nz/2012/11/breaking-news-police-caught-out-lying.html

    The police seem to putting a lot of resources into entrapping medical cannabis users ………… at the same time they ignore child abuse cases and many other crimes.

    Our cannabis laws divert the police away from solving real crime like theft, assault, burglary etc etc etc.

    I know of one case where a blind boy had his cellphone snatched from him in a theft. Eventually the father was able to get the phone back and the thief had stupidly left a photo of himself on the phone.

    A complaint was made to the police but they were not interested …….. to busy busting medical cannnabis users I suppose.

  18. Ah yes, s/he who hides behind a pseudonym, anyone who doesn’t agree with your views is, of course, wrong.
    I note that my challege to change the law through legitimate methods doesn’t move you at all, and you beloieve yourself above the laws of New ZEaland, able to pick and choose which of them you will and won’t abide by. If that is your definition of decency it leaves a lot to be desired in the eyes of the many.

    Your total lack of societal integration and basic concepts of right and wrong would make you a good citizen of a country with a population of one. I wish you luck in finding such a place, in the meantime, carry on doing what you do, besides using illegal drugs I can only assume that drink-driving, petty theft, assault and other such activities will fill your days until you get caught by the authorities and removed from the society of law-abiding people. IN the meantime, why do you bother commenting on political blogs, yu will do your own thing irrespective of the rule of law so just ignore the rest of us who believe in change through civilised means as I will, from now on, ignore you.

    Maa Salam

  19. Your the one who compared GBH ( grievous bodily harm ) with cannabis use Dave, thats just moronic and your probably the only one so stupid not to see that.

    Your lack of personal moral fiber and basic concepts of right and wrong would make you a good citizen in a country controlled by fascists, a dictatorship, one party communist governments or a police state.

    Most decent people find it disturbing and wrong that the police should waste their time and our money on medical cannabis users.

    Its the sort of policing that Clint Rickards and Greg O’connor types bring us , they were both former undercover police officers.

    One of them has been purged from the police force ….. the other needs to be removed as their union rep mouth-piece.

    The cops need a damn good clean out …….

  20. NZNative
    I see you like to attack the man not the message – typical of those for whom reasoned discussion is too much of a challenge.

    A law is a law, don’t like it – get a campaign to repeal it that persuades more than half the House of Representatives, OR win enough seats in that same HoR to be able to pass laws that you like OR go live somewhere where they agree with you and don’t have laws you don’t like. In the meantime, you, as a member of NZ society, are EXPECTED to comply with ALL the laws, and if you don’t I expect the system to PROSECUTE YOU with all the resources at hand.

  21. Now the moron dave stringer is comparing pot smoking to GBH ( grievous bodily harm ), prohibition seems to compound peoples innate stupidity.

    The Nazis had a few laws people like davey boy would love to obey …….

    Don’t think …. OBEY

  22. Dave – we break the law because the law is unjust.
    Why is it a law in the first place?
    When you consider it causes far less harm than alcohol, works better than a lot of the current pain meds out there and to top it off you can’t over dose on the stuff like you can prescription medication.
    The evidence to prove what I am saying is all online, just takes a few google searches to find.
    Laws are designed to protect us, yet this law is about ensuring we use prescription drugs to treat pain, and drink alcohol for recreation.
    The real question you need to ask is why given the facts do politicians continue with status quo?

  23. What kind of moron doesn’t understand that breaking a law is breaking a law, whether or not you agree with that law! Someone who is too afraid of their true opinion being known that they hide them behind the term znative.

    Perhaps native you should meet one of those people who think that beating your body till your bones break and taking your wallet should not be criminal! The only subversive action taking place here is you attempting to subvert the law by encouraging people to ignore one of its facets.

    Your opinion is yours to hold, and I would die to ensure you can express it freely, but don’t ask me to agree with you on this matter, because I wont.

  24. What kind of moron equates stealing a car with smoking cannabis …. dave stringer.

    Its the Cannabis laws which are criminal and subversive, they lead to cops like Clint Rickards and Greg O’connor polluting our police force.

  25. 12 months home D.
    I have thought of some good that will come from this. In fact the more you look the better it gets:
    More undercover police employed (reduces unemployment)
    More lawyers and judges and other judicial workers, all gleefully employed.
    There are many many others employed in the prohibition industry too.
    But the biggest benefit is for the unemployed youth, who are potential future gang members. By keeping the sale of cannabis confined to the black market, we ensure they have choice of the gang they wish to join.

  26. @ Dave,
    ” Ghandi protested inequitable laws, he did not blatently break them.”

    “In an event that would have dramatic repercussions for the people of India, Mohandas K. Gandhi, a young Indian lawyer working in South Africa, refuses to comply with racial segregation rules on a South African train and is forcibly ejected at Pietermaritzburg.”
    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/gandhis-first-act-of-civil-disobedience

    “His approach was respected globally because of his refusal to break a law”

    Please read what civil disobedience is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_disobedience

  27. Ghandi protested inequitable laws, he did not blatently break them.
    His approach was respected globally because of his refusal to break a law, even if it was inequitable.

    I find your comment too sweeping to be acceptable, you suggest that it’s OK to disobey a law if I (an individual) believes it harms me. For instance, the law that jails people who steal is harmful to the thief, but it should not be “changed” to remove its effect on them.

    ANYONE who breaks a law should be punished, irrespective of their reason. Anyone who peacefully and legally protests laws that are inequitable should be admired.

  28. Laws that are harmful to the individual or society as a whole need to be changed. This is what civil disobedience is all about, as was shown in recent history by people like Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi in India for example.

  29. Trevor: ‘appropriate medical care’

    You obviously come from the side of the fence of those who don’t experience a long term debilitating condition to realise the drugs that are being prescribed actually make you feel worse. This is why alternatives are being sought to try and bring a better lifestyle outcome.
    If psychoactive effect or addiction are the reasons why we are not allowed to use cannabis as a medicine, then you need to have a close look at all these prescription pain killers currently on the market, they all give a psychoactive effect AND are addictive.

    Reality is that this is all about money, you can’t patent a plant and as such the most useful medicine that man has been using for thousands of years must be deemed illegal so the pharmaceutical industry can make a buck, and they lobby politicians hard to keep it that way!

    Politicians in turn produce fictional reports on the effects of cannabis easily disproved by scientific facts (if you can be bothered googling it)or use clever accounting to produce figures that sound astounding to the general public. A good example is the BERL report, when they did a similar report for Alcohol the alcohol industry stepped in howling and whaling about the clever accounting so the figure went from 2.1 billion to 1.2 billion in harm, for cannabis the BERL report remains unchanged and this even includes the cost of maintaining prohibition, oh and before I finish the BERL report on cannabis produced a figure of $400 million, still alot less than alcohol yet cannabis must remain illegal and alcohol treated with a wet bus ticket.

  30. fin – there could be some good. If they lock him up, they would be responsible for ensuring that he gets appropriate medical care. This could cost a lot more than his current medication, but he wouldn’t be the one paying…

    Trevor.

  31. Final comment.. ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi apparently said “It is the duty of EVERYONE to oppose UNJUST LAWS”

    I agree..

    Kia-ora

  32. “Perhaps a few months in the naughty corner will make him rethink his position.”
    I challenge you Dave, to actually consider the affect of a few months in jail; the affects on Billy, on his pain, on the tax payer, on the community…
    Do you actually see (any) good coming from locking him up?

  33. Dave. If you think we have a democracy, where have you been for the last 40 years.

    It has become even more apparent in the last 4 with Governments.
    that can do anything they like.

    We are given the delusion of democracy, with the option of playing musical chairs with the buggers three yearly, and vote in the lot we did not like last time.

    National have now abandoned all pretense. Calling themselves our “Governors”, not representatives! And sending our police for “crowd control” training.

    A Democratic government would not be able to go ahead with asset sales against the express wishes, and best interests, of 80% of us.

    Civil disobedience against Authoritarian rotating dictatorships is the only method of changing their bad decisions.
    Note; that NACT considers legitimate protest grounds for arrest. Like the students in Auckland.

  34. Dave – If you cannot see how your attitude enables the authoritarians you aren’t examining the entirety of its effects. I’ve encountered this before. It is a form of self-inflicted blindness, and it is damned uncomfortable understanding it if the eyes eventually open. Some do, some don’t.

    As for doing the time, sure, and that’s part of the decision process too. My point is that there is a decision.

    Civil disobedience of bad law is one of the ways in which it gets changed. Ignoring bad law is another way it gets changed ( and Cops can be just as selective about what they see as anyone else).

    This image is an example

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-H6E_MXvQyy0/T259ZFlSt2I/AAAAAAAAF4s/5j0Wj7l_IJU/s1600/hippie_puts_flower_in_gun.jpg

    … and HER actions changed minds.

    In the tradition of Thoreau.

    ++++++++++++++++

    Finally, at the point where the issue is taken up by parliament, police action to enforce bad law should be suspended. We as a party want this law changed. We have wanted it changed for a long time. The science supports the law change. Common sense supports the law change… AND public opinion supports the law change.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/6784931/Massive-support-for-medicinal-cannabis

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1110/S00044/poll-719-percent-in-favour-of-decriminalising-cannabis.htm

    There is also the UMR poll which I don’t see a direct link to.

    The party supports harm minimization, which current law fails UTTERLY to consider. Current law is as stupid as stupid gets Dave, and so it has to be challenged everywhere it is applied.

    Which includes us calling for it to NOT be applied. Your criticism is misplaced.

  35. By pretty much any measure of damage cannabis and a number of other soft drugs are less dangerous than legal drugs such as alcohol and in some cases tobacco. Yet their classification bears little correlation with their level of damage. If the “war on drugs” is going to be won, the less damaging drugs need to be put on a similar footing – regulated, restricted and taxed, not prohibited. Only the more harmful drugs should be prohibited. The level of taxation should match the amount of damage caused, including the costs of detecting abuse, i.e. the aim should be to be about financially neutral. The current policies simply reward the criminal elements who chose to grow cannabis for sale and punish the people who grow small amounts for non-profit making motives.

    By all means throw the book at those peddling heroin, P, etc.

    Trevor.

  36. The Law Commission, using expert opinion suggested a change in the law in regards to cannabis, politicians ignored it, so what’s democratic about that?

  37. BJ
    I question what governments do all the time. However, I believe in our democracy and that if you choose to break the law you are thereby also choosing to suffer the consequences if you are found out.

    Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time in other words.

    An authoritarian state is indeed the antithesis of freedom and democracy, and are usually found only where there is a dictatorship or significant skullduggery, which New Zealand is not. What you are advocating is that everyone should do what THEY believe is OK, irrespective of the laws of the land, and that is a position I cannot condone. If you can’t win enough votes to pass the law you desire, ignoring what laws there are is NOT the democratic way to proceed.

    So what the hell. You smoke dope and I’ll steal cars (I hope you have a nice one) and the lads from rough street can beat up little weak kids for their shoes and pocket-money, then everyone will be happy! Yeah Right!

  38. Sorry Dave, my point was very simple. It is that whether YOU believe it or like it or not, the decision to obey or not is made by EVERY individual EVERY time a “law” is encountered, and that this is recognized by Military as well as Civil authorities. Your absolutist philosophy reduces your decision making time, but does not remove it, nor guarantee correctness.

    I am surprised that you would call such decisions anarchy. They are simply made and you have made your position clear enough. I have naught but contempt for people who do not question authority. The authoritarian state is the antithesis of freedom and democracy, and people taking your position are enablers of absolutism.

  39. Mr. McKee mad a decision to practice civil disobedience, (break the law,) so he should have no regrets, even when he is punished for that disobedience. Perhaps a few months in the naughty corner will make him rethink his position.

    As for a blanket rule (law) on drugs, I too have reservations on any such blanket, but agree, that’s for a different thread.

  40. With respect Dave, there is a difference between civil disobedience and anarchy.
    “the right to decide which orders you will follow and which you will not is not arbitrary” Indeed, Mr Mckee was very specific about the ‘order’ he didn’t obey; hence the need for such a sneaky entrapment.

    Kerry, fair enough. I still have reservations re a blanket rule on ‘drugs’ but that’s for another thread.

  41. BJ
    I assume you were writing to me (even though my name is NOT David!).
    The reality of a society where everyone gets to choose which laws they will obey and which they will not is a significant proportion of its members reside in penal institutions.

    While your comments on the US military’s ethos are, in a war-time context, correct in that no soldier can be ordered to do something which breaches te accepted rules of war (sadly, those rules do not apply to terrorists,). However, the right to decide which orders you will follow and which you will not is not arbitrary, as to disobey an order will result in a Court Martial, and ONLY if there is an societal ethics (such as not massacering a village full of civilians,) or accepted legal (such as not shooting POWs because they exist,) basis for the refusal of an order will the result be an acquital. As an ex-officer I am surprised you would try to make that an excuse for blatent illegality, which it was never meant to be under the military code of conduct.

    As I said, “Government should be of laws, not of men”; however, such an approach only works if society in general agrees to it and complies with the laws. If there is a true medicinal value to a classified drug (and there are several that qualify under this heading,) we must trust our doctors and lawyers to make appropriate decisions, or descend into anarchy.

  42. I totally agree that some things are too dangerous and I would rather they are not around.

    However drugs being illegal has not prevented their use.
    Rather it has given illegal dealers a monetary incentive to supply them.

  43. The Netherlands has increased tourism form decriminalisation, but that will not occur here as we are so isolated. You couldn’t take any home with you from here (NZ) as you have to get on a plane. But in Europe you can drive and there’s no border stops.
    “An answer is to de-criminalise all drugs” Maybe so, but do we really need to treat all drugs the same? Drugs like P and bathsalts just seem so dangerous to me..
    Good Luck Billy.
    And kudos to you, Metiria.

  44. David

    Whether you like it or not, obedience of bad law remains bad. Obedience of ANY law is the option of the individual. Making up your mind which laws you will obey and which you will ignore, is ALWAYS done.

    You can do it the very simple way that YOU just proposed, or you can be more discriminating about right and wrong.

    You would have made a good Lt Calley, and you would have been a find soldier (“Just following orders”)… but you run a big risk of being wrong. Did you know that the US Military teaches its Officers, (or used to when I became one) that there is a moral requirement that YOU have to examine your orders. There are responsibilities that do not shift up the chain of command. You decide.

    Precisely the aspect of this which your approach rejects.

  45. Holland. De-criminalisation cut down the effects and costs of drug addiction among the locals. They do have a problem with “drug tourists” from other countries, though.

    An answer is to de-criminalise all drugs. Just make the sellers legally responsible for any harm they cause. Money to go to treating addicts. Like we do with sellers of any other products that are faulty or cause harm.
    Total prohibition does not work and costs huge amounts in wasted police time and profits to illegal dealers.

  46. Why is it that before the pharmaceutical industry started most ailments were treated using cannabis yet when the pharmaceutical industry got going it became this toxic plant that was so unsafe for anybody it must be made illegal?

    What big business want, big business get.

    Lets look at recent events by Peter Dunne – tells us Sativex is available and uses this as a reason why we aren’t allowed raw leaf, if you go and try to get Sativex you cant, its just not available at all.

    Then you look at the Law Commission report, medical gets completely ignored.

    Lately I have been working with people who are using morphine, methadone, gabapentin, tramadol, oxycontin and amatripteline and I can tell you their memory is shocking, they are confused, dazed. The psychoactive effect of these drugs far outweigh those of cannabis.

    These herbal highs he wants to regulate (if they pass a $2 million hurdle) are analogues of THC, so why not the real thing?

    What benchmarks are being set in what is considered safe and what is not, considering alcohol is causing most of the harm to society and if this is to remain legal then this should be the benchmark of what can be legal and what cannot, this will clearly prove cannabis to be safer.

    Peter only got 13,000 odd votes at the last election down from 21,000 I think, so that’s roughly 40% difference in voters, yet he still feels he has the mandate to continue down the same track, to me it would appear he is hell bent on controlling the drug market in favour of the alcohol industry, to him allowing cannabis to be legal would let the cat out of the bag and make it difficult to control yet doesn’t do anything to try and regulate the alcohol industry better, a recent speech he gave was the usual words from him – it’s only the few who are a problem and should affect responsible drinkers, yet alcohol is still causing most of the problems in society.
    I remember reading the letter John Key gave Peter Dunne about what ministerial roles he got as coalition partner, and I can’t remember seeing Associate Minister of Health written, so I wonder if he has a mandate at all!

  47. Government should be of laws, not of men.

    If there were binding plebiscites in this country the party could seek sufficient interest to hold one on this issue. However, parliament refuses to have any binding referenda other than the triennial general election, and even that is not binding as the proliferation of composit governments where no one platform is persued show.

    Today’s law is simple. Canabis is a banned drug, and its posession has legal consequences. If any political party wants to change that, there is a mechanism to do so, it’s called parliamentary process. Until such a change is achieved, it behoves the police, the judiciary AND all political parties to endorse the enforcement of law: to do anything else is to invite anarchy, and just watch how many people leave the country when that occurs!

  48. Just a thought.. I wonder what Suzanne (Mother Mary) Aubert would think of this ? She apparently grew Cannabis in the 19th century & marketed a line of medicines that included extracts of the plant.
    She has been recommended as NZ first saint..

    Kia-ora Billy & other who support law reform !

  49. @AA.. not sure about your comment.. are you SERIOUS ?
    There are people in the world who are calling for the death penalty for ALL ‘DRUG’offenders. But one thing I do know is that prohibition is a failure. They tried it with Alcohol in 1920s USA & it was repealed for being the cause of : Black-markets, corrupt authorities, violence, gangsters etc. Roll on 70 years & we see the same with Cannabis & ‘other drug’ prohibition. There are also those who say Cannabis has ‘NO KNOWN medicinal uses’ & yet it was used in the Ayurvedic tradition in India for thousands of years..
    When are people going to stop this hysterical nonsense ??
    Propaganda & misinformation are strong messages put about by those who I can only surmise are benefitting from this PROHIBITION.

    Freedom OF Choice, NOT.. Freedom FROM choice.

    Kia-ora Koutou

  50. Not actually a likely outcome here Andrew. Last I checked one could neither hitchhike nor ride a pushbike to New Zealand from.. well pretty much anywhere. :-)

    Nor have I heard any such actual discussion about Portugal, though the Dutch have had more than their fair share of riff-raff… I think that SOME might wish to reverse things, but overall the benefits of making addiction a treatable medical condition rather than a criminal behaviour greatly outweigh the negatives for any given society.

    It is one of the things I’d change on my first day as emperor of the universe. Not the first thing, but it’d be close to the top, because it is so damned expensive to get it SO wrong.

  51. Andrew: you’re thinking of the Netherlands with their ‘coffee’ shops.
    However there is a second example: Portugal. They made use of anything legal with penalties for supply. So instead of presecuting addicts they just treated them. They did a five years on review of that idea not too long ago and proclaimed it a great success. I guess McKee would have got in trouble in Portugal though.
    FWIW I think we waste too much effort banning cannibis, though I wouldn’t touch it myself.

  52. bjchip,

    Kind of. But it’s interesting that, according to Richard Branson (a proponent of liberal drug laws), a European country made drugs legal and it did indeed reduce the problems associated with drugs, with respect to their indigenous population. But it attracted all the “wrong” people into their country so they wanted to reverse the law.

  53. All drugs, including alcohol, should be illegal. And smoking should be illegal too.

    This would drive New Zealand’s junkie class out into Australia. Leaving us with a beautiful happy atmosphere of the type that can only be achieved via “social cleansing”.

  54. I agree 100% Metiria..
    Cannabis is recorded in ancient medicinal traditions in India & Asia going back over 5000 years, BUT the current misinformation & hysteria has effectively swept this aside. The zeal by police to prosecute all ‘Marijuana offenders’.. borders on criminal. Its time that there was a wide ranging debate & that people were strongly advised to remove their blinkers !

    Its interesting that Pres. Obama strongly advocated for law reform (when he was Senator) but now has joined the ranks of prohibitionists, even talking about recriminalizing Med-Pot which is decriminalised in about a third of states in USA. This usually leads to other nations blindly following their example.

    Politicians in Aotearoa need to start listening to the majority who according to many polls support medicinal cannabis law reform (as do the NZ law commission – report 2011)

    “FREE Billy McKee !!”
    Stand up & be counted.. Kia-ora

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