December 13, 2019

Cannabis Referendum

Cannabis Referendum

The Kiwi Party supports the legalization of Cannabis being decided by referendum. However, we do not think that it should only Government which decides which referenda are to be binding. Our position is that all referenda should be binding.

We agree that cannabis should be legalized, for three main reasons:

  1. Statutes prohibiting the individual from doing as they please with their own body contradict the common law and are a mark of slavery

    For something to be a crime in English common law it must entail a physical harm to another. This requirement is fundamental as once you go beyond this threshold the Law becomes the vehicle for enforcing the moralistic or ideological views of those in power. This leads to a us vs them culture and so society breaks down. Because criminal sanctions are visited on more and more activities the power of the Police grows. The police in turn are corrupted by this power and society either turns into a police state or there is a civil war.

    The “war on drugs” has actually been a sustained attack on the rule of law, with limits on the power of the state, such as protections against unreasonable search and seizure, being largely swept away. Statutes prohibiting behavior which does not harm another blur the line between lawful and criminal behavior. As they impinge on Liberty they no rational force and so are flouted, leading the law abiding into association with criminality.

  2. The ‘war on drugs’ promotes the profits and extent of drug use

    Have we learnt nothing from Prohibition? Criminal organisations have flourished and with such enormous amounts of money at issue corruption is a concern.

    Humans are a curious species and the most curious are the young. This is our great advantage and has been the driver for all development. Banning something is the best way to get curious and adventurous youth to take it. Add to this that smoking cannabis has become a badge of adulthood and cannabis consumption could not have been better marketed to the young.

    Those who argue against legalization on the basis of detriment to youth are willfully blind to the obvious, which is that cannabis is widely available and where it isn’t, synthetics take its place and synthetics are a far worse drug. Deaths caused by synthetics can be laid at the feet of the advocates of cannabis prohibition.

  3. Cannabis is traditional medicine.

    One of the most powerful interests in society today is the pharmaceutical industry. This industry activity opposes alternative remedies, as they compete with its products. Cannabis has been used as a traditional medicine in many cultures for time out of mind. Everything can be abused but if everything capable of being abused was banned there would be nothing left. it was estimated that in 2017 there were 3000 deaths in the UK per annum. related to daily aspirin intake. Conversely the table below gives zero deaths caused by cannabis.

Annual Number of Deaths By Selected Causes in the US, Including Deaths Attributed to Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use

Cause of death (Data from 2016 unless otherwise noted) Number
All Causes 2,744,248
Major Cardiovascular Diseases [MCD] 835,947
Diseases of Heart [subset of MCD] 635,260
Cerebrovascular Diseases [subset of MCD] 142,142
Malignant Neoplasms [Cancer] 598,038
Deaths Attributed to Tobacco Smoking (Each year from 2005 through 2009) 480,320
Accidents (Unintentional Injuries) [Total] 161,374
Motor Vehicle Accidents [subset of Total Accidents] 40,327
Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases 154,596
Alzheimer's Disease 116,103
Diabetes Mellitus 80,058
Drug-Induced Deaths 67,265
Influenza and Pneumonia 51,537
Nephritis, Nephrotic Syndrome and Nephrosis 50,046
Intentional Self-Harm (Suicide) 44,965
Septicemia 40,613
Chronic Liver Disease and Cirrhosis 40,545
Alcoholic Liver Disease [subset of Chronic Liver Disease] 21,815
Injury by Firearms 38,658
Alcohol-Induced Deaths 34,865
Parkinson's Disease 29,697
Pneumonitis Due to Solids and Liquids 19,715
Assault (Homicide) 19,362
Viral Hepatitis 6,421
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Disease 6,160
All Illicit Drugs Combined (2000) 17,000
Cannabis (Marijuana) 0