Watching Jacinda Ardern virtue signal about the need for New Zealand to take in country-shopping refugees from Manus Island is disgusting when she is representing a Government that is currently committing human rights abuses against its own people. The fact is that if the Sixth Labour Government wants to get a reputation for being on the correct side of human rights issues, it needs to start at home with a repeal of cannabis prohibition.
Putting a sick person in a cage for growing the medicine they need to alleviate their suffering is a human rights abuse. No reasonable person doubts this anymore, despite the 80 years of propaganda seeking to demonise the plant. There is ample evidence that cannabis is medicinal and should never have been made illegal.
Plenty of unreasonable people once argued otherwise, and unfortunately our law still reflects the conclusions drawn by those unreasonable people in the form of the Misuse of Drugs Act. But much like prohibiting women from voting, or to putting gay men in cages like animals, reasonable people have kept the pressure on to get the law changed to something reflecting basic human compassion.
The majority of the New Zealand people now believe that the politicians who criminalised growing medicinal cannabis, and the Police officers, judges and bailiffs that enforce this illegal law are human rights abusers. This is because, if people do not have the right to a medicine that takes their suffering away when they get sick, then they don’t have any rights at all.
A law that forces sick people to endure unnecessary suffering when those sick people could themselves be growing a palliative medicine is obscene. It’s more obscene than anything else currently happening in New Zealand, and this is why Ardern needs to begin with a repeal of cannabis prohibition and not by meddling with Australian “refugee” policy.
It’s clear that it’s important to the Sixth Labour Government that they are seen to be doing the right thing. Much of the argument for voting for them in the first place is moral – that a greater redistribution of wealth would alleviate poverty and that we have a moral obligation to reduce poverty because it causes suffering. So they have an obligation to actually make moral decisions.
It’s also clear that the Fifth Labour Government fell, in part, because the public perception was that it was more interested in being seen to do the right thing than actually doing the right thing. They started to appear hollow and dishonest to a jaded electorate, and the public became cynical.
In order to avoid this, Ardern’s Government ought to deliver a meaningful win to the disenfranchised and dejected masses who voted them in, and quickly. It ought to introduce an immediate moratorium on cannabis arrests, effective today, by giving notice to Police Commissioner Mike Bush that it had intent to repeal cannabis prohibition.
If the intent was to look good from taking correct moral actions, this is one that the Fifth Labour Government should have taken 18 years ago, because there was enough evidence for California to make medicinal cannabis legal in 1996. Ardern would do well to make up for the tardy refusal of the New Zealand Government to stay informed; a pig-headedness that has caused so much suffering.
Of course, if Jacinda Ardern had any real integrity, and wasn’t just another of the virtue-signalling hypocrites that Western voters now expect leftist politicians to be, she would make a public Government apology to those impacted by cannabis prohibition, emphasise that the New Zealand Government never had the right to make The People’s Medicine illegal and open discussions about compensation for past criminal convictions. That would be the result of making an objective, honest appraisal about how to put things right.
This is too much to realistically hope for, but we can still call for an immediate moratorium on cannabis arrests on the basis that prohibition will not survive this term of Government.