With the news that the Greens have more or less adopted the ALCP policy from the 2014 Election, there is a sudden interest in the sort of person who might be attracted to vote Green on the basis of this policy. In this specific instance, there’s one obvious and decent-sized demographic: actual ALCP voters from 2014, who were 10,961 in number.
So who are they? Well, they’re very clearly not the same sort of person who would vote National. The correlation betwen voting ALCP in 2014 and voting National in 2014 is -0.70. This is not at all surprising as the entire point of the war on drugs was to destroy the enemies of the conservative establishment.
Neither are they likely to vote ACT (-0.45) or Conservative (-0.54). These three correlations are fairly hefty, which tells us that the average cannabis law reform voter has a considerable level of apathy for conservatism and for right-wing politics in general.
Naturally, these correlations are the opposite on the left. Voting for the ALCP in 2014 and voting Labour in 2014 had a correlation of 0.38. For Internet MANA it was 0.76 and for the Maori Party it was 0.85.
Two correlations stand out against this easy narrative of ALCP voters primarily being leftists. They are the correlation between voting ALCP in 2014 and voting Green in 2014 (0.02) and with voting New Zealand First in 2014 (0.57).
The lack of a significant correlation with the Green Party vote might surprise many. It seems to be a natural assumption that, because the ALCP policy in 2014 was always more likely to be picked up in the future by the Greens than any other party, that a strong correlation ought to exist. The reality, however, is that the Greens and the ALCP have hitherto appealed to very different demographics.
The Greens have, since at least a decade ago, deprioritised their cannabis policy in favour of all kinds of trendy issues that appeal mostly to middle-class urban elites. This explains why the correlation between voting Green and Net Personal Income is 0.31, so much more positive than the correlation between voting ALCP and Net Personal Income, which is -0.40.
Not only do ALCP voters come from the other side of the socioeconomic spectrum to Green voters, but they are also much browner. The correlation between voting Green in 2014 and being Maori is (an insignificant) -0.09; for voting ALCP in 2014 and being Maori it is a whopping 0.89, one of the strongest correlations in this entire dataset.
This also explains much of the high correlation betwen voting ALCP and voting New Zealand First. The correlation between voting New Zealand First and being Maori is 0.66. Everyone who has ever met more than a few Maoris will have caught on to the popularity of cannabis within Maori culture, and it’s not surprising given the differential in how hard the law hits them that Maori are much more likely to cast a vote for cannabis law reform.
Few will be suprised that voting ALCP has a very strong negative correlation with turnout rate in 2014: -0.68. This is, however, only slightly worse than Labour’s correlation with voting of -0.67. So it’s less to do with lazy stoners and more to do with the general disenfranchisement of those who the system does not represent.
Cannabis voters have a moderate tendency to not be religious: correlations with voting ALCP in 2014 and being Christian, Buddhist or Hindu were -0.41, -0.52 and -0.40 respectively. Mirroring this was a correlation of 0.34 with having no religion. The odd statistic here was the sizable correlation between voting ALCP and having Spiritualism for a religion: this was 0.36.
If cannabis voters are poor, Maori and non-religious, it’s probably not surprising that they’re also young. Voting ALCP in 2014 had a hefty correlation of -0.55 with Median Age, which suggests that most of the people voting on the basis of this policy are young.
Perhaps the most interesting idea from all of these statistics is that the Greens might be winning votes with their new cannabis policy at the expense of New Zealand First voters. It’s apparent that many young Maori vote ALCP out of levity in their first election and then, as they age and become less radical, come to see the merit in voting New Zealand First. The Greens would be chiefly targeting these voters with their new cannabis policy.
If the Greens are making a serious push for cannabis voters again they may find that the demographics have changed since the last time they tried it, in 1999.
This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.
The Greens have taken their sweet time in updating their cannabis policy to something reasonable, and this newspaper has not shied from criticising them for dragging their heels. But today they did update it – and this update has electoral ramifications worth considering.
The updated drug law policy seems to be the responsibility of Julie Anne Genter (whose sponsored FaceBook posts you may have seen recently if you were in enough cannabis-related groups). This is her first major effort since assuming the role of Greens Health Spokesperson from Kevin Hague.
Most encouragingly, in an interview about the new policy Genter made a reference to Canada and the USA, in particular the Western seaboard closest to New Zealand. It’s in Colorado, Washington, Oregon and California that cannabis prohibition was repealed by referendum and in Canada that it is in the process of being repealed by a party that ran explicitly on the issue in a General Election.
She also used a couple of arguments straight out of the Cannabis Activist’s Handbook: that cannabis law reform was a similar sort of deal to gay marriage in that the herd was against until until it had had a few decades to think about it and that legalisation would make it harder – not easier, as it is considered by some – for young people to get hold of it because of the current lack of ID checks on the black market.
The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party has made a point of using the example of Colorado to suggest what a sane cannabis policy ought to look like. So if the Greens are signalling that this is also their long-term vision, then they ought to count on collecting votes from people who think along similar lines.
The ALCP scored 0.46% of the vote in the 2014 General Election. This isn’t much but it’s a lower limit on what the Greens might expect to gain from this policy.
All of these people were willing to drag themselves to the polls to vote for a party who had no realistic chance of making a difference but who did intend to make noise about the cannabis law, so it’s likely that the vast majority of people willing to vote for the non-Parliamentary ALCP would be willing to vote Green now that the Greens have a similar cannabis policy.
This newspaper estimated last year that the true amount of support for the ALCP was probably closer to 1%, based on the increase in support for reform to New Zealand’s drug laws since 2014 (change has been very rapid on this front). The Greens can count on most of those.
On top of that, one has to factor in all the people who would have voted for such a policy in 2014 had a major party supported it, as one now does.
These people are probably as least three times as numerous as those who voted ALCP in 2014 or were intending to do in 2017.
It’s interesting to note that voting Green in 2014 and voting ALCP in 2014 has a correlation of only 0.02. This is because Green voters tend to be white and wealthy whereas ALCP voters tend to be poor and Maori.
Voting ALCP in 2014 had a correlation of -0.40 with Net Personal Income, which suggests that cannabis voters are poorer than all but Labour, Maori Party and New Zealand First voters. Voting Green in 2014 had a correlation of 0.31 with Net Personal Income, which means Green voters are almost wealthier than average by as much as the average cannabis voter is poorer than average.
Implicit in these statistics is the potential for the Greens to attract a large number of new voters, especially those who didn’t vote in 2014, as the anti-cannabis brainwashing has been least effective on those who are already disenfranchised, such as Maori, young people and the mentally ill, and these traditionally low-voting groups now have a reason to reconsider.
These statistics suggest that there are many New Zealanders who have only just now started to hear the Green Party tune as the party seeks to expand outside of their traditional wealthy, white urban strongholds.
It’s easily possible that this new policy will result in 2% extra votes for the Greens on Election night 2017, because of the immense degree of disenfranchisement suffered by cannabis users before today. This alone would result in two extra seats once they were all dealt out.
After all, there are 400,000 cannabis users in New Zealand and our options, until today, were terrible.
Million of lines will be written about John Key’s shock resignation today, and most of them will be about the impact of this event on business and politics. For New Zealand’s 400,000 cannabis users, most of whom are already disadvantaged, the concern is more whether Key’s resignation will herald a shift to a sane and humane drug policy in New Zealand.
The National Party neglected its duty of care to the youth of New Zealand. Although the Baby Boomers generally cashed in royally on the booming house prices, the youth of New Zealand found themselves paying for those same increases in their rent and bigger debts.
For those young and poor, the Key era was more like an inquisition. Funding for rape crisis centres was slashed, cannabis prohibition was enforced as aggressively as ever, and access to financial help was restricted, mostly to pay for tax cuts for wealthy old people.
In fact, it could be argued – if somewhat cynically – that the purpose of National Party policy, especially on the drug front, is to destroy the young for the sake of the profits of the rich.
Not only was John Key strongly against even having a discussion about drug law reform, he even appointed the most aggressively anti-drug MP in Parliament, Peter Dunne, to the position of Associate Minister of Health, from where he was able to block all efforts for drug law reform.
John Key didn’t seem to have a problem with Dunne’s hamfisted efforts to ‘fix’ New Zealand’s archaic drug laws. He stood to one side when Dunne opened up the borders to Chinese legal highs of completely unknown origin. Even when reports of mental health casualties poured in from all corners, Key refused to criticise the blundering Dunne.
When Dunne brought in the disastrously flawed Psychoactive Substances Act, John Key voted to make it law, all the while ignoring the cries of thousands of Kiwis who have discovered medicinal benefit in cannabis. New Zealand was 12 years behind California on medicinal cannabis law reform when Key came to power – now we are 20 years behind, and still not a hint of progress.
No doubt the mainstream media will, in coming weeks, join in a chorus of “Rockstar, rockstar!” as they prepare New Zealanders to support globalist forces in the 2017 General Election.
Outside of the mainstream, and away from the arse-licking sycophants who have a corporate platform, Key will be remembered with bitterness for a long time.
Bill English, Key’s anointed replacement as Prime Minister, is also an old dinosaur, but he is known for being something of a pragmatist. In any case, chances of any meaningful change before the 2017 Election is extremely unlikely.
The best one can realistically hope for is that, with the resignation of a man who was like Torquemada to medicinal cannabis users, the country can finally have the long-suppressed rational conversation about drug law reform.
Once that happens, it’s simply a matter of time until the collective realisation dawns that cannabis prohibition must be repealed.
Damage from legal highs use is booming in Christchurch, and the Government has washed its hands of the human casualties.
Peter Dunne has said that nothing will happen until a review of the Psychoactive Substances Act in 2018, meaning that the door is closed to further drug law reform until after the next election (when Dunne might well be gone).
This newspaper pointed out at the time that the purpose of the Psychoactive Substances Bill was to delay drug law reform as long as possible. This warning went unheeded by the moronic sheep in Parliament, who rolled over on their backs and passed it with their full support.
So it looks as though Peter Dunne, the whore of the tobacco and alcohol industries, has successfully stymied all drug law reform for the nine years of National’s three terms.
Remember when the mainstream media was heralding this criminal as a drug law reformer on the basis of a few words in a speech in Vienna? They’re still puking out Government propaganda, this time calling the drugs “synthetic cannabis.”
Has anyone, in the history of New Zealand, done more damage to the youth of this country than Peter Dunne, who not only brought the plague of legal highs upon Kiwis but propped up a Government that slashed mental health care funding?
With Dunne’s support, the National Party withdrew funding to assist the same mental health casualties they themselves had created through allowing legal highs over cannabis. Dunne is symbolic of a conservative Government that has washed its hands of the very same human suffering that it has created.
The linked Stuff article cites District Court Judge Jane McMeeken, who, typical of the Baby Boomer generation and their complete lack of imagination, says “No easy answers existed on how to stop people using synthetic cannabis. Prohibition did not appear to have worked.”
Any idiot knows that legalising cannabis would remove, at one stroke, most of the demand for legal highs. In Colorado there is no market for legal highs, and nor is there one in the seven other American states that have now legalised cannabis.
Why do we continue to let our youth suffer from the plague of legal highs when, on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, the entire American West Coast has now legalised cannabis?
Frustrated by the feeble responses from local law enforcement to requests for help cleaning out crystal methamphetamine dealers from their community, a street gang made up of mostly underprivileged youths takes the problem into their own hands with immediate and complete success, decommissioning a dozen meth houses within 24 hours. Something from the fringes of a dystopian cyberpunk novel like The Verity Key, set in the 2070s? No – this is the small rural Waikato town of Ngaruawahia, population 5,000, in 2016.
Achieving this was possible because the locations of and locations from which the dealers sold were all known. All it took was a public meeting organised by Tribal Huk President Jamie Pink (pictured above), at which he stated that crystal meth dealers had 24 hours to leave Ngaruawahia or they would be physically removed from the town.
This throwing down of the gauntlet has apparently resulted in a town free of dealers of the drug. The question then becomes: why could the Police not have done this?
The least secret reason is that the Police are the army of the rich, and the residents of Ngaruawahia do not make large tax contributions to the upkeep of the New Zealand Police force. Like all poor communities, therefore, they are of the lowest priority for protection by law enforcement.
Moreover, the rich generally do not have problems with P dealers making offers to their sisters and daughters as the rich drink alcohol.
The main reason, however, is this. The Tribal Huk actually has more community support among the disadvantaged than the New Zealand Police. This is a fact widely known and accepted by the poor whose neighbourhoods house the crystal meth dealers, and is much less understood by the wealthy.
The Police are not considered by the poor to be on their side because they put the poor in prison for cannabis offences, and because they give the poor car fines to keep the roads clear for the rich.
The opposite situation occurs in places where cannabis is not illegal and where the Police are properly funded through adequate taxation, such as the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, cannabis users (the proportion of whom in the population is less than 40% of the New Zealand figure) have no inherent reason to distrust the Police as their possession of cannabis is not a crime.
In New Zealand the Police are like an occupying army if you are a cannabis user. Distrust is the natural consequence of the accumulated fear brought on by the possibility that the Police might aggress against you in the enforcement of cannabis laws.
This community support might be a result of the Tribal Huk’s successful ongoing efforts to feed over 500 Waikato schoolchildren, something that the Ministry of Education has not been able to achieve. The Tribal Huk deliver their sandwiches to 25 different schools within the region.
There are no national food in schools programs in New Zealand because we don’t want to pay taxes to feed other people’s kids. There is not sufficient solidarity in New Zealand for such a thing to be acceptable.
Pink himself, in the article linked above, refers to the link between feeling hungry and feeling angry, something that is obvious to any poor child but is a lesson from another dimension to the crusty, distant old men who make decisions in this country.
Anyone with any sense knows that if you are a hungry child, being told to sit down in a classroom on concentrate on anything other than food is going to make you angry. Few adults could handle such a thing without anger.
And yet, despite a full stomach being absolutely necessary if a child is going to learn anything meaningful from school, the New Zealand Government has failed to provide something as simple as sandwiches.
Perhaps the Tribal Huk should have some Police and Ministry of Education funding diverted their way?
The conclusion appears to be that government works best when there is sincere mutual support with the people it governs, and the precise structure or ideology of that government is, next to this, unimportant.
Another way to put this is that government will only work when there is sufficient solidarity between the people being governed and the people doing the governing, and this is true whether the power structure involves the State or a local street gang.
There’s no way to avoid accumulating physical filth if one has a body. The basic demands of thermostasis require an intake of energy in the form of food, which necessitates both moving around and sweating as well as excreting waste products – both of which tend to make you smell bad. Basic hygiene, then, is to wash one’s body before the smell becomes offensive to others.
More offensive than a bad smell is a rotten spirit.
Unfortunately we live in a spiritually degenerate age and spiritual hygiene is not well practiced. The majority of people are unaware of the influence their rotten spirit has on others and have difficulty understanding how this works to their ultimate detriment.
In everyday life, our basic choices are twofold: you can meditate if you want the equivalent of a long, relaxing bath in perfumed water, or you can smoke cannabis if you want to equivalent of a quick shower under a strong blast of water.
The reason why cannabis has a spiritually cleansing effect is this. In the course of one’s everyday life, one inevitably encounters things that cause one to suffer, because life is suffering. The act of suffering causes one’s ego to develop, as the ego naturally develops to protect oneself in response to pain.
Possibly the most common kind of mental problem in the world is that caused by ego arising in response to pain and then not properly dissipating again when the pain is gone. Usually this is because the memory of the pain causes depression or dread about it happening again, or because a stimulus associated with the pain (such as a person) is still present in the environment.
This is where cannabis is so great. Using cannabis regularly has the effect of releasing the user from unconscious anxieties and neuroses brought on by too much worry. The warm, comforting and relaxing feeling brought on by the anandamide reminds one that everything is fundamentally alright, and that there is likely to be much joy in one’s future.
Rastas know this. This is why they get together in “reasoning sessions” to smoke cannabis and to discuss the nature of reality. This is done explicitly to heighten feelings of community and spirituality.
It’s sadly obvious that making cannabis illegal is evidence that we are living in a spiritually degenerate age. This could be by design, as the easiest way to enslave a people is to separate them from spiritual truth and thus incite fear in their hearts. it could be by accident, as the cumulative magnitude of our egos distracts us from facing up to the truth.
Cannabis use is spiritual because it frees people from fear, and in doing so liberates them from powerful instinctual and conditioned impulses to harm and exploit one another.
Its prohibition is a crime against the human spirit.