The impending shut down of New Zealand’s only political party in full favor of legalising cannabis is a sad sight to see – but the future implications could turn out to be positive.
Abe Gray, the President of the Cannabis Party, is stepping aside from his role and will join The Opportunities Party. Gray has a long history with the Cannabis Party but says that despite 10,000 votes in the last three elections – the party has no future.
According to Gray – the sole reason for the Cannabis Party having an existence in the first place was because nobody had the courage to speak up about legalising the use of cannabis at a political level, at least during that time.
Since then the Green Party and ACT have had some serious discussions about the issue.
While the new Opportunities Party may have some sway politically – it has to get over the five percent threshold to officially enter Parliament.
There is no denying that full legalisation of cannabis would have positive consequences for the New Zealand economy. That’s never been the issue, the mindset around it has.
The Green Party has argued that ‘overseas evidence’ shows that similar models would be beneficial for New Zealand.
However, both National and Labour would argue that the economy is in a ‘strong enough’ position and simply overlook any notion of committing to legalising cannabis.
While it should be legalised – some discussions around tax need to be had. The Opportunities Party say that the tax would be determined by the level of THC potency. Revenue for sales of cannabis would be used on education, after school projects for youth (presumably in a bid to keep crime rate down), and towards treatment for drug addiction.
What’s more – the estimated revenue is estimated to be at around $150million.