Deputy Mayor and Local Councillor Penny Hulse talks Marijuana Decriminalisation

Today Penny Hulse came out in support of having the conversation about legalisation  of Marijuana (DAily Blog, NZ Herald) .  This change in heart is as a result of talking to users, doctors, community workers and long time smokers of organic marijuana in her work on bylaws regarding synthetic canabis. Hulse says ” The overwhelming consensus is that, compared with the chemically synthesised, variably manufactured psychoactive substances, organic marijuana is a way less damaging option. ”  And she feels it’s paving the way to have a discussion about the legislation.  Hulse Says in the Daily Blog,

“I have been working on a series of practical pieces of work in the short term that may pave the way for a more regulated approach to the sale of legal highs which may make the future discussion on legal sale of marijuana more acceptable.

The regulating policy on where shops can be set up to sell highs is being worked through with our communities, we also have a by law coming into being in May to stop the selling and consumption of these products in public places and we are working with our community  and police on support and prevention programs for our youth.”

 Colarado and California decriminalised as they couldn’t manage their debt and were facing bankruptcy.    And the revenue for those States has been huge – to the tune of $578million dollars in Denver and $68 million to the tax man  annually. I wonder who would  benefit from the tax take:  central government, local government, local boards or licensing trusts?  Would the social costs be shared evenly through society or would some bear the brunt.   With the pokies, TAB, and licensing trust in our neighbouring shops – is there a heavier cost for some communities – and would Pot shops work in the same way.      Early days,  lots to think about,  we shall see.