The winds of change on Weed

Gallup has polled Americans and with a margin of 60-40 they now support legalisation of cannabis. It is the first time the majority has supported legalisation.

It is now only a matter of time and reasoned debate before cannabis is starts to become legalised.


For marijuana advocates, the last 12 months have been a period of unprecedented success as Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize recreational use of marijuana. And now for the first time, a clear majority of Americans (58%) say the drug should be legalized. This is in sharp contrast to the time Gallup first asked the question in 1969, when only 12% favored legalization.

Public support for legalization more than doubled in the 1970s, growing to 28%. It then plateaued during the 1980s and 1990s before inching steadily higher since 2000, reaching 50% in 2011.

A sizable percentage of Americans (38%) this year admitted to having tried the drug, which may be a contributing factor to greater acceptance.

Success at the ballot box in the past year in Colorado and Washington may have increased Americans’ tolerance for marijuana legalization. Support for legalization has jumped 10 percentage points since last November and the legal momentum shows no sign of abating. Last week, California’s second-highest elected official, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, said that pot should be legal in the Golden State, and advocates of legalization are poised to introduce a statewide referendum in 2014 to legalize the drug.

We have a choice here in New Zealand…legalise and embrace change, or ignore it and put our heads in the sand while the rest of the world moves.


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  • blokeintakapuna

    Mr. Key promised us a pragmatic government under his watch.
    I so look forward to NZInc starting entirely new industries all over the provinces…
    …and who would have thought a God-given herb would be the answer to Auckland’s housing crisis?
    …because if suddenly NZInc were able to utilise this herb for it’s medicinal benefits, then the day it becomes legal is the day that every square inch of farmable land becomes farmable…legally farmable… and land in the provinces is considerably cheaper than in the cities…

    • DLNZ

      I wonder what the election polls would look like if National promised to legalise weed? Whether it would affect them positively or negatively.

      And would Wussell and Silent T just end up promising the same thing. And then suggest that John Key and his mates are only legalising weed to get even richer because of all the tax.

  • Toryboy

    My main issue with this – as I tried to say yesterday but got attacked for – is the hypocrisy of it.

    We ban all sorts of things to do with smoking and drinking yet want to get all “modern” by legalising cannabis!

    100% of the people supporting this would shriek like little girls if you lit a cigarette up in their presence; shriek even louder if an 18 year old was ‘tired and emotional’ after a night on the town.

    When asked why they have such hysteria over cigarettes and binge drinking would reply “oh it is bad for you” HAHAHAHA! (and they GENUINELY do not see the irony)

    • Jmac


      • Toryboy

        Yes like a mayor rooting is erroneous and doesn’t affect his ability to do his job for 3 years

        • Toryboy

          Other examples of erroneous include – accepting corporate hospitality at Eden Park when you want to ban pokies; living in Herne Bay and tut-tutting about poverty; guzzling smoked salmon and chardonnay whilst bemoaning hunger.

          Forgive me, Jmac – I simply do not understand hypocrisy, having no experience of it myself.

          • redeye

            You’re right in that you surely don’t understand hypocrisy ?

            What about supporting the widely available drug that kills 1 in 25 world wide while arguing for the continued prohibition of a drug that kills no one? Is that hypocrisy?

        • Jmac

          Not that you’re really worth responding to, but I’m simply saying that your braindead assumption that everyone supporting cannabis legalisation is a NIMBY is erroneous. Meanwhile precisely the opposite is true in most cases on this blog. I couldn’t care less about someone lighting up a cig near me, and I detest the tobacco lobbyists. A ‘tired and emotional’ 18 year old does not affect me in any way unless they start a fight, drive drunk or genuinely impinge on someone’s rights.

          Most of us support legalisation not because we’re all modern. We do so because we understand the economic effects of black markets and we despise the fact that gang scumbags control the supply of drugs. Do you support gang members dealing weed in your town?

          Now I suggest you stop talking, because you’re being an embarrassment to the name of ‘tory’. Read and learn.

          • Toryboy

            I do not support gangs dealing narcotics – and legalisation would be a victory for gangs, basically saying “they are too good for us to catch so let’s throw in the towel”
            Perhaps if the Police spent a bit more time focusing on arresting these gangs and less time issuing speeding fines to people like me, we wouldn’t have a drug problem at all.

          • Jmac

            How would it be a victory for the gangs if their cash cow is eliminated?

            It would be acknowledging that their is a demand for a product, and that supply will inevitably reach demand.
            A rough estimate is that 400-500 thousand Kiwi’s use cannabis regularly. Legalisation is acknowledging that those people will not be going away any time soon, and better to tax and regulate supply than give power to gangs and tinny houses.

            The first step to thinking rationally about this problem is to acknowledge that the idealism of a completely sober country is not going to happen any time soon.

            And I say this as someone who has never smoked weed or any harder drugs, nor been drunk.

          • Toryboy

            I actually agree with a lot of what you say in this post, but still feel it shouldn’t be legalised – I mean, it’s one of those things, isn’t it? one of those taboo things which good people shouldn’t do.

          • Jmac

            “Feeling” is not a sound way of forming an opinion on a subject such as this. Use facts, reasons, sober morality etc.

            Cannabis should be kept away from children. But gang members and tinny houses are not bound by the same sort of moral legislation as a legitimate business would be. I have observed places in Auckland where it is easier for a 12 year old to get weed than alcohol. This is the price we pay for putting our hands over our eyes, and hoping that efforts to stop the supply will stop the demand. Which never works, it only drives the price up and offers more profit for scum.

            Life in the real world is messy and difficult. We presently lack politicians with the sober judgement to do what is best for everyone. Prohibition didn’t work for alcohol, and it doesn’t work for weed.

          • Monique Angel

            Google: “I love God but I drink a little”. The Ellen Show.

    • Jman

      You’re talking a lot of nonsense. You need to learn how to debate properly. If you’re going to use broad generalizations like “we do this and we do that” and “100% of people” then you aren’t going to be taken seriously. If you’re claiming there is hypocrisy then point us to actual people making actual statements that when put together demonstrate hypocrisy.

      I would agree that the Greens are hypocrites as they are the party in favour of banning everything they don’t like including stuff that is supposedly unhealthy, and yet are pro-legalising cannabis. I think you’ll find most of the people commenting here do not favour the Greens view of the world.

      I don’t like smoking, and I wouldn’t be happy if you lit up next to me, whether it was a cigarette or a joint. The actions I would then take would depend on where exactly we are at the time. However I am in favour of legalising cannabis as I believe the only likely major consequence of doing so is removing a good income source from criminals.

      • Toryboy

        Please do not misunderstand me – I have never smoked anything in my life, and drink alcohol seldomly and even then only 1 drink (I hate the taste of alcoholic drinks).
        As for 100% – If this comes before Parliament you should see who supports a law change, and ascertain their views on cigarette smoking and alcohol; I think you will find I am correct amongst those MPs

  • Carlos AkNz

    That would reduce the billions the Mexican cartels like Sinaloa
    (el chapo) the most wanted man in the world and the Los Zeta boys are making smuggling dope, and hopefully
    reduce the thousands of murders happening every year in Mexico.

    • blokeintakapuna

      it might help Mexican cartels if USA legalised it – but it’s unlikely any cartel in Mexico would be able to smuggle such a cargo into NZ in the quantities they would require to be worth their while…
      Besides, when it grows like weed here… why would they even try and bother?

      • tarkwin

        The biggest problem I have is pool games in the pub take forever because half the players are out having a puff when their shot comes up! No consideration! And then the game takes forever because everyone is to busy laughing and can’t quite sink anything.

        • blokeintakapuna

          haha – well, have you thought about taking up darts?

          • tarkwin

            Might just have a puff myself and go with the flow.

      • Carlos AkNz

        i don’t see how it would help the cartels if usa legalised it? I agree why would they even consider drifting half way around the world to unload dope here, we have enough gang bangers pushing dope, mind you i didn’t mention anything about n.z

  • redeye

    I suspect the change has a lot to do with the internet. The sixties style propaganda that was inflicted on us as youth would now be totally ridiculed on the more and more relevant blogosphere and social media.

  • Alloytoo

    Legalize and tax the hell out of it.

  • Dick Brown

    It only took the West 100 years to realise.

  • Rimutaka

    About bloody time, I just wish that Kiwis against law reform would wise up. My pick is that it will be legalised in NZ in the next 5 years.