letters · politics · Uncategorized

Cannabis and its relationship to funding gang activity: My letter to Paula Bennett and its response

Hi Paula – I write to you in your capacity as Minister of Police.

 

In this Stuff news article: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/90502569/police-hit-back-at-cannabis-haul-criticism

 

The officer involved said something to the effect of “Removing cannabis and grow operations hit crime rings where it hurt most, their finances”.

 

Would you agree that legalising cannabis and allowing the free market to sell cannabis, would be a more effective way to remove this source of funding from gangs? After all – I don’t believe that gangs make much money from selling alcohol.

 

 

Kind regards,

 

 

David Johnston

 

 

The response:

 

Dear David,

 

I am writing on behalf of Hon Paula Bennett, Minister of Police, who has asked me to acknowledge your email of 17th March 2017 concerning legalising cannabis.

 

Your correspondence has been noted, however the legalisation of Cannabis is not on the government’s priority list.

 

Thank you for taking the time to write to the Minister of Police.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Jeff Penno

Like with my letter to Andrew Little, it seems both National and Labour hold the same position with cannabis – ‘it’s not a priority’.

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observation · politics

I don’t understand why the reaction to National’s super announcement is even a thing.

National recently announced an election policy of raising the age eligibility to NZ Superannuation to 67. 

Labour’s immediate response was to say that they’ll keep at 65:

 

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Here’s the thing. It’s not like National’s policy is pulling the rug out from the under the feet of people here expecting the retire in a couple of years. National’s policy doesn’t take effect for another twenty years.

Twenty years. That’s so far in the future that for most people it doesn’t really warrant serious consideration, in terms of what career decisions they make or where they buy their house.

The discussion has been framed as a baby boomers vs millenials thing – but this policy really doesn’t affect baby boomers. Baby boomers will be well into their 80s by the time this policy takes effect.

This really affects generation X – people who are about 40 now – or the children who were born to baby boomers who were about 30. (These generational categories are awfully grey, but assume that baby boomers were born 1945-1955).

Perhaps this policy is just clever politicking by National. They harness the baby boomer resentment by announcing a change to the pension, while not actually doing anything.

If anything – it’s Labour that fumbled this one – allowing National to frame the political divide, while Labour is firmly in a reactionary position.