Rosemary McLeod: Let's get high, NZ

Never underestimate The Donald. With one bound he's taken the Act Party into the late 60s to tune in, turn on and drop out. Hey, all you need is love.

There'll be a lecture tour, provisionally entitled, One Love: Act's Vision. Or possibly Brash for the Hash or Don for the Bong. We're doing audience research on that.

What timing. As the world's money markets crash - again - whole national economies stagger, and capitalism reels, The Donald, with his track record at the Reserve Bank, has had the vision.

He's seen where legalising cannabis would be more to the point than tinkering with education, paying more police, or twiddling with the health sector.

The country would grow.

It would be a money-saver; people would be happy, and stop their griping about food prices and the cost of dentistry.<inline type="recurring-inline" id="1003" align="outside" enforce-sites="no" />

And with no hope of jobs for the under-educated, the law change would guarantee their eternal devotion to the party.<inline type="poll" id="3650" align="outside"/>

Fusion with cannabis lobby groups seems inevitable, to make up for the Act stalwarts quitting the party, and there's heaps of votes in that.

True, there's John Banks to consider - in passing.

He'd be no fan of cannabis law reform, or of those particular lobby groups, but we won't miss him. The Donald can do the party thing solo. He has the charisma.

For too long we've seen him depicted as an old man in overalls squeezing into a pedal car.

There's been the comb-over to get your head around, too.

But think older man with creds: think Timothy Leary, William S Burroughs, Hunter S Thompson, Keith Richards. Heck, Hunter S Thompson was only three years older than The Donald is now when his ashes left this world on the ultimate trip, and Keith is just three years younger.

The likeness will undoubtedly strike you, as it does me.

They all share (or shared) the love of freedom, the ad hoc, the what-the-heck, the let's-run-it-up-the-flagpole-and-salute it approach to life. Like, why not?

In legalising cannabis The Donald would be widening his fan base, and going for an international vision.

He has seen and commended the huge illegal profits in the trade, and ever the thinking pragmatist, has assessed the potential tax take, alongside the benefits that could be accrued from making this country a cannabis-promoting tourist destination.

While Indonesia has its mean-spirited attitude to drugs of leisure, jailing so many innocents caught with the drug in their backpacks, we could lure their tourist bucks down here, where we're cool dudes.

Our climate could be an issue, but with the profits the rich would make from dope they could easily afford to blow hot air through the streets and sell fake tan at cut rates so the punters would think they'd had a proper holiday.

Add to that our prostitution industry, which can only boom in hard times, and what an enticing vision we'd offer the world's travellers.

There'd be no country quite like us.

We'd organise cannabis production along proper industrial lines, naturally, and list licensed growers on the stock exchange.

Quality would be monitored by a government agency created just for this purpose from our supporters, who'd be experts at grading the crop.

We'd send trade emissaries to countries where the need is equally great, but the governments are cowards, and develop ways of shipping the crop there.

Unlike dairying, you barely even need irrigation for a cannabis crop; it grows like a weed; and you sure don't need topdressing. That's a win for the environment, too.

The Donald assures us he's never smoked cannabis, and hopes nobody in his family will ever enjoy this possibly-should-be-legal drug.

We have our advisers, though, and they're excited by last weekend's brainwave.

If this is what he's like when he's straight, they're saying, just imagine what he'd come up with if he did get stoned.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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