Editorial: Cannabis tourism not to be courted

By Craig Cooper


Cannabis brings the prude out in me.

Which means that Norml New Zealand's warm welcome to cannabis legalisation in the US states of Colorado and Washington and call for a similar law change here leaves me cold.

In particular, the suggestion that some sort of cannabis tourism opportunity exists in Northland.

On page 5 today, Norml spokesman Abe Gray says Northland could be the ideal place for a legalisation trial.

He also suggests Northland "could vie for the opportunity to be the first in the trial".

The only trials in Northland involving cannabis should be in the local district or high court.

And yesterday I had the opportunity of listening to a Northland Inc presentation on the future of economic development in the region.

I was at a Whangarei Economic Development Group (WEDG) meeting, hosted by the Ruakaka Economic Development Group (REDG) at Ruakaka.

Amidst the acronyms, I didn't hear NORML or DOPE mentioned as part of our economic future.

Some of the tourism opportunities that exist in Northland indeed capitalise on the region's natural resources, but not dope. Cannabis is the root cause of a plethora of social issues in Northland.

As Northlanders we have to accept Mother Nature created remote terrain and a climate that is conducive to growing cannabis. But we don't have to accept its normalisation.

And we already have one legal drug that destroys souls and families - we don't need another.

Ask any police officer or social worker what they think about the idea of legalisation and I suspect you'll get a similar answer. There are arguments for imposing fines for possession of small amounts of cannabis, but even that makes my prude hackles rise as it is arguably another step towards normalisation.

Dope? Nope, it might be normal in Colorado and Washington, but not here.

- Northern Advocate

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