Time for a cool change, so the song says - and everyone else who believes it is time to change our laws on cannabis consumption.

The stats strongly support what many have been saying for far too long. Our drug laws are outdated and being dependent on any drug - legal or illegal, is a health issue not a legal one.

The debate will go on until the "reefer- rendum" kicks in and then we will have to deal with the fallout, when a generation of juice junkies who are getting younger every year will have another drug to help them escape the realities of life.

In our line of frontline work we see what happens to our tamariki when they turn to anything and everything to take away the pain of living life disconnected from whānau and family.


Wearing that potae we would say tai hoa to making marijuana more available, however, sooner than later - once the referendum kicks in, we will have another drug to dull their minds.

In this instant-everything era, where our kids want it all - and they want it now, thinking for themselves is becoming a lost art, like a left over hangover from the days when we thought getting high was going to give us a liberated life of free love, peace and happiness.

Now we want to add marijuana to the land of the long white cloud of memory loss.

I know we all know dope didn't get that name for nothing. It induces a false sense of security and for many who smoke dope day in and day out, it is an open gate to lazy thinking.

Yes this sounds a bit like the pot – pardon the pun, calling the kettle black, but let's back up the Blerta Bus for a moment and ask ourselves why do we need to get high in the first place?

We get an invoice in the second half of life for what we have inhaled, ingested and injected in the first half and we all know pretty much what that bill is going to look like as we enter into the armchair of old age. So why not limit the damage of the invoice.

For me the issue is bigger than a bong full of buds, a jar full of rasta-infused gummy bears or growing a couple of plants in your own back yard for personal consumption.

I am all good for growing anything that either feeds you or fixes you up.

However, we seem to be stuck with two opposing choices. If we legalise or at least decriminalise dope we stop the stigma of breaking the law. The other side of the cannabis coin is we open up the availability to the already vulnerable - especially our tamariki. The damage done by drink is heartbreaking when you see it every day, so for me adding another drug to the problem can only go one way with no exit.

Bit of a Mexican marijuana stand-off really.

Maybe there is a third option to entertain?

Maybe we should be asking ourselves - and each other, why do we need to get high at all, be it by drinking or drugging.

In a recent interview on the Jim Mora Sunday show, Jim interviewed Mike Garson, David Bowie's life-long friend and pianist who never took anything to enhance his creative talents during his 47-year touring career with the Starman.

His quote from Bowie himself about drugs has held its higher ground in my mind ever since and that in itself proves I still have some memory left.

Bowie said, "Drugs gave me nothing. In the end I regretted I ever took them. There so-called liberating qualities were illusory".

Tautoko Rawiri I have come to the same realisation myself.

For my two bobs' worth of what we should do about cannabis reform, all I can add to the pot pot is what I know from personal experience, and if we do decriminalise it - and we should, then let's also sow the seed of sobriety.

Staying straight and getting high on love, life and learning is also equally as cool as cannabis.

So, this leads me back down the long and winding road to loss of memory and its possible connection to lazy thinking brought about by smoking too much of the "holy herb" back in the day.

If we legalise cannabis and it becomes available everywhere, what effect will it have on those who are already logged into lazy thinking? How will the instant everything generation react when Uncle Google is already dumbing them down by doing their thinking for them?

Lazy thinking induces a lazy lifestyle and limits the potential of our people, Māori and non-Māori.

We need to understand where the referendum will take us and prepare for the good, the bad and the ugly of decriminalising cannabis.