I voted yes on the cannabis referendum.
I do not smoke cannabis but I know people do for recreational use. I also know others need it for medicinal purposes - and are paying an arm and a leg for the privilege.
One is legal and the other still illegal.
So news the police will axe nationwide helicopter cannabis operations has perplexed me.
The police have said increased harm in many communities from other drugs, particularly methamphetamine, means "a one-size-fits-all annual aerial national cannabis operation no longer represents the most appropriate deployment of police resources".
A police spokesperson told the Herald axing the annual operation didn't mean they would give up targeting production and supply of cannabis.
"The decision to spread resources throughout the year and increase surveillance focus on the drugs causing the greatest harm in the community does not mean that police will not investigate and prosecute people engaged in the commercial cultivation of cannabis."
However, the decision appeared to surprise many officers, and even the Police Minister, who were unaware of the change, according to Stuff.
This is concerning as it seems like a significant decision. Minister Poto Williams has asked for a full briefing of the rationale behind the change.
The move has been welcomed by the NZ Drug Foundation. Its executive director Sarah Helm told media ''while we pour resources into cannabis, methamphetamine is wreaking havoc on communities''.
The Bay of Plenty is a hotspot for cannabis cultivation and figures from the National Cannabis and Crime Operation show 10,149 plants valued at $28 million were seized in this region alone in 2018/19.
It is no secret plantations usually go hand in hand with other crimes and people aren't growing in the bush just to smoke a few joints.
I agree other drugs, including meth, destroy families and more needs to be done on that front.
But here is the rub: cannabis is still illegal and crims and gangs are profiteering off it.
In my view, the legalisation of cannabis would have removed a significant part of the market from these undesirables but instead, we're cutting nationwide helicopter cannabis operations - a move these groups will welcome.
There will be one less tool in the toolbox when the helicopter operations disappear, one less deterrent and - like the legalisation vote - one lost opportunity to have changed all of that.