Federated Flamers say they are encouraged by Act leader Don Brash’s move towards decriminalising cannabis but it doesn’t go far enough.
“His pot plan is a good start but that’s all it is, he’s being far too timid,” the federation’s Alternative Revenue Stream Encouragement (ARSE) spokesman Blue Smoke said.
“Don has just dipped his toe in the drug water by initiating a discussion on decriminalising cannabis. He should leap right in and make it legal for the sake of the economy,” Mr Smoke said.
“If it’s legal we can grow it; if we can grow it we can make money from it and if we can make money from it the government can tax it.
“That is we would if we paid tax, but as Labour showed, we don’t, at least not the way they look at it.”
Mr Smoke said successive governments, consultants and economists had been talking about the need to broaden the economy and legalising cannabis would be a good way to do that.
“Dairy, meat and fibre are doing well at the moment but what goes up will one day come down. We need to diversify to enable us to weather the inevitable downturn and pot plantations would be a very good way of doing that.
“It wouldn’t be hard to find markets for medicinal and recreational products and there may well be opportunities for the fibre.”
Mr Smoke said he was sure it was no coincidence that a letter from Dr Brash and Act’s agricultural spokesman Don Nicolson had arrived in the mail this week, just days after the speech in which decriminalisation was mooted.
“It’s obvious this is part of the party’s economic policy that’s aimed at farmers.”
Mr Smoke said he thought the pot plan might also be a cunning strategy for Act to take over other wee parties the way United Future did.
“Who can remember how many different parties have been taken over and absorbed by the various manifestations of whatever Peter Dunne’s latest party is called? Act needs to do the same and this pot plan is the obvious way to open the door to the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party.”
However, Mr Smoke said he was concerned at the way the plan had opened up the urban-rural divide.
“One Don grows kiwifruit, the other has stock, they understand farming. But that bloke Banks, he’s a townie and he can’t see the opportunities.
“Sure there could be a few health problems. They reckon it affects your memory and concentration but, um what was I saying? Oh wow, look at that flower, it’s soooo biiiig . . . .”
Hat tip: Jim Hopkins on the Farming Show