Hibiscus Matters Letters – September 16, 2020

By: Hibiscus Matters readers

 Cannabis confusion

Graham Johnson, Orewa (abridged)
I refer to the article in Hibiscus Matters August 19 issue, regarding the Cannabis Referendum. The question that will be asked in the referendum “Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?” does not include the word ‘recreational’. This should be the key word. Medical cannabis is already available on prescription. It has controlled levels of the psychoactive component THC and while the legislation states that this will be controlled for the recreational type, try telling that to the gangs and others supplying illegally on demand. These illegal suppliers will be able to ramp up this psychoactive THC component and sell it on the black market as has already happened in Canada, where only about 25 percent is sold through legal outlets. The tax collected on legal sales will pale into insignificance when the long-term mental issues arise, to be addressed by the health system. Evidence from Canada and the Netherlands is easily researched online, and clearly emphasises the difficulties and costs of policing illegal supply. I am fairly sure that the pie chart (HM August 19, p9) would be cut very differently if the importance of the word ‘recreational’ was added to the question that is being asked in the referendum. In my opinion the country is in for a rude awakening should recreational usage be legalised. Be aware and informed before you vote.

Editor’s note: Official guidance on the referendum from Government clearly states that the proposed Bill will not cover medicinal cannabis, hemp, driving while impaired or workplace health and safety, as those issues are already covered by existing laws. However, there is no doubt the proposed Bill’s parameters would be clearer if the words “adult recreational” were added to the question.

Sand spin

Graham Holt, Orewa
I read with interest the letter in the September 2 issue from Roger White and the response from Julie Pickering of Auckland Council regarding sand shifting on Orewa Beach. There is no doubt that over recent years the ongoing relocating of sand from the southern end of the beach has become a necessity and comes with a high cost. The comment from Julie Pickering refers to the sand being moved back to the reserve prior to the forecasted storm to act as buffer to save the esplanade from the wave action and resultant erosion that would have happened had this not been done. The inference was that the sand was sacrificial. This is just ‘spin’. The truth of the matter is, had Council not removed the rocks from this area in the first instance (from memory I think we were told that rats were nesting in them and people may fall from the rocks and injure themselves) the problem would not exist and Auckland Council would be many hundreds of thousands of dollars better off.

Referendum views helpful

Christine McClintock, Little Manly
Thank you for presenting the views from four people on the upcoming referenda in such a succinct manner (HM August 19). I have forwarded your link for the paper to some of my friends out of the area to read. We all agree we are really voting in this referenda for our grandchildren, so it is important to have discussions with many age groups and carry out our own research before casting a vote. Your paper is an excellent publication and my copy is read from cover to cover each time.

Out of lockdown, woohoo!

Chris Torckler photographed a pod of Bottlenose dolphins at the entrance to Gulf Harbour Marina on the first day of Level 2.5. “They sensed we were out of lockdown and got really excited putting on an acrobatic display every time a boat came out,” he said. The pod was spotted later in Matakatia.

A sharp-eyed local is concerned that the clock in Orewa south, opposite the campground, has vanished. The clock was donated by Gordon Cashmore of Rotary and is now looked after by Auckland Transport (AT). AT spokesperson Mark Hannan says the clock was vandalised a few months ago and has been removed for repairs. The cost estimate has been held up by lockdown. Once that assessment is in, AT will consider the next steps.


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