Weed a ‘huge issue’ for young voters
It’s called a ‘gateway’ drug by some, and Gareth Morgan believes cannabis decriminalisation will be a gateway for young voters - straight to the ballot box.
Speaking during the Rotorua leg of his Opportunities Party roadshow last week, Morgan said he would shortly announce proposals to change the law on cannabis in New Zealand, claiming their research found that was the number one issue that would get young people to vote.
Asked directly whether he was about to advocate decriminalising cannabis, Morgan said ‘‘something along those lines’’.
He stopped short of calling for a weed free for all, however.
‘‘That’s [decriminalisation] what they’re all baying for,’’ he said.
‘‘But what we know is that marijuana with undeveloped brains does damage so you can’t just say I’m going to decriminalise it.
‘‘You’ve got to have a massive investment in education. You don’t want to go inflicting stuff on your kids so it’s structuring that will be the issue.
‘‘It’s a huge issue for them [young voters] so I’m just going to respond to it, but I’m not going to be stupid and say something irresponsible.
‘‘What we’ve been doing is pulling together all the research on it and trying to get something sensible.’’
Morgan used the roadshow to outline a number of key Opportunities Party policies, focusing on tax reform and efforts to tackle poverty.
He said that New Zealand’s current tax system made it very easy to accumulate wealth - provided you’re already wealthy.
‘‘I go to bed each night and wake up richer,’’ he said.
‘‘I make so much money in a year I can’t spend it all without being obscene.’’
Morgan’s solution was to change the ‘unfair’ income tax system and impose a flat tax on assets, including property.
He said housing market investment created nothing, was pricing the young out of homes and putting the squeeze on renters.
Morgan said the tax rebalance would also see a 30 per cent reduction in tax rates.
He said when he acquired his first house the mortgage was three times the average salary. It’s eight times now, 11 for Auckland.
‘‘This policy addresses that issue.’’ directly
Gareth Morgan claims cannabis will be the catalyst to make youth vote.