So, what do I think of Nandor Tanczos' proposal to replace criminal convictions for cannabis posession with instant fines? It's unquestionably a backdown from full legalisation - but its also unquestionably an improvement all the same. At the moment, thousands of New Zealanders have their lives blighted every year by criminal convictions for something which should not be a crime, and which nobody under the age of 50 truly gives a rat's arse about anymore. This bill will end that. And it looks achievable; far more MPs will be comfortable voting for this, as they can cover their arse with their older constitudents and say truthfully that they haven't voted for legalisation and that the law still "sends a message" (even if people will continue to ignore it).
People like Not PC may oppose the bill for reasons of ideological purity, but I think that is a mistake. Instead, I think we should support the bill as a progressive step, celebrate if it passes, and then turn right around and keep on fighting. "Compromise" is not a dirty word if it leads to progress, but we do not have to accept only the progress we are offered.