The President of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Abe Gray is resigning his office and party membership to join The Opportunities Party.
Abe Gray says for the first time since the ALCP’s inception twenty years ago there is now another party that can be trusted to deliver real positive reform on the cannabis issue if it gets into Parliament.
Even without being elected we have seen TOP force sitting politicians like Peter Dunne into changing their head in the sand approach to cannabis reform. But ALCP members know from bitter experience with other parties like the Greens that the establishment parties don’t walk the talk once they’ve been elected.
“The Opportunities Party is different”, says Mr Gray “its evidence based, harm reduction approach is what ALCP members have been wanting for so long and experts in the field recognise TOP’s Real Deal Cannabis reform is the way forward.”
“We could stay campaigning as a single-issue party and pick up our usual half a percent then watch the old guard return to their do-nothing approach, or throw our support behind TOP, help it reach 5% and finally achieve our goals.
Mr Gray is sending the attached letter to all ALCP members and urging them to publically join him in backing The Opportunities Party.
Mr Gray is a former Deputy Leader of the ALCP, a past candidate for the party, former vice president of NORML NZ, former tutor and past lecturer in biology, ecology and botany at Otago University and founder and curator of the Whakamana Cannabis Museum in Dunedin.
The Opportunities Party (TOP) founder and leader Dr Gareth Morgan has responded positively to Mr Gray's resignation.
"While we are not a single issue party it is heartening to see a senior member of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (ALCP) join many other experts and members of the public in endorsing TOP's Real Deal Cannabis reform".
"With our membership now in excess of 3000 we welcome all New Zealanders who recognise the urgent need for evidence based policies to solve the myriad of problems created by timid establishment parties".
The Green Party's drug policy would see cannabis, including culivation, legalised for personal use. The Greens say overseas evidence would be assesed to determine the best model for New Zealand.
The Opportunities Party's cannabis policy would see a taxable retail trade established and would allow each person to grow two plants for personal use. Unlicensed culivation and dealing would still be a crime.
The Opportunities Party cannabis policy would: