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Helen, we need your help

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OPINION: On the cannabis debate, let's face it, the stoners are getting pummelled. It's not too late to turn the tide. Not even close.

But take a snapshot of where things stand today, and the carefully crafted referendum is barrelling towards a crushing defeat. And it's obvious why: reformers are missing in action while the forces of prohibition have wasted no time to set on full bore a fog machine of misinformation, disinformation and misguided moral panic. Only one side is engaged in the fight.

This is not to diminish the efforts of Greens MP and legalisation advocate Chloe Swarbrick. For a first-term backbencher, her work has been stellar. She is well-informed and articulate in defence of her reformist position. But Swarbrick remains a new MP from a minor party. It's too much to expect her to carry the debate on her own.

Labour ministers and MPs, who might more effectively shift the needle, are clearly operating under instructions not to expend a solitary cent of political capital on the issue, and reform risks getting sucked into oblivion down the resulting vacuum. National, meanwhile, is no good to anyone, reverting as it is to reactionary law and order posturing.

* Weed wars of 2020 could be defined by blue on green friendly fire
* Editorial: The dollars and sense of drug law reform

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