Duncan Garner: Māori health leaders' desire to control marijuana market 'bigoted crap'

OPINION: For decades Māori have squealed about the high number of their people targeted, convicted and jailed for possession of marijuana.

"Change the law," they cried, "this is not fair - it imprisons our people needlessly". 

Much of that is true, although in recent years police have seen the folly of the law and most people get a smack on the hand for smoking weed these days. 

But - and here's the big kahuna today - Māori health leaders say they now want any new cannabis laws to not only target them, but to be written by them, to favour them and to be developed and controlled by Māori - by way of a separate Māori agency to advise on cannabis. 

In other words, cannabis laws must favour Maori - all whanau, hapū and iwi - over everything and everyone else. 

It's nonsense, isn't it? It's highly offensive racist bigoted crap that we must at all times push back on. 

Are these people saying Pakeha, Asians and other New Zealanders don't know anything about marijuana and so we must come second, third and fifth and simply hand over the power and control of this new industry to New Zealand Inc? Yes, they're saying that and more. 

What would anyone else know that Māori know already and have known for hundreds of years? 

What a dangerous, ignorant position. I mean Hapū Te Hauora reckons vaping is a healthy alternative to smoking - come on, no one knows what's in the vape liquids yet, let alone claim it's safe. 

Dangerous, racist bigots wanting to control the new marijuana market must be put in their place ASAP.

So why are our politicians treading so carefully? Your silence is stunning - New Zealanders don't like this attitude. 

Who will represent us in this fight and in this debate?

Duncan Garner is a host of The AM Show.