One of the issues we had was how we dealt with the idea of balance in these issues. Is it our job to present an even-handed view of two sides of an issue? If so, do we really want as writers to have to play devil’s-advocate with things we don’t agree with? Instead, we decided amongst ourselves that we had broad agreement on the three big issues floating around at the moment. So we are just going to say that. We wanted to speak for us, not the wider contributor group or the WSU, or even to convince anyone but just as Editorial staff and say what we believe.
THE NEXUS STAFF BELIEVE:
– Drugs should be decriminalised or legalised.
– You should have the choice to end your own life
– Sixteen-year-olds should be able to vote.
To give you some context as to why we got Josh, Harry and Luka to put down 100 words each on one of the topics. We gave Dee this assignment off because in her words “It doesn’t fucking matter what happens. These referendums aren’t going to fix the important things in society” which, when you think about it is perfectly valid.
Nexus Takes a Stand – Cannabis
The upcoming cannabis referendum has the potential to be a revolutionary piece of legislation for New Zealand. It’s a chance to break away from the status-quo and capitalise on the benefits of drug reform. Let’s just be honest, the war on drugs, and consequentially, cannabis, has been a detriment to the taxpayer. We spend around $59 million every year imprisoning those with minor drug offences and over half of these between 17 and 25 years old; the New Zealand Police arrest more people for cannabis per head of population than any other country.
If cannabis reform gets the popular vote in October, New Zealand will be able to create a new taxable industry, potentially worth around a quarter of a billion dollars. This, in combination with lower incarceration costs, and a police force which can better divide its resources will bring enormous benefit to the nation.
Nexus Takes A Stand – Lowering the Voting Age
At the age of 17, you can enlist in the military and be sent to fight and die for this country. At 15, you can take charge of one of the deadliest weapons in our society and drive it around on public roads. At 16 you are granted bodily autonomy and can consent to sex. But you do not get a say in any of this until you are 18. When you start at University you will rub shoulders with some of the brightest young minds from around the country, future leaders, movers and shakers. Many of them are only 17 yet could be trusted to do a better job than some of our MP’s sitting in Parliament right now. From right here no less. Young people around this country are engaged. It is their future the rest of us are voting on. They should be allowed to use their own voice.
Nexus Takes a Stand – Euthanasia
Euthanasia isn’t just about getting to 40, finding life boring, and calling stumps. We believe if you are terminally ill, in unbearable pain, and fit the criteria proposed by the bill, you should be allowed to choose to die. I would in no way be able to handle being terminally ill in a hospital bed for months. A few years ago my Uncle passed away from a brain tumour, he died in Hospice care after suffering for a long time while being more drugged up than Charlie Sheen. What is the point in suffering further if there is nothing that can be done to alleviate any pain or keep you alive for any longer? Medically assisted suicide should be legal in this country.