Whakamana Cannabis Museum and the NZ Referendum | Friendly Aussie Podcast – Episode 9


Episode Nine of the Friendly Aussie Podcast is yet another interview with Abe: our *technically* American friend who is actually a citizen of New Zealand. Abe is an avid ecologist, and a botanist by trade. So, like anyone who wants to become David Attenborough, he instead became a stoner; and eventually, a staunch cannabis advocate.

Abe’s activist days began with hotboxing police stations and forming autonomous zones for cannabis smoking on his University campus. Safe to say, Abe has become an important figure in the New Zealand cannabis scene. He is a co-founder of the Whakamana Cannabis Museum, currently located in the CBD of Christchurch. Whakamana roughly means “to empower” in English. Abe tells us that holding the title of ‘Cannabis Museum Curator’ has lended him plenty of legitimacy that he never had before. Pro tip: make it sound legit.

Listen to ‘The Friendly Aussie Podcast’ Here!

- Advertisement -

Cannabis Referendum: 2020

Abe is a really interesting guy. He’s pretty amused by the political realities of New Zealand, and his knowledge of that landscape seems encyclopaedic in depth. He arrived in the country way back in the turn of the millennium, just as the Greens/Labour alliance had dropped their campaign to legalise cannabis.

Not to be dissuaded, Abe set to work. For well over a decade, he pushed hard behind the scenes for a direct vote on cannabis legalisation, attempting a variety of strategies. Yet, with the election of the Labour/Greens/NZ First Government in the country, Abe finally (and perhaps inadvertently) got what he wanted, thanks to the issue finally becoming politically palatable to the ruling classes, again.

Recommended For You
Cannabis is a Drug, Bro. Just Sayin'
Recommended For You
Watch: Episode 1 of the 'Greendorphin' Podcast!

There’s an upcoming referendum on the issue of cannabis legalisation. This referendum will occur at the same time as the NZ general election in 2020, meaning a ‘higher than usual’ turnout. It’s still to be seen whether the referendum runs into some issues… yet the direct vote stands as the best shot the NZ cannabis community has ever had for a complete legalisation of cannabis in its many diverse forms.

We’re really grateful for Abe sharing his insights on the New Zealand political realm, and his thoughts pertaining to the upcoming referendum amounted to an excellent rundown for us. As Aussies, we really appreciate it!

You can check out the first part of our interview with Abe below:


Author: Mitch

Mitch Keys is a young writer from Brisbane, Australia unfolding in a dynamic process of becoming (like everyone else, so don’t go thinking he’s special or anything). He likes being alive.

Mitch Keys is a young writer from Brisbane, Australia unfolding in a dynamic process of becoming (like everyone else, so don’t go thinking he’s special or anything). He likes being alive.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
10 months ago
Recommended For You
Cannabis is a Drug, Bro. Just Sayin'



[…] – we learn what her and the team at Make It Legal NZ have been up to in preparation for the 2020 New Zealand Cannabis Referendum on Saturday, the 17th of […]

Oi! Give Us A Follow, Mate!


Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up to date with Australia's leading Cannabis Publication subscribe to our monthly newsletter!
(We promise not to spam you!)

Latest Podcast Episode!

Must Read

PGR: The Toxic Chemicals in Your Marijuana

When we first published this article (June 25th, 2018),...

Buying Cannabis Seeds in Australia: A How-To Guide

This article is part of a series. You can catch...

The FAB Guide to Growing Cannabis Indoors in Australia: 2020 Edition

A True-Blue Indoor Grow So you want to grow some...

Latest Posts

Protected: APTUS Nutrients Dazzle Aussie Growers With Dank Yields

FIRE BUDS: APTUS Plant Tech Nutrients Making Shockwaves 'Down Under'
Recommended For You
Finn Armstrong-Schmakeit on Legalising Cannabis in QLD | Friendly Aussie Podcast - Episode 21
The mass-importation of APTUS Plant Tech Nutrients to Australian markets...

Contrasting ‘Aussie Cannabis Culture’ With Legal Schemes Feat. Bec | Friendly Aussie Podcast – Episode 24

Our Friend Bec on the Big Differences Separating the 'Scenes' in Australia, the United States and Canada Let's face it... we may...

The Pro-Legalisation Pollies You Should Vote For in the 2020 Queensland State Election

Who Should Legalisation Advocates Vote For in the Upcoming Queensland State Election?With a particularly spooky general election occurring all...

Make It Legal, New Zealand! Feat. Sandra Murray | Friendly Aussie Podcast – Episode 23

If you are a New Zealand national... Make It Legal!VOTE YES in the Upcoming NZ Cannabis Referendum! In our conversation...
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x