Sure people either love you or hate you. There is not much middle ground for someone who can be characterised as a 'conviction' politician. In John Banks the public see what they get and get what they see. Far better that than someone who is as shallow as a birdbath.
Yes, I was gutted when you left National for ACT but accept that you did this for the very best of motives so as to ensure that ACT remained in parliament as part of a responsible centre/right government. As ACT's Epsom candidate you represent their only lifeline to maintaining a parliamentary presence.
Leaders of political parties weld real power in determining policy direction. Sure there is process to go through but you and I both know the reality is that if a leader is in favour of doing something, nine times out of ten it will happen.
So it took real balls for you to stand up to Don Brash, the man who gave you an armchair ride into Epsom, and effectively tell him to go f**k himself over his 'musings'. You, more than most, know the insidious nature of drugs and we both know that if any serious drug user were to claim that they never started out on their road to destruction by smoking a few joints, then they are a liar as well as a fool.
We both recognise too that any attempt to link the debate to the one involving the freedom to purchase alcohol is but a straw man argument.
Congratulations John (and John Key too) for standing firm and refusing to raise the white flag on the war on drugs. There are no easy answers and certainly no soft options.
With kind regards and best wishes.