Maoris are severely disadvantaged by the laws around recreational drugs for biological reasons. The Pakeha that introduced these laws knew about these biological reasons, and so they created a set of drug laws specifically designed to keep Maoris down. This essay looks at how.
Human use of alcohol dates back into prehistory. It is believed that civilisations in the Fertile Crescent were brewing a simple form of mead as far back as 8,000 B.C., and we’ve never stopped brewing it. After all, the effects of alcohol make some of the unpleasant aspects of life much easier to deal with.
Not every culture adopted alcohol at the same time, however. Use of it spread from the Fertile Crescent to nearby cultures, and then further afield, until it was introduced to Maoris in the late 18th century.
Alcohol is everywhere now, but, as any cosmopolitan worthy of the name could tell you, the various people of the world behave in different ways to the drug.
The basic rule is this: the greater the length of time that an individual’s ancestors have been exposed to alcohol, the greater the opportunity there has been for genes that lead to poor outcomes from alcohol use (in particular, violence and/or physically reckless behaviour, and alcoholism) to have been eliminated from that individual’s gene pool.
Middle Easterners tend to behave the best on alcohol, for the reason that they have been exposed to it for maybe 10,000 years. This means that, for a hundred centuries, anyone carrying genes that led them to go crazy on alcohol would have died at a significantly higher rate than their fellows.
Southern Europeans and Northern Africans are the next best behaved, because they were next to be introduced to the drug, and Northern Europeans, especially the British from which the majority of Kiwis descend, have themselves had between 2,500 and 5,000 years of exposure.
The Maoris, by contrast, have had 200 years of exposure to alcohol. Although trading rum for various goods and services was basically how interracial relations began in New Zealand, two centuries is not very long in evolutionary terms.
What that means, in practice, is that Maoris carrying genes that lead them to go crazy on alcohol, although they certainly die at a significantly higher rate than their fellows, have not done so for long enough for Maoris as a whole to have built up the genetic resistance to the drug that Kiwis of British ancestry have.
This explains why, if you put half a dozen standard drinks into 100 Maoris and 100 Pakeha, the Maoris would have significantly worse outcomes. It’s not a question of willpower or lack of mental discipline or fortitude, any more than the higher rate of skin cancer among Pakeha is a question of those things. Both are matters of explicable biology.
The fact is that alcohol has literally been used as a bioweapon against Maoris.
The logic about genetic resistance was understood by British colonialists well before anyone was aware of such things as genes. By the time the Empire had made it as far as New Zealand, it had had two hundred years of observing the effects of the drug on the natives of Africa, the Americas and Australia, and it had noted that in almost every case the social structure of those natives was obliterated by exposure to it.
They therefore knew full well what was going to happen when they introduced the Maoris to rum, and outcomes like Kororareka – “The Hellhole of the South Pacific” – were inevitable.
It was known that exposure to alcohol was going to cause the Maoris to fight each other and kill themselves, because there had been ample opportunity to see that happen elsewhere.
This genetic vulnerability to alcohol explains why Maori culture has taken so eagerly to cannabis. The majority of Maoris have tried cannabis at some point in their lives, and many of those prefer it to alcohol, for the straightforward biological reasons explained above.
For many Maoris, smoking cannabis is a way of getting the benefits of easy sociability and euphoria that one would get from alcohol, but without the drastically negative consequences that naturally befall anyone without an ancestral exposure to the drug. So cannabis prohibition has a massively disproportionate effect on Maoris.
Understood like this, it appears almost sadistic that a Parliament full of people of European descent would forbid, on pain of time spent locked in a prison cage, a recreational alternative to a drug that only they can safely use.
This could fairly said to be terrorism in the form of bioweapons.
Now that the New Zealand Parliament has officially apologised to Kiwis convicted of historic homosexuality offences, the day when they apologise to medicinal cannabis users draws ever closer. So in much the same way that there are calls for gay men convicted for homosexuality offences to be compensated, there will also be calls for people convicted of medicinal cannabis offences to be compensated.
This isn’t necessarily a brand new idea – Article D of the twenty-six point plan in the Cannabis Activist’s Handbook calls for compensation on the grounds that a criminal record for a medicinal cannabis offence severely impacts the sufferer’s social and financial standing.
It’s easy for most to agree that a person’s rights to cultivate a herbal medicine are in the same category as their rights to have sex with another man. There is no good reason to sic the Police on people who do either, because neither action causes harm to anyone else.
And so it’s straightforward to accept that there is a genuine case for compensation for harm done to the victims of the Police and Justice systems. After all, putting someone in a cage for an action that harms no-one is itself a crime.
There are life-long consequences to getting a criminal conviction, such as extreme difficulty in finding a job, getting a loan or being accepted to an academic course. The financial losses to these three consequences alone might add up to half a million dollars or more over the course of a lifetime.
So most of us can accept that it’s fair that the Government pays money to put right the damage that it caused to its own people by effectively conducting a war on them without their consent.
If a person wants to make the argument that compensation should be denied because the offences were technically crimes at the time they were committed, they ought to ask themselves if they would be happy with a criminal conviction for reading this VJM Publishing article in a dystopic future where websites without state approval were considered pirate media.
Because it’s very easy to dismiss the psychological damage caused by arbitrary misapplications of judicial power when it doesn’t happen to oneself.
What ought to happen is, first, that it be written into the New Zealand Bill of Rights that actions that do not have victims cannot be crimes. This will not only entrench the legality of both homosexual activity and medicinal cannabis use, but it will also make it impossible for any future offence in this category (i.e. victimless ones) to be pushed into law.
What needs to happen, second, is that a commission is put together to calculate – using the same evidence-based methodology that is being pushed by some with regards to cannabis law reform – an accurate dollar figure corresponding to the amount of suffering caused by being persecuted by this law.
Possibly the fairest way would be to declare a set sum of compensation per conviction and per day in jail if there was a custodial sentence.
For example, we might say that the amount of personal damage inflicted on a person by giving them a criminal conviction was equal to $25,000, with a further $250 for each day spent in prison.
And third we need to decide if we’re actually going to pay this compensation or if we’re going to just say “Fuck ’em”.
Many young Kiwis have felt a sense of relief after Julie Anne Genter and The Opportunities Party decided to champion cannabis law reform. Finally it seemed like the political class were going to grant the New Zealand people some of their rights back. But, as this essay will examine, dealing with politicians is never that simple.
Both Genter and TOP broke with the New Zealand political convention of treating cannabis law reform as a taboo subject earlier this year as the foreshadow of the General Election loomed, incentivising new policy directions that attracted media attention.
Both of them also broke with convention by bringing logic and evidence to this discussion, instead of the usual fear-mongering and hysteria. As has long been argued by this company (most notably in the Cannabis Activist’s Handbook), once the narrative on cannabis shifted from lies to truth, the days of prohibition were numbered.
Once the sheeple of New Zealand came to realise that cannabis was a medicine and not really the devil’s lettuce, it didn’t seem right to put people in cages for it anymore, and that led directly to the need for law reform being taken seriously by everyone today.
So does this mean that New Zealand is moving out of the Puritanical mindset when it comes to psychoactive substances and will now be discussing the issue sensibly?
Of course not! Morgan wants to put the drinking age back up to 20.
Even though his entire message is that prohibition of cannabis isn’t working, and even though it’s widely understood that prohibition of alcohol didn’t work, voting for cannabis law reform through TOP is also going to be a vote for some Kiwis to lose the freedom to consume alcohol.
Some people might not think too much of this, but Morgan’s actions here reveal the strategy that politicians have used to seize control of the plebs throughout all times and places.
Politicians do this by offering you some of your freedoms back at the cost of others. Their trick is to always take away more freedoms than they offer, but to present it in a way that tricks the plebs into thinking that it’s the other way around.
Another example of it also pertains to cannabis: the fact that almost every cannabis user in the country who has a driver’s licence is also a criminal, because it is a crime to drive with any amount of THC in the system, and anyone who has smoked cannabis within the last six weeks will have THC in their system – even if they are not at all impaired.
If the politicians decided to legalise cannabis tomorrow they could simply bring in more punitive consequences for driving a motor vehicle, such as regular checkpoints with saliva swabs to detect for THC in the system.
Enough checkpoints and saliva swabs and it simply wouldn’t matter that cannabis was technically fully legal – the degree of damage done to the population by the state would remain the same. It could potentially even be increased.
And then we’d end up like the states of Australia and America that have “decriminalised cannabis” but made it criminal to drive with THC in the system, impaired or otherwise.
Either that, or we’ll lose our rights to speak freely on the Internet. It’s possible that the wholesale criminalisation of the young that came about as a consequence of the cannabis laws will be replicated with criminal trials for “hate speech” and “harmful digital communication”.
In any case, we can guarantee that the freedom of politicians to lie to the nation – and to cause them great suffering as a consequence of the despair and confusion – will not be impeded by anything.
The House of Representatives today took the extraordinary measure of apologising to Kiwis with historical criminal convictions for engaging in homosexual activity. The move was broadly welcomed, the general attitude suggesting that putting someone in a cage for an act that harmed no-one was, in hindsight, wrong.
Let’s be honest. What the New Zealand Government did to gay people wasn’t just wrong – it was a human rights abuse.
The reason why it qualifies as a human rights abuse is that humans have the inherent, inviolable right to do whatever they like as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else.
Engaging in consensual homosexual activity did not harm anyone else, therefore it wasn’t a crime. Therefore, putting gay people in cages for doing it was a human rights abuse.
After some decades of pressure from reasonable people, the New Zealand Parliament appears to have finally accepted this logic and apologised.
But the truly obscene thing about this whole affair isn’t men sticking their cocks up each other’s arses.
The truly obscene thing is how our current crop of gutless politicians, safely separated by thirty years of history, happily stick the boot into their forebears of a previous generation, while paying no mind to the fact that they are still oppressing cannabis users with the same total absence of justification as they once oppressed homosexuals.
So how can we take the Government’s apology for violating the human rights of homosexuals seriously when it continues to do exactly the same thing to cannabis users?
Marama Davidson, who never misses an opportunity to shamelessly grandstand, spoke in Parliament today about the deaths caused by the anti-homosexual prejudice engendered by the law criminalising homosexual activity.
But regarding the fact that prejudice and discrimination against medicinal cannabis users is still taking lives today, she (like everyone in Parliament apart from Julie Anne Genter) remains completely silent.
The cowards in Parliament won’t be making apologetic speeches about the damage caused by cannabis prohibition for another thirty years, not until most of the current lot are dead.
Grant Robertson stood up in Parliament today and said, on the subject of homosexuality being illegal, that “the arrests, the imprisonments and the fear of that happening did not just ruin lives and destroy potential – it killed people. Hundreds, possibly thousands of lives have been lost because men could not bear the shame, the stigma, and the hurt caused by this Parliament.”
Exactly the same words could be said about cannabis prohibition – but our politicians lack the courage to say them.
Justice Minister Amy Adams said “this apology is a symbolic but important act that we hope will help address the harm and right this historic wrong.”
If the New Zealand House of Representatives is serious about being apologetic for violating the human rights of Kiwi homosexuals, why are they continuing to violate the human rights of Kiwi medicinal cannabis users?
The prejudice against cannabis users – one that is enforced by the New Zealand Parliament to this very day – has taken ten times as many lives as the law against homosexuality and continues to take them.
Until the current Parliament takes the general issue of human rights seriously – not just rights for favoured, fashionable minorities – this apology can be dismissed as an exhibition of crocodile tears.
The New Zealand Parliament will soon get another chance to bring our cannabis laws into the 21st century, with Julie Anne Genter’s Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis and Other Matters) Amendment Bill drawn from the Member’s Bill Ballot this week. This ought to herald the long-awaited national conversation on the subject.
The Bill allows for any Kiwi suffering from “any debilitating condition” to use cannabis or a cannabis product if they have approval from a doctor. It also allows for such patients to cultivate cannabis themselves or to nominate someone to do it for them.
This latter point is extremely important and often underappreciated. One of Peter Dunne’s strategies to keep cannabis illegal by boondoggle has been to restrict supply to extremely expensive overseas sources, such as Sativex (which costs over $1,000 per month), instead of simply allowing people who need it to cultivate it themselves. This Bill would remove this deliberately-placed hurdle.
As Genter points out, the decision to make cannabis illegal was not based on evidence in the first place. Doctors in the 1930s were prescribing medicinal cannabis to patients in New Zealand, as they were all across the world.
The decision to stop doctors from prescribing cannabis was pushed on us by moronic do-gooders forcing their Puritan ideology on the rest of the world.
There was never any science involved, nor any common sense, foresight, empathy, compassion or concern for good order.
From the beginning, cannabis prohibition was based on nothing but a sadistic need to control the masses through causing them suffering, and on the gullibility of legions of morons willing to bleat whatever they heard from an authority figure as if it was the Word of God.
For a person to still not know that cannabis is medicinal they have to be willfully stupid.
The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party first stood in a General Election in 1996. Already in 1996 the party platform had the need for medicinal cannabis as one of its core tenets.
In 1996 it got 1.66% of the vote, so even twenty years ago it was true that one in sixty Kiwis considered cannabis law reform a major issue. After all, California legalised medicinal cannabis that year, so the medicinal properties of cannabis were already known and accepted by experts even then.
Since then, twenty-eight US states have made medicinal cannabis legal and eight have made recreational cannabis legal – and none of them have gone back to prohibition after making the change.
So to deny that cannabis law reform is inevitable is like denying that a heavyweight boxer who has won forty consecutive knockout victories is a title contender.
For a person to continue to believe that the prohibition of medicinal cannabis helps New Zealanders, they have to possess a willful ignorance that borders on malice.
They would have to continue to ignore all the stories from hundreds of medicinal cannabis users, over twenty years, in which they detailed the reduction in suffering that cannabis gave them.
They would have to think nothing of the fact that supporters of medicinal cannabis are winning a victory every month either in New Zealand or in another Western jurisdiction.
They would have to believe that it was fair that any of Martin Crowe, Paul Holmes and Helen Kelly could have been prosecuted and sent to prison for using medicinal cannabis to alleviate pain caused from dying of cancer.
And a person cannot think like that unless they purposefully deny reality for the sake of bringing cruelty into the world.
When the debate about medicinal cannabis does, finally, after over twenty years of campaigning, happen in Parliament, the MPs who oppose it will mark themselves out as particularly sadistic old dinosaurs who need getting rid of.