Ardern Won’t Support Cannabis For Fear Of Losing The Brown Religious Vote

Some have been mystified as to why Jacinda Ardern won’t come out and support cannabis law reform. It seems like an obvious move considering that cannabis supporters and Labour supporters overlap to a great deal. But there are now a large number of Labour supporters who are not cannabis supporters. This essay explains Ardern’s calculus.

Ardern knows that the white religious vote is lost to her party – they will fall in behind National no matter what. The brown non-religious vote is mostly Maori, and will fall in behind Labour no matter what. The white non-religious vote is the bulk of the population and where every election is contested. The brown religious vote is currently Labour on account of being brown, but is at great risk of switching to National on account of being religious.

Labour’s long-term strategy involves getting the brown religious vote behind them permanently. As such, they are vulnerable to getting outflanked by National on social issues like cannabis prohibition.

There are two main reasons why Ardern is reluctant to publicly support cannabis law reform, and both of those reasons are brown religious bigots.

The first group of brown religious bigots are the Christians. Usually Polynesian, they are against cannabis because their pastor told them to be. Their pastor is afraid of anyone learning to think for themselves, and therefore opposes cannabis on the grounds that it might wake people up, leading them away from the church. So the pastor tells his flock that cannabis users are filthy drug abusers in need of punishment.

Dan McGlashan showed in Understanding New Zealand that there was no correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2017. There was, however, a significant positive correlation between being a Pacific Islander and being a Christian (0.46), and a significant negative correlation between being a Christian and voting ALCP in 2017 (-0.37).

Christians comprise the bulk of the anti-cannabis forces in New Zealand, as is also shown by the tight links between Christian groups and anti-cannabis groups. These hints reveal the presence of a large, brown, Christian, anti-cannabis vote that is currently supporting Labour, but which is tempted to change support to National because of religious sentiments.

The National Party has targeted the wealthier Pacific Islanders who are tempted to feel that supporting National is a sign of having made it in the world. So far, these Pacific Islanders have been reluctant to change allegiance, but Ardern could tip them over the edge by coming out in support of cannabis law reform. This could make the more religious of them decide that Labour is a party of bad morals.

The second group of brown religious bigots are the Muslims.

In Britain, the Muslim vote has shown itself to be overwhelmingly loyal to Labour. 85% of British Muslims voted for the Labour Party in 2017, compared to 11% who supported the Conservatives. Those 11% are usually unhappy with the Labour Party because they perceive it as morally degenerate.

Ardern has known, ever since her apprenticeship under war criminal Tony Blair, that Muslims can be relied upon to vote for left-wing parties. This is why the New Zealand Labour Party has put so much effort into accommodating Islam. They know that the plan is for the Muslim population of New Zealand to increase many times, and they want to secure that voting bloc now.

The conflict arises from the fact that Muslims generally consider cannabis users to be degenerate scum who should be destroyed.

Muslims, in general, don’t feel any obligation to return the kindness we have shown to them by letting them into New Zealand – they’re happy to campaign to have us locked up for offending their morals. This is why the New Zealand Muslim Association logo is proudly displayed on the About Us section of the Say Nope To Dope hate campaign, and why there was a significant negative correlation between being Muslim and voting for the ALCP in 2017.

The centre-left already has a hard time keeping Muslims underneath their umbrella, where they have to share space with the LGBTQ+ brigade. Already, the main thing keeping Muslims voting for Labour is that fact that Labour is seen as the brown person’s party. If Ardern would come out in support of cannabis law reform, she’d risk losing a significant proportion of those voters to the National Party.

Taken together, Pacific Islander and Muslim voters comprise as much as a fifth of the Labour Party voter base, and this proportion will be higher in the future. Jacinda Ardern knows that she risks losing these demographics to National if they start to think of her as morally degenerate. She is already pressured on that flank by Labour’s whole-hearted support of homosexuality. So cannabis users have to go under the bus.

*

If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2019 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 and the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 are also available.

*

If you would like to support our work in other ways, please consider subscribing to our SubscribeStar fund. Even better, buy any one of our books!

National Cannot Win While They Oppose Cannabis Law Reform

The latest Reid Research poll was a disaster for the National Party. They hit their lowest polling numbers since the 2017 General Election, a dismal 25.1 percent. This result raised fears of an electoral humiliation like 2002. In order to avoid this, National will have to convince the electorate that they have learned the lessons of the past.

The Labour Party scored over 60% in the Reid Research poll, an incredible result less than two months out from a General Election. Unless there are major changes in sentiment between now and then, a second term for the Sixth Labour Government is all but assured. The same poll also suggested that Jacinda Ardern is seen as a much more competent leader than Judith Collins.

The reason why Labour and Ardern are doing so well is primarily because of their leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. It might sound simple, but when faced with a medical crisis, Ardern’s Labour listened to the scientists. The spread of an infectious virus is too complicated a subject to be understood by someone with a public relations degree, so they listened to people with medical degrees.

It does sound simple, but it’s not always that case that politicians follow the advice of relevant experts. Often they put political considerations ahead of reality.

It’s impossible to know whether a Judith Collins-led National Party would have listened to the scientists on the matter of COVID-19. What we do know is that she is currently completely ignoring the scientists on the matter of cannabis law reform. This attitude does not inspire confidence.

The scientists have been saying, for many years now, that the medicinal properties of cannabis are sufficiently well understood to know that the plant is not dangerous if used correctly. Even when used irresponsibly, it’s not worth locking people in cages over. The danger comes from prohibition, which creates a black market with no quality control.

The National Party has resolutely ignored these experts, opting instead for the politics of hate that served the Fourth and Fifth National Governments so well. National has always known that a large proportion of crusty old Boomers hate cannabis users and are happy to see the law destroy them. It is to them that Collins is signalling when she supports prohibition.

The problem for National is that many of those people are now dead.

It’s not the 1990s anymore. Opposing cannabis law reform has always been wrong, but in the 1990s it looked prudent. Back then, there was so little available science that it made some sense to err on the side of caution. Cannabis was always medicinal, but in the absence of a body of empirical evidence precisely detailing its effects, it seemed wise not to open the floodgates.

By 2020, opposing cannabis law reform seems pointlessly antagonistic and vindictive. Today there’s ample evidence that, not only is cannabis not really harmful, it’s a beneficial medicine to a great many people. It’s clear now that cannabis prohibition achieved nothing but cause misery to the many people who needed it to alleviate suffering.

If the National Party would change their approach on cannabis, from a “punishment and pain” model to one that put business interests first, they could win back a lot of the centrist voters that they have lost since the previous election. Abandoning their commitment to cannabis prohibition would signal that National is letting go of old prejudices and is ready to move forwards.

Already, some 67% of Americans want legal cannabis, and more Australians want it than don’t want it. Cannabis law reform in New Zealand is inevitable – National will not win another General Election while they oppose it. If they were smart, they’d steal a bunch of centrist voters off Labour by coming out in support of it today.

*

Vince McLeod is the author of The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, the comprehensive collection of arguments for ending cannabis prohibition.

*

If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2019 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 and the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 are also available.

*

If you would like to support our work in other ways, please consider subscribing to our SubscribeStar fund. Even better, buy any one of our books!

Paula Bennett’s Cannabis Stance Emblematic Of National’s Failure

Yesterday’s Reid Research poll suggested complete and utter failure for the National Party in this September’s election. Most media commentators rushed to congratulate Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party, and suggested that their steady hand during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic was the reason for the good polling. The alternative explanation, as this essay will explore, is that National are shit.

The poll suggested that Labour is currently favoured to win 56% of the vote at the next general election. This would only be a fraction lower than what the African National Congress won in last year’s general election in South Africa, a country often criticised for being a one-party state. It’s a triumphant poll for Labour supporters; their opposition lies scattered and disorganised.

Predictably, most National supporters reacted by bleating about how Reid Research was in Ardern’s back pocket and how everything will be different once the economic effects of the lockdowns are more widely understood. But it won’t be. The fact is that the country has fundamentally lost confidence in the current National leadership.

This magazine reminded everyone last year, in response to increased complaining about the human rights abuses committed by the Sixth Labour Government, that Labour were only in power because National were shit. The Fifth National Government had unmistakably demonstrated its indifference to the suffering of New Zealand’s working class and younger generations, and, subsequently, Winston Peters went with Labour after the 2017 General Election.

Nothing has changed on National’s part.

Deputy Leader Paula Bennett has announced that she’ll be voting to keep putting cannabis users in cages this September. She isn’t bothered that cannabis prohibition costs the taxpayer $400,000,000 a year to enforce, or that it causes great suffering to many of her fellow citizens for no justifiable reason. She wants to charge on with cannabis prohibition as if we’ve learned nothing at all from the past 45 years of failure.

This position is a microcosm of National’s failings.

We tried the politics of cruelty for nine years – the term of the Fifth National Government. We saw John Key and then Bill English sit on their arses as medicinal cannabis was legalised across the world, leaving desperate Kiwis to suffer needlessly. They wasted some $3,600,000,000 on enforcing cannabis prohibition during their term, with nothing to show for it at the end.

During those nine years, we saw the suicide rate climb as the mental health system was pared down to the bare bones. Banking and finance interests grew fat and wealthy, while working New Zealanders were driven first into debt and then to the wall. The National Party rejected all pleas for relief with the same contemptuous indifference that the previous National Government had shown.

By 2017, New Zealanders decided that they’d had enough cruelty. National lost so much support that they lost their grip on power, and Winston Peters dealt the killing blow. It seems that National didn’t learn much from this, however. They have continued to campaign for a kick in the guts to all the usual victims.

Bennett’s position on cannabis shows that National still don’t give a fuck at all. They don’t give a fuck about science, or evidence, or what’s happening with cannabis law reform overseas. They’re just drifting along, in their own little bubble, as if it were still the 1990s.

Things were different in the 1990s. The Fourth National Government passed a Budget in 1991 that left the children of poor families to go hungry, and were rewarded. Kiwis didn’t care about hungry kids then, so we voted National back into power – twice. In the 1990s, we didn’t give a fuck either. But we do now (at least generally speaking).

New Zealand, and the world, have moved on from beggar thy neighbour politics, but the current National leadership has been slow to see it.

Today’s National Party are so out of touch with the average New Zealander that they might as well have a Deputy Leader who wants to put homosexuals in cages. Bennett’s position on cannabis is ludicrous in the light of existing evidence. The electorate inevitably punishes someone holding antiquated positions, and cannabis prohibition is an antiquated method of dealing with cannabis misuse.

To be in favour of cannabis prohibition today is to deny reality. A person is insane if they think that, by using the criminal justice system to put cannabis users in cages, the Government decreases the sum total of human suffering. Kiwi voters can sense this, and so they have overwhelmingly chosen to support the opposition.

The National Party needs to move away from the politics of hate that have characterised it in recent decades, and accept that policies like cannabis prohibition belong in history’s garbage can. This might necessitate a clearout of their current leadership. Nikki Kaye has previously demonstrated a 21st Century approach to cannabis law reform, and the electorate might reward this good sense over what Bridges and Bennett are offering.

*

Vince McLeod is the author of The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, the comprehensive collection of arguments for ending cannabis prohibition.

*

If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2019 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 and the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 are also available.

*

If you would like to support our work in other ways, please consider subscribing to our SubscribeStar fund. Even better, buy any one of our books!

They Want To Cause Suffering To People They Hate

The latest cannabis referendum poll suggests that 54% of New Zealanders will vote ‘Yes’ in the referendum on September 19. According to the poll, there are significant differences in levels of support for the referendum between supporters of the various parties. Some people have found this hard to explain. For their benefit, this essay elucidates.

Paul Manning, Chief Executive of Helius Therapeutics, asked the question “What do they want?” in response to the news that many elderly and conservative voters plan to vote against the cannabis referendum. He points out that these people understand that cannabis is widely available and that cannabis prohibition is not working. So why do they support it?

The reason why most elderly and conservative voters intend to vote ‘No’ is because they hate the sort of person who uses cannabis and they want to cause them suffering. This might sound uncharitable, or even cynical, but it has to be understood that most elderly and conservative Kiwis are twisted creatures of hate.

For their entire lives, this generation of New Zealanders has been exposed to propaganda inducing them to hate cannabis users. Ever since the 1930s, when Reefer Madness came out, popular culture has normalised the idea that cannabis users are depraved, anti-social maniacs. This propaganda has had the intended effect on the elderly of the West, who mostly swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

This anti-cannabis propaganda stems from two main sources, both of which hate cannabis for its ability to induce free thinking.

The first is the Church, who have always hated freethinkers because freethinkers question religious dogma. For centuries, the Church has relied on the acquiescence of its subjects in order to brainwash them. Freethinkers were the enemy because they threatened this acquiescence, and thereby Church control – this is why the Church has always persecuted them, going back to the murder of Hypatia and beyond.

The second is the Government, which wants a compliant population of submissive worker drones. Their ideal citizen is one with an IQ of 90, who goes to work everyday and produces widgets or basic services without ever complaining. As far as the Government is concerned, they are running a tax farm, and their chief concern is to milk the livestock as profitably as possible. The last thing that want is someone rocking the boat with free thought.

The elderly have internalised almost a century of this propaganda. As such, they genuinely believe that cannabis users are dangerous radicals who threaten to destroy the foundations of society itself, and who therefore deserve all the abuse they get. This hatred, in their minds, justifies cannabis prohibition.

In America, it was admitted that the purpose of the War on Drugs was to smash people they hated. John Ehrlichman, aide to Richard Nixon during the latter’s presidency, admitted that the purpose of the War on Drugs was to target anti-war hippies and black people. In an interview with Harper Magazine, Ehrlichman is quoted as saying:

“We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

Although it hasn’t been admitted, the same calculus applies in New Zealand.

There are almost no blacks in New Zealand, but elderly and conservative New Zealanders hate Maoris just as much as their American counterparts hate blacks. Elderly and conservative New Zealanders also hate hippies, who they associate with Communism and with the free and honest sex lives they wish they had had.

It’s well known that Maoris are strong supporters of cannabis law reform – the correlation between being Maori and voting for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2017 was a whopping 0.91. The reason for this immensely strong support is because Maoris are adversely affected by cannabis prohibition to a much greater degree than other New Zealanders.

However, this disproportionate harm is considered a good thing by many elderly and conservative New Zealanders. They see Maoris as the enemy anyway – a thieving, bludging, ungrateful, violent enemy – so if cannabis prohibition harms them, that’s a good thing.

These elderly and conservative New Zealanders also hate other cannabis using demographics, such as young people, artists, hippies and freethinkers. Elderly and conservative New Zealanders do plenty of drugs, but their drugs are sedatives, alcohol and opiates. Cannabis prohibition doesn’t target them.

This hate is why arguments appealing to the suffering caused by cannabis prohibition often have no effect. Most elderly or conservative voters think “Cannabis users are suffering? Good! Smash them, crush them, destroy them. Ruin their lives with a criminal conviction. Imprison them so their kids can’t see them. They are the enemy and should be obliterated!”

The psychiatric damage caused to cannabis users by arresting and imprisoning them is considered a bonus by these people. Appealing to the cruelty of it makes as much sense, to elderly and conservative voters, as appealing to the cruelty of shooting the enemy soldiers on the other side of the battlefield. Of course it’s cruel, that’s the point.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy solution to the presence of this malicious streak in New Zealand’s elderly and conservative voters. Hatred is a deep emotion – usually too deep to be influenced by reason. The sight of intelligent young people like Chloe Swarbrick speaking eloquently merely aggravates the elderly and conservative, and further entrenches their prejudice.

At the end of the day, young Kiwis and Maoris can take solace in the fact that the old bastards who hate them are dying off. No amount of hate can stop the aging process, and the old bigots will lose their ability to influence the law once Time puts them in the ground. Absent measures such as forcing the elderly to surrender their voting rights in exchange for a pension, that will have to do.

*

Vince McLeod is the author of The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, the comprehensive collection of arguments for ending cannabis prohibition.

*

If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2019 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 and the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 are also available.

*

If you would like to support our work in other ways, please consider subscribing to our SubscribeStar fund. Even better, buy any one of our books!