The Case For Cannabis: Governments Shouldn’t Conduct Wars Against Their Own People

The War on Drugs is a war that governments of the world fight against their own people, supposedly to protect people from the harmful effects of these substances. In the vast majority of cases This essay will argue that cannabis prohibition is necessary because it is immoral for a government to conduct a war against their own people without their consent.

The War on Drugs was ramped up to full aggression by Richard Nixon in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Although the majority of recreational drugs were already illegal, the enforcement of them was not brutal until Nixon entered the scene. With the increase in aggressive drug law enforcement came an increase in the incarceration rate of Americans – now four times higher than it was in 1972, even when adjusted for the increase in population.

Nixon’s former domestic policy chief, John Ehrlichman, is quoted in a Harper magazine interview 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.” This quote encapsulates the entire logic of the War on Drugs.

The truth about the War on Drugs is that governments don’t really fight this war against drugs, they fight them against their own people who use drugs. The War on Drugs is really a war against their own people.

In particular, the War on Drugs is a war against those the ruling classes want to destroy. As is clear from the Ehrlichman quote above, the ruling party is not representative of the people. They have their particular enemies, and in the case of the Military-Industrial Complex that profits immensely from defence contracts and from endless war, peaceniks are the enemy.

Likewise for blacks: the Prison-Industrial Complex demands a steady supply of slave workers to labour in prisons. This prison labour is immensely profitable for the prison owners, who occupy the same role as the slave plantation owners of the antebellum American South. So a draconian crackdown on drugs that were known to be used heavily by blacks had the calculated effect of drawing large numbers of them into the prison system.

The reason why the security services are divided into the Police and the Army is because the Army is for fighting wars, and the Police for keeping the peace. When the Government sets the Army onto the people, it’s usually a sign that the Government is rotten to the core and probably not far from collapse. So when the Police are also fighting a war against the people on behalf of the Government, it’s a very, very bad sign.

Everyone knows that the Government isn’t really a protective, benevolent force. Everyone knows that Western governments are not representatives of their people, but rather of whatever corporate interests have declared themselves to have a stake in the country. The point is, this should not be accepted, and governments should never act to the detriment of their own people for the sake of corporate profits.

Conducting a War on Drugs makes it possible for the ruling classes to divide and conquer the people, by way of subjecting some of them to harsh legal punishment and not others. This is a grossly anti-democratic phenomenon, and should not be allowed.

Cannabis prohibition should be repealed because the Government should not fight a war against its own people. The War on Drugs is a war that the Government fights against the same people that the Government is supposed to represent and protect. It’s time for a ceasefire.

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Is The National Party Now New Zealand’s Natural Opposition Party?

It may now have to be conceded that the Labour Party is a genuinely superior economic manager to the National Party. The Sixth Labour Government has just announced a $5,500,000,000 surplus for the last year, and there’s no sign that they intend to piss that money away on tax cuts. As this essay will examine, Labour’s established record of superior fiscal management suggests that the National Party no longer has any claim to be New Zealand’s natural government.

The New Zealand electoral cycle is based on a cosy truism: the National Party makes the money, and the Labour Party distributes it. Like Daddy and Mummy, the National Party is responsible for the wealth being generated by the system and the Labour Party is responsible for making sure that this wealth filters down to those who are too vulnerable to fight for it themselves.

However, if one casts an eye back over the last thirty years, there doesn’t seem to be any real evidence that National is better at generating wealth.

As anyone who has lived in Scandinavia can tell you, a nation’s wealth is primarily a function of the degree of investment that previous generations made in the current one. Scandinavia is wealthy because, for decades, their governments have made heavy investments in the human capital of their people in the form of education, health and welfare, and these investments have paid off handsomely in the form of an extremely productive workforce.

The National Party let our country rot for nine years: our hospitals decayed, our mental health system decayed, our housing crisis worsened with every year, and for all of this time John Key and Bill English just grinned and let their people suffer. After all, the suffering of Kiwis meant immense profits for someone else, especially wealthy property speculators and banking interests.

As a consequence, we now have the developed world’s worst youth suicide crisis, as the neglect shown to our people during the Key-English era shows its effects in a reduced will to live. The National Party failed to make any meaningful investment in the human capital of New Zealanders, and the true cost of this is now becoming apparent.

Over the past three decades, a pattern is clear. When National is in power, the rich become bloated and the people suffer; when Labour is in power, the rich hold their position while the people take some small steps out of desperate poverty. Anyone who has lived through these times has conclusive evidence that the idea of National being better economic managers is complete horseshit.

National Party economic management is like not going to the doctor or dentist for nine years, and then bragging about how much money you’ve saved while your skin is covered in lesions and your teeth are rotting out of your head. The National Party forgot the parasite’s maxim that some minimum care of the host body has to be taken otherwise it will die.

With Key and English now given knighthoods and put out to pasture, the National Party suddenly seems bereft of managerial talent. The hapless Simon Bridges looks every bit the Head Prefect auditioning for a role that is above his level of competence. Judith Collins waits in the wings like an overfed vulture, and the only other contenders are Paula Bennett – who needed surgery to prevent her eating herself to death – and a parade of faceless grey men.

Jacinda Ardern also looks every bit the Head Prefect above her level of competence, and so much so that the Opposition has an open goal in 2020 – but they’re too clumsy to kick it in. Meanwhile, Ardern has had the opportunity to build a cult of personality, John Key-style, by dragging her baby along everywhere and styling herself The Mother of the Nation. This strategy might prove effective on the pudding-headed virtue signallers among New Zealand voters, and given enough time it could make Ardern’s position unassailable.

With both their historical record and their potential record both looking extremely bad, it might have to be conceded that the National Party are effectively now New Zealand’s natural opposition party. The idea that Labour was the natural opposition party may have been true in the days of big agriculture and the need to be ready to fight war on behalf of Britain at any time. Nowadays, it’s looking ever more like it’s National who are fundamentally unsuited to meet the challenges facing the nation.

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

The Case For Cannabis: Cannabis Is A Religious And Spiritual Sacrament

We are supposed to have freedom of religion in the West, but in practice this only applies to certain favoured religions, in particular Abrahamism and its derivatives. Other religious traditions, particularly those that employ psychoactives as part of their rituals, are effectively discriminated against by the War on Drugs. This article will discuss the established tradition of cannabis use as a religious and spiritual sacrament.

The Indo-European peoples have been using cannabis as a religious and spiritual sacrament for thousands of years.

Cannabis is mentioned in Indian texts going back to 1,000 B.C., primarily for its use as a medicine, but also for its purported ability to facilitate contact with the divine. There is an age-old tradition in India of weed-smoking holy men known as sadhus. These are ascetics who have renounced worldly wealth and pleasure, and who use cannabis to get into touch with Shiva. Among sadhus, use of cannabis is especially popular when meditating, for the moments of tranquillity and serenity that it is capable of bringing.

The Nepalese smoke it publicly and ceremonially during the festival of Maha Shivaratri. The enlightenment brought about from the cannabis high is said to represent the coming-to-awareness of the first guru in the world. It is said that it was at this moment that the consciousness of the first guru transcended the material and the illusion of space and time, and the cannabis high is intended to replicate this.

In ancient China, cannabis was used by holy men in healing and early magical rituals. Early Taoist shamans systematically experimented with the ritual use of cannabis, with some declaring that smoking it was as good as climbing into the mountains for those who were physically unable. Their traditions began with burning cannabis as incense for the sake of smoking out demons and evil spirits, and soon evolved into inhaling cannabis for the sake of drawing in good energy from God.

Cannabis was also used by the Scythians in a ritualistic form that amounting to the hot-boxing of small smoke tents. The participants would gather inside these tents as part of funerary rites and cast buds onto superheated rocks, causing them to burn and to fill the tent with cannabis smoke. The change in consciousness brought about by these rituals were considered to bring the participant into contact with the spirits of the dead.

From there, it spread to Germany, and from there to Britain and Scandinavia. The Vikings came to associate its aphrodisiac effects with the fertility goddess Freya, and spring festivals sometimes involved the ritual consumption of cannabis. Viking herbalists were also aware of the pain-killing properties of cannabis, and they appear to have cultivated it in Southern Norway since 650 A.D. Evidence suggests that at least some of this cannabis was cultivated for ritualistic and shamanic purposes.

Therefore, cannabis use has been part of our natural spiritual traditions for thousands of years. The state of cannabis prohibition brought about by Abrahamism is an obscenity, the kind that comes from such false doctrines. It is not right for us Westerners to live in a state of cannabis prohibition, because it separates us from our natural connection to the divine, replacing it with a doctrine of women-hatred, gay-hatred, genital mutilation and ignorance.

Many modern people could tell you that cannabis use is still part of our natural spiritual traditions. It is the Western subcultures that smoke cannabis who are most likely to reject the obsession with materialism that has captured our culture. After all, the spiritual effect of cannabis comes from its ability to separate the user from the material. By inducing a state of physical and emotional calm, consciousness focuses instead on the spiritual. By pacifying the user’s base physical desires, they can concentrate on a form of living that pays homage to God.

Rastafarians say of cannabis that “The herb is the key to new understanding of the self, the universe, and God. It is the vehicle to cosmic consciousness”. Many Westerners who do not follow an organised religious tradition can likewise tell you that smoking cannabis gets you closer to God. There are millions of us who could tell you that we have had profound spiritual epiphanies from sacramental cannabis use, and that these epiphanies are worth gold.

Cannabis being illegal therefore amounts to religious discrimination. It’s essentially no different to a law that makes the Bible or the Koran illegal. If cannabis use is a means by which some people get closer with God, how can it possibly be anyone else’s right to say otherwise? The people who support cannabis prohibition would be appalled at the thought of Government agents going into someone’s house to take their Bible away, but they do much the same thing with cannabis without a second thought.

There is a need for cannabis law reform so that religious and spiritual alternatives to Abrahamism can be explored. There is no valid reason for people to be forced to follow an Abrahamic tradition, and therefore no valid reason for the law to prohibit the spiritual sacraments of non-Abrahamic traditions. True spiritual and religious freedom requires that none of the established methods for coming closer to God are made illegal – this includes cannabis use.

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

The Case For Cannabis: Cannabis is an Exit Drug

Many people erroneously believe that cannabis is a “gateway drug” that leads to users moving on to harder and harder drugs. The reality, like many myths relating to cannabis, is closer to the opposite of this. As this article will examine, cannabis can serve as an ‘exit drug’ to help people overcome addictions to actually harmful substances, in particular alcohol, synthetics and opioids.

In New Zealand, there is a “synthetic cannabis” epidemic underway. A couple of recent deaths in Christchurch were believed to have been caused by the substances, and the total number of deaths in New Zealand this year attributed to them is approaching 50. This is rightly a public health crisis, and is increasingly being understood as such.

The substances being sold as synthetic cannabis generally have nothing to do with cannabis – they are mostly unknown psychoactives that generate some kind of buzz when smoked. No-one’s really sure where they come from or what’s in them, they’re just sold through shady contacts – often at tinny houses when someone was looking for natural cannabis – and end up killing people in the streets.

It doesn’t matter that these substances aren’t really much like cannabis, because they fill a market niche that would otherwise be filled by cannabis. If a person doesn’t like to drink alcohol, for whatever reason, the major alternative is some form of cannabis. If cannabis is not available, because prohibition has made it impossible to supply, then “synthetic cannabis” might have to do, because it will frequently be available through the same channels that a person would try to access natural cannabis.

For the many thousands of Kiwis believed to be addicted to synthetic cannabinoids, and for the hundreds of thousands who are at risk of encountering some synnies from one of the infamous “bad batches” that kill people from time to time, legal cannabis could serve as an exit drug. With legal cannabis in place, even if only at the medicinal level, a synthetic cannabinoid addict could be weaned off the synnies with a replacement medicinal cannabis regimen.

In America, there is an opioid epidemic underway. Opioid overdoses were believed to comprise 49,000 of the 72,000 drug overdose deaths in America in 2017. This contrasts with about 10,000 such deaths at the turn of the century. This represents several times more deaths than even the infamous American homicide rate – clearly a crisis of such proportions that extraordinary actions must now be considered.

Cannabis has shown immense promise as an exit drug from opioid addiction. Science Daily links a report from the University of British Colombia that found significant evidence to suggest that cannabis can help in the case of alcoholism and opiate addiction. There are already clinics in operation in Los Angeles where cannabis is in a clinical program of rehabilitation from heroin and alcohol misuse.

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that rates of opioid use are lower in American states that have legalised medicinal cannabis, which suggests that individuals who use opiates are themselves happy to wean themselves off by using cannabis, if only there are given the opportunity. The JAMA study found that “States with medical cannabis laws had a 24.8% lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rate compared with states without medical cannabis laws.”

A report by Time Magazine found that rates of death by opioid overdose had quadrupled from the turn of the century, and that states which had legalised medicinal cannabis had saved hundreds of millions of dollars from alleviating some amount of opioid abuse. Even if a patient does not stop taking opiates completely, it is possible that a synergistic effect from the cannabis can potentiate the opiates they do take, meaning that they can take less for the same painkiller effect.

All this means that cannabis prohibition is effectively killing people, by preventing those addicted to alcohol and opiates from accessing a potential exit drug, and thereby forcing them to remain addicted to the substance. Despite the apparent moralistic intent behind cannabis prohibition, we can safely suggest that the spirit of the law was not that it should kill alcoholics and opioid addicts.

Cannabis law reform is necessary so that medicinal cannabis can be applied as an exit drug to people who are addicted to, or dependent on, more harmful substances. This will have the effect of substituting a substance that heals for substances that harm, and thereby preventing suffering.

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

VJMP Reads: David Seymour’s Own Your Future X

This reading carries on from here.

The ninth chapter in Own Your Future is ‘Personal Responsibility’. Seymour opens here with a stark claim that ACT doesn’t believe in the nanny state or in a paternalistic government. Many of our laws are holdouts from an age of Victorian values, he states, and they are enforced by politicians who transparently do not have a deeper grasp on morality than anyone else.

Breaking rank with the other Parliamentarians, Seymour is willing to admit here that cannabis does less harm than alcohol and tobacco (although he points out that cannabis is not without its own harms). He also echoes a point often made by Kiwi cannabis law reform activists (such as here), that the burden of Police enforcement of cannabis prohibition falls mostly on Maori.

Seymour cites a Treasury study that estimated that cannabis prohibition costs the country $300,000,000 annually, as well as tying up 600,000 hours of Police time. Worst of all, the supposed criminal deterrence doesn’t even work – the overwhelming majority of people convicted for cannabis offences go on to use it. Moreover, the law is applied in a haphazard manner, as can be seen by the 26-month sentence initially handed down to Kelly van Gaalen.

In a distinct break from the right-wing that ACT is usually associated with, Seymour repudiates the moralising that is chiefly responsible for cannabis prohibition, pointing out that not only is there a heavy majority in favour of cannabis law reform, but that majority is steadily growing. This contrasts with the proportion of people who oppose actual crimes, such as murder – this proportion remains constant.

True to the libertarian image that Seymour is trying to stake out, he argues for legal recreational cannabis as well. However, true to the conservative streak that binds his party to National, he is torn, claiming that 80% of the New Zealand public opposes recreational cannabis. He does not cite a source here, and neither does he note that such opposition would be unusual in the context of places like Colorado and California voting by referendum to legalise medicinal cannabis.

Seymour takes pains to seat himself as immovably as possible, right in the middle of the fence. He is open to the possibility that countries that legalise cannabis might “lose their morality” and “become cesspits of unmotivated human squalor” (as if alcohol was not well capable of achieving both), and wants to have a Royal Commission that takes five years before he will consider that we have satisfactory evidence to make a decision.

He rightly pillories the Government for its sharp increase in the tobacco tax, pointing out that the people most sharply affected by this are those who can least afford it. Worst of all, it seems that raising the tax further will not help persuade people to give up smoking. Those who are still addicted are so addicted that they will do almost anything to get hold of tobacco. Sensibly, Seymour would legalise vaping and e-cigarettes.

Euthanasia is another thing that Seymour would legalise, promising an end to “morality-based harassment”. His reason for promoting this is to avoid the indignity of the last weeks of life. Having nursed elderly grandparents to the end of a terminal illness, I can commiserate with him in this regard. He is also in favour of abortion, which makes him less hypocritical than the old right. Seymour doesn’t want to pay for your kid either, but he’s happy to help you get it aborted.

It’s hard to find fault with any of Seymour’s proposals in this chapter. Even if the only right he champions with conviction is the right to die, it’s an excellent thing that these libertarian proposals are even being suggested. It is interesting to note how similar ACT is with the Greens on issues such as cannabis, especially if it is considered that being young is highly correlated with both voting ACT and Green.

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

The Case For Cannabis: Cannabis Is An Alternative to Booze

Alcohol is great fun – but it also has its downsides. Severe downsides. Violence, sexually transmitted diseases, mental disorder and verbal abuse: when the booze goes in, it all comes out. This essay will argue that the downsides of alcohol are severe enough that we ought to be permitted a recreational alternative in the form of cannabis.

The downsides to widespread alcohol use are considerable. The New Zealand Police Manager’s Guild Trust states that “alcohol is present in about 30 percent of family violence incidents they attend,” and according to the study The Burden of Death, Disease and Disability due to Alcohol in New Zealand, 3.9% of all deaths in New Zealand can be attributed to alcohol.

Any Police officer, emergency nurse, heart surgeon, barman, oncologist or taxi driver could give you supporting evidence. We are doing tremendous damage to ourselves on a daily basis through widespread consumption of a drug that has a number of highly toxic side-effects. The bashings, the rapes, the bodies wrecked in traffic accidents represent a great deal of human suffering – and we’re not given a recreational alternative.

Alcohol brings a great deal of joy, of course, which is why it should not be banned. The anti-depressant effects of being able to have a good time with friends is incalculable, even if one can measure the physical damage in dollars. Ultimately, we cannot say that any action that causes us to enjoy life without harming anyone else is immoral, and most alcohol use falls into that category.

However, much of it doesn’t. For those of us who do not wish to participate in the weekly debauchery, violence and chlamydia-fest that is the New Zealand alcohol culture, there should be a recreational alternative.

In Amsterdam, where recreational cannabis is effectively legal and sold openly from “coffee shops”, we can get a glimpse of what a cannabis-based recreational alternative to alcohol might look like. On the Rembrantplein on any sunny day, one can see a park full of people peacefully smoking cannabis, with no violence or disorder. This is not just because Dutch people are well-behaved (because Dutch people chimp out on booze much like anyone else) – it is more that non-violence goes hand-in-hand with cannabis use.

The fact is that cannabis is a relaxant and a pacifier, and it tends to make people more quiet rather than boisterous. So one of the best things about repealing cannabis prohibition is that it would give people a recreational alternative to alcohol. This means that anyone wanting to relax and unwind on the weekend wouldn’t be forced to partake in the culture of a drug that was associated with violence.

Indeed, it can be observed that rates of sex and violence crimes decrease in the wake of cannabis legalisation. This has been observed in the American states that legalised recreational cannabis since Colorado was the first in 2014. The obvious explanation for this is the vastly different effects that cannabis has on human behaviour compared to alcohol.

This is of utmost importance to those who are not compatible with alcohol, for whatever reasons. Many people know that they are not well-suited to drinking alcohol, because they tend to end up in trouble with the Police. When fully sober, many people can tell you that if they start drinking they will start fighting. But there’s no recreational alternative.

Legal cannabis would allow people to have options when it came to unwinding and having a good time. If they didn’t want to get messy they would be able to simply go to a cannabis cafe, and get blazed and talk some shit without the risk of violence.

Of course, the fact that cannabis is an alternative to booze is one reason why it’s suppressed. It has been demonstrated previously that political parties are soaked in donations from the alcohol industry, and that the purpose of those donations is to incentivise the politicians to vote against cannabis law reform. In other words, alternatives to booze mean lower profits for the booze industry.

This shouldn’t prevent the correct actions from being taken. Ultimately, the best option is to legalise cannabis so that there is a recreational alternative to alcohol. Those who are compatible with alcohol can drink alcohol, and those who are not have the option of using cannabis to unwind. This is much fairer and safer method of dealing with people’s recreational needs than by forcing them all to drink booze.

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

The Case For Cannabis: Prohibition Harms Respect for the Law and for the Police

“Fuck the Police, comin’ straight from the underground,” go the lyrics. Many young Westerners can commiserate with the sentiment that the Police are not there to protect and serve them, but rather to harass and abuse them. But why should it be this way? This article examines the corrosive effect that cannabis prohibition has had on respect for the law and for the Police.

In the Netherlands, the occupation of Police officer doesn’t carry anywhere near the same stigma that it does among cannabis users in other Western countries. Not enforcing cannabis prohibition against the will of the people means that Police officers are seen as allies with a shared interest in the peaceful functioning of the community. Dutch people are not afraid to approach Police officers to ask for help or directions.

In other Western countries, by contrast, many young people see the Police as the enemy. It’s hard to have sympathy for someone “just doing their jobs” when doing their job involves conducting a war against their own people on behalf of their paymasters in the Government. Actions taken by Police officers in arresting people for using cannabis, such as the ones described here and here, are acts of evil in the eyes of most people, and certainly so in the eyes of cannabis users.

The first thought of many people, when they get high for the first time, is to immediately realise that they have been lied to about cannabis. It is not a substance that causes psychosis, but the contrary: it’s a medicine that removes it (although it arguably causes psychosis in non-users). Cannabis users gain the ability to go over previous traumatic memories and view them with new, happier eyes. In other words, it’s a healing herb.

This means that the Police are happy to carry out the task of imprisoning people for using a medicine, and for no other reason than that they were told to by their paymasters in Government. This is inherently disreputable conduct. Standing in the way of any sick person accessing their medicine is an act of evil, and if the Police willingly do this for money then it’s inevitable that the populace come to disrespect them for doing so.

There are knock-on effects of this which form a positive feedback loop. Cannabis prohibition deters decent people from joining the Police, because they know that if they do join they will have to enforce an immoral law against innocent people. So the quality of the average Police officer goes down on account of that the most moral and empathetic individuals disqualify themselves from service.

Another effect of cannabis prohibition is that people come to lose respect for the law. Many people, upon realising that cannabis is medicinal, ask themselves: if the government is willing to pass a law as stupid and counter-productive as the prohibition of cannabis, who’s to say that they put any real amount of honest thought into any of the other laws they passed?

This effect is certainly responsible for much of the hard drug use that people engage in. Many people who use cannabis and realise that the law against it is illegitimate come to think that laws against other drugs must also be illegitimate. This leads to them experimenting with those other drugs out of disdain for the law. When those people discover that the other drugs are much less kind than cannabis, it’s too late.

This process needs not stop there either: it can lead to disrespecting other laws, or even the concept of laws. If the Government is capable of passing a law as blatantly crooked and immoral as cannabis prohibition, why assume that any of their other laws are based on reason and logic?

The major undesirable effect of losing respect for the law is that social cohesion falls. After all, the vast majority of laws exist for good reason: violating them causes human suffering. Murder, rape, theft, assault – all of these cause unnecessary misery to other human beings. Cannabis does not, so if there is a law against that, then the law can’t be based on preventing suffering. It must be based on something else (such as corporate control etc.).

There are a large number of medicinal cannabis users, and they are an ever-growing number. Possibly they will continue to grow for some time yet as the medicinal qualities of cannabis become apparent to more and more people. If the Police continue to attack people for using medicinal cannabis, then the level of respect that average people have for the law and for the Police will continue to fall.

Comprehensive cannabis law reform, so that ordinary people were never persecuted for using or cultivating cannabis, is necessary so that the Police and the law can regain the respect of the public.

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

The Case For Cannabis: Prohibition Harms Minorities

Cannabis prohibition causes harm across most levels of society, but some bear the brunt more than others. In the Western World, it can be seen that cannabis prohibition has a disproportionately heavy effect on minorities, and there are multiple reasons for this. This article will discuss the need for cannabis law reform from an ethnic rights perspective.

The South African High Court found found in a recent judgment that “the
criminalisation of cannabis […] is certainly characterised by the racist footprints of a disgraceful past.” In other words, the South African authorities are willing to admit that cannabis prohibition was forced on the people of South Africa out of malice.

They found that “it is general knowledge that some sections of the [Black] population have been accustomed for hundreds of years to the use of dagga, both as an intoxicant and in the belief that it has medicinal properties, and do not regard it with the same moral repugnance as do other sections of the population.”

It followed from this that the prohibition of cannabis and the normalisation of alcohol was to put European values first and foremost, and this was mentioned in part of their judgement when they made recreational cannabis legal earlier this year.

Ever since Jamestown – and possibly long before then – European colonialists knew that native peoples had a great susceptibility to alcohol. The American Indians called it ‘firewater’ for the explosively violent behaviour it caused among their kind. Rolling a barrel of rum into an Indian village had a similar effect to rolling a barrel of gunpowder into one.

The science is like this: in Europe, most of the people who could not handle alcohol had been wiped out of the gene pool over thousands of years of exposure. Anyone who chimped out when drunk got killed or put in prison, and thereby failed to reproduce. Consequently, Europeans (much like Middle Easterners) do not lose self-control when drunk at the same rate as peoples who have not had that historical exposure.

The people who conquered the New World did not understand the genetics behind this, but they were well aware of the destabilising effect that alcohol had on native communities. So they passed laws, such as cannabis prohibition, that forbade any alternative to alcohol. This forced the natives away from cannabis and forced them towards drugs that would destroy them.

Laws prohibiting alternatives to alcohol are extremely prejudiced in favour of European people and people of European descent. In terms of the damage it can do to people who don’t have a genetic resistance to it, alcohol is almost a bioweapon, and passing laws that prohibit recreational alternatives to it could rightly be seen as acts of genetic warfare against non-European populations.

In New Zealand, Maori leaders like to talk about economic reparations and the damage done by colonisation. But never do they talk about the damage done to Maoris by cannabis prohibition.

Maoris have no cultural tradition of alcohol drinking. Unlike Europeans, Polynesians have only been exposed to alcohol for a few centuries. This means that they have not had time to evolve a resistance to the substance, and neither have they had time to make alcohol part of their culture. Alcohol is a foreign substance to the New World, and it’s foreign to the natives here.

As anyone with a clue knows, Maoris love cannabis. Not only do you frequently see Maoris smoking weed at parties, but it’s common to see Maoris in the street wearing Bob Marley t-shirts or with the red-yellow-green of reggae culture somewhere in their clothing. Their love of cannabis is unrepentant – in other words, it’s part of the culture.

The reason for this is simple: not only is cannabis great fun, but Maoris are also aware of the destabilising effect that alcohol has on native communities, and have found that their social recreational drug needs can be met just as well by cannabis as by alcohol (in most cases). Given an even playing field, it’s better to smoke cannabis because it leads to much fewer problems, in particular much less violence.

However, although this behaviour is fair, rational and reasonable, it’s prohibited. There are hundreds of Maoris in prison right now for cannabis offences, even though the prohibition of cannabis has nothing to do with their culture and is something that was forced on them by (some) white people.

It follows, then, that anyone who is truly interested in racial justice in the West must also be in favour of cannabis law reform. This will not only give minorities an alternative to alcohol, instead of having alcohol culture forced on them, but it will remove one possible source of discrimination against those minorities by taking the issue away from Police discretion.

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.