Why Jacinda Ardern Is Collaborating So Closely With Emmanuel Macron

Establishment media sources reported this week that Jacinda Ardern had been speaking at length to French President Emmanuel Macron about anti-terrorist measures during Ardern’s most recent European junket. Considering that the only example of state-sponsored terrorism ever carried out in New Zealand was carried out at the behest of the French, this alliance seems unexpected, to say the least. This article explains.

In France, Macron has faced half a year of intense protests which have often led to rioting. The Giles Jaunes (“Yellow Jacket”) movement has paralysed Paris and some other metropolitan centres for 23 weekends in a row. Despite a near-total absence of coverage by the Establishment media, the movement has aroused intense passions which have threatened to spill over into widespread violence.

The frightening thing about this movement, from the perspective of the Establishment, is that it has seen the coming together of far-right and far-left elements. Because most governments work to play both of these sides off against each other, it’s an ominous sign for the government when they come together. It means that the guillotines aren’t far away.

Some security analysts are predicting that these protests could boil over into widespread riots this European summer, as it becomes possible for the protesters to remain active overnight. Once this happens, the resources of the French Police might become stretched to breaking point (they are already forced to employ 8,000 officers to deal with the weekly protests alone). This is expected to presage increasingly desperate attempts to maintain order.

Ardern has good reason to suspect that some very bad times are coming to New Zealand as well, as a previous article here has discussed. This is partially because she is causing them, and continuing to cause them, through such measures as doubling the refugee quota, which necessarily lead to an increased number of Kiwis going homeless. But it’s partially because of wider economic and strategic factors that she does not control.

It’s likely that fuel prices are going to continue to rise this year because of Donald Trump’s escalating efforts to isolate Iran, as well as the inexorable squeeze of increasing demand and decreasing supply. This will be a worldwide problem, and it is almost certain to exacerbate the French situation.

The price of fuel in New Zealand is yet to cause any protests, but significant discontent can be seen in a number of FaceBook groups, accompanied by phrases such as “GET THE GAS ROBBING BASTARDS OUT OF HERE!!!!!!!” Further price increases might see this discontent develop into the same street protests that have befallen France. Ardern will be getting advice from Macron about how to deal with any such movement in New Zealand.

Another reason why Ardern and Macron are working so closely together is that both are globalists. The two rulers have both made a point of ruling from a global perspective, even if this explicitly harms their own people at the expense of foreigners. Ardern sees herself more as a United Nations-appointed governor of New Zealand than a representative of the New Zealand people, and that sort of arrogance has traditionally served to spark civil unrest.

Both rulers have a clear plan to destroy national sentiments and national culture within their respective territories, and so both rulers are terrified of a nationalist fightback to their globalist schemes. Branton Tarrant put the shits up them in a way that no other action had ever managed, once again proving that the only language the Establishment speaks is violence. Ardern and Macron will be discussing how to reduce the propaganda value of any further such attacks through social media restrictions.

The truth is that France is descending into civil war, and this is happening as a direct consequence of unsustainable globalist policies. Their decision to allow millions of Muslims and Africans to immigrate to France over recent decades, and to claim welfare benefits as if they were native Frenchmen, has left the French workforce with an impossible burden to carry. The fuel taxes that inspired the past six months of protests were the last straw.

Ardern has every intention of going full throttle on the globalism. She has already demonstrated this with her decision to double the refugee quota, and with the way she exploited the Christchurch mosque shootings to force through gun control measures and Internet censorship. She is blatantly a United Nations puppet, and is ruling in a manner that all is all but guaranteed to spark outrage and resistance.

Therefore, Kiwis should have every reason to be suspicious at the news that Ardern and Macron are collaborating closely, because it suggests that New Zealand will rapidly follow France into a state of collapse.

Ardern and Macron, and their fellow globalists such as Justin Trudeau in Canada and Angela Merkel in Germany, will continue to collaborate closely together so as to fulfill their aspirations of subjugating every country in the world to a single world order. In this effort they will be aided, not only by a compliant mass media, but by a myriad of other anti-nationalist interests such as religion.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 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 2017 is also available.

The Case For Cannabis: It Doesn’t Matter That Awful People Support Cannabis Law Reform

Some people – whether they’re honest about it or not – don’t support cannabis law reform because of the sort of person who does support it. Because many unpleasant and dangerous people think that cannabis prohibition is a bad idea, some others have gone as far as to conclude that it must really be a good idea. As this article will show, it doesn’t matter that awful people support cannabis law reform.

Indeed, demographic analysis shows that the sort of person who supports cannabis law reform isn’t the same sort of person who is doing the best. According to Dan McGlashan’s Understanding New Zealand, the correlation between voting for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2017 and net personal income was -0.48, meaning that ALCP supporters were among the poorest in the nation, about as poor as National voters are wealthy.

Voting ALCP in 2017 had a correlation of 0.66 with being a solo parent, 0.68 with having no formal academic qualifications, 0.79 with being on the invalid’s benefit, 0.82 with being on the unemployment benefit and a whopping 0.89 with being a regular tobacco smoker. This suggests that being a cannabis supporter is correlated with just about every measure of low social standing.

Clearly, cannabis isn’t a drug for people who are doing well in life. Fundamentally, cannabis is a medicine, and therefore it appeals primarily to people who are sick in some way. This is obvious from the strong correlation between voting ALCP and being on the invalid’s benefit, because many of those people have discovered cannabis in their desperation. It’s not surprising, then, that its supporters are generally people who aren’t doing well.

None of that matters when it comes to determining the fairness of cannabis law reform.

Many people don’t like to use objective, intellectual reasoning when they make decisions. As was understood by Edward Bernays, people often rely on the consensus opinion of the herd when they choose what car to buy, or what political party to vote for. More specifically, they rely on the consensus opinion of their peer group.

People who are in this category, and whose peer group are prejudiced against cannabis users, tend to be prejudiced against cannabis as well. Their reasoning follows the logic that, because the sort of person who supports cannabis has a low social standing, they can’t have devoted any real honest thought to the issue. However, this entire argument is based on a kind of snobbery. It’s little more than looking down one’s nose at another person.

In fact, it’s a classic example of an ad hominem fallacy. Just because an argument for cannabis law reform comes from a person who isn’t a highly upstanding member of the community doesn’t mean that the argument is false in any way. The logical validity of the argument for cannabis law reform has no relation to the social standing of the people promoting it.

Variations of the ad hominem fallacy have been used to oppose most other kinds of reform. Women’s suffrage was opposed by those who characterised its supporters as spinsters and shrews. Homosexual law reform was opposed by those who characterised its supporters as AIDS-riddled degenerates. In more recent times, capital gains tax reform has been opposed by those who characterise it as expropriation and its supporters as communists.

It’s also a circular argument to say that cannabis should be prohibited because criminals use cannabis. If cannabis is illegal, then of course only criminals are going to use it. So a person cannot then turn around and argue that, because only criminals use it, this is justification for keeping it illegal.

People who use this argument tend to portray cannabis users, and cannabis law reform proponents, as brutally immoral degenerates. Dealing cannabis is viewed not as bravely supplying a medicine in the face of a tyrannical political system, but as maliciously destroying other people’s brains for life. Cannabis dealers are equated to child molesters in terms of the suffering they bring.

Even if this absurd caricature was true, it wouldn’t matter. In much the same way that neo-Nazis have a fair point when they talk about the effect of mass immigration on social cohesion, and in the same way that ecofascists have a fair point when they talk about the effect of vehicle exhaust pollution on the world’s ecosystems, all those members of society’s underclass who support cannabis law reform have a fair argument to make.

Although it’s true that the strongest support for cannabis law reform comes from society’s underclass, individuals within that underclass aren’t necessarily there because they are evil or immoral. Most of the people who use cannabis are doing badly because they are ill, either physically or mentally – cannabis is ultimately a medicine, before it is anything else.

So just because a person is poor, or a criminal, doesn’t mean that their arguments in favour of cannabis law reform can be dismissed. To the contrary – it is often people like this who are at the front lines of the War on Drugs, and understand and accounting for their experiences is crucial if we are to set the world to peace and order.

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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.

An ANZAC Lesson: The Real Enemy Is Always Behind You

My grandfather Fred was born in West Auckland, on the land that is now McLeod Park, named after his father Harry. Fred saw action in North Africa and Italy with the 2nd New Zealand Division and the British Eighth Army. He survived the war, returned to New Zealand, and raised a family. This essay is about one of the lessons he taught me.

He had, like tens of thousands of other Kiwi men, volunteered to fight in World War Two. Having volunteered, and then having experienced war and decided that it was a complete waste of time and something best avoided, he wanted to teach his offspring some lessons to help them avoid ending up fighting overseas.

He only ever spoke of combat, or of the general deprivations of war, to his wife, but he did tell us grandchildren a lot of stories about the lessons he had learned from his war experience. These generally involved insights about psychology, whether general or specific to the various nationalities he had encountered, or relating to military life and the nature of organisations.

One of his favourite stories related an experience that occurred shortly after the German surrender in May 1945. He was on the back of a troop transport truck with the other members of his company, when they encountered a column of German prisoners of war being marched along the road in the other direction. Upon seeing this, the officer in command of the New Zealand troops ordered the company to not acknowledge the presence of the German troops – after all, the war was not technically over yet.

But when the two forces met, the Kiwi troops spontaneously broke into a cheer, and waved to the Germans, who waved back with similar sentiments. It didn’t matter that they had been ordered not to do this, for the war was over, and that meant that the inhumanities of war no longer needed to be inflicted upon each other. Open fraternisation was, of course, not possible, but it was clear that no genuine illwill existed at the level of the average soldier.

It took a while to fully appreciate the import of this story. The first lesson was the magnitude of the relief that the soldiers must have felt upon understanding that the war was over. The realisation that all the killing and dying had ended would have been a joy that is barely comprehensible to someone who has never experienced combat. This joy would have been powerful enough to override any remaining sense of obligation to follow orders.

I spoke with him about this story once, after it had occurred to me that this feeling of goodwill towards the German soldiers was stronger than any goodwill he felt towards his own leaders, who were, after all, on his side. At this point he gave me a lesson, with an admonition to never forget: the real enemy is always behind you.

The apparent truth is that your enemy is the guy on the other side of the battlefield shooting at you. The real truth is that your enemy is the guy behind you, the one who coerced you into fighting in the first place. Never mind the fact that the guy behind you speaks your language – you still have more in common with the working-class man on the other side of the battlefield than you do with your own commanders.

This truth was illustrated by another, darker story, that took place in Italy. Fred’s company had taken a number of German soldiers prisoner during the battle of Monte Cassino. In the heat of the moment, one of the younger German soldiers broke down in tears, apparently under the conviction that he was about to be shot dead.

Fred offered the young German a cigarette, and instead spoke to him. Why would we shoot you in cold blood? he asked. Do you think we are monsters? The German replied that he had been told that the British were, indeed, monsters, whose insatiable greed had led them to try and take over the entire world and to subjugate it and all its peoples. It was in trying to stop this greed that the Germans had been drawn into the war.

Fred realised, of course, that he had been told exactly the same stories about the Germans. Moreover, the men who had been the ones to tell those stories had not themselves been subjected to the horrors of combat. The New Zealand politicians who had organised the war effort were safely back at home, fat and happy, as were the newspaper men. The sense of betrayal he felt upon realising this inspired the lessons he had to teach me.

Never, ever trust the politician or the newspaper who tells you how evil and terrible some men overseas are. It’s all but guaranteed that the politician and the newspaper are lying to trick you into sacrificing yourself for the commercial interests of their sponsors. World War Two was a banker’s war, Fred taught me, and the soldiers who fought in it were coerced into doing other men’s dirty work for them. There was nothing glorious or honourable about it anywhere.

There are two ways to get a man to do your dirty work for you. The first is to force him, the second is to trick him.

New Zealand’s involvement in World War One had at first been a voluntary affair, but it became a matter of force on the 1st of August 1916 with the passing of the Military Service Act. In total, almost 20,000 Kiwi men were conscripted for military service, roughly 20% of the total who served. Some 3-4,000 of these men were killed in battle.

By the time World War Two rolled around, the propaganda of the Establishment had become a lot more sophisticated. This was thanks, in large part, to men such as Edward Bernays, who had studied the use of propaganda and how to make it more effective, and who had written about it in books such as Propaganda. So they knew how to use the apparatus of mass media to convince men to join the Army.

This meant that the Establishment media could simply pump out enough stories about how the Germans bayonetted babies, and how they were trying to take over the world, and how Hitler was a unique evil that demanded a unique response, and enough people would believe it so that they didn’t need to conscript anyone any more. Men would simply volunteer to fight.

Fred raised me so as to never fall for the propaganda. Never to believe the politician, never to believe the media. Because, at the end of the day, the real enemy is always behind you. Your real enemy is not the opposition soldier but the one who raised the company, battalion or Army that you are now a member of. He’s the real enemy because the opposition soldier is, in the final analysis, only protecting himself from you.

Once, after I had been studying some military history, I remarked to him about conscription. Sure, I knew that the reasons behind the Vietnam War and the Gulf War were equally as false as for all the other wars. I could be smart enough to know that the television was lying to me about the need for me to participate in the next war, but if enough people my age were also aware of this, what would stop them going back to conscription?

What would I do if a conscription officer came to my house?

His reply was simple, and borne of the bravery that comes from having to face combat: “Shoot the bastard.”

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 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 2017 is also available.

The Case For Cannabis: It Doesn’t Matter That High-THC Strains Now Exist

A prohibitionist argument beloved of the Police is that cannabis should stay illegal because it now contains much more THC than it used to. This is commonly employed as a counterargument to imply that, even though the dangers of cannabis use have been massively exaggerated, it should still be illegal, because the warnings have become accurate over time. This article explains why this argument is false.

This BBC article is a good example of the ridiculous propaganda that people have been exposed to over the years. It claims that “high-potency cannabis or skunk” is a completely different form of cannabis to the herbal cannabis that people usually smoke. This is done in an effort to make people think that the threat posed by legalisation is categorically more extreme than it was in the past.

It’s true that some cannabis strains today are much, much stronger than what used to exist, despite the nostalgic recollections of old hippies. Breeders have had decades to experiment with these strains, and some of them have cultivated varieties that are much higher in THC than anything that could have existed previously.

Because a high-THC strain will offer more of a buzz per unit of volume, it naturally makes for a superior product from a criminal point of view. The greater the buzz per unit of volume, the easier it is to transport, to hide and to smuggle. Black market dealers can charge more if their product gets a reputation for being superpowered, and all of this has caused high-THC strains to dominate the market in many places.

Although it’s true that a high-THC strain of cannabis can create unwanted reactions, particularly by producing a more intense experience than desired, this is only a problem if cannabis is sold on the black market. Like many of the arguments for cannabis prohibition that appeal to the harms of cannabis, further investigation shows that the harm is caused by prohibition and not by cannabis itself.

A high-THC strain of cannabis can get a person stoned faster than a low-THC strain, and perhaps also more heavily, but this is not anything close to a legitimate argument in favour of cannabis prohibition. The safest way to protect people from getting a more intense buzz than they wanted is actually to legalise cannabis, for two reasons.

Legal, properly regulated cannabis means that whatever a person consumes must be clearly labelled with a cannabinoid profile. This means that the user will know what they’re getting. If a person is inexperienced with cannabis they might want specifically to avoid a high-THC strain or to use a high-CBD strain. Even if they are experienced, they might want to know they’re using a high-CBD strain.

As mentioned elsewhere, only legal cannabis can make this possible, because only cannabis produced by legitimate white market professionals will be tested and analysed to determine its precise cannabinoid profile. Therefore, only legal cannabis can ensure that the user knows what they’re getting and can take the appropriate measures.

This approach synergises with having honest education about cannabis use at high school level. In the same way the high schoolers are educated about sex, driving and alcohol, an honest approach would see them educated about cannabis as well. Part of this approach would involve being told that high-THC strains can provoke effects that are more powerful than intended.

The second reason is that regulating cannabis makes it possible to pass a law, as has been done in some American jurisdictions, so that the recreational cannabis being sold in shops must contain a minimum percentage of CBD. This is done with the intent of minimising psychotic responses, as there is evidence that the CBD in cannabis has an anti-psychotic effect that balances that psychotogenic effect of the THC.

Regulation means that the circumstances in which people use cannabis can be controlled with a view to preventing adverse outcomes such as overdoses on super high-THC skunk. Even if it was not deemed necessary to legislate for a minimum CBD level for all cannabis, it could be ensured that the cannabis consumed publicly in cafes had such a limitation.

Prohibiting cannabis because of the fear of high-THC strains is like prohibiting alcohol because absinthe exists. It’s a dumb move that just leads to more suffering in the end. It would be much better to legalise cannabis so that people both knew how to use cannabis properly and also the chemical makeup of any strain they may wish to 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.

You Will Never Be Allowed Any Alternative to Neoliberalism

Workers and labourers were disappointed on Wednesday by the news that the Sixth Labour Government had ruled out a capital gains tax. Many working Kiwis felt it unfair that their labour continues to be taxed at such a high rate while unearned income remains untaxed, and felt that the Labour Party had betrayed them. As this essay will argue, they better get used to it, because New Zealanders will never be allowed an alternative to neoliberalism.

Jacinda Ardern had come to power with a promise that “neoliberalism had failed“, and gave every impression that the Labour Party would offer a new approach. The 35-year experiment of putting money above people had only delivered misery, and Ardern and her Labour Party had caused many to believe that their ascent to power would mark a change in attitude.

Like most utterances from politicians, this was total shit.

The reality is that Ardern and her Labour Party are just as much puppets of globalist industrial and finance interests as their National predecessors, and this is obvious if one looks at their actions in the 18 months they have been in power.

One of the first things Labour did was to double the refugee quota, increasing the flow of cheap labour into the country at the expense of New Zealand wage earners. As this newspaper has mentioned elsewhere, neoliberals love refugees, because they work for cheap and because they destroy the solidarity of the native working classes, thereby weakening their negotiating position.

Labour has also ignored cannabis law reform their whole time in power. While Andrew Little enthusiastically fast-tracks all kinds of laws to take Kiwi freedoms away, he lacks the courage even to say that cannabis is a medicine. Neoliberals are almost always materialists, and they fear cannabis because they fear that it will turn people away from the acquisitive greed that our economies are propped up by.

Perhaps the worst slap in the face, though, was when Labour ruled out a capital gains tax. Their refusal to tax the unearned income of property speculators meant that the burden of funding the government had to come from wage earners instead. Effectively, Jacinda Ardern chose to subsidise the unearned income of the rich with the labour of the poor.

The reality for New Zealand voters, who had cast the Fifth National Government out of power after nine years of neglect, is stark. There is no alternative to neoliberalism. It doesn’t matter how much suffering the Kiwi people have to endure; it doesn’t matter if you can never own a house on the average wage. We will never be allowed, within our current political system, to put our own people above money.

A reader might object here that voters could vote for a third party if they didn’t want neoliberalism, but the system is rigged so that only Labour and National can hold power.

Not only is there an electoral threshold of 5%, which has the effect of preventing any alternative to neoliberalism from getting a foothold in Parliament, but funding for electoral broadcasts is apportioned according to party size. Labour and National together get over half of all allocated electoral broadcast funding, which entrenches both these parties and the neoliberalism they represent.

There is no alternative, within our existing system, to neoliberalism. Everything Labour and National do benefits the wealthy at the expense of the poor, and especially the wealthy with no ties to the nation. Nothing they do will benefit the Kiwi worker whose hands build our roads, tend our crops and care for our sick.

Therefore, there is no alternative to skyrocketing rents, falling wages and the mass importation of cheap labour in the form of refugees. The only way that the Kiwi nation can ever get respite from this is revolution.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 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 2017 is also available.

The Case For Cannabis: Cannabis Does Not Make People Impotent

Everyone by now has seen the propaganda image on the back of the tobacco packet that depicts a droopy cigarette, imitating erectile dysfunction. Cannabis has undergone a similar propaganda attack, with many people coming to believe that cannabis can make people impotent. This article shows that the truth, once again, is very different to what we have been told.

Like many things that the authorities want to forbid, cannabis has variously been blamed for pretty much everything that could go wrong in a person’s life. Cannabis causes psychosis, it causes cancer, it causes crime, and we’re also told that it makes people impotent.

Now, it’s certainly true that smoking things is not healthy. Smoking anything, cannabis or tobacco, leads to unhealthy lungs and worse circulation. It also leads to heart disease. All of this makes it much harder for smokers to get healthy erections, as this is a function of the health of the circulatory system.

It’s also true that not all cannabis users are healthy. Part of the reason for this is because they smoke things (as mentioned above), but most of the reason is that cannabis is a medicine, and medicines are not typically used by healthy people. People who aren’t healthy also tend to be sexually dysfunctional, for obvious reasons, so there’s a clear reason to expect the presence of a link between the two.

However, the simple facts are that cannabis does not make people impotent. In fact, like so many of the things that people have come to believe about cannabis on account of the propaganda, the truth is closer to the opposite of what we have been told. In fact, cannabis is an aphrodisiac, and has been employed as such for a very long time.

Indeed, cannabis has been known to be an aphrodisiac for millennia. There are references to it in Ayurvedic folk medicine from 2,500 years ago, and its use as an aphrodisiac may be as much as 3,000 years old. The efficacy of cannabis for such purposes is well-known among young and free-thinking people today.

There are several reasons for this, as any hippie could tell you. Most of the reasons are psychological, the most obvious being one that cannabis shares with alcohol: it’s an anxiolytic. People are often too physically anxious and wound up to be able to make love, because their bodies are in fight mode, and so being touched releases cortisol instead of oxytocin.

Cannabis can change that by putting a person into a calmer, more relaxed mood. It can have the effect of stopping runaway, neurotic or aggressive thoughts and replacing them with more placid and appreciative feelings. Cannabis has the ability to get people into the right mood for sex, probably a combination of its anxiolytic effects and the increased physical sensitivity it offers.

Another psychological obstacle to enjoying the sexual experience is deep religious brainwashing in childhood. Many people have been deeply conditioned, since early childhood, to believe that sex was evil and that enjoying the sexual impulse was an act of evil. For some of these people, it’s no longer possible to enjoy having sex while in a normal state of mind.

Yet another common psychological obstacle is previous sexual trauma. Many women who have been sexually molested or raped have difficulty letting go of the trauma enough to trust a man in bed. Likewise, many men find it difficult to achieve the desired level of responsiveness on account of previous humiliations. These kinds of prior traumas often make it difficult for a person to properly enjoy having sex.

Cannabis can help overcome all of these obstacles, thanks to the deconditioning effect that it has on the mind. Because cannabis is good for breaking down old thought patterns, it can break down the conditioned emotional response that occurs when a person is exposed to a stimulus that reminds them of a previous trauma.

One reason why cannabis has become associated with psychosis is because it makes people more open and more willing to explore. This is also one of the reasons why cannabis does the opposite of making people impotent. Sometimes a person is closed off to the idea of intimacy, and not because of trauma or any of the above reasons, but from sheer natural boringness. Cannabis can be what’s needed to open such a person up.

Of course, all this is part of the reason why cannabis was banned in the first place. It’s the basis for the “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men” comment that led to the prohibition of cannabis. The deconditioning effect of cannabis is a danger to those who benefit from the initial conditioning. Those brainwashers have a profound influence on our lawmakers.

Again, the correct approach must be one that maximises freedom while minimising new danger and risk. The apparent paradox that daily cannabis use can decrease sexual function, while occasional cannabis use can increase it, needs to be recognised. This can only become possible if our current dishonest approach to cannabis is replaced with an honest one.

From there, it will be possible to both get medical treatment for those who use too much cannabis, and to get medical treatment for those who have problems with impotency and who could benefit from cannabis. The humane thing to do would be to legalise it so that people can get the help they need, when they need it, without interference from the law.

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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: One Person Who Smoked Cannabis And Went Crazy Is Not A Pattern

If one talks to many prohibitionists, one argument that comes up over and over again is the argument from personal experience. They will tell a story about how they knew a person who was doing great, until one day they smoked cannabis and just went crazy. This article explain why this is not a legitimate reason to keep cannabis illegal.

It’s a familiar story by now. The straight-A student, the hard-working businessman or the devoted mother, all living amazing lives until they had a smoke of cannabis and then – boom, total mental collapse. It’s a story familiar to anyone who has seen the film Trainspotting, only it doesn’t really happen that way with cannabis.

It’s true that the use of cannabis often occurs at the same time that a person becomes a psychiatric casualty. Inevitably, however, further examination of the lives of these people show that things aren’t as simple as use cannabis, go crazy.

Psychosis isn’t normally something that just breaks out from nowhere. Usually it’s something that develops, quickly or slowly, over a period of time, during which the person becomes more and more agitated. In most cases when psychosis is preceded by cannabis use, there are multiple factors at play, in particular lack of sleep, anxiety, adrenaline and job, health or relationship stresses.

When a person hears about someone they know using cannabis and then having a psychiatric event, what they don’t also hear about is the surrounding life circumstances. Almost always, the supposedly “healthy” person was either starting to feel overwhelmed with the pressure and stress in their lives (which is what turned them to cannabis) or there was a pre-existing psychiatric condition that wasn’t known about and which was exacerbated by cannabis use.

More academically, it is said that the plural of anecdote is not data. Knowing that one person who had a psychotic break happened to have used cannabis at some point leading up to it is one thing. It is not, however, evidence that a wider pattern exists of perfectly healthy people using cannabis and then becoming psychotic.

Even more academically, arguing that cannabis should be illegal because you knew one person who smoked it and went crazy is an example of the fallacy of composition. This is a logical fallacy that states that something that is true of one member of a group (such as one cannabis user) is true of the entire group (all cannabis users).

In other words, even if was true that there was one person who did become psychotic purely on account of cannabis use and no other factor, it wouldn’t make it possible to generalise this experience onto all people who use cannabis. One example is just one example, and it requires many further such examples before one can conclude that using cannabis inevitably leads to psychosis.

However, it’s entirely possible that using cannabis can contribute to psychosis under certain circumstances.

The first common way is that it can bring up traumatic memories. A large number of people, perhaps even a majority, have some kind of suppressed memory. Usually this relates to an early childhood trauma, with violence and sexual assault being the most common. The percolating effect of cannabis on the thoughts can cause such repressed traumas to bubble to the surface, and often in contexts where the user is not prepared for them.

Many people have been forced to suppress these memories in order to have a chance at an ordinary life. So when they suddenly face them again, the stress of this can lead to an episode of mental disturbance. This is particularly true if the memory cannot easily be suppressed again.

The second common way is that it can bring the user into spiritual realms of thought that they may not be prepared for. As discussed at length elsewhere in this book, cannabis is a spiritual sacrament. The dangerous side of this is when people use it expecting a high, and instead find themselves confronted with deep existential or spiritual questions.

It’s normal for people to avoid thinking about the fact that they’re going to die one day. One of the most common ways to break this habit is to have a smoke of cannabis and find one’s mind drifting to unusual places. The deconditioning effect of cannabis can have a greatly beneficial effect on creativity, but push it too far and you can lose touch with the bonds tethering you to collective reality.

Neither of these common ways can be helped by making cannabis illegal. Pushing cannabis underground has only had the effect of making people unaware of the real psychological effects of the substance, and this lack of proper awareness has caused more damage than cannabis itself.

In any case, given the large numbers of people who do use cannabis in New Zealand, and the large numbers of mentally ill people in New Zealand, it’s not surprising for someone to know a person who is in both of these categories. If someone did know a person who used cannabis and later became mentally ill, that’s not indicative of a wider pattern.

Furthermore, this argument ignores all the people who use cannabis and don’t go crazy. If 11% of the population has used cannabis within the past 12 months, that’s a huge number of people. It means that the average person probably knows a couple of dozen cannabis users. If this is the case, then it’s notable that they only knew one person who seemed to have a psychotic episode linked with 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: A Criminal Record is A Disproportionate Punishment

Cannabis possession or cultivation are currently crimes, which means that a criminal record is a common result from being arrested for a cannabis offence. Our justice system, however, is supposed to operate on the principle that “the punishment fits the crime”. This article will argue that getting a criminal record for anything to do with cannabis is grossly disproportionate, considering the severity of the crime.

Having a criminal record makes a person’s life a lot harder. Many employers will filter out applicants with criminal records before they even seriously consider them. This is true of almost every job that requires any real responsibility. This means that a future of poverty, or at least severely limited economic opportunities, is a common consequence of getting a criminal conviction.

Of course, having a criminal record is supposed to make people’s lives harder. A criminal is a person who has declared that they are unable or unwilling to abide by the rules of decent society, and it’s fair that they’re marked as such for the safety of other people. We’re not allowed to chop people’s hands off anymore, so there’s no other way to clearly mark a person as a member of the criminal class other than to give them a record.

The problem is that cannabis use isn’t a crime like a real crime is. Real crimes have victims. It’s fair that a criminal record marks a person who has acted with gross disregard or malice towards life and towards suffering. But a person who grew some medicinal cannabis plants has not shown any callousness or ill will. If anything, they should be rewarded for taking actions to alleviate suffering in the face of discouragement from the law.

Becoming unemployable because of a criminal record is one thing if you are a murderer, rapist or fraudster. In cases like these, it’s probably fair for the vast majority of employers to rule such people out from the beginning. But a person who used cannabis, even if they grew it, has not done anything to warrant being placed in the same class as those who have callously brought harm to others.

In any case, that’s not where the punishment ends. Most fair people can agree that it’s unnecessarily brutal for a person with a cannabis conviction to have trouble finding work for the rest of their lives, but it’s also extremely hard to travel with a criminal conviction. Many countries – Canada and America among the most notorious – regularly refuse to let people in if they have a criminal record, reasoning that they have failed to demonstrate sufficient good character.

These two punishments tie in with each other. Many jobs nowadays involve international travel, and this pattern looks set to continue as the world continues to globalise and integrate. This means that, in order to be able to perform an increasing number of jobs, one needs to be free to travel internationally. A person with a criminal conviction preventing them from travel is effectively disqualified from all of these jobs.

Forty years ago, when the War on Drugs was just ramping up, the sort of person who got a cannabis conviction probably wasn’t likely to travel overseas anyway. But in 2019, being restricted from overseas travel for life is a heavy punishment indeed.

It’s worth noting here that a criminal record also affects the wider family. An adult whose employment and travel opportunities are restricted will have trouble providing not only for themselves, but also for their families. So the children of people who grow up with cannabis convictions are also punished.

All of this constitutes obscene cruelty, especially when it is considered that cannabis is a medicine, and that most people who grow it do so to alleviate suffering.

It was once – falsely – believed that cannabis caused a lot of harm. When it was thought that cannabis was a dangerously addictive drug that destroyed peoples minds, then giving someone a criminal record for cannabis may have made some vague kind of sense. Now that we know that cannabis prohibition was built on false premises, it is apparent that giving someone a criminal record for dealing with it is unfair.

In this case, the correct thing to do is to formalise this state of affairs, and as soon as possible, by repealing cannabis prohibition. We can no longer, in good faith, argue that giving someone a criminal conviction is a punishment that fits the suffering caused by the supposed crime.

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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 Four Alchemical Realms of Law

When people talk about whether or not something is illegal, they’re talking about whether or not something is against the law. The problem with this logic is that there are several different kinds of laws, and some of them override others. As this article will examine, there is a realm of law corresponding to each of the four masculine elements of clay, iron, silver and gold.

The realm of clay corresponds to natural laws. These laws are fundamental, and therefore they underpin all the laws of iron, silver and gold. Like the clay, these laws are so fundamental that they don’t need to be written down, and they don’t need to be understood. They are simply Nature doing its thing, and they have applied long before any human laws existed, and still apply to the vast, vast majority of the Earth’s creatures.

In a state of Nature, most people are barely aware that these laws exist, until they feel the pleasure or pain that comes with acceding to, or violating, those laws. But the laws of Nature exist no matter whether a person is aware of them or not. Fall off a cliff, you die. Eat poison, you die. Get too close to the big animal with the sharp teeth, you die.

Although the basic laws of Nature are physical laws, and then chemical laws, some of them are also biological laws. Laws of clay that start to approach the realm of the laws of iron are those like “Don’t try to have sex with female X or male A will thump you over the head.” These are essentially the same laws that non-human creatures use to defend their territory or resources. “Might is right” is an example of the laws of clay.

The realm of iron corresponds to the the laws that are enforced by organised human violence. When civilisation began, all offences against the sensibilities of property owners were written down into a code of laws, and penalties for transgressing them proscribed. An entire class of judges and jailers came into being to enforce these laws, paid for by the surplus wealth generated by the order that came with civilisation.

These are laws of iron because the Police will beat you up or put you in a cage if you disobey them. You may even get your head chopped off with an iron axe. Unlike natural laws, legal laws are written down, and therefore can be enunciated very clearly (although some will always quibble). The point of this was to distinguish them from the laws of clay, which were never any more than simple animal instincts.

Like iron, the laws of iron are unyielding. The Justice System doesn’t care if you knew it was illegal or not, or if you really meant to do it or not. Justice is blind, which is another way of saying that it is merciless. Laws degrade into laws of clay once money starts getting involved in the justice system and better lawyers get lighter sentences. But when they don’t degrade, the edges of them become gilt with silver.

The realm of silver corresponds to the laws that are enforced by society. These are the laws that relate to social status, i.e. whether or not a person is considered high value by their community. Violating laws of silver doesn’t carry a risk of arrest like violating laws of iron does, but they can lead to people being less friendly towards you, and giving you fewer employment, social or romantic opportunities. Obeying laws of silver tends to lead to the opposite.

As silver is softer and brighter than iron, so are the laws that fall under the realm of silver more malleable than those that fall under the realm of iron. A person who has transgressed a law of silver, and who has earned some enmity from his fellows, can escape punishment by making a sufficient compensatory effort. Therefore, the laws of silver are more subtle than the laws of iron, and can also change on a whim.

However, like iron, they are cold and sharp enough, in their own way. Many a man has been found innocent at trial but nevertheless destroyed by whispering and gossiping. Social exclusion might be more subtle than an axe, and the consequences less permanent, but it is still enough to cause suffering, and therefore enough to modify social behaviour.

The realm of gold corresponds to the laws that are enforced by God. In this sense, the laws pertaining to the realm of gold are similar to those pertaining to clay, in that they are not written down, and neither are they social. Although other people might be able to help a person understand the laws of clay and gold, they can’t force that person to abide by them, unlike the laws of iron and silver. They can only instruct and leave it up to that person’s true will.

It isn’t easy to speak about what the laws of gold are, but it can be said that they are even more subtle than those of silver and iron. Here we are speaking of laws like the law of karma and the law of attraction. It has to be understood at this point that the realm of gold is the realm of consciousness, and its laws relate to how to alter the frequency of one’s consciousness.

Much of alchemy is the art of playing higher laws off against lower ones, so that one causes change in accordance with one’s will despite being bound by laws the entire time. This is a subject of its own and deserves its own essay, but there are some things that can be said about it here.

One can alter one’s consciousness by obeying laws in higher realms at the expense of laws in lower realms. The most powerful example of such a thing was the example of Socrates. By obeying the laws of gold, and completely ignoring all of the laws of silver, iron and clay to the point of causing his own death, Socrates made himself immortal in this world. Likewise, gathering with friends to break unjust laws of iron (such as drug laws) can create magically powerful bonds of solidarity.

This is another possible interpretation of Aleister Crowley’s saying that “The key to joy is disobedience”. By disobeying the cruder laws, such as the law of biological entropy, unjust statutory laws and by prising the truth above social fashion, it’s possible to raise the level of one’s consciousness. A skilled alchemist can therefore reduce the level of their suffering, and the level of the suffering around them, even as they disobey laws, and even though disobeying those lower laws consistently brings suffering.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 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 2017 is also available.

The Case For Cannabis: Law Reform Would Bring Sense to Workplace Drug Testing

One of the worst things about cannabis prohibition is not that it gives people to opportunity to mistreat each other, but that it coerces them into doing so. The fact that cannabis is illegal means that people are essentially forced into taking particular measures when they come into contact with it. These measures often unfairly impact a number of people, which is another reason why the cannabis laws ought to be changed, as this article will examine.

Right now, in many places across the West, there is a common but extremely cruel phenomenon taking place. It is that of all of the people losing their jobs because of being forced to take a urine sample at work, and having it turn out positive for cannabis.

The logic goes like this. Many jobs, in particular those involving the operation of heavy machinery, cannot be performed safely by those under the influence of drugs. This goes for not only alcohol and cannabis but for many other substances. These jobs require a sober mind, because anyone not sober could easily kill themselves, someone else, or do millions of dollars worth of damage.

Fair enough. But because it’s not always possible to rely on a person to come to work sober, some insurance companies, as a condition of granting insurance, make it necessary for the company seeking insurance to perform drug tests on their employees so that they can remove the ones who are working under the influence of some drug, thereby making the workplace safer.

This is fair-ish, but where it truly crosses the line into unfairness is the fact that instead of testing for cannabis impairment, the urine tests test for the presence of certain metabolites that are present in the urine if the person has used cannabis at some point in the recent past, perhaps even 30 days (or more). So the urine test can only determine if you have used cannabis recently, not whether you’re impaired at the time of the test.

This means that “failing a drug test” has got little to do with whether or not your ability to do your job safely was impaired. Many people who get fired for failing a drug test are not even impaired at the time the test was taken. So a lot of people are getting discriminated against, unfairly, on account of cannabis use that probably isn’t even affecting their ability to perform their work duties safely.

In many cases, the employer is perfectly fine with this arrangement. Any employee who uses cannabis is more likely to be a freethinker and therefore disobedient, or more likely to demand a higher wage. A urine test that reveals both a tendency towards freethinking and evidence of having committed a crime is a perfect excuse to fire someone, but the option shouldn’t be available.

If cannabis became legal, some things would change with regards to this arrangement. Of course, cannabis law reform wouldn’t suddenly make it legal to go to work stoned. Every workplace would still be obliged to meet the same health and safety standards as before. The most likely difference is that it could become possible that any employer drug testing their staff was legally mandated to use swab tests to test for impairment, and not urine tests to test for the presence of metabolites indicating use within the past 30 days.

Generally employers prefer to do a urine sample because it’s cheaper, but if cannabis were legal, an employee might be able to bring a case for unfair dismissal to court if they were fired for the presence of metabolites in the urine. Such a case might well rule that, if cannabis is legal, such an action constitutes unfair dismissal, and therefore the employer is obliged to use a swab test to test for impairment instead.

It could be argued that employers would actually benefit from this policy as well. In the modern workplace, finding staff is harder than before on account of the increased need for training and education. If a person wants to work, there’s no reason why the fact that they smoked a bong two weeks ago should prevent them. The reality is that they’re probably safer than someone who is hungover.

It would be better for everyone for the law to change so that some sanity could be restored to the issue. If cannabis were legal, than the workplace standard would be a swab test for intoxication, not a urine test for the presence of metabolites. This would mean that it was possible to make a distinction between stoned people, who shouldn’t be in certain workplaces, and people who have used cannabis recently, who are no less safe than anyone else.

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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.