The Case For Cannabis: An Elderly Perspective

The perception that old people are generally anti-cannabis is far from a myth. Although many elderly cannabis enthusiasts have plenty of friends who are pro-cannabis, statistics show a strong negative correlation between being aged 65+ and voting for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2017. This essay describes what those enthusiasts already know: that there is a strong case for cannabis law reform from an elderly perspective.

The unpleasant truth about getting old is that it tends to involve a lot more healthcare than being young. Getting old is tantamount to the body crapping out. It’s a miserable truth to acknowledge, but there is a strong correlation between aging and physical suffering.

Because of this elevated degree of physical suffering among the elderly, there is an elevated demand for medicines of all kinds. Everyone knows that old people are always popping pills for some ailment or other. The increased sickness and frailty that comes with aging means that elderly people are interested in all kinds of medicine and, increasingly more nowadays, in cannabis.

One of the areas in which cannabis has shown the most promise for the elderly is an alternative to opiates for the sake of pain relief, particularly in the case of cancer and terminal illness. An article in the European Journal of Internal Medicine describes how cannabis was found to be a safe and effective medicine for the elderly population in this way. Its greatest benefit seems to be found in replacing opiates and thereby avoiding their profound and unpleasant side-effects.

Cannabis has also shown promise in treating a number of conditions that are much more likely to afflict the elderly, such as Parkinson’s, insomnia, some forms of chronic pain, age-related cognitive decline and hypertension. This is only a small sample – cannabis has also shown promise in treating entire classes of illnesses, in particular inflammatory ones.

Despite the attempts by prohibitionist interests to equate cannabis with more harmful substances such as tobacco, the fact is that a vast range of medicinal uses for cannabis are already known. It’s very possible, given the evidence thus far, that further research into cannabis will uncover new ways to alleviate the suffering of the world’s elderly.

Some will make the argument that all of this evidence in favour of medicinal cannabis, which is an entirely separate issue to recreational cannabis. But just because the elderly have plenty of reason to support medicinal cannabis doesn’t mean that they have reason to oppose wider cannabis law reform.

It has been discovered in Canada that freeing up restrictions on recreational cannabis encourages doctors to write prescriptions for it. When “recreational” cannabis is illegal, this normalises the idea that cannabis itself is harmful, and discourages doctors from writing prescriptions for medicinal cannabis. Therefore, the two issues are inseparable.

The fact is, as Edward Bernays might have told us, that the amount of research that gets done into cannabis medicine for the elderly is a direct function of the degree of positive sentiment towards cannabis that exists in the wider society. The more people in general feel that cannabis is helpful and not harmful, the more likely someone is to suggest to research its medicinal qualities, or to agree to fund such research.

So the elderly everywhere have an interest in liberalising restrictions around cannabis, because this will lead to doctors taking an interest in the application of the plant to alleviating the suffering of conditions that afflict the elderly.

All of these things add up to there being good personal reasons for elderly people to support cannabis law reform.

After all, the elderly overseas support cannabis law reform – it has been noted that many of the beneficiaries of cannabis law reform have been elderly. The fastest-growing group of cannabis users in legal jurisdictions are the over-65s. The article linked here, from the Journal of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, states “marijuana use seems normalized among the older populations as more of those who ever used marijuana age.”

The fact that many elderly are against cannabis law reform, despite being the major beneficiaries of it, is not a contradiction. Those generations were the ones exposed to a viciously anti-cannabis mentality that was not above telling lies to demonise the plant. Because of this normalisation of the idea that cannabis is harmful, it’s understandable that someone raised in this era might still believe so.

However, there remains a moral imperative to look honestly at the evidence for and against cannabis before making a decision to support its prohibition. This ties in with one final thing the elderly might like to consider: the question of goodwill. This is a question of what kind of legacy they want to leave for those who come after them.

The Police are unlikely to arrest old people for cannabis offences (although they do). They are much more likely to go after the grandchildren of those old people. When the grandchildren of old people get criminal convictions for using cannabis, they have to live with those for the rest of their lives, and (as argued in another chapter) the effects of a criminal record are disproportionate to the suffering caused by cannabis offences.

The elderly don’t win from their offspring getting criminal records.

Ultimately, the elderly might like to think about cannabis law reform, not just for their sake but for their children and grandchildren. It will be those generations who will be looking after them in the old folks’ homes, and many of the nurses who work there would like to have access to cannabis to unwind after a day of work. The smart thing to do might be to stay on their side.

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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.

It Doesn’t Matter What The Polls Say Or What The Referendum Says – We’ll Use Cannabis Anyway

Kiwi cannabis enthusiasts were alarmed this week by a couple of polls that suggested a majority of people might now be against cannabis legalisation in New Zealand. A Reid Research poll for Newshub and a Colmar Brunton poll for One News both suggested this. As this essay will argue, what the polls say is just as meaningless as what the law says.

Cannabis prohibition has failed. There’s no doubt about it. With every year that passes, another overseas jurisdiction repeals prohibition, and society in general is starting to move on from it. The most glaring example of this are the falling rates of convictions for cannabis offences, as not even the Police can be bothered enforcing this law.

People miss the point if they say that this means that murder and rape prohibition has also failed because they keep happening. Murder and rape have victims. They are therefore categorically different to using cannabis, and there’s no reason to treat them the same.

Statistics show that using cannabis is one of the most Kiwi things that anyone can do. The correlation between being born in New Zealand and voting for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2017 was 0.77, which tells us that cannabis use is an integral part of our national culture. The deeper a person’s roots in New Zealand, the more likely they are to be a cannabis user.

So in reality, there’s no need for a referendum, because we live the referendum all the time. Every single day, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis choose to use cannabis, for a wide range of ailments, to socialise, to destress or simply for a laugh. We signal our approval of cannabis every day from the simple fact that we choose to use it every day.

Almost everywhere and everytime Kiwis gather outside of Government supervision, there’s some weed involved. When we go tramping and hunting, we take some smoke with us. When we meet up for a barbeque, we like to break out the bongs. After we play touch or cricket we like to have a puff. And at the beaches, and in the parks, and in the bedrooms, etc…

We’re going to keep doing this, and the Government will not ever be able to stop us. The Governments of far more submissive and less free-thinking peoples than New Zealanders can’t stop their people from using cannabis – how can they stop us?

The number of cannabis seeds in private hands must number in the multiple billions. Law or no law, there is an entire underground network of cannabis enthusiasts who have been sharing seeds, clones and cultivation techniques for decades. These people love to help new people become growers themselves and defy prohibition. This culture has no intention to go anywhere.

Neither is it going to go anywhere. No Government can come up with a justified reason for making a medicinal plant illegal. Whether now or a thousand years from now, human beings will always intuitively feel that a law prohibiting them from using a part of nature to heal themselves is obscene.

This intuitive feeling is not just a delusion brought about from cannabis-induced psychosis. Far from it. It reflects something much deeper, namely the fact that we have a God-given right to use any spiritual sacraments we see fit. This is described elsewhere as the Golden Right, and the Government may not violate it because violating a person’s ability to connect to God causes suffering.

Because of all this, it doesn’t matter that a couple of polls might have suggested that the cannabis referendum result could be negative. I was stoned when I wrote this article, I will be stoned on the day on the cannabis referendum, and I will be stoned the next day too, regardless of the result.

People have an obligation to defy unjust laws. Even if the referendum result is negative, prohibition will still be an unjust law. Because it will still be an unjust law, people will keep defying it. The control freaks in the Government can hiss and rage all they like – Kiwis are going to use cannabis anyway, because it’s our will. Refusing to recognise this fact is futile.

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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 Golden Right, or The Masculine Aspect of the Precious Right

The essay A Sevenfold Conception of Inherent Human Rights expounded seven human rights that are, after a minimum of thought, clearly understandable to any person. These seven rights stem immediately from a basic understanding of yin and yang, and are encoded directly into the flag of Esoteric Aotearoanism. This essay takes a closer look at what is simply known as the Golden Right.

The black stripe at the bottom of the flag of Esoteric Aotearoanism represents the yin, and when combined with the silver stripe in the context of human rights represents what is known as the Base Right, which is the right to physical liberty. This has two aspects, one pertaining to the right to self-defence and the other to the right to bodily autonomy.

The white stripe at the top represents the yang, and when combined with the silver stripe in the context of human rights represents what is known as the Precious Right, which is the right to cognitive liberty. This also has two aspects.

The Feminine Aspect of the Precious Right is the right to cognitive liberty pertaining to the mind and intellect. In particular, this means the right to free speech and to free expression. The Masculine Aspect of the Precious Right is the right to cognitive liberty pertaining to the soul and spirit. In particular, this means the right to religious belief and religious expression.

The Feminine Aspect of the Precious Right is also known as the Silver Right, and the Masculine Aspect of the Precious Right is also known as the Golden Right. This is because it is the most precious of all rights. Without it, individuals and nations lose their moral compass and will fall.

The right to cognitive liberty in the context of the soul and spirit means the right to explore the soul. This means that people have the inherent right to turn away from the material world for the sake of finding God. The Golden Right, therefore, is the right to reconnect with God at any time and place, by whatever means the individual feels necessary.

Being an aspect of the Precious Right, the Golden Right does not confer the right to cause suffering to anyone else for the sake of religion. The Golden Right yields to the right to free speech, to self-defence and to bodily autonomy. Therefore, no methodology for reconnecting to God can ever be above criticism, because this violates the right to free speech, and neither can it impel anyone to do anything, because this violates the right to bodily autonomy.

However, the Golden Right also recognises that impeding another person’s attempts to connect with God causes suffering, and no Government may therefore do it.

This means that people have the right to perform basic acts of spiritual hygiene. Not only does this include meditation, but it also includes chanting, drumming, singing, gathering in communion and entheogenic ritual. All of these activities can make a person more spiritually healthy by causing them to forget the pressures and temptations of the material world. Therefore, the use of cannabis and psychedelics, as well as of all other spiritual sacraments, is a right granted by God.

The fact that cannabis and psychedelics have thousands of years of use as spiritual sacraments all around the world, and that this is heavily documented, is enough to declare that the Government violates the Will of God by restricting their ability to connect with God. In fact, it’s more than enough.

It’s enough that an individual simply declares a particular course of action to be a methodology that enables them to connect with God, and it is allowed under the Golden Right. This means that, if a person believes that taking LSD (or any other modern chemical) is capable of reconnecting them with God, they have the right to do it.

Of course, if in taking these substances a person comes to violate the baser rights of their fellows, they are to be punished accordingly. The Golden Right does not confer freedom from the consequences of misbehaving under an entheogenic substance. The responsibility is on the user to make sure that they understand the dose they’re taking and that they take it in a controlled environment (to the extent this is appropriate).

Ultimately, the Golden Right is one of the inherent human rights granted by God, and is therefore a right no matter what any human Government might say. Anyone trying to take that right away from someone else is trying to enslave them by removing their inherent rights. According to the principles of anarcho-homicidalism, then, people have the right to kill anyone who impedes their right to connect to God.

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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: Fears of A ‘Big Cannabis’ Lobby Are Overblown

One of the latest scaremongering tactics is to equate the potential future harms of cannabis with the past harms of tobacco. This tactic invokes evoking the spectre of the Big Tobacco industry and implying that legal cannabis will cause another such monster to arise. This particular trick is a favourite of the sort of prohibitionists who appeal to wowsers, such as certain religious types.

It’s impossible to deny that, with the legalisation of cannabis, there will come a number of bad things. In almost every case, however, these bad things will replace even worse things that already existed. As mentioned at various points in this book, cannabis is a substitute for other substances. This is also true at the lobbyist level.

Yes, legal cannabis would strengthen the power of the cannabis lobby. Yes, this cannabis lobby will likely be as unscrupulous as the other lobbyists: they will bribe, they will lie, they will propagandise, and they will try to open access to their product while restricting access to their competitors. This outcome is unavoidable if cannabis users are to be offered equality with users of other substances.

However, the simple fact remains that they are lobbying for a product that does much less physical, mental and social harm than either alcohol or tobacco. From a harm reduction point of view, it’s not a bad thing for Big Cannabis to come onto the scene if it means commensurate losses for Big Tobacco and Big Alcohol.

In any case, cannabis can never become like tobacco, for a number of reasons.

The most obvious is that people don’t smoke cannabis like tobacco. It’s common for a tobacco smoker to go through a pack of 30 every day, which equates to one cigarette every half an hour or so. Not even the most dedicated stoner can rip through properly-sized joints at the rate of one every half an hour.

It’s impossible to smoke cannabis like this because of the psychoactive effect. After three joints, even those with the highest degree of cannabis tolerance will be feeling satisfied. As anyone who has smoked both tobacco and cannabis will attest, smoking cannabis doesn’t lead to feeling pain when breathing first thing in the morning, but tobacco does.

Another major reason is that a lot of people prefer to ingest cannabis using methods other than smoking. Because cannabis prohibition attacks the infrastructure that would otherwise supply cannabis to people, it’s usually sold in unprocessed form as dried buds. Thus, prohibition is the reason why cannabis culture revolves around smoking it at present.

Legal cannabis won’t necessarily mean people rocking up to the dairy first thing in the morning for a pack of 25 joints that they will chainsmoke throughout the day. It will mean that people take advantage of the panoply of alternatives to smoking that will become available. People who just want a background buzz will be able to use a small amount of an edible, and people who don’t want the ritual of smoking might be happy with a vapouriser.

A third reason is that it’s much easier to give up using cannabis. Many cannabis users find themselves taking tolerance breaks on occasion, or even going without for several months for a change in lifestyle or to go overseas. Very rarely does a person find themselves wishing that they could just stop smoking cannabis (the usual problem is finding enough cannabis).

This is a major distinction from tobacco. According to some studies, a heavy majority of tobacco smokers at any point in time wish they could give up the habit, but find that they can’t seem to stop because they keep feeling compelled to smoke another cigarette. This is ideal from Big Tobacco’s point of view, because they will keep buying them forever, often until they die.

So there won’t be a Big Cannabis trying to get people addicted to their product to milk them for decades of future sales. There doesn’t need to be – cannabis sells itself. In any case, a proper introduction of legal cannabis would mean that many people would be growing it at home.

Related to this is an argument that many make: there’s no point in legalising cannabis because we’re trying to prevent smoking in general. This argument almost completely misses the point, which is that the major reason why cannabis gets consumed in smoked form in the first place is that it is illegal.

Legalisation would make it easier to avoid smoking cannabis for the many who prefer not to smoke it. It would make it much easier to buy pre-prepared edibles, or vapouriser pens that use oil cartridges, or just plain vapourisers that vapourise bud (which can then be baked into an edible). So from the perspective of reducing the harm caused by using cannabis, legalisation makes more sense than further prohibition.

Correctly learning from the lessons of history would mean to accept that total prohibition fails, as shown by the example of alcohol, and total legalisation fails, as shown by the example of tobacco, so therefore some light regulation is the correct and appropriate middle ground.

Light regulation would mean that the potential damage caused by Big Cannabis lobbyists was kept to a minimum, without being so restrictive that the black market would rise up again. If intelligence was applied to drafting a cannabis law that sought to minimise suffering, it would keep the excessive aspects of both legalisation and prohibition out of the equation.

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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: Amotivational Syndrome Is Not Reason To Prohibit Cannabis

One of the major harms of cannabis, we are told, is the dreaded amotivational syndrome. This raises the spectre of A students and gifted athletes who get the reefer madness and end up lying around on the couch all day watching television and playing with themselves. As with many arguments for cannabis prohibition, this one is based upon a sliver of truth, blown out of proportion.

According to this 2012 paper, the supposedly characteristic symptoms of amotivational syndrome are general passivity and apathy, loss of desire to work or to be productive, loss of energy, depression, moodiness, lack of stress tolerance and slovenliness.

If you think that this sounds like most mental illnesses, and that a person with these problems probably uses cannabis as a medicine to deal with them, you’d be right – for the most part.

However, there is such a thing as amotivational syndrome.

It’s worth noting here that this book is not about advocating for cannabis use per se. This book advocates for a reduction in human suffering by way of repealing cannabis prohibition. So there’s no problem in admitting that it’s entirely possible that cannabis smoking is a bad idea for a particular individual, and that there are many situations where many people shouldn’t use it.

The neurobiology of amotivational syndrome is not difficult to understand, because it’s essentially the same thing as burnout. Amotivational syndrome can arise when a person gets so high, for so long, that their brain circuitry gets used to that greater level of stimulation. This can lead to a situation where a person is no longer receptive to normal sources of stimulation.

Most people can relate to this feeling. After all, it’s little different to the same burnout a person gets after partying too long or being too long in combat or under high levels of stress. Some studies have shown decreased response sensitivity after periods of heavy cannabis use, but this is only part of the story.

As is the case with tobacco, decreased response sensitivity is often the reason why people use cannabis. For many people, the decreased sensitivity that comes with cannabis use is what is keeping them sane. These people use cannabis so that they are more relaxed and calm when they have to interact with others.

Thus, amotivational syndrome is far from a good reason to make cannabis illegal. In fact, it’s even more support in favour of legalisation.

Because some strains decrease sensitivity, while other strains appear to increase it, the best approach is to let people safely experiment with accurately and clearly labelled products purchased from a legal supplier, so that they can find the right proportion of cannabinoids for them. If amotivational syndrome is a problem, it can be best be avoided by avoiding those high-THC, low-CBD strains that tend to overload the mind.

Another point worth emphasising here is that one culture’s “amotivational syndrome” is another culture’s correct level of relaxation.

This was written about as far back as 1976, when a study pointed out that Jamaican culture had no concept of amotivational syndrome. That linked study refutes the idea of amotivational syndrome more generally, pointing out that the very idea of it is rooted in prejudice against cannabis users (as is the idea that cannabis causes psychosis).

It’s already clear that the rate at which our societies are consuming the natural resources of the Earth is not sustainable. The 8 billion people on this planet cannot sustainably consume more resources than does the average Western beneficiary, and these limits are not the result of political forces but hard natural ones. These inexorable forces pose immense problems for our culture in the West, which glorifies production and consumption.

It could be that, far from being destroyed by laziness and apathy, cannabis users have simply reduced their consumption to sustainable levels. The motivation to do this perhaps arose through a greater appreciation of the interdependence of all life on Earth, a common consequences of cannabis use.

Amotivational syndrome, then, could be said to only be a problem in the context of a modern society that demands maximum productivity from everyone. So the unwillingness to work and to be productive might really be a turn away from the consumption/production mania of the industrialised world and a return to the sanity that existed before it (when everyone used cannabis regularly).

In any case, the best way to deal with all this is to tell people the truth. If it’s true that high-THC strains of cannabis overload the brain’s reward pathways and make them insensitive to everyday stimuli, then this needs to be explained honestly to people. Conversely, if a person is happy using cannabis so that they become more relaxed and don’t consume the planet as voraciously, that also needs to be accepted.

If the Government and its departments told the truth about cannabis, then people would have confidence that their doctors were telling the truth when they tried to explain amotivational syndrome. This would make it far more likely that those who had proper cause to stop using cannabis would listen to people advising them to do so.

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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.

Matt Henry Is Now The Most Underrated Player In The Black Caps

In 2017, numbers man Dan McGlashan explained how Ross Taylor was the most underrated player in the Black Caps. In 2018, he explained how that mantle had passed to Henry Nicholls. This year, as McGlashan will show in this article, the most underrated player in the Black Caps is Canterbury’s Matt Henry.

Trent Boult is undoubtedly the hero of the Black Caps bowling attack. In ODIs, he has taken 148 wickets at an average of 24.83. Currently ranked No. 2 in the world for ODI bowling, many would go as far as to argue that Boult was the Black Caps’ most influential player. Everyone knows that his opening spell is crucial to the team’s success.

Few such accolades fall on Matt Henry. Far from being considered the spearhead, his place in the side seems far from certain. Many fans appear to prefer Tim Southee or even fringe candidates such as Scott Kuggeleijn or Hamish Bennett. However, much like Henry Nicholls a year ago, Henry has put up some excellent numbers that, if considered in context, mark him as a potentially world-class option.

If one looks simply at the numbers, Henry is not far behind Boult. From 44 games, he has taken 81 wickets at an average of 25.60. He hasn’t had as much gametime as many think he deserved, but this has kept him hungry and injury-free, and I’m predicting we’ll see some New Zealand records broken by him in the future.

He’s been especially good against the Asian teams, with 20 wickets against Pakistan at 20.25, 21 wickets against Sri Lanka at 18.38, and 11 against India at 19.09. Considering that the 2023 Cricket World Cup will be hosted in India, that marks him out as one to watch.

Henry doesn’t just threaten records on the smaller scale. He is also threatening Shane Bond’s record of 54 matches for the fastest Black Caps bowler to 100 ODI wickets. Henry has taken 81 wickets in 44 games, meaning he has to take 19 in nine to break the record and 19 in 10 to equal it.

At his current rate of 1.84 wickets per match, Henry will reach the milestone in 55 games, one more than Bond and one fewer than Boult.

Another Shane Bond-related stat is that Henry has a better strike rate – Bond took 29.2 balls per wicket compared to Henry’s 27.9. Bond took four wickets or more 11 times in 82 matches, while Henry has already done so 8 times in only 44 matches. Bond did it once every 7.5 matches, Henry has done it once every 5.5 matches.

In fact, Henry has one of the ten best strike-rates of all time for a bowler who has taken 50 or more ODI wickets. Measured by strike rate, he’s ahead of Waqar Younis, Brett Lee, Shaoib Ahktar and Allan Donald.

The only criticism that one might level at Henry, in comparison to Bond and Boult, is that he is hittable. When people make this argument, they refer to his economy rate of 5.50, which is expensive in comparison to the 5.07 of his contemporary Boult (let alone Bond’s truly excellent economy rate of 4.28). Henry has yet to earn the respect of opposition batsmen playing him out as Bond, Boult and Vettori had.

In any case, I’m not arguing that Henry is an all-time great just yet. Despite the stats and despite his excellent lines and seam movement, he’s certainly not above criticism when it comes to mastery of length. His predictable hit-the-top-of-off approach, while difficult to play effectively, makes it possible to premeditate slogs down the ground or over midwicket.

However, I’m certainly not arguing that Henry is the finished product just yet either. Being only 27 years old, he still has plenty to learn when it comes to canniness and cunning. Although a weapon with the new ball, his bowling at the death has exposed his lack of variations. I am predicting for him to learn these variations and to become a great.

In the end, the fairest way is to rate Henry is according to the standards of his peers.

Since the last Cricket World Cup, Henry is 15th on the list of bowling averages for players from the major nations (minimum 40 wickets). Weighing more heavily is his current ranking in the top 10 of ODI bowlers, reflecting the large proportion of top-order wickets he has taken. If one considers that he was as high as 4th in 2016, the last time he got a consistent run in the side, then it’s already apparent that he’s underrated.

But there’s more. Henry currently sits 43rd on the list of all-time lowest bowling averages for players who have taken 75 or more ODI wickets. His average of 25.60 puts him ahead of Shane Warne, Dale Steyn and Pat Cummins. This century, his average puts him 25th. That’s an excellent return for a player who some think doesn’t deserve a spot in the Black Caps’ starting XI.

By any meaningful statistical measure, the performances that Matt Henry has delivered in the ODI jersey are almost as good as Trent Boult’s. If one considers that Henry’s role in the team is to take wickets with the new ball, then the danger he represents is roughly equal.

All of this is enough to declare him the most underrated player currently in the Black Caps side.

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Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan and published by VJM Publishing, is the comprehensive guide to the demographics and voting patterns of the New Zealand people. It is available on TradeMe (for Kiwis) and on Amazon (for international readers).

Ardern Is Only In Power Because National Was Shit

Numerous voices are bitching about the things that the Sixth Labour Government has done since seizing power. Persecution mania has ramped up to the point where many people feel personally aggrieved and targeted by the actions of Jacinda Ardern and her supporters. As this essay will show, the abuses of the Sixth Labour Government are a direct result of the neglect of the Fifth National Government.

People like to complain. Seldom do they like to consider that they themselves may have played a role in what has transpired. Even more seldom to people like to consider that they are part of an interdependent system with, and no more important that, all of the things they hate, compared to which they are like yin to yang.

When John Key’s Fifth National Government came to power, they inherited a number of social issues that had festered for a long time. There were large numbers of Kiwis who were desperate for a change to the housing situation, or the mental health system, or to the medicinal cannabis laws. Many of them had reason to believe that a change in Government from Helen Clark’s autocratic style to a more classical liberal style would bring relief.

All of these people were flat out ignored for nine years.

In this act of ignoring people with legitimate grievances, National sowed the seed for their own failure. All National had to do was to acknowledge that spending $400,000,000 per year on enforcing cannabis prohibition was poor fiscal management – a perfectly reasonable argument. That there was no good case to force taxpayers to stump up for the immense cost of enforcing a law that most of them didn’t want, especially when health and infrastructure were underfunded and could have used the money.

But they couldn’t even do this!

If the National Party wasn’t capable of understanding something as simple as the need for cannabis law reform – something that Third World countries like Uruguay understood years ago – then it’s a fair conclusion that they simply aren’t competent. So why not vote them out?

The situation with the mental health system is equally as jarring an example. The Fifth Labour Government didn’t do much to help those who had lost out from neoliberalism, but the attitude of the National Party towards the mentally ill was “just let ’em die.” Key ended his term with the highest suicide rate since records began.

National’s refusal to respect the will of the people wasn’t just a matter of degree. Sometimes it was categorical, as in the case for asset sales, where they were told explicitly that the nation didn’t want them sold, but did it anyway. This is the sort of arrogance that leads thinking supporters to switch allegiances.

So no-one who supported the Fifth National Government ought to grizzle about socialism or communism now. If you’re willing to sit on your arse while your fellows are needlessly suffering, even in cases where they’re not asking you for money but simply an end to the misery, then you’re also willing to accept the consequences of this neglect.

The Labour Party gets consent for the abuses it commits from the neglect shown by the National Party before it. Because one half of the population looked the other way when Kiwis were put into cages for growing medicinal plants, so does the other half of the population look the other way when the right to free speech is violated. The fact that we have the right to both grow medicinal plants and to speak freely is lost.

The great problem, from the perspective of a member of the Kiwi nation, is that this cycle of one bunch of incompetents getting revenge on the previous bunch of incompetents by punishing their supporters – almost all of who are Kiwis – is not helpful.

Labour and National are effectively a one-party dictatorship that has agreed to a power-sharing arrangement between the left and right wing factions. Perversely, the worse one wing of the Establishment Party does, the worse the other wing also gets to do, as there is no alternative to the National/Labour duoligarchy. Thus, anyone complaining about how crap Ardern is must also give some thought to the system that put her in power.

It might be true that Ardern and her Government panicked in response to the Christchurch mosque shootings, and overreacted by working to ban semi-automatic rifles. It might also be true that their actions to violate our right to free speech are obscene and bordering on tyrannical. It might even be true that none of this would have happened if National had still been in power – but National would still be in power if they hadn’t been so shit in the first place.

If we don’t like this arrangement, then the onus is on us to organise ourselves in ways that leave the Establishment no place to step in and take control. One way to do this might be to mutually agree on the sevenfold conception of inherent human rights. If all Kiwis mutually agreed that each other possessed those rights inherently, then we would have the solidarity necessary to enforce them.

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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: Other Acceptable Drugs Are More Harmful

The standard argument is that cannabis is too harmful to be allowed and this is why it has been made illegal. This extreme level of harm is ostensibly the reason why criminal penalties are applied to its possession and cultivation. However, as this article will examine, this argument is hypocritical and dishonest.

There’s no doubt that alcohol and tobacco are more harmful than cannabis. In New Zealand, alcohol is believed to kill between 600 and 800 people every year, mostly from cancer, heart failure and liver failure. This is a horrendeous body count by any standard, even higher than the suicide count and the road toll.

The butcher’s bill for tobacco is even worse – this is believed to kill 5,000 people in New Zealand every year. 1 in every 1,000 Kiwis killed every year by one legal drug can only really be described as carnage. It’s orders of magnitude more destructive than cannabis, which is not conclusively known to kill anyone.

This argument for cannabis law reform is therefore very simple. If alcohol and tobacco do not meet the threshold for causing sufficient harm to be banned, then neither does cannabis. Put another way, if either alcohol or tobacco are acceptable when judged by balance of harm, then so is cannabis.

Others will respond that there’s no reason to add yet another harmful drug to what’s already available.

As mentioned elsewhere, this argument is ignorant of human psychology. People who want to get high will use whatever is available to them. There are no perfectly sober people enjoying their lives right now who are at risk of becoming a cannabis addict after one puff. There are, however, a lot of hard-core alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical users who would switch to using cannabis instead if it were available.

In much the same way that voting in an election means supporting one evil for the sake of defying a greater evil, many people use cannabis instead of a drug that is more harmful. In other words, cannabis can serve as a substitute for alcohol. This point has been argued at length elsewhere, but it’s important enough to be worth bring up again here.

If you could reduce the nation’s alcohol consumption by a quarter, you should also reduce the nation’s death toll by 150-200 every year. A proportion of people would use cannabis instead of alcohol if they were given the opportunity, so if legal cannabis would reduce the alcohol intake then it would save lives.

Even if a third of those who gave up alcohol for cannabis died from complications related to cannabis use (a ridiculous idea if one realises that legalisation will mean vaping instead of smoking), this would still represent a saving of 100 or so lives every year. So if other drugs are both more harmful than cannabis and legal, then it makes sense that cannabis should also be legal, because then some people could switch to it.

Some will respond that alcohol and tobacco are “part of our culture”. Well, we cannabis users would respond that cannabis is part of our culture. Certainly no-one asked us what our culture was, and if they had asked, many of us would have told them that we prefer to use cannabis. The people who made the decision are in the pockets of big alcohol manufacturers – they’re not objective judges.

For those of us who are part of the cannabis culture, using cannabis simply fills the same niche as those who recreationally use alcohol or tobacco. We know that it’s slightly physically harmful and can be mentally harmful if misused. Everyone knows this. It’s just that we believe the social, emotional and psychological benefits of recreational cannabis use outweigh the minor harms.

Yet others will argue that “the horse has bolted” when it comes to alcohol and tobacco. These drugs are so widespread that they are now impossible to prohibit.

However, the same is true of cannabis. Cannabis is easier to manufacture than alcohol, and getting hold of seeds is barely more difficult than getting hold of seeds for any other plant. Cannabis is everywhere in New Zealand, and plenty of people are willing to help others get seeds (or even clones) simply to defy the Government. An entire underground culture dedicated to its survival and propagation exists.

If it’s too late to enforce alcohol prohibition, then it’s too late to enforce cannabis prohibition as well.

In the end, the fact that there are drugs that are both more harmful than cannabis and legal is proof that our drug laws are not logical. Indeed, our drug laws are based more on past hysteria than any sober appraisal of the evidence. Cannabis law reform would be the first step in rewriting these laws to achieve harm minimisation.

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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.

It’s Okay To Be Whatever You Naturally Are

Some controversy has been generated this week from the fact that VJM Publishing sells ‘It’s Okay To Be White’ t-shirts on TradeMe (edit: or did, looks like the listing has now been taken down). Our doing so angered the Human Rights Commission, who argued that it spreads “a message of intolerance, racism and division”. This response argues that, not only are our actions the opposite of intolerance, hatred and division, but it is the Human Rights Commission itself that is guilty of this.

There’s a lot of discussion about what’s okay and what isn’t okay. This is the school of philosophy known as ethics, and it has been around for many thousands of years.

This is VJM Publishing’s take on it.

It’s okay to be white, brown, black, yellow or even red or purple. It’s okay to be tall or short, blue-eyed or brown, slim or solid, because these things are all natural and you can’t help them. It’s even okay to be ugly or dumb because, again, these things are natural and you can’t help them.

It’s okay to be an outgoing, choleric, even aggressive person, but it’s not okay to cause suffering to other sentient beings. Causing suffering is bad.

It’s also not okay to be is a member of an ideology that promotes hatred and division, because this leads directly to the suffering of sentient beings. The foremost way to promote hatred and division is to say that it’s not okay to be something that you naturally are. Such as your ethnicity.

This is the reason for the comment that these shirts are the opposite of racism. They literally are. Racism is to say that there’s something inherently wrong with being white, as if a person being born white is to be born carrying some debts that their ancestors racked up.

The racists in this situation are the Europhobes who say “there’s no place for this kind of message”, when the message is that it’s not a bad thing to be a white person. If there is such a thing as hate speech, it’s anyone saying that it’s not okay to be something that someone naturally is, such as their skin colour.

Of course, this means that things that people have chosen to be don’t count. It is not, and can never be, an act of hatred to criticise someone for belonging to a supremacist ideology, especially one that believes it’s destined to rule the world whether non-followers like it or not. Such ideologies inevitably bring suffering into the world.

VJM Publishing is not interested in ideologies that promote hatred and division. We oppose Nazism, Communism, Abrahamism, Imperialism, Materialism, and all the other ideologies that cause one group of people to glory themselves and to debase another by calling them degenerates, counter-revolutionaries, infidels, heretics or primitive natives.

We are for those who have seen beyond. This refers both to the veils of the material world in a spiritual sense, and the veils of the corporate media matrix in an existential sense. We are for those who realise that all life on this planet is connected by virtue of possessing the divine spark of consciousness that could be said to be God.

By selling this shirt, we are doing our part to counter genuine racism and division. Instead of doing this by grave, pompous and bombastic moralising that seeks to take people’s rights away – a proven failed approach – we’re adding some humour to the media scene for the sake of resistance. We’re replacing some of the colour that has been lost.

We’re not even for white pride. Sure, if you identify with some illustrious individual merely because they share a skin colour with you, go for it, but it looks weak to us. Those who have seen beyond would rather work on their individual qualities for the sake of lifting the world around them. Like the alchemists of ancient days, we cultivate the iron, the silver and the gold.

Look at the actual products we sell. We’re working with Jeff Ngatai to produce a book of mnemonics for learning te reo Maori. This we do because we believe that the language is a treasure at risk of being lost, and that mnemonics are an excellent way to preserve the memory of Maori language vocabulary in the minds of the population.

That’s why we offer every mnemonic in the book for free. They are all offered for free, arranged by subject groups. This is the same material as in the book. If you can afford to buy the book, great, if you can’t, you can use the online version. That reflects our will to bring this knowledge to as many people as possible.

What sort of white supremacists care about preserving the Maori language?

The majority of articles and essays on VJM Publishing relate to cannabis law reform. It was primarily to agitate for cannabis law reform that VJM Publishing was founded, since we knew over a decade ago that prohibition is stupid. Indeed, we’ve pointed out several times that the cannabis law disproportionately affects Maoris. This has even been argued in the original Cannabis Activist’s Handbook, published as far back as 2012.

What sort of white supremacists give a shit about the disproportionate effect that cannabis prohibition has on Maoris? What white supremacists were arguing seven years ago that prohibition should be repealed for this reason?

Our other products are speculative fiction books, a demographic study of New Zealand voting patterns, various books about how to apply psychological science to creative writing, a guide to quitting tobacco smoking and a book of religious satire.

How on Earth can any honest person see a link to white supremacy in that?

The whole idea is nonsense, and to link VJM Publishing with white supremacism is proof that we live in Clown World. VJM Publishing, far from being haters, are the victims of Big Brother’s decision to target us for their daily Two Minutes’ Hate.

What VJM Publishing really is, is a much needed thumb-in-the-eye to the wowsers, puritans and other moralising do-gooders that have sucked all the enjoyment out of living. It is these grey men and women, these emotional abusers, who are the cause of our rising suicide rates. We despise them, we oppose them, and we will never stop fighting their insane slave mentality.

VJM Publishing is proud to provide a counter-narrative to the diarrhoea that passes for mainstream political discourse in New Zealand – the same mainstream media, let’s not forget, that told us that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

We’re proud to post material that takes the piss out of the control freaks who think they have the right to arbitrarily decide what merchandise other people are allowed to sell on a public trading platform. These monsters who think they have the right to decide that a string of words doesn’t mean what it literally means, because they have the authority to rule that it really means something else.

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Click here to read a summary of what alt-centrism is

Click here to read about the five rejections of alt-centrism

Click here to read the five acceptances of alt-centrism

The Case For Cannabis: Prohibition Harms Social Cohesion

Cannabis prohibition does a lot of harm to various groups within society, as other articles here have shown, but it also has an effect on society as a whole. Not only does society have to pay for the cost of enforcing cannabis prohibition, but it suffers at a collective level the same harm done to individuals: as below, so above. As this article will examine, cannabis prohibition harms social cohesion.

Our society relies on co-operation between different groups at all levels.

One of the most important ways is the solidarity between generations. In order for the young to be willing to care for the old when the time comes, the youth have to feel some kind of solidarity with those older ones. They have to feel like those older ones managed the country in such a way as to leave them a worthy inheritance. They have to feel like the old cared about them.

As Dan McGlashan showed in Understanding New Zealand, there is a sharp distinction between young and old when it comes to support for cannabis law reform. The correlation between voting for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2017 and being in the 65+ age bracket was -0.43 – not extremely strong, but strong enough to suggest that the average person in that age bracket is decidedly against cannabis law reform.

There are several reasons why a young person might feel that the generations before them had failed in their duty of stewardship, but the unwillingness to reform the cannabis laws are one of the foremost. For a young person today, the thought that the nation’s elderly are sitting back on a fat pension drinking whisky and chomping painkillers, while at the same time putting you in prison for growing a medicinal flower, seems obscene.

Given these reasons, why would the young not come to see the elderly as evil? The indifference of the elderly towards the suffering caused to the young by cannabis prohibition certainly appears evil to those suffering it. As a result, their coming to hate those pushing it on them is inevitable. And by such means, society is divided and conquered.

Cannabis prohibition doesn’t just divide society on the basis of age.

Understanding New Zealand also showed that the correlation between voting ALCP in 2017 and being New Zealand-born was 0.73, which is very strong. This is because cannabis use is an integral part of Kiwi culture – it brings Maoris and white people together as well as rugby and barbecues, and especially when it comes to younger demographics.

Because of the central role of cannabis in Kiwi culture, cannabis prohibition is something that pits New Zealand-born Kiwis against immigrants. This is a recipe for deep resentment, because this plays along a pre-existing fracture line in society. If the New Zealand-born would come to feel that it was only because of recent immigrants that they were not allowed to freely use cannabis, they could become very angry.

Neither is the damage done to social cohesion just a matter between different groups. Cannabis prohibition also destroys solidarity within groups.

There are occasions where people don’t get together because the illegal nature of cannabis means that some people don’t want to be associated with others. Many a party guest has been uninvited because the hosts were not sure that the guest would be comfortable with the cannabis being smoked there, or because the hosts didn’t want the guest bringing cannabis to their house.

In such ways, all manner of natural social bonds have been broken because one or the other party was a cannabis user. This isn’t just seen at parties but in romantic relationships and in the workplace too. If cannabis is illegal, then cannabis users will naturally not trust non-cannabis users and non-cannabis users will naturally not trust cannabis users. These divisions are so needless.

As mentioned in another chapter, cannabis prohibition has had a severe impact on people’s respect for the Police. But cannabis prohibition impacts other industries as well. Some people no longer trust their doctors because of their inability to speak honestly about the medicinal value of cannabis. Some people no longer trust journalists because of their past fearmongering and sensationalising over the issue. This loss of trust impacts social cohesion.

Worst of all, prohibition has caused some people to dislike their country and society, when that need not have been the case. This is especially true of those who have faced the wrath of the justice system.

How can a person respect a society that wants to put them in a cage for using a medicinal plant? How can a person respect the hypocrisy that sees hundreds of people kill themselves with alcohol every year, while at the same time targeting others for something much less harmful? Cannabis prohibition is such a poor idea that it cannot be enforced without stoking massive anger and resentment.

All this anger and resentment has had an injurious effect on social cohesion. Prohibition has caused people to dislike and mistrust each other when they otherwise wouldn’t have done so. This has had the total effect of making society worse. The only way to fix it is to legalise cannabis.

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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.