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.

Civilization VI: Gathering Storm Explains How Humanity Is Doomed

God simulator fans have been busy for the past three months, thanks to the release of the second expansion to Sid Meier’s Civilization VI. Titled Gathering Storm, the expansion offers a number of new mechanics relating to climate. Unfortunately for us is the fact that, insofar as the Civilization games are history simulators, this one suggests that humanity is all but guaranteed to destroy the planet.

The fact that humanity is all but guaranteed to destroy the planet becomes clear if one considers the game theory logic of Gathering Storm.

A game of Civilization normally starts in 4000 B.C. At this point your empire will consist of one small village, a rudimentary knowledge of agriculture, and a gigantic, unknown map full of rivals to be explored. From here, you will be presented with a near-infinitude of different decisions. If you make the correct ones, your civilisation will survive against the military and economic threats posed by the others.

As the scientific knowledge of your civilisation progresses, it will advance through the Classical Era to the Medieval Era, and then to the Renaissance Era. Through each era, your empire’s military power increases, but nothing you do affects the global environment until you discover industrialisation. Once you get to the Industrial Era, your scientists are beginning to grapple with the uses of coal.

This means three major things. The first is that it makes naval vessels like ironclads and battleships possible. The second is that it makes coal power plants possible. The third is that the world atmosphere starts to become polluted as these units and buildings consume fossil fuels.

Let’s say you’re at war with someone (and, let’s face it, you probably are). The inexorable logic of war in the industrial age is that victory mostly comes down to getting the most and the biggest guns onto the field. This means that war is mostly a matter of production. Whoever has the most factories can produce the most guns, whoever has the most shipyards can produce the biggest navy, whoever has the best railway network can get the most nitre to the ammunition factories etc.

In Gathering Storm, it’s possible to harness the power of coal to not only create a more powerful range of naval vessels, but also to fuel power plants that greatly increase the productivity of the empire’s workshops, factories and arsenals. This also has the effect of spewing pollution into the atmosphere, measured in-game by CO2 levels.

In the Civilization series, technological advancement tends to proceed at roughly the same speed for everyone. This means that any technological and military advantages are usually slim and sometimes short-lived. So it’s very possible that, when the player discovers industrialisation, they are in a war that they are losing or which has stalemated. The increased power that comes from harnessing coal, then, is often enough to break the deadlock.

So the imperatives to burn coal and oil at the expense of the global environment are inescapable. If you don’t do it, your enemy will, and then they will destroy you. He who rapes the planet the fastest gets the edge on his enemies – and stays alive. As above so below: the kill-or-be-killed logic of the animal world applies at all levels of human organisation.

This is not just a matter of game-world logic either.

By 1903, British Admiral John Fisher had realised the strategic imperative to switch the British Navy from coal to oil. A navy that was fueled by oil was many times more efficient than one fueled by coal. Its ships, compared to coal-powered ships, had greater range, greater speed, lighter weight, required a smaller crew – and could carry more guns.

Fisher encountered some difficulty in persuading his higher-ups to agree to the change. Eventually, however, the iron logic prevailed, and the Royal Navy switched to oil just in time for World War One. The British strategic victory at the Battle of Jutland underlined the degree to which the switch to oil had created a distinct naval advantage. A failure to have done so would have meant defeat.

Of course, this profound naval advantage had to be maintained – which meant that military control over Middle Eastern oil fields had to be maintained, which meant that a massive navy had to be maintained. In other words, the Empire became irrevocably committed to the logic of maintaining a perpetual advantage on their enemy by controlling more energy.

At this point, the extreme difficulty of taking measures to preserve the Earth’s environment by way of not burning too many fossil fuels becomes apparent. If the Royal Navy had remained on coal, it’s possible that the Germans would have switched to oil and then won a military advantage. This could have led to the destruction of Britain itself, for that is the nature of military advantages.

Why would one side sit back and allow their enemies to obtain a strategic advantage over them? They wouldn’t. In the same way that no Civilization player will refuse to build battleships and power plants and allow the other players to destroy him, no real-life leader would refuse a military advantage that kept their people safe.

What emerges, from a game theory perspective, is a global tragedy of the commons-style scenario. The payoff to the people burning the fossil fuel is that they keep all the benefits of harnessing the energy. The drawback is the environmental damage done by burning the fossil fuels, which are mostly spread out across the entire world.

We do have one great factor in our favour. On our planet, technological advancement occurred in an extremely unequal manner, unlike in a game of Civilization. The Industrial Revolution began in Britain, and by the time the rest of the world had caught up, the British had built a global empire.

This made it possible for a minority of nations to develop so far economically that they were able to produce scientists who could foresee the danger of burning too many fossil fuels, and before we had burned so many that the planet was on an unavoidable path to disaster. And here we are today, but at a crossroads.

It’s not clear what the path away from this situation is. However, as this newspaper has mentioned before, the average person will eventually have to cut their consumption to a level roughly equal to that of a New Zealand beneficiary. This is not optional, as the planet simply cannot support more than this. The only thing certain is that a turn away from materialist consumption is necessary.

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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.

Understanding the Globalist/Nationalist Dichotomy

In psychologist and political scientist Lee De-Wit’s recent book ‘What’s Your Bias?‘ he spoke of a new order of political alliances. The political order of today, he contends, is no longer a matter of change vs. stability, as it was during the French Revolution, or a matter of labour vs. capital as in the Industrial Revolution. Today it’s nationalist vs. globalist.

The natural basis of solidarity is biological. The strongest bond in the world is between the mother and offspring of animal species, in particular K-selected species such as humans and elephants. Mothers of any mammal species become dangerous if their offspring are threatened; many men have been killed by wandering between a mother bear and her cubs. This fierce willingness to protect is the basis for all solidarity.

It is in order to work in accordance with this natural bond that men choose to form monogamous families. The formation of a nuclear family allows for the maximum possible division of labour, so that the mother is able to fully utilise her natural love for her offspring, while the father is able to fully utilise his muscular advantage in gathering resources. Therefore, the father works with the natural solidarity of mother and child.

Families naturally bond together and form tribes, with a chieftain who settles disputes. These tribes naturally form together and form clans, and these clans naturally bond together and form nations. This process of natural bonds of solidarity leading to higher levels of social order was described by Aristotle in Politics. A nationalist, therefore, is someone who identifies with their wider kin group.

Globalism comes from the other direction. The first truly global system was the British Empire, because the British were the first to control the ocean navigation routes of the entire planet. This they achieved after their victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. Being in control of a global system, the British used it to meet their desires for increased material prosperity.

They did this in a manner similar to the previous empires, such as the Spanish and Portuguese – they imposed it on whoever had the materials. Because controlling the sea lanes made them militarily unstoppable, it was not necessary to obtain the consent of the people who lived on top of those resources. If the British respected the locals enough, they worked with them; if not, they butchered them.

Globalist logic, therefore, is not to see the nation as a family to which one belongs, but as a collection of resources that one exploits. The horrific thing about globalist logic is that it reduces human beings to dollar values and spreadsheet entries. This is why the idea of globalism imposing itself on the nation engenders so much anger among those who are loyal to a kin group.

Whether or not a person is a nationalist is primarily a matter of whether they are loyal to the people of the nation, or loyal to foreign ideologies and interests that might seek to exploit it. A person cannot be neither, unless they are also indifferent to all of the political issues influenced by this dichotomy, and those are many.

For instance, whether or not a person was born in New Zealand has a moderately strong correlation with their likelihood to vote for a nationalist party. Dan McGlashan showed in Understanding New Zealand that the correlation between being born in New Zealand and voting for the New Zealand First party was 0.54.

This is entirely logical, because there’s no point in having in-group loyalty towards a group that you don’t really belong to. If a person is born overseas, then it’s much easier for them to up sticks and move to yet another country. A person born in New Zealand, however, probably has cousins (and aunts and uncles etc.) also born here. Therefore, the New Zealand nation is their kin group.

Globalists are the children of the Empire. They don’t necessarily have loyalty to the people who they live around, because their immediate ancestors are often from somewhere else. Because the people around them are not part of their wider kin group, they feel no need to make decisions with that kin group in mind. They are comfortable exploiting them for the sake of their own personal gain, or for the gain of their kin group.

A nationalist, then, represents their people, whereas a globalist represents either another kin group somewhere else, themselves or an ideology. This ideology can be anything, but it’s usually the ideology of the Empire itself. A thousand years ago, the globalist ideology was Christianity. Today, the globalist ideology is neoliberalism, otherwise known as globohomo.

An important point is that this globalist-nationalist dichotomy cuts right across the left-right dichotomy, and could be argued to have replaced it.

The world’s globalists are split across the left and the right wings.

The left-wing globalists are ecocommunists who want a one world government that manages and allocates all of the world’s resources. These ecocommunists see ecological crises – and the perceived threat of such crises – as a great opportunity to get people to accept a global government. Mass immigration is great because it destroys national loyalties, making people more willing to accept being loyal to a global system.

The right-wing globalists are hypercapitalists who don’t want any government at any level. These free marketeers are in favour of globalism for purely economic reasons. They don’t care about the effect that importing cheap labour has on working class neighbourhoods, because they don’t live in them. All they want is the freedom to come, plunder, and then leave with the loot, and therefore laws protecting the nations are opposed.

Neither of these groups care much for natural bonds, such as to family or village. They are simply those with loyalties elsewhere, or to themselves only. ‘Globalist’ is, therefore, not at all a euphemism for Jew. An Englishman living in Auckland who has no loyalty to New Zealand is just as much the globalist as any New York Jew working in high finance.

The nationalists, likewise, are split across the left and the right wings.

Left-wing nationalists opposes mass immigration on account of the effect it has on the nation’s workers. They are concerned about the effect that a reserve pool of cheap labour will have on their people’s wages. They are also concerned that mass immigration will destroy the solidarity necessary for the nation to agree to welfare measures like a UBI.

Right-wing nationalists, by contrast, oppose mass immigration for the reason that they dislike people not of their nation, and believe they should stay away. Right-wing nationalists have problems with things like racemixing, which left-wing nationalists don’t really care about. Both sides also sharply disagree when it comes to measures such as work for the dole or drug law reform. Right-wing nationalists don’t care about working-class wages and don’t want a UBI anyway.

Because of their shared opposition to globalism, left-wing nationalists often get lumped in with right-wing nationalists by globalist propagandists. This has led to the absurd spectacle of politicians who are supposedly working-class representatives championing things like raising the refugee quota, despite that it instantly weakens the bargaining position of the native working class.

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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 Substance Abusers Use Cannabis

Some people are hesitant to support cannabis law reform because they don’t want to make it easier for substance abusers to destroy themselves. Their fear is that legal cannabis will simply provide another substance for substance abusers to get wasted on. This article will explain why cannabis prohibition is not the best way to deal with those fears.

Like many of the arguments against cannabis law reform, this one is mostly based on a misconception of the psychology of cannabis users, and of substance abusers in general. It could be called the Trainspotting myth, because some people believe that the trajectory of cannabis use proceeds much like heroin use does in the film based on the eponymous Irvine Welsh book.

The fear is that legal cannabis will simply provide another way for degenerates to destroy themselves, and so why should the Government facilitate this? The fewer legal drugs available, the fewer easily-accessible avenues for self-destruction. Better to keep cannabis illegal to persuade people to go straight.

The sort of moraliser that makes arguments like this is generally not the same kind of person that hangs out with actual heavy substance users. As such, they don’t understand the psychology of them. Almost no-one goes from living a completely clean life to misusing any drug just because they “got addicted”.

The reason why people become substance addicts is usually because they have untreated mental illnesses, and this leads to a much stronger sense of enjoyment from the feeling of being drunk/stoned/wasted. The more unpleasant one’s thoughts, the more pleasant to escape from them. Therefore, it’s not so much the drug that leads to the abuse but the way the mind and brain are wired.

There are cases where people are substance abusers, and it may be that, for some of these people, legal cannabis means that they abuse more cannabis than they would have done if it was illegal. If this means that they avoid abusing worse drugs, then this is a good thing. All things being equal, it’s better for a person to use cannabis every day than to use several of the drugs listed in the image at the top of this page.

There’s no guarantee that any individual cannabis user is going to smoke cannabis until they die. Plenty of cannabis users, even heavy ones, get sick of smoking it and move on to other things. After all, although cannabis can be great fun, it can also get boring, much like alcohol and women and loud music and all the other things that people like to indulge in for a while.

So it’s better for them to get their fix on a drug that they are going to survive than on one that is going to kill them. Let them get their kicks on something that’s not going to do any long-term damage. It’s much, much better for people to use cannabis – and to perhaps need a few weeks to come back to normal – than to use something that will permanently change their brain chemistry.

An intelligent approach to cannabis law reform would put the emphasis on harm minimisation. If a person is honestly concerned about the total damage and suffering that a substance abuser might cause themselves, then a regime of regulated, legal cannabis would lead to less harm, for a variety of reasons.

Substance abusers are much more likely to get help from mental health professionals if their substance is legal. This fact has been clearly demonstrated by the willingness of patients to talk to their doctors about their alcohol or tobacco use compared to their willingness to talk about their methamphetamine use. If a substance is illegal there is a lot of fear associated with it.

Legal cannabis would make it easier for actual substance abusers – the sort who are destroying their lives – to trust their doctors or drug counsellors. This would make them more likely to take advice to either quit, or, if necessary, to go on a treatment program such as one that tapers off cannabis.

Legal cannabis would also make it possible for accurate and honest educational campaigns to exist. Right now, there’s no reason for any cannabis user to believe anything the Government says about the substance, because everyone knows they lie about it. So if the Government gave intelligent advice about protecting the lungs, it may not be heeded.

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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.

What New Zealand Could Afford if We Didn’t Take in Refugees

The tendency of most social democratic governments is to tax and spend. The usual pattern is to spend ever more as extra special interests keep making new demands. This inevitably leads to the downfall of those governments, as they end up spending money on white elephants and neglecting their core voters. This article looks at how the Sixth Labour Government is neglecting its own people by importing 1,500 refugees a year.

According to this New Zealand Herald article, the costs of refugee resettlement to New Zealand is roughly $130,000,000 every year. This suggests that each of the 1,500 refugees costs an average of roughly $90,000 per year, which is similar to the costs of keeping a person in prison.

This $130 million comes out of general taxation and means that we can’t spend $130 million on other things. Despite claims to the contrary, it’s impossible to spend the same dollar twice. So spending this money on refugees who we have decided to import means that we have to tighten our belts on $130 million of spending somewhere else in the economy.

So what have we chosen to forgo? Or, more accurately, what have our rulers elected to take away from us?

According to the Ministry of Social Development, there are 286,000 New Zealanders on a main benefit at the time of March 2019. These beneficiaries are also paid out of general taxation, i.e. the same fund as pays for refugees.

If we would lower the refugee quota to zero, we would have the spare money to give every beneficiary a Christmas bonus on the order of $500 every year in the lead up to the summer holidays. This would be a much better use of the money than importing problems into the neighbourhoods that those beneficiaries live in. A $500 bonus at the time of year when things are the tightest would make a profound difference to the quality of life of New Zealand’s poorest.

It might also make a difference to New Zealand’s suicide rates, as stress over Christmas and New Year’s, particularly financial stress, is known to be a common trigger for suicide attempts.

The ongoing homelessness crisis is another issue that could do with a cool hundred million dollars. A Stuff article reports that it will cost $4.1 million to house 100 homeless people in Christchurch. At that rate, if the $130 million we currently spend yearly on refugees was used on housing our own people, it would cover the housing of close to 3,000 Kiwis.

3,000 is close to the number of people currently believed to be homeless in Auckland. Since the vast majority of those homeless are Kiwis, it seems neglectful, if not callous, to spend $130 million on refugees instead, especially when that money could simply buy the houses to put almost 1,000 homeless in (assuming a house homes four people and costs $600,000).

Many of those Kiwis will have paid into the social system themselves through taxation or through service. It’s cruel to house foreigners at their expense.

Helping our own is more cost effective than importing refugees and helping them instead, because there is no language or cultural barrier to overcome and thus no need for interpreters or cultural guides. It is also much better for social cohesion, because our own usually have families that live here, and a whole family is lifted if their weakest member is helped.

Perhaps most appallingly, the New Zealand Parliament decided in 2015 that providing free breakfasts and lunches to the poorest 20% of schoolchildren, at a cost of $10-14 million, was too expensive. It seems incredible on the face of it, but our rulers are willing to spend ten times more on importing dependent foreigners than on feeding their own hungriest children!

A society that imports dependent foreigners and takes care of them, while leaving its own children to go hungry during the day, is one that cannot long survive. The inherent contradiction means that few of the next generation will have any confidence in the system, and will withdraw or revolt, as there is no point in contributing to a nation that treats its own worse than it does outsiders. It’s better to let it die and start again.

It’s important to underline here that, although spending a nine-figure sum of money on refugees while neglecting your own people is an act of evil, it’s not the refugees themselves who ought to take the blame. At worst, they are merely the receivers of stolen goods, in that they accepted the inheritance that our ruling class had stolen from us. There’s no shame in taking advantage of people as foolish as we have been.

The blame for not being able to house our own people and feed our own kids falls squarely on our own politicians who control the spending of our tax money, and on us for letting those politicians get away with it.

They are the ones who leave the people they’re representing to die while they lavish money on foreigners instead. They are the ones who distract us with emotive rhetoric about “doing the right thing” while ignoring the needs of the people they rule over. They are the ones who promote the idea that anyone complaining about their evil is themselves evil: a racist, white nationalist, Nazi, speaker of hate or similar.

Much of the suffering that Kiwis at the back of the queue are enduring is only happening because our rulers are spending the money on importing refugees instead. Lowering the refugee quota to zero would free up $130 million to spend on amenities for those among us who are doing it hard. It’s a lot of money, and all we lose is virtue signalling opportunity.

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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.

Who Wins From Having The Cannabis Referendum at The Same Time as The 2020 General Election?

The process about the cannabis referendum next year is starting to take more concrete shape. Not only are we starting to get some kind of idea of what question is going to be asked, but we have had confirmation that the referendum will take place at the same time as the 2020 General Election. In this article, Dan McGlashan, author of Understanding New Zealand, explains the likely electoral ramifications.

In the 2004 American Presidential Elections, George W Bush’s adviser Karl Rove had the genius idea of scheduling a number of referendums to take place at the same time. These referendums all related to state constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriage. Because this issue aroused strong conservative sentiment in the electorate in 2004, it brought conservatives to the polls, where they also voted for George W Bush.

The scheduling of the cannabis referendum at the same time as the 2020 General Election ought to have a similar effect. The sort of person who turns out to vote in this referendum will be those who would normally vote in a General Election, plus some otherwise disenfranchised demographics who didn’t previously feel an incentive to vote at all.

It’s worth looking at who those otherwise disenfranchised demographics are, because if they turn out vote in the referendum, and if they cast a vote for a party in the General Election at the same time, there might be enough of them to tip the balance of the election towards one or the other side.

The cannabis referendum will not bring out a meaningful number of extra conservatives, for two major reasons.

The first is that conservatives don’t really care about cannabis. Conservatism isn’t about being stupid, or being backwards. The average conservative is intelligent enough to have observed that many places overseas have now legal cannabis, and these places are no longer spending tax payers money on enforcing prohibition. Apart from morons like Bob McCoskrie, there’s no real appetite for continuing cannabis prohibition on the right.

The second is that conservatives already vote. As I showed in Understanding New Zealand, the correlation between voting for the National Party in 2017 and turnout rate was 0.68, which is very strong. Because there are no firm boundaries between party lines, this is unlikely to get any stronger from a referendum unless the conservatives really cared about it. And they don’t.

Who the cannabis referendum will bring out are the currently disenfranchised who have lost faith in the democratic system because of (among other reasons) its inability to deliver anything close to the public will on the issue of cannabis law. These people will come from the demographics that did not vote in the 2017 General Election.

The most obvious will be the remainder of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party’s demographic. The ALCP got 8.075 votes in 2017, and the correlation between voting ALCP in 2017 and turnout rate in 2017 was -0.63. This suggests that at least another 10,000 potential ALCP votes were lost to disenfranchisement.

Whether they would vote for the ALCP is anyone’s guess, although most will realise that, if cannabis is legal, there is no reason for the ALCP to exist, and therefore they might as well vote for someone else.

Many have made the assumption that the largest beneficiaries of a cannabis law reform referendum will be the Green Party. After all, it is the Green Party who has pushed for it, and it seems reasonable that this might lead to some otherwise non-voting cannabis users turning up to the polling booth for the referendum and throwing a vote the Greens’ way.

This simple assumption is likely to be mistaken, also for two reasons.

Simply put, Green voters tend to already vote. The correlation between turnout rate in 2017 and voting Green in 2017 was 0.27 – not very strong on the face of it, but strong if one considers that Green voters come from young demographics, and the turnout rate among those demographics is very low. Green voters and supporters are not disenfranchised.

The other reason is that the demographics that truly support cannabis law reform, the ones who are adversely impacted by the current law, are not the same demographics as Green Party voters.

There is a correlation of 0.73 between being New Zealand-born and voting ALCP in 2017. The reason for this because cannabis law reform is of little interest to those who aren’t either white or Maori. Cannabis is an integral part of true Kiwi culture, and many of those who come out to vote will be nationalists. They will not have much interest in supporting Green Party policies, aside from cannabis, which they can now support without voting Green.

This strong correlation relates to the correlation of 0.91 between being Maori and voting ALCP in 2017. This suggests that a very large number of the people who vote in the General Election because of the referendum will be Maori. Maoris seem to have an aversion to the Green Party, and this probably exists because they distrust globalists – the correlation between being Maori and voting Green in 2017 was -0.14.

Policies like increasing the refugee quota will prove devastating for the cohesion of Maori neighbourhoods and communities, and this is widely understood. The sort of person who is most heavily affected by this kind of thing is precisely the disenfranchised voter who is likely to turn out for the cannabis referendum.

The extra voters will undoubtedly be much younger than average, because the correlation between voting ALCP in 2017 and median age was -0.57. This makes them much younger than both Greens and New Zealand First voters, and only a little older than Labour voters. The young are much more passionate about cannabis law reform because they do not have the generational brainwashing that the older generations endured.

Finally, the extra voters are likely to come from the least educated demographics. The correlation between voting ALCP in 2017 and having no formal education qualifications was 0.68, the highest for any party. New Zealand First was not far behind, on 0.67, but the Green Party were at the other end of the scale, at -0.56. These extra voters are not likely to be impressed by the aloof superiority of the Greens.

Paradoxically, then, it’s most likely that the timing of the cannabis referendum to coincide with the 2020 General Election won’t benefit the party that most strongly pushed for it. Gratitude is not an emotion that can be counted on. It’s much more likely that the young, disenfranchised, Kiwi-born and Maori people who come to the polling booth for the referendum will vote Labour and, perhaps unfairly, New Zealand First.

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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).

The Case For Cannabis: God Put Cannabis Here

An uncommon argument for cannabis is that God put it here. This is an uncommon argument on account of the fact that religious sentiments are becoming rarer and rarer, but it has pull even for those who don’t follow an organised religion. As this article will explain, the argument that God put cannabis here remains a powerful one for some people.

Genesis 1:29 states: “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth…”

It’s obvious from reading this, on one of the first pages of the Bible, that according to Christian belief, God created cannabis specifically for the benefit of humans. Cannabis is a herb that bears seed, and we encountered it on the face of the Earth, so therefore a Christian ought to believe that its presence here on Earth is a gift from God that ought to be cherished.

Indeed, it’s obvious why a benevolent God would have created such a thing. For someone with the kind of illness that cannabis treats, it can feel like a godsend. Many people with psychological problems have found that cannabis can make the difference between a restful night’s sleep and eight hours of torture. For such people, providing cannabis is bound to engender feelings of gratitude.

Is it not true, then, that a human Government working to prohibit this medicine, and to make it harder for people to get hold of, is causing people to suffer needlessly, and therefore is doing evil work?

Christians are fond of saying that the world is ruled by Satan, and that the Governments of the world all serve Satan. This will to serve evil is the main reason, they contend, that evil exists. Satan desires to thwart the will of God and to destroy the creation of God, and to cause God’s most blessed creation to suffer on account of his infernal envy.

Fair enough, but then why support evil by opposing cannabis law reform? If Satan tricked the rulers of the world into prohibiting a medicine that God had created, why not vote to change it back?

If one opposes legal cannabis, is that not tantamount to saying that God made a mistake by creating cannabis for human use, and that humans know better than God by making it illegal instead? From an Abrahamic perspective, this surely constitutes a grave sin. It’s blasphemy to elevate the laws of men above the laws of God.

Christians must surely believe that cannabis ought to be legal for the reason that God put it here. Cannabis is part of the natural world, and if Christians believe that God created the natural world and saw that it was good, so it must be God’s will for humans to use cannabis as needed to avoid suffering.

A reader might object here, and say that this argument is just an example of the naturalistic fallacy. This objection argues that, even if one concedes that God created cannabis, this doesn’t mean that we should be using it. After all, we don’t eat nightshade berries either, and those are just as much a part of the natural world as cannabis is.

A logical person would agree. Just because cannabis is natural doesn’t mean that everyone should necessarily be using it. However – no-one is arguing for this. No-one is arguing that anyone should be forced to use cannabis, or even exposed to it in cases where this exposure would cause suffering. To the contrary, cannabis law reformers would argue that legalisation is better for keeping it out of the hands of the wrong people.

All that cannabis law reformers want is for the Government to stand back and allow them to use a natural plant, something that appears to be just as much a part of creation as the sunlight and the rain, as well as the wheat, apples, kiwifruit, potatoes and all the other plants.

Cannabis ought to be legal because it’s a moral obscenity for humans to arrogate to themselves the power to make parts of Nature, elements of God’s creation, illegal. There is a scriptural basis for believing that God put cannabis here for the benefit of humans, and anyone who believes in those scriptures surely must also believe that God did not do so in error.

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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 Empire vs. The Nations

All throughout history, there has been a neverending struggle between two implacably opposed forces. Much like good and evil themselves, human history has been characterised by an eternal struggle between an Empire that sought to conquer the world and the Nations that sought to resist. This essay elucidates.

Much as the Sun beats down from above, its rays bringing order to the Earth that receives them, so too does the Empire impose itself from above, onto the Nations that form from below.

On the world stage, the Empire is the force that seeks to subjugate all the nations. It is based around the idea of central rule, where a single leader imposes a code of laws on its subjects. The Nations are those who rise up from the soil and who self-organise based on natural similarities between members of a wider kin group.

On one level, the words democracy and republic means the same thing. But they reflect different perceptions. Democracy means rule of the masses, deriving from demos, which means people, and -cracy, which means form of rule. Republic also means rule of the masses. The difference is that democracy is a national concept, whereas republicanism is an imperial one.

The concept of democracy, in a Greek sense, is easy to understand if one if familiar with Aristotle’s Politics. In the same way that the head of a family makes decisions of behalf of their family, who gives them power, so does a chieftain make decisions on behalf of their village, a baron on behalf of his county, and a king on behalf of his nation. This is all good and well, but the bottom-up structure of every nation clashes with the top-down system imposed by the Empire.

This conflict between top-down and bottom-up systems can be seen all throughout history. In a sense, it doesn’t really matter what or where the Empire is, or whether it’s Roman, Mongol, British or American. At the centre of the Empire is the one who wields the Spear of Destiny, for they are the one who directs the course of this Empire, and the course of Empire reflects them and their will.

The two are fated to clash because the morals of the two systems are entirely different.

The moral virtues of the Empire are all about expedience. The Empire cares about control and profit. Its basic inclination is to expand. Enjoyment of life comes from glory and domination. The Empire believes that it has a moral blueprint that can serve for all human life, and therefore they’re doing the Nations (i.e. the barbarians) a favour by subjugating them. The Empire has no problem with the Big Lie.

By contrast, the moral virtues of the Nations are the same moral virtues that allow one to thrive in a state of Nature. The Nations care about the physical and mental health and strength of their peoples. Their basic inclination is to remain the same, and to enjoy life, which comes from interaction with people and places that they love, and from being at peace with God.

Alchemically speaking, it could be said that the Empire was of iron and silver while the Nations were of clay and gold. The Empire values cheap labour, willing mercenaries and the kind of science that builds artillery, battleships and railroads. The Nations value good sex, good food, being healthy and a direct spiritual connection to God and the Great Fractal.

In most cases, the desires of the Empire and the Nations are the same. Both want peace. Both want order. In most cases, they also agree on how to achieve this. Both the Empire and the Nations strive to keep their citizens fed and entertained. Their approach is, however, entirely different.

The Empire believes the state of Nature to be a state of war, and consequently declares it a good thing that the Empire imposes order. The greatest motivation of the Nations is to resist the impositions of Empire and to live a life in accordance with Nature, which they believe to be a state of peace until disturbed by Empire.

Because of this difference in approach, certain political issues cause great tensions.

Open borders seems like a great idea for the Empire, because it allows them to import cheap labour en masse to any territory they desire. If a Caribbean island starts a sugar plantation, the Empire can’t wait to import 10,000 Africans to work it. The Nations, however, hate open borders, because open borders means the destruction of all national, regional and local solidarity and culture.

The question of open borders has divided our societies into imperialists who want to import capital and workers as fast as possible, and who are pro-immigration, and nationalists who want to emphasise bonds of solidarity between kin and neighbours, and who are anti-immigration. Both sides declare the other evil, accusing one of being soulless money-worshippers and the other of being narrow-minded bigots.

The matter of religion and spirituality also causes great conflict. The desire of the Empire is to have a “Holy Land” that all of its children look to, and a single religious template into which all spiritual inquiry must be forced. The Nations, however, tend to resist this centralisation. The spirituality of the Nations tends to revolve around great local men who have achieved gnosis by discovering or developing a particular methodology.

The religion of the Empire is that which inspires them to conquer and to impose their order; the spirituality of the Nations is what which inspires them to resist and to tell the truth in the face of expedient lies. In our iteration of the world, societies are split between imperialists who usually support some form of Abrahamism, and nationalists who are more interested in direct gnosis and local traditions.

In many of the great issues of today, it’s possible to see that, fundamentally, these issues have arisen because of the conflict between the Empire and the Nations. Where it really gets tricky is that this conflict, much as the conflict between good and evil, runs through every human heart.

There are two types of people, therefore: children of the Empire, and children of the Nations. If you are a child of the Empire you probably speak English as a native language. You probably feel most at home in universities and airports. If you are a child of the Nations you might speak anything as a native language. You don’t feel home in places but in one particular place.

New Zealanders, like all children of the Empire, have a unique dilemma. The vast majority of us are raised speaking English, the Empire’s language. As such, we have a very weak national identity. Many New Zealanders are perfectly happy moving to Sydney or London and working there. There is almost no culture shock when one moves from one part of the Empire to another, but the economic opportunities may be many times greater, and so the pull is extremely strong.

Over the past century, however, a nationalist sentiment has slowly risen. This was first inspired as a reaction to the indifference with which Empire administrators treated the well-being of our soldiers in World War One. After Gallipoli and Passchendaele we came to understand that being children of the Empire was to be so much cannon fodder. Self-rule was the only way to have the requisite dignity.

Therefore, many of us suffer from divided loyalties. A line runs through the hearts of many New Zealanders: do they choose the Empire side, and emphasise the great wealth and economic opportunity that comes with being a native English speaker with an Anglosphere passport, or do they choose the Kiwi side, and emphasise loyalty with their neighbours and region?

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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: Legalisation Would Not Increase Drugged Driving Deaths

The resistance that many people have towards cannabis law reform is fear based. Like a panicky chicken, the prospect of any change at all is met with terror. One of the fears that people have at the thought of cannabis legalisation is that it will lead to carnage on our roads. As this article will examine, these fears are misguided.

As with many of the misgivings that people have about cannabis law reform, the fear of an increase in drugged driving deaths is based on a misconception about how dangerous cannabis is. This is partially based on ignorance, and partially based on the idea that being high on cannabis is like being drunk on alcohol.

The idea seems to be that perfectly otherwise normal people will smoke some cannabis and, because cannabis makes you go crazy, they will get in a car and drive like a crazy person. This perception has been stoked by sensationalist media reporting involving headlines such as “Stoned driver faces jail” when the driver in question had also been smoking methamphetamine.

The idea that cannabis legalisation will lead to more road deaths is not accurate for three major reasons.

The first is that it ignores the substitution effect (for the sake of argument, let’s agree here with the lazy assumption that legal cannabis will lead to more use). An individual driving under the influence of cannabis might not be as safe as a sober person. But evidence from elsewhere shows that, if cannabis was legalised, a proportion of incidents of drunk driving will be replaced with incidents of stoned driving, which are safer.

Research has shown that rates of alcohol use fall in places where recreational cannabis is made legal. This is because cannabis and alcohol serve as substitutes to a large extent. Because rates of alcohol use fall after cannabis legalisation, rates of drunk driving also fall, and this means that traffic fatalities also fall – significantly.

It’s better for a driver to be sober, but if they aren’t going to be sober, it’s better for them to be stoned than to be drunk. It’s a grim calculus, but if legalising cannabis would lead to twenty extra drugged driving deaths but would prevent fifty drunk driving deaths, it would be a worthwhile move.

The second is that the actual science is inconclusive as to whether being stoned impairs driving safety. Various studies have provided contradictory results. The lazy assumption is that being under the influence of any psychoactive drug, including cannabis, will make a person worse at driving. The reality is that stoned drivers take a variety of measures to reduce their risk of crashing.

Part of the problem is that unregulated cannabis contains a great variety of various cannabinoids, and these cannabinoids can be present at a great variety of frequencies. Studies appear to be clear that high doses of THC impair driver safety, which follows logically from the fact that THC is known to have a psychotogenic effect, but there is no such evidence suggesting the same about high doses of CBD.

It also appears to be true that, unlike alcohol, cannabis tolerance has an effect on whether it impairs driving performance. For many cannabis users, cannabis is merely a background substance that quietens distracting thoughts. All these reasons mean that, although no responsible person would advocate driving after using cannabis, a person who has just smoked it is not necessarily unsafe to drive.

The third is that it is irrelevant. Like with many arguments against cannabis law reform, focus on the specifics misses the bigger picture.

Not everyone trusts the Government when it says that cannabis is a substance that isn’t safe to drive on. As the linked articles above demonstrate, there are indeed instances when a person who has consumed cannabis is not safe to drive. But why would a person trust a Government public safety notice on the subject, when they have previously lied about cannabis full stop?

Over recent decades, governments all over the world have denied that cannabis was medicinal. But because people all over the world knew that it was medicinal, the end result has been decreased trust of governmental pronouncements, particularly when they relate to cannabis. So if the a government would give the perfectly reasonable advice to avoid driving within two hours of smoking, it might well be ignored.

If cannabis was legal, and if the Government spoke to the public honestly about it instead of lying, users might trust them when giving intelligent and prudent advice about smoking cannabis and driving. This would save many more lives in the long run than could possibly be saved by putting cannabis growers and users in prison.

The idea that cannabis legalisation will lead to a spate of fatal traffic accidents is fearmongering. It’s the same kind of fearmongering that claimed that legalising homosexuality would lead to everyone dying of AIDS. The experience of overseas territories that have legalised cannabis shows that these fears are little more than hysteria.

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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.