Almost All Cases of Growing Cannabis Are Altruistic

New Zealand cannabis law reform supporters were overjoyed on Monday by the news that Rose Renton was discharged without conviction in her case at the Nelson District Court. Charged with the cultivation of 58 plants, she could have been facing seven years’ imprisonment. As this essay will examine, the logic used to exonerate her could be used to exonerate almost any other cannabis grower, and should lead to a change in the cannabis law.

Renton was discharged without conviction on the grounds that her offending was “altrustic” in nature, according to Judge David Ruth, who was quoted as saying: “This was effectively an altruistic endeavour on your behalf to help those for whom that help wasn’t otherwise possible.” This is an entirely fair point, and it’s about time a judge said so, but it goes further than this.

She had been growing cannabis to supply medicine to a variety of people, a job that has been given the title “green fairy”. The ‘green’ refers to cannabis medicine and the ‘fairy’ refers to the fact that this medicine doesn’t come regularly but simply shows up whenever the fairy can make it happen. Renton was supplying clones of a CBD-rich strain to people who then grew the medicine themselves.

A Police officer who came to Renton’s home noticed a cannabis plant there. Instead of ignoring it, the officer made the decision to enforce Parliament’s law against cannabis by arresting her. This decision led to 18 months of suffering on Renton’s part, until discharged without conviction on Monday, for the reasons mentioned above.

Cannabis is a medicine. The main reason why people use it is to escape the suffering caused by either physical or psychological pain. There are several effective substitutes for the effect that cannabis has on physical pain, but there is little that can stop psychological suffering as quickly and efficiently. Countless people have found that a bout of rage, depression or despair can be stopped cold by a dose of cannabis.

It’s rarely admitted to, but there is a lot of suffering in our society. Not just the tedium of the drudge-work that we endure, and the anxiety over our uncertain futures, but the stress of encountering new strangers all the time and the alienation of having no community or political representation all combine to create an existence that is wretched for many. This can be measured by our increasing suicide rate, which hit a record level last year.

Almost all the cannabis that is grown, by anyone, ever, is grown with the intent of reducing some of this suffering. There’s no point to it otherwise. No-one grows cannabis with the intent to cause suffering. Anyone who believes this is simply not in touch with the reality of cannabis use. Everyone who grows it does so with the intent that using the end product will alleviate suffering in some way.

So the concept of non-altruistic cannabis growing makes as much sense as the idea of non-altruistic insulin production.

People who aren’t interested in the medicinal effects of cannabis might still be using it for that reason, even if they smoke it in joints. Even casual joint smokers are often motivated by the decrease in anxiety, stress, nausea or insomnia that comes with using it. This means that the vast majority of cannabis that anyone is growing, anywhere, is for altruistic reasons, much the same as with Rose Renton.

Many people are unwilling to accept this, for the reason that this makes the current law seem extremely cruel. The hard facts are, however, that the current law is extremely cruel. It’s possible that the law prevented Alex from getting hold of a medicine that would have saved his life. We’ll never know.

It’s possible that Rose Renton had to watch her son die for no other reason than that New Zealand politicians were too stupid and cowardly to address the need to repeal cannabis prohibition in time. That might seem unreasonably cruel, perhaps even so cruel that it’s hard to admit to, but that’s what we did. We’ve been doing it for decades, to Kiwi families up and down the country.

We have to face up to the fact that cannabis is a medicine, and that the law withholding it from people is killing those who need its medicinal qualities. It’s time for us to accept that the vast majority of people who are growing cannabis are doing so with the ultimate intent of alleviating human suffering, so we should repeal cannabis prohibition and make it legal.

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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.

VJMP Waitangi Day Address 2019

The only power that scares the Establishment is the unity of the people. Only when Maoris and white people come together, with strong bonds based on mutual appreciation of each other’s talents, do the ruling classes of this country sit up and take notice. Only then do they become afraid of us, instead of the other way around.

There are two very popular, and yet very false, narratives explaining why our society is the way it is. Both of these false narratives serve to divide the nation into two competing blocs, at each others throats. The first is the Imperialist narrative, the second is the Marxist narrative.

The Imperialist narrative has it that Maoris lived in a state of depravity and constant terror. Intertribal warfare and cannibalism were rife; life expectancy was 30 years if you were lucky. According to the Imperialist narrative, Maoris were rescued from this state by the benevolence of the British Empire, which made slavery illegal, and kindly dished out medicine, technology and an end to the Musket Wars.

The Marxist narrative has it that Maoris lived in a state of perfect peace and harmony with Nature. There was no violence and no hunger until the white man turned up. Then the Maoris were driven from their land under musket and cannon fire, into the wilderness to die. The British came here for no other reason than greed, and never saw the Maoris as proper human beings.

Both of these narratives are horseshit. Both have been designed to sow discord and hatred. Both are aggressive, supremacist ideologies, and both are supported by aggressive, low intelligence, egotistical people. Neither has a place in the New Zealand of the new century.

There is a lot of pressure for us to take on one of the false narratives. Many people find it gratifying to blame someone else for their problems, especially an entire group. Many people have chosen a side, not as a Kiwi, but as either a Maori or as a white person, and many of these see the other side of the divide as the enemy who seeks to steal from them.

The British did made slavery illegal, and they did bring technology and medicine here, that is true. They also did some bad things, especially with regards to swindling land from the Maoris, and with creating a society in which money and plastic was valued highly than social and spiritual connections. This is also true.

The Maoris might have problems with violence and abuse and neglect of children, this is true. They have also done outstandingly well compared to other indigenous peoples. Their intelligence and tenacity has enabled them to adapt to the tools of the white man in a way that the others never could. They are much wealthier than Tongans, who were never colonised. This is also true.

We need a new narrative, one that takes us forwards as brothers in arms. Not one that keeps us squabbling in the dirt. Esoteric Aotearoanism can serve as that narrative.

New Zealand society, for the majority of its existence, has been a co-operative enterprise between Maoris and white people. For better or worse, we’re stuck with each other. Neither group of people is going anywhere, and rates of intermarriage are so high that the time will come when there are not only no pure-blooded Maoris left but also no pure-blooded whites apart from immigrants. This is inevitable unless we are divided and conquered by outside forces.

Because of these immensely high rates of interbreeding, and because of the close, sometimes imperceptible, cultural exchange that we have had, Maoris and white people cannot be spoken of as two separate groups. They must be understood as the two major contributing factors to something that is greater than either of them: the Kiwi nation.

There are none of us who are pure Maori, unaffected by the white man’s influence, and neither are there any of us who are pure white people, the same as what can be found in Europe. We are now the yin and the yang of something greater than either of us. Both love rugby, live music, cannabis and exploring the wilderness just as much as the other.

It doesn’t matter what once was.

Co-operation is the only way forward. This demands that we reject the false narratives that cause us to fight each other, and adopt a new narrative that allows each of us to contribute to the greater good in their own way. It doesn’t matter what proportion of Maori blood you have, or what languages you speak, or even what your political attitudes are. There is a niche for you to contribute to the Kiwi nation.

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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.

How The People Are Divided and Conquered

The ruling classes, faced with the fact that they are outnumbered by thousands to one, have refined an array of techniques to divide the people into groups and set them at each other’s throats. This array covers all of the different aspects of human life, so that individuals are made enemies of each other at every turn. This essay describes how the people are divided and conquered across the entire spectrum of life.

Human life covers the complete spectrum from purely physical concerns to purely spiritual concerns. Physical concerns such as blood and soil are different to matters of class and education, and these are in their turn different to religious and spiritual matters. By means of propaganda, people are divided at each part of the spectrum, and made to believe that someone else has stolen from them.

This stealing is how the other side of the spectrum (any spectrum) is characterised as the bad guys, the stealers, the takers. The mouthpieces of the ruling class will tell their listeners that all of the suffering those listeners feel is because those at the other end of the spectrum have stolen from them. The natural result is that the listeners come to hate those others, and in doing so become divided and conquered.

At the physical end, people belonging to any racial group have been led, by way of propaganda, to feel that other races have collectively worked to steal from them. In America, blacks are made to feel that whites have stolen from them through slavery, and owe them compensation; whites are made to feel that blacks have stolen from them through taxation to fund welfare.

The story is the same all over the West. There was a time when New Zealanders considered themselves Kiwis first and their particular ethnic makeup was a secondary thing. But after decades of rhetoric, many Maoris have come to be convinced that colonisation was an act of evil for which they are owed compensation. White people were convinced, at the same time, that Maoris had stolen from them through taxation-funded welfare and crime, and the end result was to split the Kiwi people down the centre.

Less physical issues do not make people less vulnerable to being divided and conquered. Even if everyone was the same race, it is still possible to divide people along class or religious differences.

The most obvious example is of Communist agitation in a factory. The Communist begins by persuading the workers that they are being stolen from because their wages are not equal to the value of their production. If the worker is not intelligent enough to understand the basics of how a business is run, and does not understand that operating a business requires competencies that he does not necessarily have, he may be persuaded that his boss is stealing from him, and that restitution is owed.

Communist agitation in Rhodesia is an example that combines both race and class. Local blacks were convinced that white settlers had stolen land from them and were trying to enslave them. The blacks were told that everything the whites had was stolen from them, and this theft was why they didn’t have it. This led to rising resentment which eventually tore the entire country in two, a blueprint since repeated all across the world.

Education is another spectrum upon which people are divided. The poorly educated are led to believe that the well educated have arrived at their greater position of wealth through sneakery and trickery, not through study and applied competence. As with the other examples, the poorly educated are then made to become resentful, and so come to fight the well educated instead of co-operating with them as yin and yang.

All of this dividing and conquering works because of the state of spiritual ignorance that we have fallen into. People have forgotten that life is suffering, and that suffering is inherent to existence as a mortal being in this world. Because they have forgotten this, it is possible to convince them that their suffering is unnatural, and that someone else must be to blame. This is an example of chains of gold.

All that’s necessary to start it is to find a spectrum of wealth somewhere within society. It can be a spectrum of wealth along race lines, along class lines, along education lines – it doesn’t matter. As long as the people at both ends are told that the people at the other end have stolen from them or are looking to, both groups will dig themselves in and start hating the other.

From there, it’s a simple matter to point the finger at the other side of the national, racial, education or religious divide and say that all the suffering is because those people have stolen from us, and so individuals from that group are personally responsible for restitution. Once this has been achieved, it’s all but guaranteed that those so blamed will point the finger back, and at this point arguing and fighting begins.

Our ruling Establishment encourages divide and conquer logic, because the more effectively the people can be divided, the less able they are to mount a co-ordinated challenge against the will of that Establishment. This is why the media is daily full of propaganda about “injustice”. They don’t care about preventing injustice – they just want to fan the flames of it so that people are angry and blame each other, instead of the rulers.

Certain incompetent individuals also encourage divide and conquer logic, because they know that if the people were united and competent people promoted, those individuals would be left behind. Incompetent individuals, therefore, have an interest in dividing and conquering so that they can slice off their own little piece of turf and rule the smaller group present in it. They want to keep the group small so as to discourage more competent competition for places in the ruling hierarchy of that group.

In summary, people are divided and conquered because their own spiritual ignorance makes it possible for unscrupulous propagandists to blame the natural suffering of life on acts of theft committed by “others”. Blaming all the suffering inherent to life on others ensures that revenge will be sought, that grievances and vendettas will grow, that the cracks diving society will deepen and therefore that the suffering will never be overcome.

Anyone who denies that life is naturally suffering, and who insists that any suffering that exists is the fault of a particular group of people, is working to divide and conquer society. These people must be considered suspect, and their motives potentially malicious. This is true no matter how powerful, rich, numerous or oppressive the so-called bad guys might be.

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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.

Electoral Consequences of the Rise of a New Blue-Green Party in New Zealand

Much recent attention has been given to the possibility that a new blue-green party might arise to contest the 2020 General Election. A man named Vernon Tava has been interviewed outlining his vision for the putative movement, which is said to have some support. In this article, demographer Dan McGlashan, author of Understanding New Zealand, explains the electoral ramifications.

First, we need to determine who might vote for such a blue-green party. Secondly, we will speculate on what might happen if a large number of people do.

Crudely speaking, and this is very crude, we can say that New Zealand divides into four groups: the urban poor, who vote Labour, the urban rich, who vote Green, the rural poor, who vote New Zealand First, and the rural rich, who vote National.

The borderline between the Green and the National parties, therefore, is between the city and the country, and the unifying feature of these two parties is that their constituents are wealthy. So any new blue-green party would primarily target people who were doing better than average, regardless of whether they lived in the city or the country. But to distinguish them from the conservatives, they would need either an environmental or a social justice aspect from the green side.

Green and National voters are also characterised by being better educated than average (indeed, this is the basis of their greater wealth). So a green-blue party might target students, especially those who study at suburban universities. What unifies them, in particular, is that they tend to have globalist sympathies, and they tend to oppose the nationalist sentiments that they observe in Labour and New Zealand First.

This column has previously discussed the fact that the National and Green parties could ally on the basis of both being strong supporters of globalism. A new blue-green party might combine the green commitment to environmental causes with the desire to liberalise free trade and the movement of cheap labour (ignore the contradictions in that for a moment). They would then effectively be a neoliberal party.

The most obvious point is that such a party would compete directly with The Opportunities Party. As I showed shortly after the previous election in 2017, the bulk of TOP voters were disaffected Green voters. They were mostly young and well-educated, of either gender and any ethnicity, and were the ones most easily reached by the heavy investment made by TOP in FaceBook advertising. They have also had the most anti-nationalist conditioning.

Green Party voters would also be tempted towards a new party. The reason for this is many Green voters are well-educated, and so they often find themselves becoming wealthy by the end of their 30s, which means that they start to have an interest in protecting that wealth, and thereby paying less taxes. This pulls them towards the National Party, but they tend to be repelled by National’s indifferent attitude to human suffering.

National voters, for their part, will be hard to tempt to any blue-green party. For one thing, National voters are particularly loyal: the correlation between voting National in 2014 and voting National in 2017 was 0.99, an exceptionally strong correlation and higher than the equivalent figure for any other party. The other reason will be the electoral ramifications, as discussed below.

Second, the other major area of interest is the electoral ramifications of such a party if it would form and seriously contest the 2020 General Election.

One obvious point here is that the rise of a blue-green party would make things exceptionally difficult for The Opportunities Party. Although TOP does not describe itself as a blue-green party, they are competing for almost exactly the same demographic as any such new endeavour would also be competing for. Getting 5% of the electorate vote is hard enough as it is, and having two fledgling parties contesting that vote will make things extremely hard for both.

The obvious major point here relates to the overlap with Green Party voters. The Green Party only just made it over the threshold at the 2017 General Election, winning a mere 6.27% of the total votes. This means that they would only have to lose 30,000 or so votes in 2020 to a new blue-green party to run the risk of falling under the 5% threshold and so dropping out of Parliament entirely.

Ironically, game theory suggests that this is one of the most plausible ways for National to win the election. If a blue-green party did win enough of the Green Party vote that both parties failed to make the 5% threshold, the left bloc would lose all those Green party votes as well as some of the blue-green party ones, whereas the right bloc would only lose some of the blue-green party ones. This would leave National and ACT against Labour, competing for New Zealand First support.

Of course, these options are moot if the proposed party does win 5% of the electorate vote. As explained above, this would almost certainly lead to the obliteration of both the Greens and TOP, who are chasing similar voters. Assuming New Zealand First also won 5%, then there could be another head-to-head fight between Labour and National for the loyalty of the centrist parties, who would then in all probability hold the balance of power.

Because getting 5% of the vote is so difficult, and because the competition for the blue-green niche already so fierce, the future chances of Vernon Tava’s movement look extremely slim. They might have a greater impact as a spoiler that helps to wipe out the Green and Opportunities Parties, for the sake of ensuring that National holds the balance of power after 2020.

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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: There Is No Moral Argument Against Cannabis

Some cannabis prohibitionists contend that cannabis should remain illegal because its use is immoral. This immorality is such that it’s fair to use the criminal justice system to prevent it from happening. As this article will examine, not only is there no moral argument against cannabis, but the moral equation suggests that it should be legal.

The sort of person making this argument is usually some kind of wowser. This is the reason why this argument is becoming less common – proponents of it are dying off.

Usually, the argument takes some form of slippery slope argument. The usual patterns is that smoking cannabis is claimed to lead, by stepwise degeneracy, into the total abandonment of all healthy human values, until the user deteriorates into a wretched shell of the person they once were. Here the spectre of Reefer Madness can be seen once again.

The idea that cannabis use is inherently immoral harkens back to the religious fundamentalist idea that all pleasure is inherently sinful, on account of that it induces a person to worship the material world instead of God. It’s essentially a religious idea, and fundamentalist in the sense that the suffering caused by this admonition is ignored.

In reality, human beings have a need for recreational activity or they will become mentally ill. This is apparent from observing anywhere in history where those activities have been restricted. Pleasure is not inherently immoral, and it’s not immoral to enjoy one’s life, provided that one’s duties are still met and one’s responsibilities still discharged.

To the contrary – there is a moral imperative to enjoy one’s life, for if one does not do so, then bitterness, anger, frustration and depression are the consequences. These emotions invariably take themselves out on other people. Therefore, a person has a moral imperative to keep themselves happy enough that they can have a positive effect on other people. If using cannabis helps achieve this, so be it.

Morally speaking, the correct course of action to take at any given time is the one that minimises the suffering of conscious beings. It isn’t to blindly follow the law, and neither is it to blindly follow some crude ascetic concept of religious purity by banning and avoiding all recreational substances. If such a thing could be summarised, we might say that it’s closer to taking the correct decision in every situation, despite the pressures and temptations to take the wrong one.

Some might argue that people have more important things to do than to use cannabis. That’s all well and good, but it isn’t a sufficient argument to make cannabis illegal. It’s entirely possible that some people use cannabis when they could have been doing something more edifying or productive. This would still not constitute a moral demand to attack these people through the criminal justice system.

Others might argue that the moral imperative lies not with the prospective cannabis user, but with society, who ought to act to make cannabis less widely available. But this, too, is an example of putting abstract rules ahead of a sober calculation of which legal arrangement leads to the least suffering. Punishing cannabis suppliers and users cannot be the way forward.

It can hardly be argued that setting the Police and the criminal justice system onto someone for growing or using cannabis is the morally correct thing to do. The effect of being arrested and potentially dragged through court is more suffering than could ever possibly be prevented by breaking a cannabis habit. If moral considerations are important, then we need to look for a less brutal solution.

The most morally sophisticated way of dealing with cannabis is to make it legal, and to use some of the money freed up by this to fix any problem that might arise. It is estimated that legalising cannabis could save even a small country like New Zealand up to $500 million per year. This would provide ample funding to every drug counselling service in the whole country.

If this was coupled with a cultural change that saw cannabis dependency treated like dependency for legal drugs, instead of a moral failure for which one must be punished, it might be possible to encourage people who were dependent to get help instead of intending to force them away from cannabis by using the Police and prisons. If there is a moral argument around cannabis, that is surely the solution.

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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.

India in New Zealand 2019, First ODI Preview

Having defeated the victorious finalists of the previous World Cup in a 3-match ODI series in Australia earlier this month, the Indian cricket juggernaut now sets its sights on the Black Caps. They will contest a 5-match series beginning tomorrow at 3pm in Napier, which will tell us a lot about how the respective teams match up before the World Cup in England this winter.

The market is expecting a close encounter, with the Black Caps currently paying $2.34 on BetFair to India’s $1.72. India and New Zealand are ranked 2nd and 3rd in the world respectively in ODIs right now, so the series promises to be a heavyweight clash. Both sides will be looking to fine-tune their XIs before the World Cup.

For the Black Caps, there are three major questions to be settled.

The first relates to the form of Colin Munro at the top of the order. The Black Caps have persisted with Munro at the top in the hope that he could replicate his T20 form there. In that format he is one of the world’s best openers, but in ODIs he only averages 26, and 23 from his last 30 matches. In T20Is he averages 33 at a strike rate of 161, and the plan is for him to do what Brendon McCullum did in 2015.

If Munro stays, the Black Caps have a settled top order of Munro, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor. This will be a good enough top order to mount a serious challenge at the World Cup. If Munro is not selected, they might bring in another hitter such as Glenn Phillips, or (more likely) move Latham up from 5, which would bring with it its own questions.

The second question relates to the middle order, in particular positions 5, 6 and 7.

To some extent, the answer to this question depends on the first. If it is decreed that Munro is good enough as Guptill’s opening partner, then Tom Latham bats 5 and keeps wicket. The question then becomes whether the Black Caps choose a hitter like Henry Nicholls at 6, or an all-rounder like Jimmy Neesham. Nicholls’s blazing 124* off 80 in the Black Caps’ last outing against Sri Lanka may have secured him this spot, because such innings will be necessary in England.

If they choose Nicholls at 6, then it becomes necessary to play an all-rounder at 7. This will be either Neesham or, more likely, Colin de Grandhomme. If Munro is not favoured at the top of the innings, then Latham will move up to opener, with Nicholls moving up to 5 and then probably Neesham and de Grandhomme at 6 and 7, which would give captain Williamson a range of bowling options.

The third question relates to Trent Boult’s new ball partner. That Boult is the premier bowler in the country is not contested: he has taken 89 wickets at an average of 26 since the 2015 Cricket World Cup. He will lead the attack in England and the only question is who will partner him.

Until recently, Tim Southee had a lock on the position. This was a combination of incumbency and reward for his outstanding performances in the 2015 tournament. But he has averaged 44 with the ball since then, having only taken 48 wickets in 43 matches. He seems to have fallen out of favour with the selectors as well, having seemingly been dropped for recent matches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The position of Boult’s partner now appears to be a two-horse race between Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson. Until recently, Henry would have had a solid grasp on the position. He has 71 ODI wickets at just under 27, and was once ranked as high as the 7th best ODI bowler in the world. He only played 6 ODIs in 2017 and 2018 combined, however, and some feel that Lockie Ferguson has already surpassed him.

Ferguson continues to impress as well – he only has 45 ODI wickets but has taken them at an average of 24. Either he or Henry would be hot for the position of Boult’s partner, with Tim Southee’s variations possibly enough to see him take the third seamer’s spot. It might be that Henry is the better new ball choice and Ferguson the better choice in the death overs, so they might both be selected.

Predicted XI for tomorrow:

  1. Guptill
  2. Munro
  3. Williamson
  4. Taylor
  5. Latham
  6. Nicholls
  7. Neesham
  8. Santner
  9. Henry
  10. Ferguson
  11. Boult

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Dan McGlashan is the man with his finger on the pulse of New Zealand culture. His book, Understanding New Zealand, 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: Reform Would Not Send The Wrong Message to the Children

One of the usual reasons trotted out for opposing cannabis law reform is that it “wouldn’t send the right message to the kids”. This was the statement that John Key frequently made to the media when pressed on the subject. As this article will examine, however, this thought-terminating cliche also attitude is mistaken.

It might sound laughable, but there are many in the New Zealand Government who believe that their personal conduct sets an example for the rest of the country to follow. These deluded fools genuinely believe that the young people of the nation look to them as an example of integrity, honesty and correct conduct. So detached from the people are they, that they are entirely unaware of the contempt in which they are held.

Some of these egomaniacs are afraid that making any move on cannabis law reform would “send the wrong message to the kids”. By this, they think that liberalising the cannabis laws will lead to a spate of young people taking up cannabis use as a habit, on account of that their elders had sent them the message that it was okay.

Leaving aside the obvious retort that this would actually be a good thing if it stopped those young people from doing as much alcohol or synthetic drugs, there are a number of reasons to think that this reasoning is illogical.

For one thing, the message that the politicians appear to be sending by example of their conduct is one of alcohol, tobacco and sleaze. If they are the ones setting the standards for the young to follow, then we can look forward to many decades of boozing, bribery, infidelity, dishonesty, backstabbing and all manner of petty quibbling and bitching.

For another thing, we have to ask ourselves if prohibition itself is actually a good message to be sending out.

The message that the Government seems to be sending by enforcing cannabis prohibition is that the best way to deal with drug problems is by putting people in cages. If someone has a drug dependency of some kind, the way to help them is not by giving them medical care, but by physically forcing them into a cage full of rapists, murderers and thieves.

They seem to be telling people that empathy and compassion don’t factor into government decisions, and that they are more than happy to brutally force citizens to conform to arbitrary laws, even when those same citizens don’t consent to them. Your body is the property of the Government, and they can do what they want with it, including put it in a cage if you use a medicine they don’t approve of.

Worse, they’re also sending the message that science, logic and reason don’t factor into government decisions. The Government is happy to go along with foreign mass hysteria about reefer madness, and thinks it acceptable to force laws onto New Zealanders on the grounds that they have been introduced overseas, with no consideration given to the science or to the need for evidence.

Perhaps the worst message of all has been that sent by Parliamentarians who have ignored all the letters and emails they have received from their constituents about cannabis law reform. For decades, Kiwis have been entreating their Parliamentarians to do something about cannabis prohibition, knowing how much access to cannabis medicine would improve their life quality. And for decades, those Parliamentarians did nothing – the vast majority too cowardly to even raise a peep.

By ignoring the will of the people for cannabis reform, the Government is sending the message that it’s acceptable for the Government to impose whatever arbitrary laws it likes on the population, even without that population’s consent, and then to ignore them when they complain about the suffering caused. This is far more of a danger than the risk of Parliamentarians sending the message that it’s okay to use cannabis.

If the Government is truly concerned about the message that their conduct sends to the people, they ought to legalise cannabis today, and make an apology for all the suffering their actions caused by waging a War on Drugs against their own people. This would send a message of humility, integrity and contrition – much better than imprisoning people for using a substance that the New Zealand people think should be legal.

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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.

Esoteric Aotearoanism

If the Spear of Destiny ever comes to New Zealand, we ought to be ready to receive it. To that end, we can act to attract it, by employing the Law of Attraction. We can do that by promoting a cultural movement that recognised the excellence of New Zealand and our future greatness. This essay describes a mystical tradition that could serve these ends: Esoteric Aotearoanism.

Elementary alchemy has it that if one combines masculine and feminine in the right manner, one achieves a combination that is greater than the mere sum of its parts. By combining the feminine clay and the masculine iron, it’s possible to get silver, an element neither feminine nor masculine but somehow both, and not just both but the correct proportion of both.

This is represented in Taoism by the Taijitu, which combines the white yang and the black yin to create a shape that has a life of its own, one that tells a story. The energy, light and life of the yang projects itself into the darkness of the yin, which in turn follows the yang in devotion. The result is a spiral that turns for eternity.

Esoteric Aotearoanism tells a similar story. This story is represented in the flag of Esoteric Aotearoanism, which consists of three vertical stripes: the leftmost white, the rightmost black, and the central one silver. It is crucial to note here that the central band is silver, and not grey, because the combination of the two parts has created something more valuable than their mere summation.

The opening degree of Esoteric Aotearoanism is that the Esoteric Aotearoan flag represents the nation of New Zealand in the Kiwi people. 

The white is yang, which represents the British. This is not just because the British are white, but also because they are orderly. The British came from the West and therefore the leftmost third of the flag is white. It is from there that the energy and organisation to create the institutions of New Zealand came.

The black is yin, which represents the Maoris. As with the British, this does not simply reflect skin colour, but rather a vital, invigorating passion. Because the Maoris come from the East, the black occupies the rightmost third of the flag. It is from there that the soul of the nation comes, and how we get direction to differentiate ourselves from the globohomo masses (and from Australia in particular).

The silver stripe represents New Zealand, the space where those two ingredients meet, and where they combine to become something more valuable than either. The yang is bright but unyielding; the yin is gentle but dull. Together they are colourful, and shine as silver. As silver is more valuable than either iron or clay, so too is the combination of British and Maori more valuable than either alone.

The silver stripe also represents those who have come together under the silver fern, because they have acted to create something that is greater than either the British or the Maori components. It signifies that what we have of greatest value is that which comes from the land here. It’s not what we imported from Britain or from Polynesia – it’s what we have created ourselves here, according to the direction of our own wills and of the spirit of the nation.

It’s also a reminder that our future lies in the unity of these two forces.

Sir Apirana Ngata hinted at Esoteric Aoteraroanism being the way forward when he said:

Ko to ringa ki ngā rakau a te Pākehā

Ko to ngakau ki nga taonga a o tipuna Māori

Ko tō wairua ki to Atua

In English this means “Your hands to the tools of the Pakeha, your heart to the treasures of your Maori ancestors, your spirit to God.” The sentiment behind this was that we ought to take the best of both worlds. Both the Maori and the European world brought things that were good and things that were bad. We can take the best of both, and leave the worst of both.

This leads naturally into the teaching of the second degree of Esoteric Aotearoanism, in which the various qualities contributed by the British and the Maori are mapped onto the four masculine elements.

The clay represents the Maori. This is because he is vital and passionate, but has a dark side of sometimes expressing unrestrained violence. He is soft and likes to share, but this can sometimes lead to a lack of discipline.

The iron represents the Briton. This is because he is hard and disciplined, but has a dark side of sometimes being cruel. He is orderly but can sometimes be hard-headed, unforgiving and pedantic.

The silver also represents the Briton (this conception of silver is related to, but separate from, the conception of silver in the first degree). This is because his scientific and technological prowess made it possible for New Zealand to become wealthy and prosperous, and for us to defend ourselves without need for submission.

The gold also represents the Maori. Like the clay, the Maori is soft, but he is also colourful. This represents spirituality and an understanding of the world beyond. The Briton is intelligent but he is spiritually ignorant. The realm of gold is where New Zealanders connect to God, and the Maoris, particularly those with an enthusiasm for cannabis or psilocybe wereroa, have a vital role to play here.

Esoteric Aotearoanism considers it a tragedy for a Kiwi to identify as either a white person or a Maori. This would be like denying one of your parents. It’s a small-minded and petty thing to do. That sort of solipsistic narcissism will lead to the nation tearing itself apart down the centre. To identify as one and repudiate the other is an idiocy that is promoted by the enemies of this nation.

In reality, Kiwis are already so intermixed that as many as a quarter of us are some kind of Northern European-Polynesian hybrid. It is this sort of person – not Maoris – that is unique to these isles, the true tangata whenua. There are Europeans in Europe and Polynesians in the Pacific, but only in New Zealand can those who are a mix of the two truly say that they have a home.

This leads onto the third degree of Esoteric Aotearoanism, which deals with the future of the two contributors to Aotearoa. The fact is that white people and Maoris are interbreeding at an extremely high rate, and therefore will eventually mix into one people, who are not separated by category but only by degree. Even then, it will not be a degree of value but simply a degree of proportion of yin or yang.

This people will be a true Kiwi people, and they will best be able to channel the best of the yang and the best of the yin to create something truly precious. Many of them will be among the most excellent individuals on Earth on account of hybrid vigour. There are already plenty of examples of this, such as Buck Shelford, Shane Bond, Michael Jones and (allegedly) Dan Carter.

In all, Esoteric Aotearoanism is a new narrative for a new century, one that repudiates the nation fighting against itself, and one that encourages the nation coming together to embellish the strengths and ameliorate the weaknesses of its constituent parts. This is a narrative that, if supported, can bring peace and prosperity to all Kiwis.

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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: The Punishment Does Not Fit the Crime

Proportional sentencing is supposed to be a fundamental tenet of our justice system. When a person causes suffering to another, they are given a proportionate amount of suffering intended to discourage: we are told that “the punishment should fit the crime”. As this article will argue, the punishment for cannabis offences is not commensurate with the nature of the crime.

The maximum penalty for possession of cannabis is three months imprisonment, as established by Section 7 of the Misuse of Drugs Act. Most Kiwis can intuitively understand that this is massively disproportionate to any harm caused by the act of cannabis possession, but this law is on the books, and has been for over 40 years without being repealed.

Some might counter here with the fact that essentially no-one gets sentenced to prison for cannabis possession nowadays. This counter-argument misses two essential points.

The first is obvious: if no-one goes to prison for cannabis possession anymore, on account of that society has “moved on” and no longer considers cannabis possession a crime, then it’s an obsolete law. If it’s an obsolete law, then we ought to strike it from the books.

The second is that people still go to prison for cannabis cultivation, which is not any more of a crime than cannabis possession is. Brian Borland was given four years and nine months imprisonment for unrepentantly growing cannabis – an incredible punishment if one considers that no-one was harmed by his actions.

Some people were outraged by the sentence given to Devonte Mulitalo, an Auckland youth worker who groomed and sexually assaulted a 12-year old girl, coercing her to perform sex acts on him. He was given ten months home detention. Many thought this sentence was too light, and in comparison to Borland’s sentence it seems obscene.

Takaka resident Alicia Fulcher-Poole was given three and half years in prison for killing someone while driving high on methamphetamine. It’s incredible that reckless disregard for human life resulting in a death can receive a less severe penalty from the system than growing a medicine without permission. But this is the state of our “justice” system.

It’s apparent to almost everyone that 52 months imprisonment for growing cannabis is a ludicrously disproportionate punishment, when the total suffering caused by growing cannabis is compared to the suffering caused by killing someone through reckless use of a motor vehicle. Even if one assumes the most uncharitable interpretation of Borland’s motives, he didn’t kill anyone.

Borland’s sentence was getting up towards the maximum end of the scale, which is seven years imprisonment. This is a heavier sentence than the sentences that are routinely given out for killing people in motor vehicle accidents.

Moreover, the effect of having a criminal record lasts longer than the sentence, and sometimes much longer. Branding someone a criminal – even if there is such as thing as the Clean Slate Act – is to consign them to a lower class of citizen, one that is precluded from many opportunities that normal people take for granted.

Even a measly cannabis possession conviction is enough to prevent someone from being allowed to enter a variety of countries, most notoriously America. Neither will it be straightforward to work as a Police officer, teacher or other Government employee. This is a heavy, heavy punishment just for being caught in possession of a medicinal flower.

This loss of travel and employment opportunity is enough to significantly lower the quality of a person’s life. Getting involved with cannabis should never mean that a person is consigned to live as a lower class of citizen for the rest of their lives. This is a level of arbitrary cruelty that borders on barbarism.

Cannabis prohibition should be lifted because it’s not right to have such brutal punishments for actions that do not cause suffering. It makes a mockery of the supposed proportionality of the justice system. Using the criminal justice system to deal with cannabis is an absurd over-reaction to something that doesn’t harm others.

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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.