Gareth Morgan showed that he is a cut above the rest of the megalomaniacs who would be king by actually changing his stance on cannabis law reform in response to the wishes of his supporters. This by itself is curious (some are calling the phenomenon “democracy”), but not as curious as the reaction.
The Greens’ health spokeswoman, Julie Anne Genter, responded to the news of Morgan’s intrusion into her political niche like a mother cat protecting her litter.
She made a social media post belittling the capacity of The Opportunity Party to enact reform, calling it “some tiny new political party”, and accused them of planning to be “working with National”.
This marks the first time, ever, that politicians in New Zealand have acted like medicinal cannabis users were normal people whose rights were worth defending.
The usual approach, the English-Little-Peters-Shaw approach, is to stand aside and let medicinal cannabis users die for fear of losing votes from people who want to kill them.
If the politicians, the shallowest of shallow whores, are competing for cannabis law reform votes, then it’s fair to say that the cracks in the dam are appearing and that it’s time for those downstream to evacuate.
The next move will be a leader of a big four party stating on the record that cannabis prohibition is unjust. Any consideration of compensation will be out of the question, because to raise the point suggests that politicians can be held accountable for their crimes against the people, but someone might suggest that medicinal cannabis even be subsidised like other medicines.
Maybe one day a politician will do a medicinal cannabis user the honour of having a photo taken with them.
The ridiculous thing will be that, when all of this happens, the politiwhore in question will try to give the impression that they are bravely leading the charge, even though the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party was saying what Julie Anne Genter is now saying since 1996 – 21 years ago.
It’s taken 21 years to even get this far, where there are so many as two second-tier politicians calling for cannabis law reform. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another 21 for a leader of one of the big four parties to find the courage to say something.
Probably the next advance for cannabis law reform in New Zealand will be for someone in the ACT or Labour parties to champion the issue. Damian O’Connor has already dipped a nervous toe in the water, and if he sees the centrist Morgan take up the issue he could well interpret that as a green light to go further.
The reason why ANZAC Day is so important to the nations of Australia and New Zealand was that it was the day we became aware of exactly how little regard we were held by the British commanders. It was therefore the day we decided to look to ourselves for self-regard: the birth of the national consciousness.
This is why ANZAC Day is celebrated to the degree that it is in both New Zealand and Australia even today, a century after the landings at ANZAC Cove.
The day marks the moment that we decided we were good enough to stand on our own merits as New Zealand and Australia, and not merely as colonies of Britain, because the British did not hold us in the regard we deserved.
The difficulty is this – a century later, our own leaders, despite being elected from among ourselves, treat us with equally little regard. In fact, our own leaders treat us so poorly that we’re now doing worse than many of the countries we have defeated in war within the past century.
Germany and Japan today both have a higher standard of living than the Anglosphere – their defeat in World War Two made it possible to clean out the entrenched corruption in the political systems of these countries, laying the foundation for socio-economic success.
Contrast that to the West, where the victory of World War Two was taken as a sign that God had blessed us. Not only were we correct, but our entire social order was perfect, right down to the degree to which labour relations favoured capital interests.
The symbol of ANZAC Day is the poppy, the reason being that the poppy is used to make morphine, and morphine was raised to an almost holy status after World War One because for an injured soldier its administration was like a gift from heaven.
For the soldiers who risked so much to bring freedom to people, and who felt first-hand the degree to which medicine can prevent human misery, it must be a bitter pill to swallow that the governments they fought for are putting their descendants in cages for exercising their right to use medicinal plants.
In much the same way that morphine brought relief to those whose bodies had been shattered by bullets and shrapnel, other plant medicines bring relief to those whose minds have been shattered by abuse and neglect.
Cannabis is now legal in 29 American states as a recognised medicine, including for post-traumatic stress disorder, the mental illness that the ANZACs would have called shellshock. But the New Zealand Government will not even discuss changing the cannabis laws here.
MDMA is also being currently trialled after showing promise in treating PTSD, psilocybin is currently being trialled after showing promise in treating death anxiety, ibogaine is currently being trialled after showing promise in treating drug addiction and ayahuasca is currently being trialled after showing promise in treating depression. But anyone using any of these plant medicines in New Zealand risks getting put in a cage for many years by the Government.
It’s hardly plausible that the men that signed up to fight Hitler did so to protect a political system that would put their grandchildren in cages for using medicinal cannabis. Yet, here we are. We would have more freedom today if the ANZACs had shot a few of their own politicians.
The lesson of ANZAC Day is this. Never, ever follow the dictates of people who claim to rule you and who claim to be in charge of you, no matter how urgent the need is claimed to be, no matter how many flags they wave, no matter what authority they claim to be speaking with, no matter how malicious the enemy is claimed to be, no matter how much jeering, threatening, mocking, insulting and coercing they do.
Anyone who is not willing to treat you as an equal is your enemy.
It’s obvious by now that New Zealand politicians have completely lost all control of the drug laws. From the legal highs circus to the disaster that was the Psychoactive Substances Act to the obstinate refusal to even discuss medicinal cannabis, we all know that they’ve lost the plot.
So when we get rid of them, we might as well get rid of their whole rotten system (founded on lies) and start from scratch, basing our drug policy on scientific evidence instead of the hysteria, primitive superstition and vicious envy that has characterised the standard approach until now.
If we start from scratch, what would our system of drug laws, restrictions and prohibitions look like?
This article suggests that the best model would be to have a system of different classes of license to purchase different classes of drugs.
This would operate much like the current system for licensing of motor vehicles. In the same way that anyone wishing to operate a motorcycle must demonstrate competence in a different set of skills to someone wishing to operate a regular car, so too does anyone wishing to use a drug safely need to understand various sets of skills relating to the class of drug.
For example, tobacco is a very safe drug in terms of how difficult it is to overdose (basically impossible) and how long it takes heavy use to kill you (several decades on average). So getting a license to buy tobacco would be very simple. Probably little more than demonstrating an awareness of the effects of tobacco and how to get help if they feel they are addicted.
Methamphetamine, on the other hand, is not so safe. It is very easy to use methamphetamine in a way that inadvertently leads to health problems.
So getting a license to use recreational methamphetamine might be more like getting a helicopter license – it may take a few years, it may require character references, it may require an absence of prior criminal convictions, it may require that the individual’s methamphetamine use is accounted for by a pharmacist who would notice a creeping addiction etc.
If anything, requiring a license to drink alcohol would make more sense than anything else. For one thing, people already have to prove that they are 18 years of age or older before they can buy alcohol, so having to have an alcohol license would not be an extra hassle.
For another – and this is the major advantage – an alcohol license would make it much easier for the justice system to deal with alcohol-related misbehaviour: simply take the alcohol license away.
Drunk in charge of a motor vehicle? Loss of alcohol license and driver’s license. Drunk and bash someone over the head for a laugh? Loss of alcohol license and a fine or imprisonment. Drinking yourself to death and your GP knows he’s watching you die? Loss of alcohol license and the option of an addiction management course.
As it stands currently, you can get drunk, bash someone, get a suspended sentence because prison for common assault is considered a bit heavy, and then be back on the piss that afternoon.
Curiously, there is already an example of such a thing in Polynesia: alcohol licenses in Tonga.
If one imagines a system in which a person could use basically whatever drug they wanted as long as they could complete a reasonable, objective, intelligently-designed series of tasks that demonstrated competency to use it with a minimum of negative externalities on society, it seems so much better than the stupidity we now have.
It would also bring some respect back for the mental health services, as it is currently impossible to have any when they lie to their patients about the medicinal value of various drugs: it would be impossible to get away with telling such lies under an evidence-based system.
This would also circumvent other problems, such as the potential for drug tourism. People who come on short visits to New Zealand won’t have drug licenses, and Kiwis will be reluctant to use their licenses to buy drugs because, if caught, they would lose them.
Such a system of licensing would make it much easier to correctly respond to societal health and crime problems than the current “destroy the drug user” model.
The Polish Intelligence Defence, as described by Ben C. Vidgen in State Secrets [Second Edition now available for purchase!], is based around the idea of explicitly not keeping secrets. The concept is mentioned in the introduction of book but, cryptically, is not explained until the last chapter.
The essence of it is, as Vidgen puts it, “The Polish collected secrets pretty much off everyone, which they then promptly turned around and pretty much well gave away to everyone.”
Note that this does not involve being selective about telling some secrets and keeping others, otherwise known as the tendency to employ half-truths. The Polish Intelligence Defence relies on keeping no secrets, no matter whose.
If you don’t have secrets, then no-one has secrets!
VJM Publishing operates on a similar principle. Our objective is to bring knowledge to those who have seen beyond – and neither do we benefit from keeping secrets.
An eternal war exists between the force of truth and the force of lies: and VJM Publishing stands ready to serve as armourer. Understand, however, that we have no interest in telling you what the truth is. We are merely offering tools that can be used to distinguish truth from lies, and instructions on how to use them.
As Vidgen writes, “This modern interpretation of the term intelligence, with its obsession for secrecy, has taken over the entire purpose with which a nation has/or should have an intelligence service in the first place.”
After all, the purpose of a national intelligence service should not be to keep from the people the secrets of the Government (and this is what State Secrets is about). If anything, it is about keeping the people safe from all enemies, without or within.
Likewise, the purpose of a publishing company should not be to act as a mouthpiece for any special interest that wants to shove their propaganda into the mainstream consciousness, as immensely profitable as that may be.
The purpose of a publishing company should be to bring knowledge to people – if a person is willing to pay money for a book then making the trade a fair one necessitates that they are given a useful piece of knowledge in exchange.
VJM Publishing is proud to release a second, revised edition of State Secrets, for the reason that it is a book that tells a story New Zealand needs to hear. As described in the Second Edition Foreword, State Secrets was (and is) a very insightful book, not just for the details of what was happening on the ground but also for the noted trends that continued.
We believe that, if presented with the right information honesty and without a slant or agenda, people are naturally intelligent enough to make correct decisions. As a result, we agree with the spirit of the Polish Intelligence Service. Indeed, as an underground publisher, it is in our interests to.
The hope is that publication of the second edition of State Secrets will increase the standard of political discussion and debate in this country – something which is terribly and tragically lacking.
Indeed, it could be argued that the abysmal quality of political debate and analysis in New Zealand is the result of a deliberate attempt by certain forces to destroy our political culture and to retard our intellectual development through any and all forms of media.
The paperback version of the second edition of State Secrets is now available for sale! BUY IT HERE!
At a critical crossroads in New Zealand history, VJM Publishing has released the second edition of New Zealand best seller State Secrets by author Ben Vidgen. Read retrospectively, the 1999 book is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand what is now happening in the country known as Aotearoa.
State Secrets correctly forecast the emergence of major threats to New Zealand national security (and its status as a genuinely democratic state). Threats which come from the rise of multinational trade blocs intent on accessing New Zealand’s considerable natural resources.
The agents of these threats, Vidgen maintains, are supported by neoliberal political elements within and outside New Zealand’s own Government, such as its media structure, quick to take advantage of the simultaneous rise of a highly dangerous violent criminal class within New Zealand.
The 1999 book argues the rise of organised crime in New Zealand is nothing less than a second front in an economic war being deliberately waged on New Zealand sovereignty by those who seek to end New Zealand democratic traditions from the shadows.
For example, State Secrets demonstrates how large scale money laundering and white collar tax evasion was rife long before New Zealand was named in the Panama Tax haven bank scandal more than 60,000 times in 2016. State Secrets argued, well ahead of the mainstream pundits, that New Zealand’s role as the largest “washing machine” in the South Pacific was having an impact on the housing market and the New Zealand way of life.
Viewed in hindsight, the analysis – written by a veteran New Zealand investigator, with a research background in academic political science and New Zealand military intelligence – was dead on the bulls-eye every time.
State Secrets forecast the failure of the war on drugs, predicting a massive surge in the meth trade, financed by white collar businessmen, being simultaneously tied to the super escalated growth of American styled super gangs. A claim then considered unlikely but now indisputable for anyone who read the headlines today.
State Secrets correctly assessed that the collateral damage of this ‘evolution’ of New Zealand organised crime would serve to make lower socio-economic communities dysfunctional and would disempower swathes of the wider population as its impact overwhelmed the capacity of our health, education, social services and correctional services – in the process conveniently enhancing the argument for privatisation.
State Secrets identifies the enemy within: a neoliberal American and New Zealand Business Round Table alliance who today can be found to have dug their fingers deep into all sides of the New Zealand Parliament (and increasingly the state judiciary and security forces), the political spectrum, and even its underbelly.
It is driven by the motives of those addicted to the lust for absolute power and maximum profit. Forces seduced, as State Secrets forecast, pre 9/11, by the largely self-made (self-armed) bogey monster of terrorism.
The enemy within chooses to ignore dealing with the real threats New Zealand faces by placing control on foreign investment and New Zealand, notoriously relaxing banking and company law.
Instead it seeks to opportunistically erode New Zealand civil liberties and strengthen a transformative State: one full of secrets which has broken its covenant with the people, serving a corporate master at the expense of the rest of New Zealand.
If one assumes without the need for elaboration that withholding medicine from a sick person is a very cruel thing to do, then it’s incredible that so little attention is being given to the fact that medicinal cannabis is being withheld from sick Kiwis even today. This article tries to estimate how many of us this policy is killing.
One way that National Party cannabis policy is killing New Zealanders is by withholding from them a medical alternative to opioids. A 2015 Boston Herald article describes how doctors in more enlightened jurisdictions use cannabis as an exit drug for people struggling with opioid addiction.
A doctor in the report is quoted as saying “patients have decreased and even eliminated their opioids” when presented with an alternative in the form of cannabis.
A paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that overdose deaths from prescription opioids decreased by 25% in states that legalised medicinal cannabis.
The reason was that patients who had access to medicinal cannabis used it either as a substitute or as a compliment to opioids, which had the effect of sharply reducing their overall opioid intake and thereby fatal outcomes.
According to the New Zealand Drug Foundation, 37 Kiwis die of opioid overdoses every year.
If medicinal cannabis would save a quarter of them, as it does in the USA, then Bill English’s refusal to legalise cannabis is killing about nine Kiwis every year simply on the basis of lost opportunity to prevent opioid deaths.
An article in the American Public Journal of Health found that legalising medicinal cannabis reduced suicide rates by 5%. The reasons for this are really obvious if you are one of the many people who has used cannabis to treat your own depression or suicidal ideation.
As a professional medical researcher would put it: “The negative relationship between legalization and suicides among young men is consistent with the hypothesis that marijuana can be used to cope with stressful life events.”
Most people who use cannabis do so to relax, to chill out – “to cope with stressful life events”. Given that, it’s obvious that withholding from people a medicine that helps them cope with stressful life events is going to kill them.
New Zealand is famous for our youth suicide rates, second highest in the OECD for both males and females.
So given what we know about the ability of cannabis to prevent anxiety and stress-based suicidal actions, it’s safe to say that Bill English is responsible for the deaths of 5% of New Zealand’s suicide toll, which is believed to be around 500 per year.
In other words, the National Party’s refusal to update New Zealand’s cannabis laws is arguably causing the deaths of around 25 Kiwis every year to preventable suicide.
The major way that cannabis prohibition is killing New Zealanders, however, is by withholding from us a recreational alternative to booze. A 2010 Coroner’s report found that alcohol directly killed 1,100 Kiwis in the preceding decade – or 110 a year.
This does not refer to deaths from complications caused by alcoholism or excessive drinking – this figure would be orders of magnitude larger. This figure of 110 is the average number of Kiwis who drink themselves to death in one session every year.
It’s unclear how many of these people would still be alive if they had been allowed an alternative to alcohol. A 2005 study referenced in a landmark MedScape paper suggested “most people use alcohol to achieve certain psychological effects, and that they will choose equally effective substitutes as long as they are available, legal and socially acceptable.”
Perhaps 10% of the 110 Kiwis who drink themselves to death every year would still be with us if they had had cannabis available and/or legal (the fact that it is already socially acceptable in New Zealand is unquestionable).
This gives us a grand total of 45 Kiwis killed every year from the refusal of Bill English and his National Party to update the medicinal cannabis laws (9 from opioid overdose, 25 from suicide and 11 from drinking themselves to death).
That means that the death of one New Zealander every eight days could be prevented at the stroke of a pen by tomorrow lunchtime.
It’s incredible that New Zealanders continue to accept that their ruling class is literally killing them with laws that starkly have no place in a compassionate and humane society.