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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

The Golden Right, or The Masculine Aspect of the Precious Right

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

The Case For Cannabis: Fears of A ‘Big Cannabis’ Lobby Are Overblown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

The Case For Cannabis: Amotivational Syndrome Is Not Reason To Prohibit Cannabis

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

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

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

However, there is such a thing as amotivational syndrome.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ardern Is Only In Power Because National Was Shit

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

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

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

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

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

But they couldn’t even do this!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

The Case For Cannabis: Other Acceptable Drugs Are More Harmful

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

It’s Okay To Be Whatever You Naturally Are

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

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

This is VJM Publishing’s take on it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to read the five acceptances of alt-centrism

The Case For Cannabis: Prohibition Harms Social Cohesion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Slave Morality in 2019

Some people have made the assumption that, because Christian morals have faded from the zeitgeist in recent decades, Nietzschean concepts like slave/master morality are no longer relevant. As this essay will examine, this is not only wrong but the opposite of the truth. Slave morality, in 2019, is more influential than ever before.

The slave/master morality dichotomy comes from The Genealogy of Morals. In this book, Nietzsche outlined the distinction between the master morality that arises in a state of Nature, which divides the world into good and bad, and the slave morality that arises after civilisation and which divides the world into good and evil, with the evil being the same as the good of the master.

Understanding slave morality is to understand resentment: the man with slave mentality resents the man with master morality, and seeks to bring him down. This resentment is the emotion that arises when the ego cannot get consensual reality to conform to its will, as a slave cannot. Resentment is, therefore, the natural consequence of weakness, whether that weakness be physical, emotional, intellectual or spiritual.

One major problem with the modern world is that it is heavily overpopulated. We are coming up to 8,000,000,000 human inhabitants on this planet. This means that the vast bulk of us have effectively no influence over the course of the world, or even over our own lives. We can only move around in small boxes built by other people.

The result is that there are now previously unheard of levels of resentment in our society. This resentment has found a florid range of expression.

Social Justice Warrior culture is one of most apparent examples. The resentment of the weak can be clearly heard in the cries about privilege and oppression. The mantra of SJW culture is that whoever has power is automatically the bad guy in any conflict against someone with less power. The intention of SJWs is the same as that of the slave moralist: to rip down anyone strong and call them evil.

As Ted Kaczynski pointed out in Industrial Society and Its Future, these impulses on the part of the leftist can’t ever be satisfied. Their passion to change the world comes from the resentment of being stupid and ignorant, and this doesn’t go away no matter who they destroy. So every time they succeed in destroying someone, they simply move on to the next target.

Therefore, as long as resentment exists, there will be Social Justice Warrior culture. This culture will, like slave moralities everywhere, try and destroy anyone who is happy. SJW culture chooses to do this by calling them bigots, Nazis and racists, and declaring that all good in their lives is privilege that has been stolen from someone else.

Related to SJW culture is ethnomasochism. This is when a person derives a particular kind of thrill from running down their own people. In the same way that a regular masochist will tell his dominatrix that everything he does is wrong, so does the ethnomasochist declare that the history of his people is littered with acts of irredeemable evil.

This ethnomasochism is related to the Holocaust religion, in the sense that it posits a white boogeyman whose excessive in-group favouritism has brought terrible suffering and evil to the world. In the quasi-religious context of ethnomasochism, ‘sin’ is replaced with ‘racism’, which has to be beaten out of society by ripping down anyone who suggests it’s okay to be white.

The resentment of the ethnomasochist leads them to destroy their own nation through support for things like open borders and the mass immigration of Muslims and Africans. The paradoxical fact that they derive a sense of control from this can be explained by comparing the mentality to someone who cuts their own arms: if one must suffer, then at least one can learn to suffer on demand.

Trans culture is a third example. Many men who have found that they don’t come up to the mark as men, i.e. men who women are not naturally attracted to, also find that they can get more attention if they pretend to be women. This is particularly common among men who are physical weaklings. This behaviour mimics a mental illness known as gender dysphoria.

The fundamental motivation for many of these people is to destroy the legitimate enjoyment that normal people get out of natural interactions between masculine and feminine. They want to destroy the natural concept of both “man” and “woman” so that healthy people who fit into these roles cannot enjoy them. A generation ago, homosexuality filled this social niche, but today it’s no longer shocking enough to do so.

Already trans culture has had enough of an impact to make it difficult for quality women to find a man worth being devoted to. By continuing to delegitimise and denormalise healthy expressions of masculinity and femininity, those who promote trans culture find expression for their resentment by destroying the natural and the beautiful.

The inability to understand the importance of free speech or the right to self-defence is yet another example. When a person with slave mentality gets into power, as has happened in New Zealand with the ascension of Jacinda Ardern to the Prime Minister’s position, they are liable to strip these rights away from the populace.

This is made possible by the resentment of the dumb and boring conformists who have nothing interesting to say. Slaves don’t care about the erosion of free speech because they have nothing to say worth listening to, and therefore are not impacted by the loss of an ability to speak, any more than the average person would be impacted by a ban on professional boxing.

People with slave morality don’t understand the desire of master moralists to have the ability to defend themselves either. After all, the defining feature of a slave is that he will not defend himself if he is beaten. The resentment that comes from being this weak manifests as a desire to remove other people’s ability to defend themselves.

A fifth way is the bizarre alliance with Islam. As a psychologist writing in New English Review has explained, Islam is the perfect religion for the resentful who like to see themselves as victims. It takes the same persecution mania as the other Abrahamic cults and raises it to another degree. Muslims resent the current order of the world, and so they are natural allies to the slave moralists.

Many secular Westerners with slave mentality have powerful sympathies for Islam, and can relate to a person throwing their life away in a suicide bombing. After all, the more one resents life, the less value one puts on it. As Nietzsche wrote, the slave moralist is the one who has said ‘No!’ to life, and there is no more vivid expression of this rejection of life than a suicide bombing.

The depth of the resentment can be seen by the size of the cognitive dissonance that arises when the Islamophile is asked about Islam’s attitude to women and homosexuals. Despite the brutally cruel oppression of these groups by Muslim culture, the resentment of the Islamophile is so great that all of these crimes will be swept under the carpet. In this sense, the Islamic apologist is to this generation what the Communist apologist was to the previous one.

These are merely a sample of all the various ways that slave morality expresses itself in 2019. The frightening thing is that, as the world gets more impersonal and more overpopulated, slave morality looks set to become even more influential. The only solution appears to be a massive cull, and an emptying out of the cities where this cancerous mentality has its strongholds.

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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 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.

New Zealand Still Runs on A Spoils System

There are many different kinds of corruption in the world’s various political systems. One of the most blatant is the type known as a spoils system. Although this is commonly believed to be a corrupt form of government that we have now moved past, New Zealand still runs on a spoils system, as this essay will examine.

A spoils system is when the victorious party gets to dish out government posts and gifts from the treasury as if they were the spoils of war. Like a conquering Roman legion, all the treasure and booty are piled in a big heap, and then apportioned out by the leaders to their lackeys.

When the spoils system was blatantly in play, an incoming Government would remove many of the previous Government’s supporters from any influential positions so as to install their own. Back then, there wasn’t a public taxation fund to pillage, so the spoils of victory mostly involved jobs in central Government. The position of regional postmaster was a particular favourite.

Although the New Zealand Government would like to give the impression that it fills its positions based on merit and that this merit has been determined after great thought and dutiful application of philosophy, it also runs on a spoils system.

Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter is married to a man named Peter Nunns, who is a principal economist of a transport consultancy firm named MR Cagney. Since taking power in 2017, Government spending on hiring this particular firm has leapt from around $50,000 a year to $246,000 a year, with this money coming from 18 different contracts.

Incredibly, none of these contracts were even put up for tender. The linked article lists a range of excuses for this supposed coincidence, but all of them are just red herrings. The simple fact is that MR Cagney had money being piped into it from the central government, and that the victorious Green Party increased the flow of money fivefold as soon as they were able.

Shane Jones’s $3,000,000,000 Regional Development Fund is another example of the spoils system at play. Jones found himself in charge of the treasury, helped himself to a few billions, and now he’s doling it out in exchange for future favours. Like a jolly brown Santa, he descends from the skies to bring gifts to those who have behaved correctly.

The reason why it’s purely a regional development fund is because that will best reward New Zealand First voters. According to Dan McGlashan’s Understanding New Zealand, there is a correlation of 0.60 between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and living in a rural electorate.

The only other party to come close to this is the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, at 0.40. New Zealand First is, therefore, very much the party of the countryside, and this $3 billion fund is little more than payback for the support of the countryside at the last election.

Treating New Zealand as the spoils of war is far from something the Sixth Labour Government invented to keep coalition allies onside. It didn’t matter to John Key and Bill English that over two-thirds of the country explicitly said ‘no’ to asset sales, because the majority of National voters fell into the one third who said ‘yes’. The Labour, New Zealand First and Greens voters that made up the two thirds didn’t support National, therefore didn’t get any of the spoils of the National victory.

In a sense, democracy can’t avoid being a spoils system because if the winning party doesn’t reward its voters, it may not get voted in again. The Labour Party rewards Maoris, not because they are communists, but because Maoris vote for them in great numbers: Dan McGlashan found a correlation of 0.58 between being Maori and voting for the Labour Party in 2017.

If voting for the Labour Party didn’t have some kind of payoff, perhaps people wouldn’t do so again. This is more important the more marginalised your voters are, because these are the most likely to abstain from voting. Therefore, whichever party wins the election is all but obliged to dish out the spoils to those who voted for them, because if they don’t then the other side will, and then the other side will stay in power for longer.

There are several problems with this, however. One of the most obvious is that, once it’s apparent that it’s a spoils system contested by Team Rich and Team Poor, there arises a great incentive to disenfranchise Team Poor.

There will always be more poor people than wealthy ones, and so the obvious move for the wealthy, from a game theory perspective, is to demoralise the poor so that they don’t bother to vote. Widespread use of this strategy can have a devastating effect on social cohesion, as America has demonstrated. It could be argued that it was this phenomenon that led to the rise of Hitler during the Weimar Republic.

The only way to get around this is to increase the solidarity of the nation, and the strength of the bonds between each person. This cannot be achieved until the rotten, half-collapsed structures of the previous age are finally razed to the ground. From the ashes, a true spirituality can arise, and this will inspire us to make the right moves elsewhere.

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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: Quality Control

Libertarians like to complain about government regulation, claiming that it leads to stifled innovation and more expensive products. Although this is true of mature markets, regulation for emerging markets of any good or service usually keeps cowboys out of the industry. An argument for cannabis law reform is that it would maintain a certain level of quality within cannabis products.

The black market means a lot of things. It means shady characters, violence, turf wars, unbelievable amounts of bullshit and prison sentences. It also means a variable quality of product – and this has a number of adverse consequences for people’s health.

Black market alcohol still regularly kills people in places like Norway, where legal alcohol is extremely expensive, because it doesn’t have the same quality controls as the commercial product. As a result, the person making it often has little idea of how strong their product really is. Sometimes it’s as strong as absinthe.

Despite the fact that legal alcohol still kills a lot of people, most people can understand the quality control argument against alcohol prohibition. Although legal cannabis would be much less likely than alcohol to kill people, there is still a quality control argument to be made for cannabis law reform. If one approaches the subject of cannabis law reform from a harm reduction point of view, then legalisation makes a lot more sense than prohibition.

When growing cannabis, there’s not too much that can go wrong. It’s called weed for a reason. Nevertheless, it’s still possible to grow buds that have mold on them, especially because of the fact that they are often grown indoors in moist environments, or grown outdoors in places where the rainfall can’t be controlled. This mold can easily lead to lung conditions if the bud containing it is smoked.

Much worse is that sometimes black market cannabis is sprayed with various substances that make it appear more sticky or provide more of a “hit”. This can be anything from legal highs to fly spray. It might be hard for some people to believe that anyone selling cannabis could be so unscrupulous, but that’s what people are exposed to when cannabis is on the black market. It’s complete chaos.

None of these things would happen if cannabis was commercially grown, at least not any more often than you’d buy moldy bread from the supermarket. If it ever did happen, it would trigger a review of quality control procedures at the place of manufacture, and new procedures would be put in place to make sure it didn’t happen again.

Quality control is not simply a matter of physical safety. The more science advances, the more we are coming to appreciate how many active cannabinoids there are in the cannabis plant, and how different amounts of various ones can have entirely different effects to others.

We’re starting to learn that cannabinoids like delta-9 THC, while immensely enjoyable in the right context, are not necessarily helpful from a pain relief perspective. We’re also learning that cannabinoids like CBD have a wide range of medicinal uses, but that it’s difficult to gather useful scientific data about how to prescribe them, because it’s hard to get hold of accurately calculated doses.

A regulated cannabis industry would allow for manufacturers to create products that had precise and known amounts of each ingredient cannabinoid. This would make it possible for doctors to prescribe a regular supply of the right cannabinoid at the right dose. In this context, the right dose means a dose that is strong enough to achieve the desired therapeutic effects without being so strong that it causes other problems.

Neither is quality control simply a matter of health.

Perhaps the worst examples of a lack of quality control can be found in the various ripoffs that occur on the black market. There are many elderly people who are desperate to get hold of cannabis medicine for conditions that cause them to suffer, and for who legal medicines are unsuitable. These elderly patients are then forced into the black market, and often get tricked into giving money to someone who supplies a substandard product – or even no product at all.

That vulnerable people can get ripped off to the tune of thousands of dollars by clowns who don’t know how to manufacture quality cannabis products, or by criminals who are happy to supply rubbish that doesn’t work, is one of the cruelest outcomes of cannabis prohibition. Some of these people are trying to find solace to deal with the pain of the last days of their lives, and cannabis prohibition leaves them exposed to the most exploitative elements of the black market.

This has been a common occurrence on various FaceBook groups, where old people are given a small amount of CBD oil as a sample and then asked to pay thousands for a low-grade oil that confers no therapeutic advantage. Because cannabis is illegal, these old people have no chance of getting justice through Police action. Of course, the scammers are fully aware of this, because prohibition is a criminal’s best friend.

Cannabis should be made legal so as to make sure that the cannabis that people use, and which they are going to use regardless of the law, is of an adequate quality. This will not only avoid the occasional physical illness that comes from buying black market cannabis, but it will also decrease the suffering caused by criminal activity in the cannabis market.

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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.

Is New Zealand Now A Tyranny?

In the Greco-Roman world, tyranny was defined as a form of government in which the rulers were unrestrained by laws. If the rulers are unrestrained by laws, then they are capable of inflicting any amount of cruelty upon the people, without there being any obvious way to stop them. This is widely agreed to be a terrible and evil form of government. This essay asks: is New Zealand now a tyranny?

One of the clearest examples of a tyranny is the presence of arbitrary and seemingly random punishments. New Zealand man Philip Arps is facing 14 years imprisonment for sharing a video of the Christchurch mosque shootings last month, on the grounds that the video was “objectionable content”. This is an incredible potential punishment if one consider the seven years imprisonment that Myron Robert Alf Felise got earlier this year for punching teenager Eli Holtz to death.

If New Zealand would bring in a 14-year maximum sentence for common assault or petty theft, it would be an obvious case of tyrannical overreach. So how can it be possible for them to introduce equally as severe a punishment for an action that did not harm anyone? It seems especially bizarre if one considers that New Zealanders are sharing and viewing videos of murderous terror attacks every day, but none of these are likewise criminalised.

A second example of tyrannical behaviour is the numerous laws and actions carried out by the New Zealand Government without the consent of the people, or even in cases when the people had explicitly withdrawn their consent. A current and ongoing example of these is the campaign of harassment currently being conducted by the New Zealand Police against anyone thought to be right-wing.

There are several anecdotal reports on social media about people having Police officers come to their house, often without warrants, in order to intimidate them and to gather intelligence (and one hilarious recording of such by New Zealand alt-media legend Vinny Eastwood). According to these reports, Police officers are demanding information about other right-wing people, and demanding to know if people are racists or if they supported Branton Tarrant.

One of the worst examples was what happened to Adam Holland in Queenstown (see image at top of article). Holland had two airguns and a crossbow removed from his possession on the grounds that Inspector Olaf Jensen had personally decreed Holland was “not a fit and proper person to be in possession” of such, and that “Police hold serious concerns regarding [Holland’s] mental and emotional wellbeing”.

Police officers have zero psychological education to justify any serious concern about anyone else’s wellbeing, and their whimsy is nowhere near a sufficient basis to remove possessions from a private citizen who has not used them in commission of a crime. What sort of country strips citizens of possessions on the basis of one Police officer’s judgment? How long until they take machetes and kitchen knives away?

Holland’s experience is just a further example of a process that started before the Sixth Labour Government. The Fifth National Government was happy to sell national assets, despite a referendum that explicitly declared the public unwillingness to do so, and all recent Governments have refused to acknowledge the clear public desire for cannabis law reform.

If a clear and direct expression of the public does not constrain our rulers, then what does?

A third example is the ongoing free speech violations. Justice Minister Andrew Little currently has a giant warboner over the possibility of introducing so-called “hate speech” laws, in which criticism of certain power structures becomes a criminal offence. As has been seen in Austria, where a woman was given a criminal conviction for saying that Muhammad was a pedophile, hate speech laws soon lead to the criminalisation of dissent.

The Government hasn’t started stripping our rights to speak away quite yet, because they are currently in the process of sounding out how much they think they can get away with, but the process of using propaganda to soften public resistance to such tyrannical laws is in full swing. The mainstream media is busy acclimatising the public to no longer being allowed to speak freely.

The really frightening thing is that such laws directly violate Section 14 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, which guarantee New Zealanders the right to impart opinions of any kind in any form. If the Government is not bound by the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act when taking our rights to speak away, what are they bound by? And if they are bound by nothing, as appears to be the case, then how are they any different to the literal definition of tyranny?

A fourth example is given in the image above. The Spinoff regularly runs articles attacking the enemies of the Government and making apologies for unpopular Government actions (although rarely are they so blatant as in the example above). The worrying thing is, as they admit on their company page, The Spinoff “works with NZ on Air and Creative New Zealand to fund our work” – in other words, they take Government cash to produce propaganda.

When the Government works hand-in-hand with the free press to create propaganda pieces, you don’t have a free press. In fact, the need for an authoritarian government to totally control the narrative was even mentioned by Josef Goebbels in his Principles of Propaganda. So the Government funding a media enterprise that pretends to be independent, but which in reality attacks enemies of the Government and propagandises for Government policies, is something fully in line with tyrannical Nazi principles.

The only way New Zealand can get out of this is to come together as individuals, ignoring the government, and to decide on a set of our rights that are inviolable and which must be respected by anyone who wishes to rule us. A starting point could be the essay published here expounding a seven-fold conception of inherent human rights. If all Kiwis agreed that every other Kiwi possessed such rights, we would be free of tyrannical measures.

If this doesn’t work then we’re left with anarcho-homicidalism.

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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’s Easier To Stop Using Cannabis If It’s Legal

Many people take an overly simplistic approach to cannabis law reform and assume that cannabis prohibition leads to less use and less desire to use. In truth, much like the fact that people don’t use more cannabis in places where it is legal, cannabis prohibition doesn’t even help addicts. As this article will show, it would be easier for people to stop using cannabis if it was legal.

The logic appears to be that making cannabis illegal will make people decide to stop using it. If it’s not possible to openly grow and sell cannabis, some people reason, then it won’t be as easy for a person to maintain a cannabis habit, and therefore people will be incentivised to quit.

Many people who support this theory seem to assume that cannabis users, many of who are using the substance for medicinal reasons, will just sit and mope for a while and then go and do something more productive. Not only does this ignore the obvious fact that it’s easy to get hold of cannabis pretty much anywhere in New Zealand, it also ignores human psychology.

The reality is, thanks to the wonders of something called variable interval reinforcement, prohibiting cannabis actually makes addicted cannabis users more addicted. Under prohibition, because a person can never be sure if they can maintain a supply, they come to cherish cannabis a lot more when they do get it. So when they do use it, the reinforcing effect is much more powerful.

There are two major reasons why legal cannabis would make it easier for those who are cannabis addicts to quit.

It might not be easy for the average educated, middle-class person to appreciate, but not everyone trusts their doctor or mental health worker. Just because the average Normie considers their doctor to be an intimate confidante doesn’t mean that the average cannabis user feels the same way.

Attitudes have changed sharply compared to some decades ago, but there’s still a lot of distrust on the part of many cannabis users towards health professionals. So if they are honestly advised to quit cannabis for good reasons, they are less likely to pay heed, because they can’t be sure if the advice is coming from a place of honesty or is a formality due to the law.

It’s not easy for a doctor to say that cannabis would be beneficial if it is not legal. For one thing, they don’t want to get a reputation for being the local cannabis doctor. For another thing, there are potential professional consequences. None of them want to explain to a professional board why they recommended an illegal drug to a patient.

If cannabis were legal, it would be possible to trust your doctor if they would say that you wouldn’t benefit from using medicinal cannabis. As it is, if your doctor does not recommend medicinal cannabis, it’s impossible to know if they say this because they believe cannabis would be harmful, or if they believe cannabis would be beneficial but are afraid of potential professional or legal consequences for saying so.

The second major reason is that legal cannabis would make it easier for a user, who accepted that they were addicted, to taper down their use with the intent of stopping.

This relates to the reinforcement schedules referenced above. In the same way that it’s better to use variable interval reinforcement to strengthen a response, it’s better to use fixed interval reinforcement to weaken one. This is because it leads to a gradual weakening of the craving, rather than taking it full force and risking a relapse.

Anyone who has tried to suddenly stop using tobacco or alcohol knows how difficult it is to just make a clean break with it. In most cases, if there is not an immediate threat of death, a person will be advised by their doctor not to quit cold turkey but rather to taper down over a few weeks or a month. As mentioned above, this is partly to avoid relapse, but it’s partly because this is less painful.

People who were interested in stopping their cannabis use could, if we had a sane system, get a prescription for a fixed amount of cannabis with a view to tapering off. They could be given a number of joints and told to smoke x for the first week, x-1 for the second week, x-2 for the third week – or whatever worked.

This would prevent the disaster scenario familiar to people who have tried to stop smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol, in which one sits there while the craving for the drug rises and rises, until one finally caves, at which point using it feels like a divine gift. As mentioned above, this variable interval reinforcement only makes it much harder to quit.

Legal cannabis would be much better for those addicted than prohibition is. It would encourage addicts to trust their doctors when they suggested that cannabis had no medicinal value for them, and it would enable those doctors (or psychologists) to provide a schedule of decreasing fixed reinforcement that would allow for a relatively painless transition to sobriety.

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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.

Why Jacinda Ardern Is Collaborating So Closely With Emmanuel Macron

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

An ANZAC Lesson: The Real Enemy Is Always Behind You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

You Will Never Be Allowed Any Alternative to Neoliberalism

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

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

Like most utterances from politicians, this was total shit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

The Case For Cannabis: Cannabis Does Not Make People Impotent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

The Case For Cannabis: A Criminal Record is A Disproportionate Punishment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

The Four Alchemical Realms of Law

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

The Case For Cannabis: Legalisation Would Not Increase Rates of Cannabis Use

A common prohibitionist double-whammy is to argue that cannabis should remain illegal because, if it were made legal, people would use it more, and because its use is harmful, legalisation would therefore lead to more harm. This article will not argue whether cannabis is harmful (this is done elsewhere), but will simply summarise what the evidence suggests: that legalisation will not increase rates of cannabis use.

It seems intuitively obvious that making cannabis illegal lowers the rate of cannabis use. After all, the whole point of making it illegal was to make it harder to get, and if it were legal people would be able to buy it from shops.

Fair enough, but the statistics show a different story.

The truth is that cannabis cultivation is so common (believed to account for 1% of electricity consumption) that pretty much anyone who wants to get hold of it can, except for times of unusually high demand. This means that the cannabis market is already saturated – and this can be demonstrated with reference to real-world examples.

The most obvious counterpoint to the argument that legalising cannabis will increase rates of use is the fact that rates of cannabis use are not higher in places where it is legal.

In the Netherlands, 8% of the adult population has used cannabis at some point in the last 12 months. This rate is lower than in Australia (10.6%), where cannabis is illegal, and much lower than in New Zealand (14.6%), where cannabis is also illegal. In countries such as Israel and Ghana, the rate of cannabis use is higher still. Cannabis might not be technically legal in the Netherlands, but in practice anyone who wants to buy it from a shop can do so.

If legalising cannabis will inevitably cause rates of use to increase, how can it be possible that rates of use are lower in a place where it is legal, where getting supplied is as simple as walking into a shop? If the link between cannabis being legal and higher rates of cannabis use is so certain, we could expect to see higher usage rates in all the places where it is legal, and lower usage rates in all the places where it is illegal. In reality, any such correlation is hard to discern.

The truth is already known to anyone who has ever been to the Netherlands. Cannabis is easy to get hold of, yes, and the Police won’t harass you for it, that’s true, but the bulk of the population would rather drink alcohol anyway. Cannabis law reform didn’t turn a large number of non-drug users into cannabis users – a small number of alcohol users became cannabis users, and the rest stayed the same.

The absence of a correlation between the legal status of cannabis and the rate of use within a jurisdiction is not the only place that statistics disprove the idea that legalisation will lead to more cannabis use.

A poll by the Colorado Department of Public Health found that cannabis use rates declined among teenagers after legalisation, with rates of teenage use in Colorado lower than the American national average. Another study, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, supports the idea that teenage cannabis use rates actually declined after it was made legal.

In fact, the latter study suggests that teen cannabis use rates declined in the majority of states that recently made cannabis legal. It may be, as some have suggested for decades, that the Government lying about the effects of cannabis and exaggerating its dangers was what led to many young people becoming attracted to it. Had there never been an unjust law prohibiting cannabis, it’s possible that the rebellious section of society would never have felt obliged to defy it.

At this point it could be countered that, even if teenage usage rates of cannabis go down, and even if this was the most important thing, adult rates of cannabis use might still increase if cannabis were legalised, and that this might lead to more harm. Leaving aside the fact that this argument has already been countered in the first part of this article, it doesn’t even apply here.

There is little doubt that some people will replace recreational alcohol use with recreational cannabis use if it were legal to do so. Technically, this would mean that the rate of cannabis use would increase, but the rate of recreational drug use would remain the same. Moreover, the rate of harm caused by recreational drug use would decrease if some people replaced boozing with cannabis, on account of that alcohol is more harmful.

Ultimately, the argument that cannabis legalisation would lead to more suffering through increased rates of cannabis use is in error, for multiple reasons. A review of the statistical data shows that cannabis use is not higher in places where it is legal, and also that rates of teen use have declined in American states that have made it 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.

Banning The Great Replacement Manifesto Violates The NZ Bill of Rights Act

In the wake of the Christchurch mosque shootings, the country has been forced to endure the Great New Zealand Chimpout. This has involved everyone losing their minds, and over-reacting in ways that they may later come to regret. One of these over-reactions was to ban Branton Tarrant’s Great Replacement Manifesto, an action which was – as this article will show – a violation of the basic rights of New Zealanders.

The idea of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act is ostensibly to “affirm, protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms in New Zealand”. Supposedly based on the American model of inherent human rights, the NZ Bill of Rights Act is said to guarantee the rights of Kiwis and delineate areas in which the Government cannot take freedoms away.

However, the New Zealand Government has just violated this. In deciding to ban the possession of a copy of Tarrant’s manifesto, the Government violated Section 14 of the NZ Bill of Rights Act, which states:

14 Freedom of expression

Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.

This states, perfectly clearly, that New Zealanders have the right to seek the Great Replacement Manifesto, to receive the Great Replacement Manifesto, and to impart (share) the Great Replacement Manifesto. Consequently, the actions of the New Zealand Government to ban this document are illegal, and are a violation of the human rights of New Zealanders.

So why did they do this?

The Government doesn’t want anyone becoming aware of its failures. Like the psychopathic narcissists they are, politicians are incapable of admitting that they are ever wrong. Therefore, they are incapable of admitting what every working-class Kiwi already knows: that mass immigration has greatly enriched the already wealthy, at the expense of the already poor.

What they really, really don’t want is other working-class people realising that the demographic trajectory of New Zealand appears to be taking them on a path towards Brazil, and then South Africa, and then Haiti. Because, if they do realise this, then the Government either has to take action to prevent it (which will put them offside with their masters in banking and industry), or risk more mass shootings as the position of the working class continues to decline.

Much better to kick the can down the road, and just try not to talk about it, like we did with drug law reform, euthanasia law reform, climate change etc. Otherwise, someone has to point out that the emperor has no clothes. The fear that the charade might soon be over has led to a state of panic among New Zealand’s ruling class.

This atmosphere of panic, coupled with the unusually large number of weaklings in the highest reaches of Government, is why there has been an over-reaction like this. Most New Zealanders are still running around like headless chickens, and in their submission have accepted that the Government can take away any rights it sees fit.

Moreover, there’s a set precedent that the Government can violate the Bill of Rights Act and no-one cares. As a previous article here has pointed out, psychiatrists already violate the Bill of Rights Act by forcing medical treatment on people who have explicitly withdrawn their consent. This has even gone as far as electroshock treatment, but only alt-media sources like VJM Publishing are interested in taking up the issue.

What needs to happen is twofold. The Government first needs to quietly make Tarrant’s manifesto legal for people to read. Second, it needs to address the concerns raised in the manifesto in a more honest and respectful manner than just screaming about “white supremacism”. After all, the bulk of the concerns about the effects of mass Third World immigration are held just as strongly by Maoris as by white people.

If the indigenous people of New Zealand don’t want to be replaced by overseas sources of cheap labour, then this has to be acknowledged and addressed. If they believe that maintaining some level of ethnic homogeneity is better than full globohomo, then this has to be acknowledged and addressed. If they believe that the past conduct of certain ethnic and religious groups is so poor that we would be better off keeping those groups out of the country, this too needs to be acknowledged and addressed.

An honest conversation with the New Zealand working class has been needed since the imposition of neoliberalism. True courage, and true leadership, would see it happen soon. The New Zealand Government has to speak honestly to the people about their vision for the nation. It cannot end suffering by banning information and sending the Police to harass any Kiwi who speaks freely.

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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.

A Sevenfold Conception of Inherent Human Rights

In this age of tyranny and chaos, many people have lost their natural understanding of the inherent rights of human beings. Many of us have strayed so far from reality, and drifted so far into slave morality, that we honestly believe that rights are granted by the goodwill of the Government. This essay will argue that human rights are not only inherent, and necessary for any civilisation to exist, but also that they are sevenfold, at three different levels of resolution.

To understand our inherent rights, it is necessary to turn to a philosophy that accurately describes reality. We do so here with reference to elementalism, in particular the hierarchy of the four masculine elements. The four masculine elements are clay, iron, silver and gold, in ascending order of rarity and value.

Clay is the most fundamental of the masculine elements, and represents the feminine realm of Nature. In this sense, it represents the rights relating to a person’s life, their right to life and their right to self-ownership. Inherent human rights in the realm of clay means that people inherently have the right to life.

Applying the paradigm of clay to human rights tells us that the State does not have the right to kill its citizens, and neither may it claim right over a person’s body without that person’s consent. The Government may not use the people for medical experimentation, and neither may they be conscripted, whether as soldiers or labourers.

More specifically, the Government ought not to levy taxes on basic food produce, and neither should they interrupt the right of people to gather food and water from the wilderness, because both processes are essential for life. Some would go as far as to argue that the State ought to supply a universal basic income to compensate for the imposition of private property.

Iron is the next most fundamental element, and refers to the masculine realm of war and defence. Inherent human rights in the realm of iron means that people inherently have the right to physical self-defence. They have the right to own and carry weapons, both to protect their own person and their home. They also have the right to expect that the State will act to defend the physical integrity of the nation, and that it will act to protect their private property.

It is also recognised here that the people themselves are the ultimate guarantor of their rights. The realm of iron is the realm of masculine wisdom, and here it is understood that the Government is not always the friend of the people, and is all too often its enemy. Being wisdom, and not excess, there are limits here: people may only harm others if those others are posing a direct, immediate and actionable threat.

Anarcho-homicidalism is enshrined as a right under the realm of iron. The people are never obliged to be slaves – this right is absolute and fundamental. Therefore, they have the right to take any measures necessary to resist enslavement – up to, and including, killing their enslavers. The point at which it is necessary to do so is a question for the people themselves, and never a question for their government.

Silver is the first of the precious masculine elements, and refers to the realm of the mind and intellect. Inherent human rights in the realm of silver means that people inherently have the right to pursue and to discuss the truth. This is otherwise known as the “right to free inquiry” because it is in the nature of gentlemen, when their baser duties are discharged, to discuss such things.

This implies that the rights of the people to freely research, read, discuss and impart information shall not be restricted, except in cases where there is an immediate risk of physical suffering (i.e. incitement of violence). People must always have the right to gather to discuss subjects and to impart information to each other. The State has no right to interfere with a person’s life because they expressed a certain piece of information, whether fact or opinion.

These rights mean that institutions like the Office of Chief Censor are to immediately be abolished. Nothing is to be censored, however certain information might be classified as unsuitable for some audiences, in that exposure to it may cause them harm. Note that, with the realm of iron, there are limits to rights here: the right to free speech does not legalise fraud, nor outright lying for the sake of defamation.

Gold is the most precious of the masculine elements, and refers to the realm of consciousness and God. Because God is more fundamental than language, and therefore cannot be spoken of, it’s not easy to speak about what inherent rights a person has in the realm of gold. Like gold, these rights are precious, and sometimes very rare. In principle, the paradigm of gold here relates to the rights to religious and spiritual freedom.

Inherent human rights in the realm of gold means that people inherently have the right to conduct any ritual, and to consume any spiritual sacrament, that they believe will get them closer to God. These rights are subject to the three more fundamental rights, in that they cannot infringe on any other person’s free speech (i.e. no blasphemy laws), they cannot infringe on any other person’s bodily integrity (i.e. no infant genital mutilation) and they cannot infringe on any other person’s right to life (i.e. no convert or die).

This means that the State has absolutely no right to restrict the consumption and sharing of spiritual sacraments such as cannabis, psilocybin and DMT. No-one has to go through a court and argue that these substances are part of any recognised religious tradition – they simply have the inherent right to use them. Citizens inherently have the right to take any action they feel will bring them closer to God, as long as it does not cause suffering to others.

It is also recognised here that rights are granted by the Will of God, which is more fundamental than the right of any human institution, whether governmental, ecclesiastical, military or otherwise. Therefore, because these rights are granted by God, no such institution can rightly take them away. If it tries to, the people have the right to resist, and they have God’s approval to do so. These rights are inherent to the nature of reality, which is something more fundamental than human governments.

There is another layer behind these four masculine elements. It could be said that, in the same way that the four masculine elements divide into base and precious, so too do our rights divide into a base right that can easily be understood by all people, no matter their intellect, and a precious right that that is harder to grasp but which must be fought for with a determination befitting its value.

The fundamental feminine right, then, relates to the physical world. It is the right to not suffer physically at the hands of the State; the right to physical liberty. What this means in practice can be seen be examining the realms of iron and clay. We can summarise it as the right to bodily integrity, or the right to not have one’s bodily integrity harmed by the State.

The right to physical liberty means that people have the fundamental right to decide how their bodies are used, and what goes into them, and what stays in them – this is known as the Base Right because even animals intuitively understand it. The State does not have the right to impede the physical security or harm the physical integrity of its citizens, whether at the group or individual level. Neither does it have the right to impede their access to territory, unless suffering should be caused by doing so.

In practice, this means that the State does not have the right to interfere with the reproductive rights of its citizens. It cannot mandate a limit to family size, for example, and neither can it prohibit abortion. Nor can it force vaccinations on people, or any health treatment on people, without their consent – the Base Right forbids it. It also means that people, at the group level, have the right to free assembly.

The fundamental masculine right, on the other hand, relates to the metaphysical world. It is the right not to suffer metaphysically at the hands of the State. What this means in practice can be seen by examining the realms of silver and gold. It can be summarised as the right to metaphysical integrity, or the right to not have one’s metaphysical integrity harmed by the state.

In much the same way that people have the right to decide what goes into their bodies and how their bodies are used, they also have the right to decide what goes into their minds and how their minds are used. This right is called the Precious Right because, like masculinity itself, it isn’t always clearly understood.

It means that people have the right to cognitive liberty. Although much of this is already covered under the realm of silver and its rights to free speech, there is more here. The State may not infringe on the rights of the people to express themselves, and may not interfere with the psychological integrity of its citizens, whether at a group or individual level. Neither may it decide that certain practices are legitimate spiritual ones and others not.

There is a third and final level, a right even more fundamental than the Base and Precious Rights, the seventh right that ties all the others together. It is, simply put, the right not to suffer at the hands of the State. This is known as the Fundamental Right and is to be used as the guiding principle whenever it is not clear how to proceed.

The right not to suffer at the hands of the State underpins all of the Base Right, the Precious Right, the right to life, the right to self-defence, the right to free inquiry and the right to spiritual exploration. The Fundamental Right recognises that the State may not cause suffering to people in any of the physical, metaphysical, spiritual, intellectual, martial or biological realms.

Describing our rights like this, in elemental terms, is now necessary owing to the confusion that has arisen from the meshing together of hundreds of incompatible value systems. Our current governmental models have refused to recognise our rights as human beings, and so it has become necessary for us to rally around a new conception of those rights and to see that it is enforced in the space around us. This sevenfold elemental conception of human rights is the way forward.

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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 Basics of VPN Use, And Why Every Kiwi Needs to Know Them

The aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shooting showed that the New Zealand Government is willing to give away all of our freedoms in its blind panic to clamp down on everything. We Kiwis are going to have to learn how to fight Internet censorship and how to share information despite a Government committed to banning free discussion. This article discusses the basics of VPN use.

‘VPN’ stands for Virtual Private Network. It serves to extend a private network across a public one, so that you virtually access a private network somewhere else in the world. Essentially, a computer somewhere else surfs the Internet on your behalf, and then sends the data directly to your computer. The point of this is primarily to circumvent government censorship and corporate geo-restrictions.

It’s like the diplomatic black bag of internet traffic – the Government can’t snoop in on it while its in transit and choose to block it.

VPNs are very popular in totalitarian countries such as China, because they allow their users to access websites that the government doesn’t wish them to access. As any reader of 1984 could tell you, the prime objective of any government is to stay in power, by whatever means necessary. One of the primary ways this can be achieved is by controlling information and discourse, so that rebellious ideas cannot flourish in the minds of the populace.

As Joseph Stalin put it: “Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas?”

In the wake of the Christchurch mosque shootings, the New Zealand Government has taken a sharply totalitarian turn. They seem to have decided, without securing the consent of the people or even making an announcement, that it’s okay for them to censor whatever website they see fit, for any reason (or even none). Although they will not admit it, this is a totalitarian action that breaches fundamental human rights. For this reason, we citizens are forced to take counter measures.

When a country such as New Zealand tries to block the free flow of information to its citizens, those citizens have to turn to grey- or black-market solutions such as VPNs. Using a VPN will allow a person to access almost any website that the New Zealand Government may have decreed verboten, for the reason that the Great Firewall of New Zealand will consider the web traffic to be something else.

The Opera browser comes with a built-in VPN, which is probably the easiest way to get started for anyone new to the idea. The simplest way to get started is to just download and install the Opera browser (the download page can be found with a simple web search). If you then open that browser, you can see the Opera symbol up in the top left corner. Clicking on this will open a drop-down menu, on which you can select ‘Settings’ near the bottom.

This will take you to a separate Settings page, where you have a number of options. By default, you will come to the Basic panel. Towards the top-left corner of the screen, underneath the word ‘Settings’ you should be able to see the words ‘Basic’ and ‘Advanced’. ‘Advanced’ is a drop-down menu, itself consisting of three options: ‘Privacy & security’, ‘Features’ and ‘Browser’.

If you click on ‘Features’, a number of options will appear in the centre panel. At the top of these is one called ‘VPN’. Underneath this is the option to ‘Enable VPN’. From here, enabling the browser VPN is a simple matter of hitting the radio switch to the right.

Note that this may make your browsing a bit slower, because the VPN is an extra step between you and your data. However, this is a minor inconvenience, and may be your only easy option if you want to access forbidden websites.

Some people might say at this point “But the Government, in its omnibeneficence, only banned the really evil sites where hate speech flourished and I didn’t want to go there anyway.” Fair enough – but the Government could ban anything else in the future, and so you might as well learn how to circumvent that now while you still can.

Ask yourself, do you really believe that the Government is going to stop with 8chan and Zero Hedge? The Government probably regrets that the Internet ever came to exist. They would gladly switch to having a North Korea-style government news service with all alternatives banned if they thought they could get away with it.

So what we can expect is more of what David Icke calls the “Totalitarian Tiptoe”, in which the Government bans an ever-increasing number of websites, taking advantage of moral panics to do so. Because the Government’s appetite for power and control is unlimited, Kiwis ought to get to know the basics of VPN use immediately.

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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.

Why Vaccination Should Never Be Made Compulsory

25 people have been infected by a measles outbreak in Canterbury, and one could predict from the degree of anti-anti-vaccination hysteria that there will soon be a social movement to make vaccination compulsory. Many people are calling for it, and the rhetoric demonising the anti-vaxxers is growing. This essay discusses why compulsory vaccination is the wrong approach.

The joke goes that under totalitarianism, everything is either banned or made compulsory. The panic-based hysteria that fuels the various moral outrages that lead to totalitarianism can be seen in places like this thread on Reddit. Many New Zealanders are apparently happy to force compulsory medical treatment on others, despite it being a violation of Section 11 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.

Compulsory vaccination would be a grossly draconian abuse of state power. But that isn’t why we should avoid it.

Let’s lay it out: vaccination is a good idea. Vaccination is a great idea, especially if the extremely minor side-effects are weighed up against the costs of being infected with measles, rubella, polio, whooping cough or the like. Some of these diseases are capable of crippling people for the remainder of their lives, leaving them in ghastly pain, or just killing them outright. Their presence as part of the human experience was a curse, and eradicating them would be excellent.

Vaccination is such a good idea that a parent ought to listen to their doctors when those doctors recommend vaccination. So if the necessary trust isn’t present in that relationship, something is wrong, and we ought to determine why.

The usual response is to call anti-vaxxers “nutters”, “loonies”, “schizos” and the like, and to attribute their lack of trust to an aggressive paranoia that can only be present on account of moral failure. But the responsibility isn’t on them to become more trusting. The responsibility lies on the Government and on the medical community to earn the trust of the population. It’s not merely an ideal that the population ought to trust that what their doctors is telling them is true – it’s a necessity.

The anti-vaccination movement is particularly strong in Nelson, which has been attributed to our unusually high proportion of nutters, loonies etc. The reality is that Nelson has a high number of anti-vaxxers for the same reason that California does: we were one of the first to understand the medicinal value of cannabis, and thereby one of the first to understand that the medicinal community was lying to us about it.

People know that they’ve been lied to about cannabis. We know that doctors have not been fully honest about the medicinal benefits of this substance for decades. Those who have done the research know that these lies are mostly the result of pressure from Government, disinformation from pharmaceutical companies pushing their product and the usual Kiwi slackness when it comes to doing your job properly.

So how do we know that we’re not being lied to about vaccines? Given the experience with cannabis, it’s entirely possible to suspect that Governments are putting pressure on doctors to ignore the risks of vaccination, or that the manufacturers of the vaccines aren’t honest about their side-effects, or that doctors simply haven’t bothered to research any side-effects.

Given that doctors have been lying about these things when it came to cannabis, it’s only natural that the trust that people had in them has sharply declined among some demographics. This is the error that needs to be corrected, and compulsory vaccination is a ham-fisted solution to something that can be achieved more elegantly.

Introducing compulsory vaccination is a foolish and short-sighted approach that will not only spur more suspicion and paranoia, but which will also help to justify future Governmental abuses. A much braver and wiser move would be for the Government and the medical community to earn back the trust that they have lost.

The best way to achieve this would be for politicians to make a frank and full apology for their parts in misleading the country about cannabis. They would have to not only admit that cannabis was medicinal, but that it was known to be medicinal and previous governments lied about it for whatever reason.

If the politicians would admit that many doctors only withheld the truth from their patients for fear of punishment from the Government, they would help to restore the faith in those doctors necessary for the more sceptical to get their children vaccinated. This is what needs to happen, not compulsory vaccination.

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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 is Better For the Environment

Recent studies suggest that the future prospects for Earth’s environment are poor. The situation is dire enough that, finally, an awareness is growing that certain measures will have to be taken if the human species is to survive – and soon. This article explains how cannabis law reform is one of those measures (if a minor one).

Many people labour under the idea that cannabis prohibition stops people from using cannabis. Therefore, they assume, cannabis prohibition prevents it from being grown and used. The truth, of course, is that evil laws don’t prevent actions, because human nature is to defy evil laws, and so people grow cannabis everywhere anyway. In any case, cannabis is a medicine, and people will not simply go without a medicine because of the law.

Because of things like Police helicopters that go searching the hills and forests for outdoor grows, a majority of people who grow cannabis do so indoors, and most of these grows are simple setups under a 400 or 600 Watt bulb. These generally cost somewhere between $70 and $100 a month to run, and can produce several ounces of weed over a eight- or ten-week cycle.

This is a great outcome for an individual cannabis user who doesn’t want to deal with the black market, but it’s not the best outcome for the environment.

A study by American scientist Evan Mills found that indoor cannabis grows use up to 1% of America’s entire energy supply. If a similar proportion holds true in New Zealand, it would mean that indoor cannabis grows in New Zealand suck up electricity equivalent to that used by a city the size of Nelson every year. This represents some $60 million worth of electricity, every year.

Another way to put this is that a four-plant grows uses as much electricity as running 29 fridges. It’s a lot of energy being used for something that doesn’t really need to happen. After all, these grows are only done indoors for the sake of evading detection.

Legal cannabis would mean that cannabis growers could simply put a plant outside and let it grow in the Sun, without fear of being spotted by Police helicopters. There would be no energy requirements at all, and the cost of grow nutrients and the like would be minimal on account of that the plant would just be allowed to grow as large as possible.

Not all indoor cannabis growing could immediately be switched to outdoors. Many people simply don’t have the appropriate facilities. However, the vast majority of it could be, on account of that people would rather buy cannabis from a shop or get it from a pharmacy than grow it themselves, for a greater cost, and have to worry about watering, spider mites, replacement bulbs, buying potting mix, getting ripped off etc.

So legal cannabis would mean that companies would be able to build entire outdoor cannabis farms, and these farms would be much better for the environment than the current arrangement, in which everyone has a home grow operation because they can’t buy it legally and they need to avoid getting arrested. All of those highly inefficient home grows can be wound down in favour of commercial operations that achieve economies of scale.

The tricky thing about this argument is that the sort of person who cares about the environment already knows that cannabis should be legal. In much the same way that anyone who has bothered to look at the climate science knows that changes need to be made, anyone who has bothered to look at the science behind cannabis knew that cannabis prohibition should have been repealed 20 years ago.

The sort of person who genuinely believes that it’s a good idea to put people in cages for growing or using cannabis are, almost inevitably, the same kind of people who don’t care at all about the environment or what the state of it might be after we are gone. The characteristic feature of such people is an absence of empathy for others, and an inability to consider their suffering to be real. So the environmental argument will convince few who are not already convinced.

However, the fact remains that cannabis law reform is a better move for the environment. It would greatly reduce the carbon footprint of the cannabis cultivation industry, as well as reducing the amount of wastage in other areas. Given the pressing need to consider environmental impacts in all areas, we should make it legal for individuals to grow cannabis outside at home.

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

The Case For Cannabis: Law Reform Is Not A “Slippery Slope”

The case for cannabis prohibition is essentially based on fear, in particular fear of the unknown. Prohibitionists and other doommongers like to give the impression that cannabis law reform is a “slippery slope” to widespread social decay. As this article will show, cannabis law reform will not be a slippery slope to selling heroin to schoolchildren, or anything like it.

The slippery slope argument is used so often that it has become a formal logical fallacy. In short, this logical fallacy is when a person argues that a certain action must not be allowed, because if it is allowed, it will lead to worse actions also becoming allowed. To prevent those worse actions from coming to pass, we should keep the status quo, because to make even a small change is to step onto a slippery slope that will inevitably lead to disaster.

When we wanted to make it illegal to hit your children, we were told it was a slippery slope to those children beating up their parents. When we wanted to legalise prostitution, we were told it was a slippery slope to Weimar Republic-style child prostitution on the main streets. When we wanted to introduce a capital gains tax, we were told it was a slippery slope to the Government confiscating properties from those it deemed too wealthy.

None of these feared outcomes occurred, which is why the slippery slope fallacy is a recognised fallacy.

The slippery slope argument, then, is wheeled out almost every time someone tries to change any law. So it’s not a surprise that it also gets wheeled out in response to proposals for cannabis law reform. The problem is that we’ve had cannabis prohibition for so long now that almost no-one can remember life from before it was brought in, so we’ve forgotten that prohibition has done more damage than legal cannabis ever could.

The old form of this argument was that cannabis use is a slippery slope to heroin use, and therefore we have to keep cannabis illegal to protect people from getting sucked into heroin, because they’re all some form of “dope”. Nowadays, almost everyone knows that the sort of people who use cannabis have very little in common with those who use heroin, and don’t generally move in the same circles.

Cannabis prohibitionists warn us breathlessly that liberalising the cannabis laws will lead to “THC-laced confectionery” being sold to schoolchildren. The New Zealand media has shown images of gummy bears that are purported to contain 30% or more THC, and the implication is that a small child might gulp down a couple of dozen of them thinking they’re sweets. Ignoring the fact that eating two dozen cannabis-infused gummy bears would still be safer than eating two dozen paracetamol, the argument fails for at least two major reasons.

For one thing, most of the arguments about harm don’t apply to other drugs. It’s fair and reasonable to argue that cannabis causes less harm than alcohol; it’s neither fair nor reasonable to make the same argument of crystal methamphetamine. Neither has anyone ever argued that heroin or methamphetamine was a spiritual sacrament.

Where those arguments do apply, then it’s fair enough to consider them on their own merits. The War on Cannabis is, indeed, one front in the wider War on Drugs, and just because the case for drug law reform is the most obvious in the case of cannabis doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist in the case of other drugs. It happens to also be true that the law against psychedelics is as ridiculous as the cannabis one, if not more so.

The other major reason is that we are entirely free to recriminalise cannabis, should we reform the current laws and then decide the change isn’t working. The people who have looked at the evidence and the previous experience of places that have relaxed their cannabis laws almost all believe that this won’t happen, but it might. If we do decide that cannabis law reform doesn’t work, we will be free to change it back.

The argument that legalising cannabis would be a slippery slope to various kinds of social decay is not valid. Cannabis prohibition is, and never was, a wise move – prohibition is itself the experimental condition. In any case, relaxing the law is not a move into permissiveness but finally having the courage to correct an error that was made generations ago.

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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.

Why Don’t Maori Leaders Represent Their People When It Comes to Cannabis?

(Photoshop credit: Kayla Chamberlain)

It’s not a secret to VJM Publishing readers that there is a great love of cannabis among the Maori population. The Maori people were never convinced that cannabis prohibition was a good idea, and they were always more heavily impacted by the enforcement of the law than non-Maoris. So why don’t Maori leaders represent their people when it comes to changing the cannabis laws? This essay explains.

Dan McGlashan showed in Understanding New Zealand that there was an extremely strong correlation between being Maori and voting for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2017: 0.91. This is one of the strongest correlations between any two factors in New Zealand society, even stronger than the correlation between personal income and voting ACT, or being on the unemployment benefit and voting Labour.

So those of us in the know were not at all surprised by the Horizon Research poll announced yesterday, which stated that 75% of Maori voters intend to vote to legalise cannabis when the referendum comes around. Moreover, of the remainder, only 14% intended to vote no, with 11% being unsure. This means that up to 86% of Maoris would vote yes on the referendum if it were held tomorrow.

The question arises, however: if a vast majority of Maoris support legal cannabis, why are Maori leaders so pathetically gutless on this issue?

First of all, it should be pointed out that the bulk of non-Maori leaders are equally as cowardly, so it’s partly a disease of our own political class. Jacinda Ardern and Andrew Little have also been pathetic on this issue, as has every member of the National Party. Cowardice is a characteristic feature of New Zealand politicians, and when it comes to cannabis this seems to double.

However, the bulk of non-Maori leaders are not representing a population as heavily impacted by cannabis prohibition as Maori leaders are. The British settlers were long since used to alcohol, but for the Maoris its introduction was akin to the deployment of a bioweapon. This makes the need for cannabis law reform more pressing for Maoris, and thereby the current crop of Maori leaders more negligent than the others.

Secondly, it’s also a fact that young people are much more likely to favour cannabis law reform than the old ones who suffered most of the propaganda. Again as shown by McGlashan, the correlation between median age and voting for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2014 was -0.55, which supports the Horizon Research poll suggesting that Maoris under 55 years of age are much more likely to support legalisation.

Most of the Members of Parliament who are Maori are old, so it can be seen that their attitudes are very likely the same prejudices against cannabis held by other old people. After all, they all went through the same reefer madness brainwashing as the other old people. At least part of the failure of Maori leaders on this issue can be attributed to the general failure of the Boomer generation to appreciate the perspectives of other generations. They’re simply out of touch.

Thirdly – and this is a very sad and depressing fact – there is a lot of lobbyist money from anti-cannabis sources flowing into the coffers of various politicians. A previous study here at VJM Publishing showed that at least 7% of National Party funding came directly from alcohol manufacturers and their associations, and those groups will have leaned heavily on the recipients to vote against any recreational alternative to alcohol.

We can’t say that any of these Maori leaders are taking money from alcohol, tobacco or pharmaceutical interests, because we don’t have any evidence for that. But there is a fuckton of anti-cannabis lobbyist money and these politicians are taking positions consistent with what the lobbyists want them to take. They’re certainly signalling a willingness to take money from such lobbyists. Ockham’s Razor would suggest that we at least be suspicious.

All of this helps to explain why Willie Jackson, Peeni Henare, Meka Whaitiri, and all the Maori members of the New Zealand First caucus voted against Chloe Swarbrick’s medicinal cannabis bill. Basically, they don’t give a shit about the reality of life on the ground for the average Maori, they just want their votes on the way to the Parliament trough.

The reality of life on the ground is that a great proportion of the Maori people have taken to cannabis because it’s a recreational alternative to alcohol. The arrival of alcohol had a similar effect on Maoris as it did on most New World people suddenly exposed to it: utter carnage, and they are smart enough to have learned that a session on cannabis tends up to end up much happier than a booze one.

We can’t realistically expect courage or leadership from a New Zealand politician, but we can at least expect them to understand and acknowledge when the winds of opinion have changed among the people they’re supposed to be representing, and to act accordingly. Maori leaders need to come out and publicly state that cannabis law reform is the way forward, not just for their constituents but for the entire 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.

Why Victimhood Is Aggression

In a moral climate as degenerate as ours, weakness has become a virtue. We have come to believe that anyone who is weak must be innocent and the victim of misfortune or prejudice, and is therefore owed compensation. This has led to interest groups scrambling to position themselves as the biggest victim. This essay explains how victimhood is a form of aggression.

Justice is all about setting to rights what people are owed. If someone assaults another person, or steals from them, it’s important that the wider community steps in and sets things to rights. If they don’t, the original victim (or their friends and family) will seek vengeance, which historically has led to blood-feuding, which has frequently led to the destruction of entire areas.

Blood-feuding led to rulers and magistrates enforcing a code of laws – a codified, written set of laws and punishments for anyone who breaks those laws. The advantage of a code of laws is that aggrieved parties appeal to a magistrate for justice instead of taking revenge themselves, which means that grievances tend to settle down instead of festering into blood feuds.

The aggrieved party in any question of justice expects to be compensated. So the giver of justice, in order to keep the peace, tends to pass down rulings that favour the aggrieved. Because of the good nature of other people, it’s usually assumed that any party claiming a grievance must be deserving of compensation, and as a result, the majority of grievances are taken seriously.

The difficulty arises, as it has today, when some people start to realise that a sense of victimhood is highly profitable. A person, or group of people, with a deeply entrenched sense of victimhood can force the society around them to adapt to their wishes. This society does out of a fear of the implied threat of blood-feuding if those grievances are not settled. So artificially stoking a sense of victimhood can bring political power.

New Zealand anarchist philosopher Rick Giles has described this permanent victimhood as Victimhood Culture, one of the four major moral cultures of human history. Giles points out that, no matter how many concessions are given to people in victim mode, it’s never enough. This is because victimhood is an entire culture, a mindset into which people fall and into which they are often raised. It’s characterised by an absence of both honour and dignity.

There are genuine victims, but the proportion of them are ever fewer, and the proportion of grifters and chancers ever higher.

Making out like you’re owed, by exaggerating a sense of victimhood, is an act of aggression. The purpose is to intimidate good-natured people into giving up their wealth or freedom in order to compensate you for the supposed injustice. Because most people have trouble believing that anyone could be as shameless as to pretend to be a victim, most assertions of victimhood are taken at face value.

In reality, the world is an extremely complicated place. There are always a multitude of competing explanations for any political or historical event that might occur or have occurred, or for any sociological phenomenon that may have arisen. Therefore, it’s not always obvious to work out if you have been treated unfairly or not. So whether a person declares that they are a victim or not tells us much about them.

Take the example of the New Zealand Maori. The question of whether they benefitted from colonisation is one that draws a wide variety of responses. The competing explanations are that the British Empire showed up and rescued them from a life of intertribal warfare, slavery and cannibalism (on the one hand), or that they lived in perfect harmony with nature and with each other before the British turned up and corrupted them (on the other), or somewhere in between.

Therefore, it isn’t obvious for individual Maoris to know how much of a sense of victimhood they ought to feel. Inevitably, what ends up happening is that people feel a sense of victimhood that is proportionate to their own level of interpersonal aggression. This is why radicalism and violence go hand-in-hand.

This is true of people in any race, class or religion. If they are naturally aggressive, they will naturally want to take from others, and a sense of victimhood is the perfect justification. All that’s needed is some way of interpreting history so that you or the group you belong to were victimised by some other. Then, that other can be attacked until it pays compensation.

Unfortunately, this means that a sense of victimhood is worth money. If it can be stoked in other people, by suggesting to those people that they are victims and are owed compensation, then this victimhood can be parlayed into cash, jobs and other perks. A person claiming to represent a group of victims can easily siphon wealth into their own pockets. This makes it immensely tempting to stoke victimhood and to aggravate grievances.

The wise thing to do is to be exceptionally wary of anyone, whether an individual or a group, that claims to be a victim. Almost inevitably, this group will have managed to justify aggression against those who they see as oppressors. For this reason, a sense of victimhood, and perpetuating a sense of victimhood, can rightly be seen as a sign of aggression.

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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.

We’re All Slaves On One Big Tax Plantation

Most people today are horrified by the idea of chattel slavery. The practice is widely considered one of the most vile and evil institutions in human history, and for good reason. What most people fail to realise, however, is that we are still slaves living on a big plantation, but instead of cotton it’s all about taxes.

The truth is that our societies are little different to the cotton and sugar plantations of the antebellum American South. We are plantation slaves. The owners of capital are the same today as they were in the 1840s, and the overseers they employ are also little different. The main difference is that we are enslaved psychologically instead of physically.

This is why it was said that Kanye West had “left the plantation” when he began to repudiate the mainstream media’s relentless attacks on Donald Trump, as well as the implication that black Americans ought to always support the Democrat Party. The world view inculcated by the mainstream media is as constraining as any cotton or sugar plantation, and we’re the slaves on it.

On the tax plantation, all that matters is submission to the neoliberal capitalist globohomo agenda. Just as the owners of cotton plantations didn’t care about the well-being of their slaves, as long as they produced cotton, neither do the owners of our society care about our well-being, as long as we produce taxes.

In the same way that the owners of the cotton and sugar plantations got their overseers to squeeze as much productivity as possible from their slaves, so too do the owners of the tax plantations direct the overseers in the media, government and mental health industries to squeeze as much tax money as possible from their slaves. Sheep are farmed for wool, cows are farmed for milk, but humans are farmed for taxes.

The ideal is to get the slave to willingly produce tax money. The main method of achieving this has been to create a culture where possession and acquisition of material goods is considered the meaning of human existence, with ostracisation the penalty for anyone who disagrees. With this achieved, the people within that culture will work long hours for the money necessary for all this stuff, and that labour can be taxed without fear of resistance. The more work, the more tax.

If a slave is unwilling to produce tax money, the response of the overseers is similar to that taken by the overseers on a cotton plantation.

The initial reaction is abuse. The cotton plantation overseer would use physical abuse, in the form of whips. The thought plantation overseer, not being able to use corporal punishment, uses psychological abuse instead. This usually takes the form of calling the slave lazy, or a malingerer. The overseer will create the impression that the slave’s unwillingness to produce taxes for their owner is a moral failure on the part of the slave, something they should be ashamed of.

If this fails, the overseers move on to medicalisation. This is where the unwillingness to produce taxes is labelled a mental disorder requiring correction. On the thought plantation, the unwillingness to produce taxes is usually treated with psychiatric medication. The idea is that all thoughts of doing anything besides working and paying taxes are suppressed.

In the 1800s, a medical condition existed called drapetomania. This was a a diagnosis that could be given to slaves that had run away from their plantations. It referred to a kind of mental illness that impelled its sufferers to not want to be enslaved. The doctor who came up with the concept said “proper medical advice, strictly followed, this troublesome practice that many Negroes have of running away can be almost entirely prevented”.

Another fictitious mental disorder that was used to justify slavery was called dysaesthesia aethiopica. This was the Slavery Age equivalent of what doctors nowadays call “amotivational syndrome”. The idea was that the unwillingness to be treated as a slave must be a mental illness that had to be corrected. After all, a mentally healthy slave would accept his position and work hard for the master.

We can see the same logic applied by psychiatric doctors nowadays. Individuals who are disinclined to participate in society, on account of its overwhelming shitness, are diagnosed with mental illnesses similar to drapetomania. Schizotypal personality disorder is one such – the withdrawal from social contact is labelled a mental illness and medicated. Antisocial Personality Disorder and schizophrenia are other common reactions to enslavement, also pathologised.

The overseers and plantation owners can never, ever admit that the lives they have constructed for us are grossly unnatural, and that this unnaturalness is so severe that it has caused most of the mental illness that we now suffer. They can never admit that removing people’s agency over their lives causes a frustration that ends up becoming expressed as depression or homicidal rage.

The only way forward for those of us on the thought plantation is to liberate our minds, even if the plantation owners and overseers respond with abuse. Crucial to this is a sense of solidarity with other slaves, in which we support each other to defy the overseers and the owners. We must work for each other, and not for the sake of the plantation.

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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: Prohibition Destroys Families

Cannabis prohibition is a destructive approach in many ways. Because of the need to use law enforcement officers to attack people who use cannabis, massive emotional trauma and psychological damage is the inevitable result of prohibition. As this article will examine, some of the worst damage is that inflicted upon families of cannabis users.

The most severe way that cannabis prohibition affects families is through law enforcement. To fully appreciate the destructive effect that prohibition has had on families, it helps to imagine the situation from the perspective of a child who has had a parent taken way on account of a cannabis offence.

The psychological literature is replete with information about the devastating effect that losing a parent, even temporarily, has on the child’s mental health. It’s common for children in such a situation to feel a powerful sense of neglect and loss. They don’t understand why their parent has been taken away and put in a cage – after all, most adults don’t understand cannabis prohibition either, so how can a child?

Cannabis prohibition means that children are deprived of bonding time with their parents, sometimes even for years, because of the need to put people in prison for violating the cannabis laws. This regularly has a devastating effect on the child’s mental health – for no real benefit to anyone.

Another way that prohibition destroys families is by driving a wedge between generations. As mentioned elsewhere in this book, the young are almost universally in favour of cannabis law reform. They know it’s much safer than alcohol, and they’ve seen the carnage alcohol has caused to their parents’ and grandparents’ generations.

So when their parents start lecturing them about how they should avoid cannabis because it causes psychosis, and how they should drink alcohol instead because it’s not a drug, the predictable response is that the children come to lose faith in their parents, and to trust them less.

The most extreme example of this is when one family member is using medicinal cannabis and living in the same house as another one. This often causes conflict when the owner of the house is afraid that the presence of cannabis will attract the Police. In cases like this, it’s possible for the tension to lead to a family being pulled apart, and this can all be attributed to the law against cannabis.

It should be pointed out here that the damage done to families is worse than it seems at first glance. The sort of people who grow cannabis are frequently in a precarious social situations. After all, one of the main reasons why people smoke it is to deal with the anxiety and depression that comes with being on society’s fringes.

For these people, the safety net of the family is sometimes the difference between life or death. Vulnerable people generally don’t have much else to rely on. Putting an adult in prison can have the effect of removing an important node from their family’s social net, meaning that families have to go without income and children have to go without parents. Even more distant relatives like cousins, nephews and nieces can be affected.

It’s common for the imprisonment of one parent to lead to the rest of the family having to move home or school. Breaking up these social networks, merely because a person grew a medicinal plant, is unconscionable. This suffering caused to family members of cannabis users is not justifiable.

Cannabis ought to be made legal so that Kiwi families are no longer made to suffer as collateral damage. A repeal of cannabis prohibition would mean that the integrity of the family could no longer be damaged by the actions of law enforcement. This would avoid causing severe emotional damage to the children and wider family members of anyone imprisoned, a much more humane and compassionate approach to the one currently used.

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

The Case For Cannabis: Prohibition Corrupts the Youth

As this book underlines at length, cannabis prohibition itself does a great amount of damage to our society. Leaving aside the fact that cannabis itself is not harmful, prohibition and the act of enforcing it causes legitimate harm by way of trauma, and usually to people who have done nothing wrong. As this article will examine, prohibition also does damage by corrupting the nation’s youth.

The received wisdom is that cannabis corrupts the youth, by transforming good students into lazy, violent delinquents. The truth is much different. The truth is that cannabis prohibition creates the corruptive effect.

A young person who is taking note of the debate around cannabis law reform couldn’t help but to draw some unsavoury conclusions about how the world works. Watching Bob McCoskrie blatantly lie and scaremonger in the name of Jesus demonstrates clearly to any young people watching that our culture is rotten with crooks, our mainstream religion dead, our mainstream media complicit in it all. What sort of message is that?

The youth aren’t stupid. They know that cannabis prohibition is bullshit. This can be seen from the strong correlation between being young and voting for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2017. The fact is that anti-cannabis propaganda has had a decreasing impact since the 1970s, by when enough people had experimented with it for there to be subcultures of individuals who knew that the reasons for prohibition were false.

This raises a question that few ask themselves, because of the rush to look tough on crime. What impression are we giving the youth by way of our actions around cannabis? Because the youth of New Zealand are watching their elders, and observing how some of those elders are blatantly lying about the side-effects of cannabis, and clearly trying to scaremonger the population, while ignoring the scientific evidence.

The youth also see the Police enforcing the law, despite the widespread awareness that enforcement of this law only serves to increase the suffering of the New Zealand people. This teaches them that the law is indifferent to the suffering of the people, merely something that is imposed upon them by Parliament, and the Police little better than dogs, merely following orders for the sake of a full belly.

Observing this blatant corruption in action has a hugely corrosive effect on the moral integrity of young people.

Above all this, cannabis prohibition corrupts the youth the worst in lower-class families. Because cannabis is on the black market, it’s possible for someone to make a few thousand dollars in hard cash from running a clandestine grow. When a child sees their parent or uncle making money from growing cannabis, and not from working, then the idea of crime instead of work starts to become normalised.

Imagine if the alternative for at-risk children was watching their family member work on the white market as a cannabis researcher, or even as a budtender. A child is much better off seeing their parents work almost any job on the white market than something on the black one. It’s much better to normalise the idea of making money from legal enterprise, but cannabis needs to be made a legal enterprise before that can happen.

Worst of all is the effect on those young people who see their older family members arrested and sometimes imprisoned for something which they can’t understand is a crime. There’s no way to get a young person, who is wise to the nature of propaganda and brainwashing, to believe that cannabis is evil enough to warrant such treatment. They know that the Government is committing an abuse against them.

The corruptive effect of this is immense. For such a young person, watching a member of your family go through that much suffering just over a plant normalises certain ideas about society. One of the most dangerous of these is that society is their enemy – an enemy that wants to destroy them.

Cannabis prohibition has corrupted our youth, by showing them that truth and justice have no place in the organisation of the world. The way to get ahead is to bribe politicians, scaremonger, lie and cheat. Political decisions about medicines are not made on the basis of evidence and science, and neither are they based on the imperative to end suffering.

It’s impossible to tell a young person that they ought to obey the laws of a society when those laws are transparently arbitrary and ridiculous. This means that cannabis prohibition has had the effect of eroding the otherwise law-abiding nature of people.

It would be much better for the supposed adults to demonstrate honesty and fairness to the young people. This we could do by repealing cannabis prohibition, and then making a commitment to tell the truth about it at all levels of government, education and medicine.

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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.

Government Action on Housing Crisis Missing-In-Action

by MARTIN GRONBACH

I stare wide eyed at my phone and let loose a snort of equal parts disgust and derision.

The listing on TradeMe for my neighbour’s house has revealed their asking price.

$540,000.

This probably won’t be terribly offensive to those of you battling to buy your own home considering the average house price in New Zealand reached an eye watering $645,250 as of last year, but let me put my outrage in context.

This is the asking price for a reasonable 3-bedroom house in Carterton, Wairarapa.

Over half a million for a house in Cartervegas, with me as a neighbour? Get the fuck outta here.

If this what politicians put forward as the “affordable provinces” then any young person aspiring to one day own their own home is pretty damn screwed. Trust fund babies need not consider themselves applicable.

Last year I decided to ask the three local councils as to what actions they were taking to address the housing crisis and housing affordability.

The responses ranged from “We can’t do anything”, “It’s not our problem to solve”, “Define affordable” to “We are waiting on direction and leadership on the issue from central government”.

Local governments are not interested in taking a leading role in solving the housing crisis. Maybe this is due to the nearly non-existent representation of young people in local body politics, but that’s a topic for another time.

If not local government, surely our transformative coalition government could surely be trusted to be kicking arse for the long-suffering Kiwi first home buyer?

Brace yourself for crushing disappointment as the salvation of Generation Rent won’t be found with this current government – at least not this term.

Kiwibuild has been flogged by Labour as the band-aid to fix the housing crisis booboo as far back as 2012. However once in a position to actually implement the policy in 2017, it was quickly revealed just how little thought had gone into it.

The reality was that Labour’s fix for the housing crisis was over-hyped and under-cooked, inaccessible for anyone earning the average wage, that had school age children, or any number of the realities New Zealanders face. With the additional restrictions on selling the property within three years, designed to stop property speculation, people considering Kiwibuild are better off not using the scheme if possible, as buying on the open market doesn’t have any such restrictions and, in the end, any difference in the final price paid was negligible.

It’s a sad state of affairs that even with the supposed singleness of purpose and financial backing of the tax payer, Kiwibuild has completely failed to deliver for the majority of people that voted for it.

With numerous New Zealand based kit-set home manufacturers, even houses built by robots in Wellington, building houses isn’t the bottleneck. Land supply, and the price of ticking the boxes before building, however, is.

Reforming the Resource Management Act to allow for faster development of land should be one of the more obvious issues to deal with if the Government was actually serious about tackling the housing crisis. Likewise, opening up the building materials market to some international competition by way of reforming the New Zealand Building Code could potentially topple the monopoly enjoyed by a select few manufacturers price gouging the currently captive New Zealand market and further decrease building costs.

Another touted solution in the build up to the election was the so-called foreign ownership ban. Put forward by both Labour and New Zealand First, this would stop overseas investment in our domestic housing market. However, this did not mean ALL foreign ownership as Australians, who make up a third of all foreign owners of New Zealand property alone, as well as Singaporean nationals in the pursuit of a YET ANOTHER free-trade agreement, are still able to buy New Zealand property.

Again, this was found to be a relative non-issue as measly three percent of all property sold was to foreign buyers and that three percent was mostly made up of large-scale farms and stations, life-style blocks and shares in new-build apartment blocks. While I don’t agree with any foreign ownership of New Zealand land, in the context of the housing crisis, this is, and continues to be, an outlying issue, if not entirely separate from the housing crisis.

Generation Rent isn’t, and never was, in the market for a thousand acres of pristine South Island sheep country, so the foreign ownership ban had little real impact in this regard.

The main influencers of the housing crisis are two issues. The first was, and continues to be, New Zealand’s high levels of immigration. That contentious issue both Labour AND New Zealand First made a huge deal about during the opposition years and during the 2017 election, which our coalition government now seems reluctant to firmly act on, apart from putting the boot into low hanging fruit like the dodgy export education industry.

Ironically the fallout following the banning of Huawei from supplying equipment for the upcoming 5G rollout, the responsive drop in tourists and wealthy international students from China may end up having more of a tangible impact on addressing housing affordability that anything the Government has intentionally done to date.

The second genuine influencer is the rife accumulation, hoarding and speculation of housing by fellow, and now extremely wealthy, New Zealanders. The final word on cause of the housing crisis is that it is a mess of our own making. Kiwis ripping off Kiwis. Ever heard of a cap or outright ban on the number of investment properties? Me neither, and so long as we keep voting for the same four political parties, you never will.

With Generation Rent’s patience starting to wear thin and half their term over already, the coalition government can’t afford to continue to wear the kiddie gloves for fear of threatening the entitlement culture of wealthy New Zealand nor the construction sector lobbyists whilst avoiding the real causes of our housing crisis. 2019 will either make or break this government and younger people’s trust in it.

At the end of the day I don’t want or need 20 rental properties. No reasonable New Zealander does.

I just want the safety and security of providing a home for my wife and children that won’t be put up for sale as soon as the market conditions are favourable.

But not for over half a million in bloody Carterton, thanks.

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Martin Gronbach is an unashamed nationalist, self-aware 30-year-old boomer, active political shitposter, father, husband, engineering student and full member of Generation Rent who lives in the Wairarapa.

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.

The Case For Cannabis: Prohibition Funds Crime

Other articles here have mentioned that cannabis prohibition doesn’t mean the cannabis market goes away: it just means that it goes onto the black market. There are several deleterious aspects to this, each worthy of separate discussion. This article will look at the role cannabis prohibition plays in funding crime.

The logic is that, by prohibiting cannabis and by attacking cannabis users through the justice system, it becomes possible to prevent cannabis profits from steadily flowing into the hands of criminals, which would prevent them from being able to fund further enterprises. So criminal activity, and thereby the suffering of the citizenry, can be pre-empted by attacking cannabis users and growers.

As we saw with alcohol, the attempt to prohibit a substance just makes everything about it worse. Alcohol prohibition infamously led to the rise of an entire class of gangsters and bootleggers, the most well-known being Al Capone. Because the substance couldn’t be sold lawfully, it was sold on the black market, and the criminal enterprises who made the profits were happy to use that money to find other ventures.

In Capone’s time, much of that black market money was used to buy firearms, which were then used in the commission of robberies and contract killings. Alcohol prohibition ensured a constant flow of money into the coffers of criminal gangs, and this financed further ventures. Consequently, those criminal enterprises flourished.

We don’t have alcohol prohibition any more, but cannabis prohibition has done a fine job of filling that gap.

The New Zealand Drug Harm Index 2016 stated that “Over $70 million in funding for other criminal activities is provided each year from drug trafficking. The majority of this (nearly 90%) is generated from the sale of cannabinoids.” Another way to write this is to say: Cannabis prohibition puts $60 million into the pockets of criminal gangs in every single year, in New Zealand alone.

This money then finances all the murders, robberies and methamphetamine production that the rest of us have to suffer from. The Police are not wrong when they say that illegal cannabis sales fund further crime – they’re just wrong when they say that the solution is to crack down on it. It’s the cracking down on cannabis that makes it valuable, and this attracts the desperate, greedy and short-sighted.

If a criminal wants to fund the purchase of a large amount of precursors to methamphetamine, they might find themselves in need of a few thousand dollars. This is a similar amount of money to what they could make in one cannabis grow under a 600 watt light, after about three months of growing. Because anyone with a real criminal network knows someone with cannabis clones (or at least seeds), just about anyone inclined to set up a meth operation can also get a cannabis grow started.

Moreover, cannabis prohibition makes it possible to cut up a pound of cannabis into $50 bags and sell them piecemeal. They can do it themselves, or they can get gang underlings to do it – after all, $50 is within the reach of even high schoolers. This makes it possible for criminal enterprises to draw more and more people in.

Under a regime of legal cannabis, such things would not be possible, or would at least be strongly disincentivised. For one thing, cannabis prices are much lower in places where it is legal, and this removes most of the incentive to get involved in selling it. A second factor is that the vast majority of people prefer not to deal with criminals if they can get the same goods from a white market vendor.

So cannabis prohibition makes it possible for a variety of criminal enterprises to get funding, whereas they may not have been able to get off the ground without their backers’ ability to sell cannabis on the black market. A lot of this criminal activity only exists because the law makes it possible. Wherever you have an economic niche, white market or black, someone will step into it.

The common counter-argument that, if cannabis was made legal, gangs would just sell hard drugs, turns out to be the opposite of the truth. The scenario we’re given is that criminals will sell drugs anyway, so it’s better for them to sell cannabis to our children than methamphetamine. The assumption seems to be that criminals choose to sell cannabis in preference to methamphetamine etc. out of kindness.

Leaving aside all the other ways in which this argument is wrong, it takes a certain amount of start-up capital to be able to get in on the market for hard drugs, because it’s necessary to deal with major players. Cooking up a batch of meth takes start-up capital, and even buying precursors usually requires a five-figure sum of cash on account of that people dealing in such are disinclined to make petty deals. Cannabis law reform would make those five figures harder for criminals to come by.

Cannabis prohibition should be repealed so as to take a major source of funding away from criminal gangs. Without black market cannabis, a number of criminal enterprises and schemes would not be able to get off the ground, which would keep our communities safer than cannabis prohibition can.

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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.

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.

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.

The Case For Cannabis: The Market Needs to Be Regulated

One of the strongest arguments for cannabis law reform is the appeal to regulate the market. The idea that a government can make cannabis illegal and then it just “goes away” is childish, and the historical example has borne this out. As this article will examine, legal cannabis is the only realistic way to regulate the market.

Many people envision that the world before cannabis prohibition was one of chaos. Shady dealers set up outside high schools to sell to pupils, pharmacists pushed untested and unresearched cannabis products on a naive public and criminal enterprises got fat with the income from cannabis bootlegging. The reality is closer to the reverse of this.

When a substance such as cannabis becomes illegal by act of law, what that means in practice is that the manufacture and supply of that good becomes completely unregulated. Making something illegal is not a way of regulating it – it’s a way of putting it into the “too hard” basket. It shifts control from the regulators to the black market.

The black market doesn’t attract nice people. It generally attracts people with no better options – desperados. Because there is currently no opportunity to legally profit from cannabis in New Zealand, the only people who deal with the subject matter are black marketeers. There is no guarantee that such individuals will adhere to what has been established overseas as professional industry standards for manufacture and supply of cannabis products.

Regarding the manufacture of goods on the black market, it’s apparent that there are little in the way of health and safety considerations. This is a relatively minor concern in the case of cannabis, but it’s still possible that any bud manufactured by a criminal enterprise has used unwanted chemicals in the growing process. They might have used chemical fertilisers that leave side-products that people don’t want in their bodies, or treated the bud with something to make it appear danker.

When it comes to supply, the situation is even worse. A normal business primarily competes with others through advertising, whether word-of-mouth or commercial. They don’t compete through intimidation. The manager of the local Countdown would never send an underling to take out Fresh Choice workers for selling on the wrong turf. Black marketeers selling illicit drugs happily take their competitors out such ways though.

The vast majority of the criminal activity associated with cannabis comes about because of prohibition. It’s isn’t natural to cannabis. With no regulatory oversight, there’s nothing stopping the black market selling to 13-year olds or wiping their competitors out in turf wars. Cannabis is already illegal, so it’s not like the victims could go to the Police. Black market actors have free rein until they are arrested.

Practically speaking, there is going to be a cannabis market whether we like it or not, so we might as well make sure that it’s on the level.

Regulation would solve the problem of tainted product, because growers will need to be able to account for their grow methodology and process. End consumers will be prevented from becoming ill because the possibility of dangerous chemicals being used at some point in the process will be minimised. If anyone does become sick, responsibility can be placed on the correct party and appropriate measures taken.

Moreover, a regulated cannabis supplier or dealer is much more likely to comply with public requests for decency than the black market is. Regulation will inevitably mean that cannabis dealers will need to become licensed, which means that they are strongly incentivised to adhere to laws regarding not supplying to minors, not supplying to intoxicated people etc. They also can’t shoot their competitors and expect that this will lead to a greater market share.

A final benefit is that regulation will mean that cannabis suppliers cannot deal with other products as well. As mentioned elsewhere, the gateway drug effect can only occur when people seeking cannabis are exposed to hard drugs. A professional cannabis retailer will not have an incentive to offer their customers methamphetamine, unlike a gang member. In practice, they are unlikely to even be allowed to sell alcohol or tobacco.

All this means that regulation will have the effect of almost taking cannabis away from the black market entirely. Those who are allowed to compete on the legal market for cannabis will have to meet quality standards that ensure that safety of the users (to such a degree that this is possible when people take psychoactive drugs). This will have the overall effect of reducing harm.

Cannabis should be legal because regulation of cannabis causes less suffering than criminalising it. We need to abandon the childish idea that making something illegal makes it go away, and employ a sophisticated and intelligent approach to dealing with the issues caused by cannabis. The only realistic way to do this is through regulation.

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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.

Our Problem Isn’t Too Much Masculinity – It’s Too Little

Our culture is so fucked up that it has a number of things completely backwards. It’s easier to find a doctor willing to tell you about the benefits of male infant genital mutilation than it is to find one willing to tell you about the benefits of medicinal cannabis. As this essay will examine, one of the things we currently have backwards is blaming a lack of masculinity on an excess of it.

The phrase “toxic masculinity” is bandied about, ever more frequently nowadays, as if it described an established phenomenon in psychological science. Ostensibly, the term is limited to the description of particular behaviours, performed by men, that are toxic to others or to society at large. In reality, the term is only ever used in the attempt to belittle men – or masculinity in general.

People frequently use the term with the implication that the toxicity comes from an excess of masculinity. But we live in the least masculine age in the history of Planet Earth. In New Zealand at the time of the 2013 Census, around 14% of children were raised by single mothers. When they are at primary school, 88% of their teachers will be women.

This means that most of the adult influence on boys in their formative years is female. Some boys will get to school having never seen a positive male role model or perhaps any at all. If these children are growing up to cause problems because they don’t recognise other people’s physical boundaries, it’s not the sort of problem that more femininity will fix.

The phrase “toxic masculinity” is often used to attack participatory sports, especially under the guise that these sports teach men to be aggressive, domineering and invasive of other people’s personal space.

The reality is – as everyone who has played sport knows – the rules of every game force you to channel aggression into goal-directed activity that does not harm anyone without their consent. You can’t just punch someone on a sporting field, or you’ll be sent off and possibly kicked out of your team. In this regard, the older men (usually) act as models of composure for the younger ones to follow.

Moreover, participatory sports have done more than any government initiative to break down barriers between different race and class groups and encourage them to all meet on the level. On a cricket field, a three doesn’t become a four just because the batsman was brown or middle-class or for any other reason. Masculine energy can therefore be used as a leveller in the interests of horizontalisation just as much as feminine energy can.

Our time in history is so completely feminised, and so confused, that hardly anyone even knows what masculinity is any more. It’s little wonder that some people can call it toxic with a straight face, when they have such a confused conception of it.

We’re so confused nowadays, that we have to go right back. Way, way, way back before even Jesus and even Socrates and Plato, back to the real ancients, who told us: masculinity is the ability to impose order upon chaos. Fundamentally the world is made of a feminine yin-chaos and a masculine yang-order, and in much the same way that the feminine makes chaos out of order, so too does the masculine make order out of chaos.

There are several ways that a person can impose order upon chaos, but correct conduct means that you impose order upon yourself first. This is something that is understood by every actual man, and is not understood by boys or by boys masquerading as men. They go out to impose order upon the world first, and do not realise that the strongest influence is the most subtle.

Socrates, perhaps the foremost Western example of manhood, taught that happiness came from making peace with death. Esoterically, one might describe this as imposing order upon one’s own spirit. As a previous article here has discussed, a failure to impose order upon one’s own spirit by making peace with death is akin to labouring under chains of gold, such that one becomes the slave of anyone who can credibly promise absolution.

A person who has imposed order upon their own spirit is able to impose order upon their mind also. Not being afraid of death means to not be in a state of constant panic at the inevitability of it, which means that it becomes possible to use one’s time on low-intensity pursuits such as reading. They will also be much more able to behave appropriately, on account of having imposed order upon their emotions.

It can be seen here that the common modern conception of masculinity is completely arse about face.

A properly masculine man will not sexually harass women for the simple reason that he has imposed order upon his reproductive instincts and, as such, can discharge them when appropriate, as a matter of will. His animal instincts don’t lead him – that would be an example of chaos being in control.

Likewise, a properly masculine man doesn’t feel the need to dominate everyone, or to boss them around, or to avenge minor insults with violence. He has imposed order upon his own ego, and as such does not have the same insecurities that a less masculine man would have. A truly masculine man has imposed such order upon his emotions that others can not easily knock him off balance. He is in charge of himself.

As such, a properly masculine man attracts the feminine not through force and aggression, but through attracting its freely-willed devotion. Rapists and molesters are not examples of too much masculinity but too little. A real man will have imposed such order upon his life, his behaviour and his appearance, that women will naturally want to be devoted to him, and therefore he doesn’t feel impelled to move on them without their consent.

Men who act on their impulses without consideration for the well-being of others are not “toxic males” – they are shitheads. What our society needs is more masculinity, so that young men can see examples of the correct imposition of order upon chaos. If young males are shown older males being rewarded for correctly imposing order upon themselves, they will imitate it. Thus, what we need is more masculinity, not less.

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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 People Have to Pay For Cannabis Users’ Healthcare

One argument that is often made by people in response to proposals for cannabis law reform is that they don’t want to pay for cannabis users’ healthcare. The logic goes that cannabis law reform is unfair on the general populace, because they have to fork out for the inevitable increased healthcare burden through general taxation. As this article will examine, such an attitude is mistaken.

Like many of the false arguments against cannabis law reform, this one relies on another bogeyman. In this case, it’s the supposedly heavy burden that the health system would suffer under if cannabis were to be made legal. This burden would have to be borne by everyone, and it isn’t fair to expect them to do so.

As with many examples of false logic, this argument depends on seeing the situation incorrectly.

For one thing, it’s possible that, if cannabis were to become legal, some of the adverse consequences of its use would become more widespread. But it’s foolish to think that, in such a case, cannabis use would go up while the rates of all other recreational drugs would stay the same.

In reality, recreational cannabis is a competing good to alcohol. A lot of people use it because they find the ritual of rolling up and smoking a joint as relaxing and enjoyable as drinking a beer, and at least as social. Everywhere that cannabis is legal, at least some of the population have decided that they prefer to socialise over some weed than over some booze.

So the supposed “extra” healthcare burden that would be caused by increased cannabis use is balanced, perhaps even several times over, by the savings that accrue from health problems that were prevented by the reduced use of other recreational drugs.

Alcohol abuse is believed to cost the country $4.9 billion per year. The total cost of cannabis use on our health system right now is, even if one uses the ultra-conservative Drug Harm Index, $431 million. This latter figure is not merely the cost of cannabis use to the healthcare system but also ancillary costs, so the true figure is much lower (this latter figure also includes $126 million of costs due to premature death caused by cannabis use and is therefore somewhat fantastical).

So even if legal cannabis doubled the total harm that the Drug Harm Index says that cannabis does to society, this would be more than compensated for if it reduced the total harm done by alcohol by 10% or more.

A second factor to consider is that the cost of cannabis damage is small compared to the cost of old people just clinging onto life for a few more years.

New Zealand’s total healthcare expenditure was $16.8 billion last year, and people aged over 65 used over 42% of that – and that percentage is increasing. So people over 65 use roughly $8 billion dollars’ worth of taxpayers’ money on health costs every year, much of which is wasted on futile attempts to delay a terminal illness.

Even if we ignore that cannabis use is not higher in jurisdictions where it is legal, and even if we ignore that legal cannabis would mean users could use much less harmful routes of administration, and even if we assume that the total healthcare damage would be double under legalisation than what it is now, it still wouldn’t be a great amount of money compared to what is already spent.

The third argument is, of course, that it simply doesn’t matter if cannabis users’ healthcare has to be paid for out of general taxation. As mentioned above, alcohol abuse costs the country almost five billion dollars a year, which amounts to close to $1,600 per taxpayer. If such a high bar is acceptable for alcohol, then its acceptable for cannabis as well.

Cannabis users are, or should be, part of our society the same way as anyone else is. So in the same way that we’re happy to pay for the healthcare costs of cigarette smokers, alcohol drinkers, Olanzapine takers (the side-effects of many psychiatric medicines are bad for the physical health), rugby players, horse riders and mountain climbers, so too should we be happy to pay for the healthcare costs of cannabis users.

Legal cannabis would make it easier to minimise healthcare costs anyway, because doctors would be able to encourage cannabis users to avoid joints and dabs in favour of edibles and vapourisers. So if healthcare costs really are a concern, legal cannabis is better for more than one reason.

In summary, it’s not fair to object to cannabis law reform on the basis that the general taxpayer would have to pay for a sudden massive healthcare burden. A repeal of cannabis prohibition would not lead to such a burden – in fact, a sober look at the experience suggests the overall healthcare cost of recreational drug use would fall if cannabis became 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.

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.