A recent Customs report suggests that the New Zealand Government may lose up to $10,000,000 in revenue per year from a black market in tobacco as a consequence of raising taxes on both cigarettes and loose tobacco. The predictable Government reaction will be more restrictions against home growing and even more taxes, but this essay will argue that if the Government had any sense they’d drop the whole hubris-fuelled idea.
An example of how the Kiwi political class has more shit for brains than it does grey or white matter was provided by Nicky Wagner’s response to the report. She said:
“We’re monitoring it very closely, we’re intercepting [tobacco] the border, you may be aware that the Customs and Excise Act is changing in the New Year. That cuts the amount of growth for personal use from 15 kilograms down to 5kg… We’re attacking it on several different levels.”
So rather than accept that they may have made an error, or that the 40-year failure of the War on Drugs may have taught us anything, or that the failure of alcohol prohibition in America may have taught us anything, our politicians are just going to double down on pissing our taxmoney up the wall.
Tobacco prohibition, however gradually it might be brought about, is a sadistic idea dreamed up by morons.
Some might ask, given the evident physical dangers of smoking tobacco, how this can be.
The answer: tobacco is a mental health medicine. This is not generally understood by either doctors severely brainwashed into taking a physicalist perspective towards everything or by politicians who are generally either ignorant or indifferent to mental health and the people suffering from a lack of it.
It has long been noted that people who are hard done by and the majority of severely mentally ill people smoke something, almost always either tobacco or cannabis.
An article from the Journal of the American Medical Association points out that “individuals with mental illness smoke at rates approximately twice that of adults without mental disorders… and comprise more than half of nicotine-dependent smokers.”
In other words, half of the haul of increased tax revenue from the Smokefree New Zealand policy comes out of the wallets of mentally ill people who are taxed for trying to obtain relief from psychological distress.
And the higher they pump the tax up, the more the mentally ill will just have to keep paying, because people with high levels of psychological distress have no other reliable way to control that distress when it gets out of control than to have a cigarette.
Why the Smokefree New Zealand policy is so cruel can be summarised with a line from a recent article in the Journal of Nicotine and Tobacco Research: “people with high levels of psychological distress do not benefit to the same extent as others from existing tobacco control measures.”
In fact, people with high levels of psychological distress lose out immensely from the Smokefree New Zealand policy, because they have to pay more for tobacco which leaves them in increased poverty, which increases the psychological distress (and thus the demand for tobacco).
Here’s a question that the gutless chickenshits in Parliament will never have the courage to ask themselves: Is there a connection between the tobacco prices and our world record teen suicide rate?
They won’t ask themselves that question, because they lack either the integrity or the courage. The rest of us, for our part, might like to consider this question: will the attempt to ban tobacco be any less of a futile waste of resources, achieving nothing but human misery, than the attempts to ban alcohol and cannabis have been?
This column contends that it will not. The crusade against tobacco has all the hallmarks of being another futile, self-destructive suicide mission foisted on an unwilling populace by the morons in Parliament.
On the face of it, it seems self-evident that a New Zealand libertarian party would be a staunch supporter of cannabis law reform. There’s nothing less libertarian than the government putting people in cages for using a medicine they don’t approve of, and there’s nowhere in the world with a greater appetite for a repeal of cannabis prohibition.
The New Zealand ACT Party claims to be a libertarian party. They have wrapped themselves in the libertarian yellow and their website boldly states “We believe the current role of government is far too large and should be limited on a principled basis.”
Sounds good, as probably 75% of New Zealand agrees that the New Zealand Government’s decades-long war on medicinal cannabis users has been a governmental overreach and should be limited.
The ACT Party Crime and Justice page even goes as far as to state, at the top: “We’re striving for a progressive, vibrant New Zealand that encourages individual choice, responsibility and excellence.”
From all this rhetoric you’d think a repeal of cannabis prohibition would be front and centre, but it’s not even mentioned. Instead the entire Crime and Justice section is just a lengthy diatribe about how burglary is the greatest evil facing our nation and ought to be punished severely.
The inability of the ACT Party to make good on their rhetoric about compassion and freedom by supporting a repeal of New Zealand’s cannabis laws – despite their unprecedented degree of leverage on the current Government – marks that party, and David Seymour, as a pack of weaklings.
What takes the ACT Party’s behaviour from disappointing to pathetic is the fact that it has already been well established that a repeal of our cannabis laws would save the taxpayer $400,000,000 per year.
So changing our cannabis laws, and making good on all the lofty rhetoric about compassion and freedom and fulfilling New Zealand’s destiny as a forward-thinking nation, would be a simple matter of negotiating with the current National Government $400,000,000 worth of tax cuts that would be paid for with the savings from cannabis prohibition.
It isn’t clear why Seymour has yet to kick the ball into this wide open goal.
Probably because he is a coward, but it’s unlikely that a man could possibly be so craven. Imagine being so gutless, so lily-livered, so chickenshit, that a 76-year old former leader of your party was saying what needed to be said six years ago, and you still can’t find the stomach to walk the same trail blazed by this geriatric.
A more charitable explanation though, going by his wittering about the need to do work on evaluating what’s happening overseas, is that Seymour is just in the same twenty-year time warp as most of the rest of the country.
It was pointed out in a previous Dan McGlashan column that supporting the ACT Party has a very strong negative correlation with being born in New Zealand (-0.74). Has the ACT Party sold its soul to corporate globalist interests so that Seymour could be a National party puppet?
Considering that there are significant correlations between voting ACT and both having a professional occupation, or with working in financial and insurance services, it’s unlikely that ACT voters or supporters have much in common with cannabis users at all, much less using cannabis themselves.
If those are the circles Seymour moves in, perhaps this is why Seymour has failed to observe the immense appetite for a change to our ridiculous laws.
So maybe he needs to climb down out of the ivory tower and get a clue.
Coming out in support of cannabis law reform would lend credence to the idea that ACT might really be a libertarian party, instead of what most Kiwis suspect them to be – paid whores of big corporate interests.
The question is whether Seymour has the courage to stand up to a Catholic prohibitionist National Party leader, or whether he’d rather scurry away and prepare himself for the aftermath of the likely National loss later this year.
The most sure thing of all is that if ACT does not make an appeal to libertarian New Zealanders by updating their cannabis policy, they have little hope of winning more than one seat in this year’s election.
Dividing the Great Fractal along two particular masculine-feminine axes gives us four realms of human awareness. These axes arise in response to two fundamental questions about any new piece of knowledge that are natural for a conscious entity to ask themselves as reality becomes more apparent after the birth of a physical body.
The first question is “Is this knowledge actual knowledge or is it a lie masquerading as knowledge?” The second question is “To what area of existence does this knowledge pertain?”
The first question gives us a basic division into truth and falsehood. The second question gives us a basic division into physical and metaphysical.
In the quadrant corresponding to both truth and physical, we have the realm of knowledge we call science. Human awareness probably entered this realm in conjunction with the mastery of fire, because it was not until then that the scientific method became necessary.
It was necessary for the mastery of fire because we had to learn, by trial and error for the most part, that dryness of the air was a factor that determined the possibility of starting a fire, as was the degree of contrast in terms of hardness of the two woods that were rubbed together, as was the temperature of the embers created by the friction.
This primitive scientific methodology led to the invention of the bow drill – a technological leap as ingenious as anything humanity has taken since, and one that increased our chances of survival in nature by more than any other. All scientists are the spiritual descendants of those early shamans who had the courage to master fire.
In the quadrant of truth crossed with metaphysical, we have philosophy. This arguably preceded the mastery of fire. More likely, though, it arose as a consequence of the leisure time that itself was created as a consequence of the massively increased efficiency of food consumption afforded by the ability to cook food in fire and therefore pre-digest it.
In other words, because eating cooked food was hyper-efficient it gave early man an opportunity to relax, and this brought with it consideration of basic existential questions like “What the fuck is going on here?”
The advent of philosophy massively increased human survival prospects because it allowed us to think ahead in a rational manner. This naturally led to an appreciation of the cycles of nature such as the seasons and the tides, and the migration patterns of the game animals upon which nomadic tribes depended.
These two realms of human awareness increased human survival chances so much that our population began to swell to a degree that could not be sustained by the hunting and gathering practices of the time. This overpopulation naturally led to increased competition for the now relatively scarcer resources.
It would have soon been apparent that this increased population led to increased violence. There was one way around it, though: there is one way to compete with one’s fellows without using violence, and that is by telling lies.
This mixture of the physical world and falsehood is the realm of human knowledge that we know as politics.
The earlier developmental stages of politics can be observed in the ever-shifting alliances of chimpanzee troops. Essentially the objective of politics is to position oneself or one’s group so that one is in an optimal position to compete for scarce resources without violence.
For example, it can be seen that in our modern civilisation that the men of silver generally have an easier time attracting fertile women than the men of iron. This is because being of silver – a part of which having the capacity to derive advantage by telling lies – is more closely associated with having a capacity for resource acquisition.
The politics of today have arranged the minds of the rest of us so that if the man of iron tries to take what he wants by force, as he did in prehistoric times without anyone being able to stop him, he will be outgunned by the Police.
The simplest way, however, to arrange a group of people so that they will do whatever you tell them is with religion. This is why the intersection of the metaphysical and falsehood is the quadrant of religion.
That philosophy and religion are the opposing poles of one axis can be understood by knowing that the purpose of philosophy is to enlighten and the purpose of religion is to confuse.
Make no mistake – the purpose of religion is to confuse its victims into passivity, from where they can be herded wherever their shepherd desires. This is why religious scriptures are absolutely riddled with contradictions.
These contradictions, such as the Biblical admonitions to both love thy neighbour and to destroy all enemies of God, have not arisen because the authors of these texts were philosophically unsophisticated.
Quite the opposite. It has been known since Babylon that if you can rot the minds of the populace with moral confusion they will become compliant with any decree from a ruler, as long as that decree promises to impose the order that all confused people desperately crave.
Telling lies, therefore, is an end in itself to both political and religious rulers. This point cannot be overemphasised if one wishes to make sense of the world.
At a march in Washington D.C. this week, accused neo-Nazi Richard Spencer was kinghit from the blindside by a mystery black-hoodie-clad protester. Footage of the incident was the most viral meme of the entire Inauguration period, trumping even anything the U.S. President said. The reaction of the Internet, predictably, was divided.
One part of the viewership was appalled by the purposeless attack on the sacred value of free speech; another part was excited to an almost sexual state of arousal by the sight of a Nazi getting what they thought he deserved.
Justification for the latter reaction began almost immediately, and was earnest, although convoluted. The basic premise, however, was eerily familiar: Spencer was a Nazi, Nazis want to violently take over the world, therefore they can essentially be attacked at any time in pre-emptive self-defence.
On the face of it, it’s hard to argue with that line of reasoning. The excuse that “I just got the bear before the bear got me” was after all, the excuse George W. Bush used to invade Iraq and kill a million people – and he completely got away with it.
There’s one glaring problem with the Bush Doctrine though, especially when it is applied to blindsiding people in the street for their political opinions: the potential excuses that a person might make to conduct ‘pre-emptive’ violence against another is limited only by human ingenuity.
For a start, the logic that any violence against Nazis is justified because Nazism is a supremacist political movement also justifies violence against any of the Abrahamic cults, as they are also supremacist ideologies.
It would then be legitimate to beat the shit out of any Christian or Jew one met on the grounds that their holy book contains a command from God to kill homosexuals. One could also conduct pre-emptive violence for a number of reasons against any Muslim you met.
Any American could be dealt to under the logic that American imperialism is one of the prime threats to the stability of the world order, and any European could be shown some fist on the grounds that prior imperialism suggests a high likelihood of future imperialism. Any Chinese or Indian could be bashed because their massive populations threaten the viability of the biosphere.
If someone calls you a Nazi, whether you are one or not, that could be an excuse for pre-emptive violence on the grounds that the epithet is generally only levelled at people who are murderous totalitarians and therefore should be killed with extreme prejudice. And people are being called ‘Nazi’ at ever-increasing rates – it’s almost become synonymous with ‘to the right of the speaker.’
If someone calls you a Commie, whether you are one or not, that could be an excuse for pre-emptive violence on the grounds that the epithet is generally only levelled at people who are murderous totalitarians and therefore should be killed with extreme prejudice. And people are being called ‘Commie’ at ever-increasing rates – it’s almost become synonymous with ‘to the left of the speaker.’
This means that anyone can find a reason to attack anyone else pre-emptively. It’s just a simple matter of knowing if you are doing it because your target is a Nazi or because they are a Commie.
As anyone who walked the streets of Weimar Germany could tell you, National Socialists and Communists are just ready made for fighting, like the yang and yin of violence. Their natural instinct is to go each other like two stags in rutting season.
Perhaps the best course of action for reasonable people is the Churchill Doctrine that served Britain so well in World War II: just stand back and let them kill each other.
P.S. Our anarcho-homicidalist readers usually enjoy seeing any kind of political extremist get punched in the head, so here’s the funniest dubstep remix of the incident we could find.
“If you were to come and ask me for a tinnie of marijuana and I give you a tinnie of lawn clippings, you’ve still committed an offence, even though you haven’t got drugs in your possession.” Sound reasonable? Perfectly reasonable according to Senior Sergeant Rupert Friend of the Hamilton Police.
In the odd case of Betty Tamihana, who tried to purchase some cannabis on Facebook to treat an anxiety disorder, she found that if you try to buy some medicine and get ripped off, the New Zealand Police will not help you if that medicine was cannabis. In fact, they will attack you.
Such an attitude is especially galling for the tens of thousands of Kiwis who use medicinal cannabis. Imagine being told that not only is your medicine illegal but if you so much as get ripped off by someone falsely claiming to sell you it then you are a criminal.
It would be more honest just to make it a criminal offence to suffer from a medical condition that could be treated by cannabis. Perhaps specially equipped Police units could raid the houses of cancer sufferers and if it was found that cannabis would be an effective medicine for the terminal pain then the sufferer could be charged with the crime of ‘Having a Reason To Want To Try To Purchase Cannabis.’
If your light is on at night because you can’t sleep, perhaps that could be taken as sufficient evidence that you might end up wanting to buy some cannabis to cure the insomnia, and so the Police should have the right to pre-emptively break into your house and put you in a cage (for your own safety of course).
Joking aside, that shows how ridiculous cannabis prohibition is. Should we accept that, in New Zealand, after all the time and effort we’ve put into building a decent justice system, a Police officer might sell the sufferer of a mental illness some grass clippings in the guise of an anxiety medicine just to arrest them under a law that was supposedly enacted to protect the public?
None of this is to blame the Police. The Police are men of iron, and the key to understanding them is to understand dogs, who are also of iron.
The thing about dogs is that they have absolutely no concept of right or wrong – they just obey dominant males in their group. Anyone who feeds them, or pays them in the case of Police officers, is their total and complete master, and they will rip to pieces anyone who fails to pay this master due respect.
The real bad guys of this story are, as usual, the Paedophiles of Wellington, who are the ones responsible for maintaining the law against cannabis freedom that is mindlessly enforced by the Blue Dogs.
The refusal of the New Zealand political class to accede to the public will to repeal cannabis prohibition has driven a wedge between the Police and the public, as it has induced the Police to spend forty years attacking the citizenry in the War on Drugs, instead of acting as peace officers, which is their warrant.
This has meant that there are now several large demographic groups – the under 40s, Maori, the mentally infirm – who distrust the Police to the point of seeing them as no less oppressive than an enemy army.
Of course, the biggest irony of this story is that the only person to behave in a rational manner was the drug user who called the Police to report a fraud. The Police officer did not act rationally, because to have a total lack of sympathy for the sufferer of a mental condition is the kind of hatred that ends up getting reciprocated, even if indirectly.
Let’s be clear – Donald Trump will not become American President this week because he out-thought the Democratic campaign during the election (although he did). He will become President because the Democrats and Hillary Clinton threw away a winning position out of sheer arrogance and hubris. One of the prime reasons for the Democrats squandering a sure-fire win was their refusal to promote a humane cannabis policy.
Cannabis became medicinally legal in California 1996, and many supporters of cannabis freedom were frustrated by George W. Bush’s refusal to countenance so much as a discussion about the subject between 2000 and 2008. When the Bush Presidency ended in 2008 and the Democrat Barack Obama became the President, it seemed like occasion for hope.
Indeed, Obama campaigned as the hope and change candidate. Part of this campaign was to distance himself from the haughty arrogance of the Dubya years. This manifested as a website – ‘We The People’ – where the American people could have their say on the issues important to them.
The top two subjects on this new website both related to repealing cannabis prohibition.
Cannabis users finally thought they had someone who would listen. Obama, infamously part of the “Choom Gang,” was sure to legalise cannabis. He had all the right rhetoric, admitting that he “smoked pot as a kid” and that cannabis is not more dangerous than alcohol.
So it isn’t as if Obama could claim to have been unaware of the strength of the sentiment of Americans in favour of legalising cannabis when he became President. By 2008, pretty much the entirety of Generation X believed that cannabis ought to be legal.
However, it turned out that neither Obama nor the Democrats had the guts to do anything about this generation’s foremost moral issue. This blog piece from 2009 provides an eerie premonition of the argument of this essay.
Obama, like the Green Party of New Zealand and almost everyone else, sold cannabis users down the river as soon as he got into power.
In fact, in 2009 Obama was even recorded laughing at the plight of the cannabis users who had just put him into power, as if putting tens of thousands of people in cages for their choice of medicine was an absurdly trivial matter.
Come 2016, and even a country with the socioeconomic challenges of Uruguay has managed to legalise cannabis fully – and still nothing from Obama or the Democrats, apart from a sense that they expect credit and gratitude for not sending the federal police to attack cannabis users in states like Colorado that expressed a democratic will to have legal cannabis.
So when the 2016 Presidential Election came around – and Democratic voters were asked to support a candidate who was known to not support cannabis legalisation – of course they simply refused and did not vote.
Despite a growing population and many large demographic advantages, Hillary Clinton got 4,000,000 fewer votes in 2016 than Obama got in 2008, and a large number of those will have been cannabis users. After being lied to by Obama, and then being presented in 2016 with a crusty old Boomer with no appreciation of medicinal cannabis at all, why vote?
It could be argued that the Democrats’ obstinate refusal to accept what all of their constituencies know – that cannabis prohibition ought to be repealed – cost them the Presidential Election. It showed them to be a party completely out of touch with the people they claimed to represent.
The New Zealand Labour Party looks set to ignore the lesson – Andrew ‘The Ditherer’ Little believes that cannabis causes “brain damage,” which means that there is no reason for medicinal cannabis users to vote Labour either.
Medicinal cannabis users will have to wait for him to run his course as Prime Minister, and then to wait for the next National Prime Minister to sit on their arse for nine years like Key and Clark did, which means possibly waiting until the year 2036 to get what Californians have had since 1996.
With a much more sophisticated appreciation for the national sentiment than the Paedophiles of Wellington, this column stands by the following prediction: the New Zealand centre-left will not win the 2017 General Election without the humane cannabis law reform policy that young people, Maori people, and both physically and mentally ill people are now expecting by right of natural justice.
Let’s look backwards in the history of the Western World, and see what we see…
Start of the 21st century to today: Islamic terrorists immigrate to other countries and terrorise the host populations.
Last half of 20th century: Jewish terrorists immigrate to another country and terrorise the host population.
15th century to first half of 20th century: Christian terrorists immigrate to other countries and terrorise the host populations.
8th century to 14th century: Islamic terrorists immigrate to other countries and terrorise the host populations.
(AD) 1st century to 7th century: Christian terrorists immigrate to other countries and terrorise the host populations.
(BC) 7th century to 1st century: Jewish terrorists immigrate to other countries and terrorise the host populations.
All of these terrorists belong to the various cults that came into the world as a consequence of what is known as the Curse of Abraham, collectively known as the Abrahamic cults or Abrahamism.
How did they get like this?
Abraham was a narcissistic Chaldean megalomaniac who hallucinated a Babylonian god known as Yahweh (so named because the name can be spoken without consonants, and thus represents the divine nature of the breath).
For some reason, the nature of these hallucinations were violent – Yahweh apparently instructed Abraham to invade the land of Canaan (to the West) and ethnically cleanse it of the natives, possibly because the burgeoning civilisation of Mesopotamia was becoming too numerous to be contained, and inevitably spilled over into the territories of neighbouring tribes as has been the human story since many tens of thousands of years before history.
After another hallucination in which Yahweh appeared, Abraham had himself and his entire household genitally mutilated (presumably it did not matter whether Abraham’s household men consented to the procedure).
This genital mutilation is believed by the Abrahamists to be their half of a deal with God – in return they were promised descendants as numerous as the stars and the Promised Land, a huge chunk of Middle Eastern real estate. The genital mutilation in exchange for being successful invaders deal was followed by the ritual slaughter of some animals.
This isn’t even the worst of it – Abraham had a later hallucination in which he was commanded by God to murder his own son Isaac. He dutifully followed this ‘order from above’, but his hand was stayed by God at the last minute, who explained that he was only testing Abraham’s faith (he passed).
All of these things may be connected.
‘Abraham’ means ‘father of many nations’, and this has traditionally been taken as an admonishment by members of the Abrahamic cults to breed as much as possible. Breeding is, after all, the most effective way for a culture to conduct war against and to conquer its neighbours.
It’s possible that this is the true purpose of the genital mutilation. By preventing the Abrahamist male from feeling the natural pleasure associated with making love, the mutilation also stops him from getting the oxytocin that would lead him to form a natural pair bond with the female. And so, he never stops looking for opportunities to reproduce beyond her.
It could be that Abraham understood that his rapacious capacity for breeding inevitably would lead to war, because – assuming his offspring inherited it – it would lead to the land of Mesopotamia rapidly becoming overpopulated which would mean more resource conflicts and thus fighting.
This would explain the numerous exhortations in the Abrahamic holy texts for the followers to slaughter and murder without guilt or hesitation. If you’re going to breed with the intent of becoming especially numerous, you might as well get used to the fact that you’re going to have to wipe out a lot of other people to make room.
It is possible that the reason why Abraham hallucinated God telling him to invade the land of Canaan is because when your tribe reproduces to the point of putting extreme pressure on the environment one is forced to fight either one’s neighbours or one’s own kin – and your genes are better served by you fighting your neighbours.
Related to this is the fact that anyone interested in invading and conquering foreign territory often finds it convenient to adopt some kind of Abrahamist culture. This is the primary reason why some of the Abrahamic cults (in particular Christianity and Judaism) are at least as strong in the New World, to where they were brought by conquerors, as they are in the Old.
Did Abraham feel a kind of guilt because he knew that his rabbit-like horniness had made it necessary for him to invade Canaan and destroy the peaceful people there to make room for his own spawn? And was it this guilt that led him to mutilate his genitals, perhaps in the belief that the pleasure from the act of procreation was too much for him to handle and was leading him astray?
All speculation aside, this is the definition of the ‘Curse of Abraham’: all followers of Abraham are cursed to spend all their short, precious years on this planet fighting because of a violently arrogant belief that they have been chosen by God to inherit the Earth at the expense of everyone else.
The Curse of Abraham is what the severely mentally ill psychopath inflicted on the rest of humanity.
There is a faulty premise in the national consciousness – the premise that the pro-cannabis lobby has the responsibility to make the case for legalising cannabis before prohibition can be repealed. All kinds of politicians, from Andrew Little to Peter Dunne, have trotted out this lazy deception.
This line of rhetoric is false because it relies on a more fundamental premise, which is that the manner cannabis was made illegal was legitimate in the first place.
The usual apologia is that the politicians are our lawful representatives and so the laws they pass are done so with our consent, and so the politicians have the consent of the governed, and so all the laws they have passed are legitimate, including the ones pertaining to cannabis prohibition.
Basic logic that even a child can understand will tell you that, in the case of cannabis, the lack of a victim makes the law against it categorically different to other laws.
Punching people in the face is bad because it causes suffering.
Stealing someone’s food is bad because it will make them suffer from hunger.
Killing people is bad because it causes suffering to the remaining friends and family (not to mention the person while they’re being killed).
Murdering, shooting, stabbing, raping, kidnapping, defrauding, robbing, stealing, assaulting and battering – all of these are crimes because they have victims.
Outside of the delusional fantasy role-playing world that judges, lawyers and politicians have invented, crimes are distinguished from non-crimes on the basis that crimes cause suffering, not on the basis that a bunch of paedophiles in Wellington have decreed them thus.
This might sound really obvious to any Buddhist readers out there, but to many Kiwis, conditioned from childhood to obey authority without ever questioning its legitimacy, it appears revelatory.
It also puts the moral responsibility back on us to consider if the laws being passed by our supposed representatives actually have the effect of reducing suffering in New Zealand or not. The responsibility is not on our political representatives to make moral decisions on our behalf, because politicians are men of silver and philosophy is the preserve of everyone.
One argument is that cannabis, even if not directly harmful, may be indirectly harmful because of long-term health considerations of the user that the general taxpayer has to pay to treat. This argument contends that we ought to wait for science to prove that cannabis is relatively harmless.
The truth is this – we don’t need to prove that science says cannabis should be legal because science was never used to make it illegal. We also don’t need to prove that cannabis is harmless because harmless is not the standard things have to reach in order to be legal.
It’s legal to consume any of alcohol, caffeine, sugar, fat or tobacco to whatever extent one likes and to have the taxpayer cover any medical costs that may arise.
It’s legal to fill the tank of your car up with petrol, a vital and ever-diminishing resource, and to drive around and around in circles for no reason.
It’s legal to join a rugby team and to hit another person in a tackle with the intent of injuring them and to break a bone oneself and to go on ACC.
It’s legal to go into a forest with a rifle and shoot dead a whole bunch of large mammals.
All of these activities arguably cause more harm than smoking cannabis does, even under the broadest interpretation of health issues.
The standard to make cannabis illegal – which has never been met and which never will be met – is that there is more suffering under a regime of cannabis freedom than under a regime of cannabis prohibition.
Until this standard is met, no further reason for using cannabis need be given than ‘I like smoking weed.’