SMOKING POT AND TALKING RUBBISH
What do Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and a 14-year-old boy from Morisset Park, NSW, have in common?
All have smoked cannabis.
But only the 14-year-old has ended up detained in an Indonesian immigration facility and may soon be on his way to Kerobokan prison in Bali. Just for the crime of smoking dope. Not only that, the anonymous boy is said to be likely to receive a lesser punishment because his blood and urine tested positive for cannabis.
If this does not make any sense to you, don’t worry.
Since it was introduced in 1925, global cannabis prohibition has been like a Ponzi scheme, built on ever increasing scientific fraud and irrationality.
Lester Grinspoon, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard University, said: “there is something very special about illegal drugs. If they don’t always make the drug user behave irrationally, they certainly cause many non-drug users to behave that way”.
The idea of prohibiting cannabis around the world was agreed at the Second Opium Conference in Geneva in 1925.
Cannabis was not on the agenda for this meeting but the Egyptian delegation claimed cannabis was as dangerous as opium and should therefore be subjected to the same international controls.
No formal evidence was provided about the harms of cannabis, nor were conference delegates briefed about cannabis.
Nevertheless the delegates agreed to ban cannabis around the world.
Australia was represented at the meeting so Canberra officials then told the states and territories what they now had to do. The NSW Under Secretary of the Colonial Secretary’s Department wrote back to Canberra that the omission of that drug [cannabis] from the operation of the Act would have been of small moment, but having been considered by the conference as required to be included, it might perhaps be as well, if practicable, to bring it within the purview of the dangerous drug laws.
In 1937, Henry Anslinger, Commissioner of the US Federal Bureau of Narcotics, declared “there are 100,000 marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others”. Now you know. Authorities cannot prevent the inevitable, but they can delay them.
Fast forward four score years and global cannabis prohibition is starting to fall apart.
This week the 2011 results of the annual US Gallup poll were announced. Since 1969 respondents have been asked annually “do you support the legalisation of marijuana?”.
Opponents had always outnumbered supporters but the gap has been shrinking steadily, especially in recent years.
In 1969, 84 percent opposed and only 12 percent supported legalisation. In 2006, 60 percent opposed but 36 percent supported legalisation. In 2010, 50 percent opposed and 46 percent supported legalisation. This year, for the first time, supporters outnumbered opponents: 50 percent supported and 46 percent opposed legalisation. The Californian Medical Association also came out in support of taxing and regulating cannabis.
Australians do not seem to be big fans of criminal penalties for trivial cannabis offences.
In the 2010 National Drug Strategy Household Survey of people over the age of 14 years, of those who have a view on the matter 67 percent opposed cannabis possession being a criminal offence and 69 percent supported the medical use of cannabis.
|Page 1 of 2||next >>|