Monday, 20 June 2011

A Kronic Overreaction

Those of you who haven't been bombarded endlessly with state-sanctioned propaganda about the unfathomable dangers of synthetic cannabinoids should think yourselves lucky.

For those of us unlucky enough to live in Australia it's been a nightmarish couple of months of endless newspaper columns, radio segments and news items about how the latest craze of smoking something for personal enjoyment is akin to mowing down puppy dogs while drink-driving above the speed limit and it's been gone about with such, almost religious-like, fervour that it felt like being stuck inside one of those 'Evil Weed' films of the 1930s like Reefer Madness or Assassin Of Youth.

An interesting little journey to say the least but not at all surprising in its outcome.

That outcome of course being that the righteous bansturbators have once again saved us from ourselves and synthetic cannabinoids are now banned in Western Australia, with the rest of Australia soon to follow suit. Remember; this is a country whose government seriously considered trying to outlaw 'planking'. For those who don't know planking is basically lying down. Quite how they would go about outlawing lying down escapes me but I'm guessing it would probably involve bright lights and cattle prods. The Primespinster of Australia, Julia Gillard, even got in on the act by bringing herself down to the level of a teenage hoodlum and commenting on the planking craze.
Churchill fought Hitler, Gillard fights lying down.

Anyway, so the interesting part of the journey was not the end but rather the beginning and the middle, the parts when Kronic and the other legal highs were still, well, legal.
My own dear Father's first reaction, upon hearing that our local delicatessen was selling this over the counter, was

"What? Our deli? So they're selling it to schoolchildren then".

Quite when our family took ownership of a Vietnamese-run delicatessen and how he knew for certain that our employees were selling Kronic to kids, I'm not sure. But such is the wisdom of the baby boomers that I never bothered to question it.
And it became nothing short of fascinating to observe the state having to deal with something they never expect to happen any more i.e. That people may disregard all the government health warnings, all the noises being made from taxpayer-funded concern-groups and go ahead and engage in something that is frowned upon yet completely legal, even something that involves inhaling smoke and getting high.
All the usual tactics were employed but nothing seemed to work. Think of your fitness for work! They cried. Think of your lungs! They wailed. Think of the children! They screamed. But still the workers smoked away. Stoned and happy in the knowledge that these drugs wouldn't show up on any workplace drugs test.

But the Nanny State does know best and the Nanny State won't be outdone - not least when the multi-billion dollar mining industry is pressuring it to act and certainly not when there's money to be made - so when all else failed it just ignored the fact that these drugs were still legal and in showing its true colours it resorted to the old fashioned, heavy handed, tried and tested method of getting its attack dogs in the Police Force to threaten and intimidate people out of engaging in a perfectly legal activity.
The Western Australian health minister, Kim Hames, when commenting on the above outrage, showed us all that not only is he a prat with a girly name but that he also struggles to understand the difference between 'inappropriate' and 'illegal' by moaning

"I just think it's inappropriate - the reality is that we are going to ban a substance that causes harm to people and they're out there promoting it as though it's a wonderful thing".

Unless I am mistaken, it was also Kim Hames who said Kronic use was rife in Australian prisons, without having any proof whatsoever that that was the case and also said he didn't feel for retailers who will suffer after Kronic became outlawed because they 'ran the risk' of selling it whilst it was still legal to do so. By that twisted logic I guess he wouldn't take pity on dairy farmers should milk ever fall foul of his Health Nazis. But really, would you expect compassion from someone who is part of a government-sanctioned program to pump thousands of school kids full of Ritalin and Dexamphetamine in order to make them more manageable in the classroom?

As I said earlier; The Nanny State knows best and won't be outdone...

...Or will it?

According to some sites there will be new formulations of synthetic cannabis launched soon and these will enable Australians to once again reach a legal high.

But only the government didn't see that one coming.



nisakiman said...

Oh dear. When will the bansturbators get the message that their attentions are not welcome? To be honest, I'd never heard of this stuff, and I've been a toker for 45 years! I must be getting old! (Actually, I'm 62 today - egad! Don't time fly!) When I arrived in Oz (Melbourne) in '71, the place was awash with bloody brilliant indigenous grass, known as "Zombie" (for some reason that eludes me...). It was cheap and plentiful and good, so of course the righteous decided that it must be stopped. They went about it with a will, and pretty much wiped it out within a couple of years. Concurrent with their great success, the streets once again became awash - but now with cheap heroin. I don't need to elaborate on the ensuing scenario. I lost a few friends. As did a lot of people. Oh they are so wise, the righteous ones... The concept of unintended consequences is not part of their mindset. (I have a bit of a conspiracy theory about the transition from dope to junk on the streets, and feel the consequences may not have been as unintended as they might appear, but that's another story.)

Anonymous said...

Banning kronic was such a ridiculous move by the government, time and time again it's been proven that banning legal substances (such as alcohol) from people who use and enjoy said substances just leads to more crime, underground markets that sell the stuff and it fucks up the economy as people who don't pay taxes buy it and sell it for inflated prices. Not to mention that the controversy surrounding the ban will undoubtedly lead to a wealth of people hearing about the drug for the first time and considering trying it in places where it is legal. If they want to ban kronic, then they should fucking ban alcohol. Alcohol usually has terrible consequences when used irresponsibly (Like almost EVERYTHING in life).

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