Monday, July 25, 2011 at 12:38AM
Editors Note: This article was written by a student at this university and details his use of cannabis for recreational reasons. Please keep in mind that this is an illegal activity in New Zealand. We have, however, decided to run this article as we feel it is both informative and honest.
Marijuana is the most popular illegal drug in New Zealand and the third most used recreational drug, after alcohol and cigarettes. In 2003, 20% of all New Zealanders (between the ages of 15 and 45) smoked weed. Look around you. One in every five people you see might be breaking the law regularly.
I smoke weed. I smoke weed every day. I’m not an addict. I’ve never robbed anyone or stolen anything to pay for my habit. I am a student, I pass all my papers and I have a part time job. I never go to class or work high. I only smoke weed when the sun gets down.
I am a Kiwi and I am a criminal and here is why: current legislation on drugs in our country in completely fucked.
(Some of you may be reading this and demanding to know why I’m not in jail. Well, that’s because I keep my shit private. I don’t sell it and I don’t store it up like Jason Kerrison in his escape pod. I don’t commit extra crimes to gain my supply).
I have never been arrested for pot and I plan on never being arrested for pot.
The Western World has always had a strange relationship with drugs, with religion and politics intertwining to crush most people’s hopes of running a successful private business.
Marijuana has an even more chequered history than most drugs.
Weed, grass, or dak, marijuana has become a political weapon. Some doctors want it legalised for use as a prescription, a completely natural pharmaceutical to combat the effects of everything from glaucoma to chemotherapy. The religious right often view it in the same field as P and heroin.
The development of marijuana as a political tool is not new. In the 1930s, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, headed by notorious dirt-bag Harry J. Anslinger, decided marijuana was a bad time for white women.
“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others”
Yes that quote is real and it was from a real government agency in the 20th Century and it is still the kind of mindset that people hold. Drugs are bad, because the government and doctors tell us they are.
I’m calling bullshit.
Simon Power, the current King of Idiotic and Blind Policy, is New Zealand’s Justice Minister. Both the New Zealand Medical Association and the New Zealand Law Commission have, in the past few years, made submissions to the government calling for the medical use of marijuana to be allowed here.
Simon Power, being a member of the square-head brigade, has said that doesn’t fly with him.
So there you have it: drug policy in New Zealand is decided by absolute retards and won’t change unless we change the retards. I’m actually furious about that smug joker Power. How dare he look at files presented by two of Aotearoa’s most respected groups in the fields of law and medicine and say: That doesn’t change anything. I’d be surprised if he even read them.
That being said, my experiences of pot in New Zealand law enforcement (which is what this issue of Nexus is all about) have all been positive. I was once caught by a cop having a cheeky smoke near the museum one afternoon. I wasn’t causing any problems. Just smoking a little pot and minding my own business.
The constable, probably in his mid-40s, came over and said “I could smell that from the road”.
Straight away my mouth became more dry than a German sitcom and I tried my best to avoid his eyes. He held out his hand and I handed over the half a joint and he told me it might be best if I went home.
And that was it. No arrest, no court case and no more joint.
The number of times me and my friends have been chucked in a police car for getting too loose on the beers is somewhere near ten. Most of the time it hasn’t been prosecuted, but I won’t lie: I have stood in the docks twice for breeching various laws around the consumption of alcohol in certain geographic locations.
In researching this article I have made some discoveries surrounding the actual laws and punishments.
For instance, if you have blackened knives in your warming drawer, you can go to prison for a year and/or face a $500 fine. It doesn’t matter how exactly they got black. It is counted as drug paraphernalia.
Now seeing that only about one in five of you have smoked weed I should probably explain the process. Keep in mind that this is my process. It is not a suggestion that you should go and break the law.
The first step is to find a movie or a video game. I am quite a fan of horror films and video games set in the Second World War. While doing this, I send out several text messages asking if anyone knows anything about anything. Here is a recent conversation we had via text:
Me: “Bro. You holding?”
Them: “Holding my cock?”
Them: “Yup. Cruise over”
The next step is the worst one. I have to drive to an ATM, get out some money and then drive to my friend’s house. He is also a student.
When I arrive, we sit around and do a few buckets, generally while some kind of electronica plays or a classic episode from the early days of South Park. You know the ones: that shit was handmade, hand animated and looks like absolute shit.
What’s a bucket you ask? A bucket bong, also known as a buck or buckie, is a fizzy drink bottle with holes cut in the bottom. It is then placed in a bucket full of water, without submerging the lid. In the lid is some form of cone, usually a socket from a wrench set melted through the plastic of the lid, into which you place a small amount of weed. You hold a lighter to the top of the cone piece and slowly pull up. As the water level drops, the smoke fills the bottle.
Then you unscrew the cap and break some laws.
People are often quick to say that Marijuana is a gateway drug. There is serious science to prove them right as well. For me, weed is the end of the line. I don’t like hallucinating (does anyone actually, truly like hallucinating?) and I don’t like being awake for ages either. I also don’t like drugs that you have to inject, moreso after watching Requiem for a Dream while high as shit.
Most of my friends are weed smokers. None of them are P-smokers. Some of them take ecstasy before they hit town, others drink a whole lot of booze before and during gigs. During summer, when the outdoors are a lot more attractive than they are now, quite a few of my friends take LSD and LSD-analogues.
Tripping balls, as it is often called, is not attractive to me at all. I like being able to talk to people, to sit down and be still. We spend too much of our time being frantic as it is. Getting up early for school, for work, for our kids and then going full speed all day until we finally collapse into bed is what we do now. It is what humans have evolved to be: non-stop machines who are never more than a cell phone away from Google and facebook and all that other bullshit that we don’t actually need.
If there’s anything that my years as a stoner have taught me, it’s been this: I love weed.
I am not an addict, I just truly enjoy it. I like eating it, smoking it in a joint, in a bucket, as spots, in my old man pipe, through a reversed keyboard vacuum cleaner, through an apple, that one time I used an orange and just about choked, the list goes on and on.
I see fights in town (between drunks) all the time and all I think is “Man, I’m really baked”.
Don’t judge me and call me a “stoner”. I probably have a better academic record than you. I could probably call you a drunk and, in my books at least, that’s a lot worse.
Friday, 9 September 2011
Nexus Magazine - Features - Weed and Aotearoa