Personally my belief is that Cannabis should be legally available to any adult that wants it, much like alcohol, tobacco and pornography. Here in my home country of New Zealand, that is not the case sadly and it remains illegal but enforcement of the law isn’t consistent and for the average user, isn’t likely to be arrested for possession but will be met with an official warning plus confiscation but this isn’t a blanket rule. I’m not here to push any particular view point but would rather air my views on the issue as a whole.
So where does the vast majority of weed come from in little old NZ? Gangs mostly with smaller amounts coming from small time growers looking to make a bit of extra coin on the side of their day job. Most street level dealings are from gangs or gang associates operating out of “tinny houses” (a “tinny” being around a gram of weed wrapped in aluminium foil kind of like garlic bread is and sold for between 20-25 dollars). The quality is never guaranteed nor is the weight nor the fact that it will even be weed especially if you look easily intimidated or someone that doesn’t look like a typical stoner. Some are good, some are beyond sketchy and others I would avoid entirely if you are white.
Dealing with tinny houses isn’t for the faint hearted and you can expect to be ripped off big time at least once. The way you carry yourself can be a big help in most cases for example “a year or two ago I went to the local tinny house for weed as my regular dealer had run out. Normally I wouldn’t go there as their sizes can never be counted on let alone quality but I wanted to get high so off I went. Now I am 5 foot 10 and a pretty slim white guy so an easy target should someone want to mug me or whatever so it’s a bit of a risk even going there but I had never had a problem so far so all good. As I headed round back to the door, this big black guy who I had never seen there before started hitting me up with questions disguised as a bit of a conversation so I thought fuck it, I’ll play along for a bit and see how things turn out. I got the impression this guy meant business and was unsure if I was working for the cops. Eventually he showed some friendliness toward me and sold to me and I quickly got the fuck out of there” A friend of mine who is your typical skinny blonde white girl went there one night only to be told they don’t sell weed at all just after I came out from buying some so obviously they are picky with who they will sell to.
Generally, the good stuff is sold by word of mouth and even then you have to know the right people. Generally, the gangs are into selling meth these days so the vast majority of weed sellers aren’t gang affiliated although it is generally easier for people without the right connections to obtain some shit quality herb from dodgy dealers.
So reason one for legalisation: Kill off a major revenue stream for the gangs. The vast majority of gangs here rely on proceeds of drug dealing to continue operating, particularly with the increasing popularity of methamphetamine in most western nations. This isn’t a pro meth statement, simply an observation.
Reason two: Gangs don’t pay taxes. Not such a big surprise but either way that is a huge amount of tax if they actually had to pay up. Money of which could be used to fund things like healthcare, education, infrastructure etc. While I don’t have exact figures available, I imagine it would be an absolute horrendous amount of money avoiding taxation.
Reason three: Most dodgy dealers don’t give a flying fuck about who smokes their questionable product. Shit like fly spray is commonly used to make low quality weed seem stronger as the fly spray gives users a “buzz” (no pun intended). Seriously who wants to be smoking insecticide when they could be smoking decent weed. Unregulated cannabis can pose a health risk to its users simply due to the use of additives used to make the dealer more money.
Reason four: Law enforcement could be better spent on actual crime. Yes, I know it sounds like I am quoting every other anti-police muppet but hear me out. Drug addiction isn’t a criminal matter much like mental illness or any other medical condition and therefore shouldn’t be treated as such. Instead limited police resources here in NZ and indeed in many other nations are needlessly wasted on chasing small time drug users instead of dealing with the increasing number of burglaries, home invasions and sexual assault which in part is fuelled by people suffering from drug addiction and serious mental illnesses. With a cheap source of safe legal drugs and addiction support, many of these crimes should show a decline over time. Obviously this won’t fix nor eradicate all crime but it can only help decrease it slightly.
Here in NZ and even most other western nations, voting is influenced by a particularly conservative older generation while the legalise pot movement is led by vocal liberals, dirty looking stoners and tie dye wearing hippies with dreadlocks which to outsiders, look like complete idiots that nobody should even give the time of day to and personally I completely agree. Considering that the older generation are quick to judge a person based on their appearance, you would think that most pro cannabis people would be quick to play them at their own game. Liberals in NZ lack tact and therefore nobody takes them seriously other than other liberals.
Think of it like this, if there were a group of people who dressed tidily, actually bathed regularly and seemed professional in their undertaking then they would be viewed favourably by the demographic that they want to vote for their cause. It’s the same with anything, If I were trying to sell a product and I was dressed in a suit and tie and well-groomed then you probably take me seriously compared to if I dressed untidily and looked like I hadn’t bathed for a week. Same goes for someone going to a job interview, they won’t even look at you if you turn up looking unprofessional.
Unfortunately, while the “hippy” crowd remain so vocal and basically the face of the whole movement, the cause as a whole is going to be cast aside as generally people vote based on first impressions and how the movement portray themselves to the public. While people continue to protest and act like entitled assholes while pissing off the government, law enforcement and the general public, weed will continue to remain illegal in most parts of the western world all because a vocal minority cannot see what damage they are doing to the whole idea they stand for.