Since the beginning of time major decisions important to the whole community have been made based on consensus, deducted from deep understanding of a problem. We have many examples of decisions made by a few, imposed to a community and later revoked; if not revoked by a political decision to stay in power, such bad decisions have been overturned by revolution.
It has been clear for a long time that Prohibition does not work, or maybe works just for a chosen few that collect enormous wealth and power over those who are not respecting the norms induced by Prohibition. Masses of incarcerated people suffer and in the wake of the ‘Nixon Tapes’, it is ridiculous that Prohibition of all drugs is still in place. On behalf of this mental construct the whole planet is becoming a ‘Prison Planet’. In the name of puritan laws some countries kill those individuals that are involved in drug smuggling, dealing or just smoking a joint or few more.
Zen is a principle and a discipline of gathering deeper knowledge based on personal or transpersonal experience. A person who meditates and respects the basic truth told by his heart can not be mistaken. Universal truth tells me that Prohibition and War On Drugs are utterly wrong. We have lost so many beautiful individuals that could maybe contribute to humanity more than conformist masses who don’t think with their own heads and don’t act in accordance with their beliefs and time is to stop this nonsense of Prohibition.
Ethnobotanic plants have been used since the dawn of time. Neo-liberal capitalism is trying to cash all commodities that are still free; water is being privatised in more or less all countries, the trend is clear; greedy hands of capitalism are trying to steal this basic commodity from us, The People.
The War on drugs entered our society from the back door some 110 years ago with The First Opium Law. Some corporations, hand in hand with powerful nations, endorsed the first rules how ‘traditional’ substances and plants should be used in a wise and controlled way. Later in the thirties and forties the Marijuana Tax Law was used not to reduce so called harm of cannabis to the people, but to suppress the emerging political power of the black population in the USA, demanding equality with whites. The term of harm was non existed in those early days… This law gave an excuse to authorities to suppress and control black people and other minorities whenever they like. At the same time this same Prohibition acted and still acts as an excuse of interventionism in other countries’ sovereign policies. Bolivia, Columbia, Golden Triangle, Afghanistan… so many lives lost, indigenous communities attacked and destroyed into oblivion.
Listening or reading transcripts of the ‘Nixon Tapes’, every individual recognizes that Prohibition was just a way to control people who were opposing the mainstream policy of the Nixon era. Later, the Reagan government and his advisers, hand in hand with neo-conservative followers in Europe and around the world, succeeded in pushing this same agenda through the UN. And we are aching under pressure of criminalizing enjoyment and health benefits from forbidden fruit.
From the psychological aspect we can also talk about a patronizing narrative, a father-child relationship. The big entity of father like figure is taking care of his children who are sinning – they want to enjoy life but father tells us that forbidden fruit is forbidden and more work and less joy.
Is this what it’s all about? In an absence of any true facts and excuses not to stop Prohibition and to overturn it, one can ask: what in the world is going on in the heads of respectful decision makers representing all countries of this world at CND? Can we expect decisions based on deeper truth in the way of true ZEN enlightenment or will the interests of some particular big capital players on the market prevail?
If Prohibition forty years ago was primarily a case of politicians trying to get rid of anti war protesters and following collectives, nowadays it’s all about money and profit. In the last forty years Prohibition transformed itself into a source of income of many stakeholders or better: ‘businesses’. One particularly troubled business is the Prison Complex, which is persistently lobbying for harsher and more restrictive legislation to fill it’s jails. The next one who sucks from the nipple of prohibition is Big Pharma industry, which is of course lobbying against changes against it’s favours to sell it’s products to ‘patients’.
By mentioning health benefits of traditional plants( or just pure enjoyment) we came to new fenomen- community organised CSC’s (Cannabis Social Clubs) which are overturning the criminalization by pure transparency. If government attack this kind of community based approach this is no more criminal case but political one. CSC’s are emerging all over from Europe to Uruguay serving needs of it’s memebers on the basis on non-profit, opposite to some commercial approaches in USA which prefer commercialism above basic right to grow and consume.
At this point we must admit that of course there are people who use drugs with double diagnoses but to label all use of drugs or traditional ethnobotanic plants and their extracts as patients is utterly wrong and patronizing. Finally we must mention criminal syndicates that have now also entered legitimate businesses and political circles. Last but not least we have an enemy in our backyard: thirty years ago, the Harm Reduction discourse was absolutely a positive narrative and only opposing force in the lunatic euphoria of the ‘Just Say No’ era. All basic attributes of Harm Reduction are still valuable and a positive approach towards reducing harm induced by ‘drug use’ (I’d rather say harm induced by Prohibition and exclusion of people who use drugs). But nowadays more and more Harm Reduction organizations are opposing changes and their leaders or likely ‘managers’ just do not want to see decline of the sometimes huge sums of money channelled into the Harm Reduction business… So sadly we see some regressive forces acting inside the Harm Reduction movement.
The question is: do politicians have enough courage to look into the mirror and declare that ‘The emperor’s new clothes’ are pure fiction? Enough is enough -mental construct of Prohibition must fall. It is time to re-talk regulation and bring new phrases in, like regulation, legalization – into the discourse. Whatever of those phrases will do much more good to humanity than state of affairs we are enduring now…and it’s about time to make Prohibition dead as Dodo… and FREEDOM TO FARM.