The Greens want to legalise cannabis for Australians over the age of 18, citing “how damaging the tough on drugs approach is to people.” This, in my view, has only further cemented their reputation as a radical minor party on the fringes of the far-left. As always, we can remain assured that the sincere gut feelings of the Greens are likely to produce outcomes that no sincere person would ever desire. I am reminded of a quote from Milton Friedman: “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.” Never has this statement been so fitting than in this new Green and golden calf of drug legalisation.
Of course, those on the Left will inevitably argue that alcohol and cigarettes are just as bad as marijuana, that everyone should just ‘have a joint and relax,’ and that growing a few plants in the backyard for ‘personal indulgence’ is harmless.
These social and cultural ‘revolutionaries’ see the freedom to stupefy and intoxicate oneself as a fundamental right, no matter the cost. They will, just as the Greens now have, dress up drug legalisation in the shining robes of human liberty. Ah yes, the war on drugs is in fact “a war on people,” and that we need to “get real” about getting stoned off our faces. Yes, apparently it’s us – the everyday Australian – who are ought of touch and need to “get real” with the drugged-up lifestyle. What a crackpot scheme.
But the longer I pause and reflect on the Greens, the more convinced I become that they are a kind of political infant within the halls of parliament. They do all the things that we might expect from puerile children: they whinge and whine, think far too highly of themselves, but they can’t seem to muster the same calibre of intellectual thought in relation to their policies. No, they are quite content to throw their tantrums, spit their dummies, and leave it to “Big Brother Labor” to do the supposed real thinking.
In fact, I am increasingly convinced that even they don’t really know what they want. They speak of grand things like ‘life-giving, life-affirming’ technologies,’ but refuse to adopt the same principles in relation to euthanasia and abortion. They laud their efforts to ban smoking in injecting centres, the rationale seemingly being tobacco smoking and e-cigarettes are unhealthy practices, but hey, getting stoned is commendable. Now, they want to legalise cannabis. They argue that doing so will open up a stream of tax revenue in the hundreds of millions, and funnelled into mental health services. Do the Greens know no sense of irony in that marijuana already has a well-documented relationship with mental illness and psychosis?
But you know what? I think I’ve figured it out. The brightest economic minds among the Greens (thanks, Sarah Hanson-Young) have come together, crunched the numbers, and they’ve come to the marvellous conclusion that all the tax revenue earned from retail cannabis sales will help to offset the basic income that they have recently advocated for … to the sum of some $254 billion.
This may very well be the masterful intention of the Greens: for Australians everywhere to pocket a cool $20,000 and splurge on getting wrecked by that sweet Mary Jane, and a lifetime supply of garden hoses and plastic bottles. Maybe they want us to get stoned. After all, you’d have to be on something to vote for the lunacy of the Greens.
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