I dips m’lid to Christian Kerr for coming out about his own
cannabis use, in the House on the Hill, too, however, for the rest of
us, such an admission would most likely have serious and vocation-threatening
implications.

In my thirty odd years of grass use and observation of
politics the only federal politician whom I can recall speaking honestly
and frankly about their own illicit drug use was Carmen Lawrence about her
use of LSD. Highly ironic, of course, that she should lead the way in candour
and honesty when the media have indelibly-marked her as a liar to the detriment
of her political career and the contribution she was capable of making to
public life.

The only other politician who was
prepared to openly associate with the herb superb, apart from the former NSW
Democrat Richard Jones who boasted about being stoned in the House, was John Grey Gorton in
retirement, who for a period circa late 70s was the patron of the local
chapter of the US National Organisation for the Repeal of Marijuana
Laws (NORML)

In the course of some research, not long after Slick
Willie/Clinton mounted his “I Didn’t Inhale” defence, I bumped into a
contemporary of his at Oxbridge and quizzed him about it. His reply was that
it probably wasn’t a lie at all since the fashion at the time was to eat
it, in the much more potent and potentially debilitating form of Hash
Cookies.

As for Taliban Tony, who was also a Rhodes Scholar and
attended the same university albeit a decade or more later, who would
know? Anyone who while preparing to enter the priesthood could engage in full
penetrative sex and not consider such behaviour a mortal sin is capable of
verbal gymnastics at a level that would cause a Tantric sex practitioner to wonder
if they weren’t really still stuck in the Missionary position.

By
the way, a note to the compilers of style manuals: “marijuana” is to
“cannabis” what “queue-jumper” and “illegal immigrant” are to “asylum
seeker.” The correct term is “cannabis” from the genus Cannabis sativa
and there are three commonly accepted varieties: C. sativa, C. indica
and C. ruderalis. The M-word was chosen for two main reasons, firstly,
since it is the Mexican word for cannabis, to demonise it to the
general public by playing the race card, and secondly, quite likely the
major reason, to conceal until it was too late the fact that they were
prohibiting a plant that the tens of thousands of hemp farmers at the
time – and the purveyors of cannabis-based folk remedies and the
general public – knew only as cannabis.

How sad that almost 70 years after
the demonisation of cannabis and the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937,
what is arguably the most useful plant on the planet, able to provide food, clothing,
shelter, medicine and pleasure, is still seen as an “evil weed with [its] roots
in Hell.”

CRIKEY: Meanwhile, for those who missed it, here’s Mark Latham on JJJ on cannabis (talking about it, that is)

Peter Fray

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