I keep an eye on the TV, radio & internet.. for news about the Drug War & issues around it. The one thing that often catches my attention; the number of TV ‘reality’ shows that focus on maintaining the prohibition (Myth) : Customs, Police, ‘Dog squad’ etc.
I do not watch them ‘religiously’ BUT occasionally I will watch an episode, if I see a preview that looks interesting. In comparison, the number of news items that show either law reform issues or even medicinal R&D etc. is totally one-sided ! I would say that there are about 4-5 programs weekly that show ‘The Drug war’.. BUT the opposite side is about 2-3 per month ?
1) a couple of customs shows (one in Aotearoa/NZ, another in North America) they show people being fined for bringing in food or tobacco (undeclared).. BUT they really focus on people whose bags test positive (swab) for ‘DRUGS’ or a ‘Drug-dog’ sniffs something ‘illegal’. They make a point of the customs agents belittling/standing over the people. It’s interesting, not every time do they actually find anything. Often IF they do find something.. it’s either a stash in a suitcase OR a small amount (personal use) on the person.. BUT they still usually make it a BIG deal ! Sometimes they do just seize the ‘drugs’, issue a stern warning & then refuse entry to the person. BUT in many cases they do arrest & prosecute the ‘offenders’.
2) the Police episodes are the most ‘telling’; large squads often fully armed officers, kicking down doors & even brutalising ‘DRUG offenders’. The classic was one I saw; about 10 police went in ‘full force’ to a house & found a few ‘cannabis’ plants. They seized them, plus the hydroponic equipment. The ‘offender’ stated that they had no right to take the lamps & other gear away. The Police spokesperson said under the law, they were within their rights; to seize ‘Utensils’ used for ‘breaking the drug laws’.
3) then there are the shows that will show something about Colorado or EU etc. highlighting the reforms that are occurring, OR an item about a child with epilepsy being allowed to get a cannabis drug.. as a ‘last resort’. BUT it seems to make very little impact; the NZ Govt. ‘new drug policy’ is just ‘more of the same’.. obviously they are more swayed by the ‘over exaggerated’ & over-represented support (in the media) for maintaining the Myths.. the ‘War on Drugs’ is the way to go !!
It’s definitely an ‘up-hill battle’ still raging for the hearts & minds & a change of attitudes 😦