Category Archives: Pot

3 Ps One: Pot; marijuana

3 Ps One: Pot; marijuana Marijuana-Growing-Field-226x300The first of our 3 Ps is Pot.

Pot — marijuana, cannabis, grass, weed, call it what you like, has been used by humans since the beginning of recorded history. It is likely that we have been using it for tens of thousands of years.

While there are risks associated with the use of pot, these are vastly overstated and much less than those of using alcohol or tobacco, both of which cause huge numbers of deaths and human suffering and by the way, cost society a vast amount of money. Marijuana prohibition is one of the greatest misuses of state resources and taxpayers’ money in the world today.

Until the 1930s pot use was legal and largely unremarked. William Randolph Hearst, the American media tycoon, changed that. Hearst was the inventor of ‘yellow journalism’ the sensationalising of factually incorrect and often invented stories for political purposes. He was a fanatical right-winger and a friend of Adolph Hitler. Up until the engagement of the United Sates in World War 2, Hearst remained in close contact with Nazi authorities in Germany regularly had his newspapers run anti-Russian, anti-Communist and pro-German articles, which were provided by the Gestapo’s propaganda services.

3 Ps One: Pot; marijuana Marijuana-Growing-Field-226x300
Attack on Pearl Harbor, 1941

Hearst was anti-British and a fervent ‘isolationist’ who used his media to discourage American entry into the European war. He repeatedly attacked Roosevelt’s attempts to help European states, especially the UK, against the Nazis through schemes like lend-lease and severely restricted the President’s ability to assist in the disaster. Amongst his other crimes, therefore, Hearst may be indicted for being accessory to the murders of millions of Europeans, especially Jews and other minorities like homosexuals. It was only at the point of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that he was forced to backtrack.

At home, Hearst had invested hugely in forestry and other resources to produce wood-based paper. However, making wood-based paper is very damaging to the environment and relatively expensive. Paper made from hemp (the male pot plant) is cheaper, a better product and less damaging. Hearst risked being undercut. Continue reading 3 Ps One: Pot; marijuana

Pot, Porn and Prostitution – 3 Ps

Pot, Porn and Prostitution - 3 Ps scales-of-justiceThere are three parameters that I think define the level of freedom we actually enjoy. I call them the ‘3 Ps’.

They are Pot, Porn and Prostitution. Why have I chosen these three? Well, it’s not a recent thing, and I have thought about it for years.

I could use transgender rights, since, as readers will be aware, this is an area that concerns me deeply; but while we will certainly discuss these, the issue is too specific. I could use women’s rights but that’s the opposite: too vague — and in any case the 3Ps allow us to consider this question. I could use taxation but goodness me, everyone has a different view.

Separation of Church and State? Yeah, but again, too vague. Children’s rights? The same. Treatment of ethnic minorities — which ones? And how?

I wanted a small number, not more than three, of very specific measures that had certain things in common.

The first was that they had to be, or have been until recently, illegal. You can’t measure whether a culture is open by measuring what it permits; you measure it by the things it does not. Continue reading Pot, Porn and Prostitution – 3 Ps