Ice War Or Culture War?

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Whoever decided the main weapon in the NSW war on ice is to be a trebling of roadside saliva testing may actually be encouraging its use.

I’ve always been a big believer in forgiveness, as ‘they know not what they do’, but that’s hardly good enough in these never been seen before times when knowledge is at everyone’s fingertips. Anyone involved in this war on (some) drugs must have heard by now that Cannabis stays in your blood for weeks or even months after inhaling because it is fat soluble, unlike all other illegals.

For the police hunting scalps on the north coast, and especially the roads into Nimbin, it’s like catching fish trapped in a barrel. The Monday we protested outside Lismore Court there was 53 saliva charges which is not the highest. Mostly Cannabis of course. Taking up hours of court time and stuffing peoples lives up majorly. It’s disproportionately punishing people by taking away their licence. Compared to a caution for fifteen grams it’s ridiculous.

Your saliva can light up the machine from a toke on a joint the night before, or the night before that. Or just hanging around a mate having a toke. Or eating hempseed in your muesli for brekky. The police have kept hemp seed illegal because they believe it can interfere with their saliva tests. There’s absolutely no evidence of this and we are the only country on Earth not allowed to eat it.

These tests are nothing to do with driving impairment. It’s solely about detecting THC in your system and that’s what the court charge spells out. ‘In charge of a motor vehicle with THC in your system.’ The roadside test is for ten nano-grams of THC per ml in your saliva. Workplace drug testing is for fifty! It’s like .05 becomes .01. Why is the bar set so low? A train or crane driver could get busted driving home after work! If you test positive you are under arrest there and then and must leave your car wherever it is at the time.

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Of course there’s no test for pharmaceuticals.

Big Pharma with its legal opium crops in Tassie has this king of pain killing plants in their codeine and oxycontin and morphine and the list goes on and on, so no test for heroin, or methadone. For some reason neither do police test for cocaine although their machine can. It’s just pot and amphetamine users they’re after and the stoners are falling like flies under mortein.

Sniffer dogs even more than saliva testing have unquestionably encouraged many people to use any drug other than weed, which every research says is the safest. You can swallow a pill easily but choking on pot you could be the first ever recorded death from Cannabis. It’s the easiest bust by a mile. Bulky and smelly to hide and when you smoke it everyone nearby knows.

Ironically Cannabis is known to be good and very popular for breaking serious addictions, like ice.

Is it about jobs or keeping drugs a political football, fear based politics, or what? If you were a cop would you rather saliva test hippies, ‘randomly’ selecting old cars, young people and longhairs for the expensive tests, or attend domestic violence households? What’s random about the swab is the several stories of drivers smoking a joint just before they’re pulled over to not test positive.

We are so led astray by money usually that it has to be in the play but the police aren’t paid a fortune. The inexpensive little plastic swabs that gather your saliva cost them (us) $49 each so someone is cleaning up. One wonders who has the supply contract.

Drug use is a health or social issue solely and I think we all know that deep down. But for the thousands of daily Cannabis users in our area the stakes just got a whole lot higher. This is ultimately a culture war. Cannabis gets people thinking and questioning and sometimes even acting on their conclusions in alternative ways. Like Rusty says, maybe its time to get back to the garden, and stay there.

Michael Balderstone
The HEMP Chronicle


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