At short notice, I was roped in to substitute for ALCP leader Michael Appleby at a Wellington Central candidates meeting, held this evening in St. John’s Hall in Karori, Wellington. I was the final speaker. The meeting was organised by Ethne Wyndham-Smith, Coordinator for the Karori Community Centre. Thanks, Ethne!
We’re in a church hall, so I’m going to give you a sermon! A short sermon. A sermon on Prohibition.
There was a song released a few years ago which you may have heard. My kids introduced me to it. It was called What if God smoked cannabis? Well, it’s an interesting question. Of course, God wouldn’t smoke cannabis. He’s sky high, all the time! Let’s bring it down to earth a bit and ask, instead, what would Jesus do? Would Jesus smoke cannabis? I don’t know, but I think the short answer is no. Jesus would not smoke cannabis.
But if you ask, would Jesus smoke cannabis, you’re asking the wrong question! The question is not, would Jesus smoke cannabis, but would Jesus arrest people who do? And the short answer to that, I believe, is also no. Jesus would not arrest people who smoke cannabis. He would not support Prohibition.
The Bible reading this evening is from the Epistle to the Collossians. Chapter 2, verses 20-23. Here’s what the Apostle Paul had to say about Prohibition.
Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. (NIV1984)
Paul recognised that Prohibition doesn’t work. Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch! Don’t take drugs! These rules lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
There are good people with me up here on the stage. Two particularly good people are ACT candidate Stephen Whittington and Libertarianz candidate Reagan Cutting. Both Stephen and Reagan recognise what Paul recognised, and both support the ALCP’s core policy: legalise cannabis. They’ll join with me in telling you that Prohibition doesn’t work. And they’re right, it doesn’t.
Prohibition doesn’t work. Now think for a moment about that. Prohibition doesn’t work… OK. So, what would it be like if Prohibition did work? What’s Prohibition supposed to achieve? What’s Prohibition for? Prohibition is supposed to stop people taking drugs. Now, ask yourself, why on earth would you want to do that? Is it any of your business if people are taking drugs? How are you going to stop them?
Do you want to stop me taking drugs? If so, how are you going to stop me? Are you going to persuade me that taking drugs is a bad idea? Or are you going to send the police around to my house one day? Would you have them enter my house, against my wishes? Would you have them ransack the place, searching for the wrong kind of plant? Would you have them drag me off to a police cell, and detain me against my will? Would you?
Prohibition is violence! Jesus was not violent. What would Jesus do? I’d like to think that Jesus would give his party vote to the ALCP. This election, I ask you to do the same.
Please, give your party vote to the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party and help end Prohibition. Prohibition is VIOLENT, it’s UNCHRISTIAN and it’s WRONG!
[Cross-posted to SOLO.]