You’ll be judged by the car you drive, your hairstyle, your clothes, your job, the music you listen to, the beer you do or don’t drink, your religion or lack thereof, your pigment, etc, etc, etc. At what point does this personal judgement cross the line though?
We live in a world that is bursting at the seams with choices. Never before have we had such a splendid array of options to define our individuality. In school our young minds were repeatedly reminded of how unique we each are and that it is this uniqueness that makes each and every one of us special, and we now get to live this every day. Whether it is some painfully annoying ringtone set to loud so that every eardrum within a 50 metre blast radius of you gets subjected to another classic Bieber tune or the lingering cigarette odour that follows you through the office, causing the nose hairs of nearby inhalers to spontaneously combust under the sheer pressure of vigorously crinkling noses; you will be judged by others for this single aspect of your character even though it in no way represents the person you are.
You need only look at the comments following any religious article on News24 to see the fallout of single aspect thinking. A trail of broken and beaten vowels and consonants are a usual trademark of commentators Molotov’ing one another repeatedly in pursuit of the much coveted thumbs up or thumbs down. Some of the commentators have even developed extreme cases of self-love as they relentlessly clear their browsing histories and like their own comments in a desperate pursuit to display how much their opinion of a person or comment should be considered more relevant than the opinion of others.
These folks are so caught up in their guerrilla commenting tactics that they often miss the point and accomplish little more than showing how desperate and irrelevant they really are.
So judge as they may, there is a point where there opinion is so diluted and regurgitated that it is as significant as a wet joint… useless and sad. This form of judgement has roots in one of South Africa’s most unjust and unsubstantiated laws, the law that prevents adults from using cannabis and condemns those who do. This law is not backed by science or consistency, it is not based on facts or productivity; it is a self-defeating law which teaches society that it is OK to make criminals of people on nothing more than personal judgement. This is where the line is crossed.
I will not waste your time here with the many points for and against cannabis being legalised, as the discussion has evolved past this point. Once all considerations are counted and weighed the conclusion is that cannabis is significantly safer that the legal intoxicants available at your local store and that its prohibition fuels crime, exposes users to hard drugs through drug dealers and is a huge expense to taxpayers. In short, cannabis prohibition does more harm than good.
The discussion is neither about that very occasional person whom cannabis does not agree with nor the pros and cons of lighting up a fattie. The discussion is about accepting the fact that cannabis is here to stay no matter how much idealism or law enforcement you throw at it. The war has long been lost, not that it ever had any possibility of being won. We now need to talk about accepting that a cannabis free world is impossible, unless a nuclear holocaust wipes the face of the planet clean of all life. In which case there would be nothing left to worry about anyway or anyone left to do the worrying.
Cannabis use that at most harms one’s self does not hold a candle to harming others by condemning them when they have not harmed you or anyone else through their cannabis use. This is the point that is so often lost on many of the people who stick to their anti-cannabis guns with religious fervour. They fail to see the price or consequences of this hypocritical and judgemental law.
The great irony in all of this is that the anti-cannabis brigade are so lost in their judging of others for using cannabis that they cannot see the how their judgement and condemnation is so much more damaging to users than cannabis itself could ever be. This is not about stereotypical hippies and stoners. This about the hundreds of millions of individuals who you can judge till the cows come, but who are not criminals no matter the ferocity of your judgement.
A few such folk may choose to display their condescending judgement in the comments section below and for all that they have to say, they will never be able get to the heart of the matter.
What is criminal about adults using cannabis?
For more information on the South African cannabis community and activity:
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