Drugs are bad.
It's a mantra mocked no better than that famous old episode of South Park where a school teacher tries to discourage young students from drugs with catch phrases rather than logic.
Each day we're reminded of the scourge of drugs that exists all around us. Police all over WA celebrate and brag on Twitter when they catch an evil weed smoker, and Politicians seek to win votes by promising to be tougher on anyone who supplies the evil drugs to those of us so desperate and willing to consume them.
For the record, I don't smoke weed. I don't like getting drunk. And I've never touched anything harder than that either. I love my life, and I enjoy having full control of my mental faculties. But I understand not everyone thinks the same as I. I have friends who love to get drunk. Some who enjoy pot. And others who won't even touch caffeine because it's a mind altering drug apparently.
I love a good cigar. And I enjoy a beer from time to time. The choice to consume the drugs alcohol and nicotine is mine. I am fully aware of the scourge that alcohol is on our society. I know that smoking causes cancer. And yet I consume these any way.
I could argue that they help me relax. I could tell you how they provide a social platform that helps me connect with friends that I love. But I really think that's missing the point. I shouldn't have to eloquently articulate why I like to do something. I own my body. I'll do with it what I choose. If I'm not hurting you it's really none of your business.
Lately I have grown increasingly annoyed by an ever encroaching government that is trying to stop even even my simple pleasures from happening.
A popular cigar shop in Perth, Devlins, recently sent an email to its customers repenting for including an image of a cigar in a previous email campaign. They informed us that they're no longer allowed to even show us a picture of the cigar we want to purchase under Australian law.
Never mind the fact that with a few clicks of a mouse I can view images of cigars from other websites around the world, order them, and have them delivered to my home. Australia's government thinks we're all so stupid they have to protect us as much as possible from even seeing a picture of a cigar. Instead they're simply encouraging us to spend our money overseas. Which I do.
And as I sit and think about how ridiculous these overstepping bureaucrats are, I try and spare a thought for those who enjoy something currently illegal.
I know millionaires who smoke weed. People who own businesses, create jobs, pay copious amounts of tax, care for their families, love Jesus... but if the Police caught them and their pipe, Twitter would be lit up with what idiots they are and how wonderful the cops are for stopping this scourge.
So why do we have these laws again? Because the government knows better than the people it ostensibly is set up to serve?
Is it really the government's job to stop us from hurting ourselves?
An Esperance woman was recently mocked far and wide by the Police and the media for complaining to the Police about how hard it had become to get cannabis in her town. To me it seemed she tried her best to explain her pain and how it was the way she relaxed. She was instead mocked, and the Police declared what they were doing was working, and encouraged the public to continue to assist them in dobbing in dealers.
The Esperance Police said they are "clearly making a difference", despite the woman claiming she is forced to use meth instead.
You might not care that the government treats weed smokers like criminals.
You might not care that laws now exist that make it nigh impossible for cigar retailers in Australia to compete with online imports.
You might look down your nose at anyone who takes a substance that you don't as "scum". But the world is not binary; the truth is not black and white.
And when the bureaucrats with nothing better to do and a need to justify their existence come after your particular vice, be it alcohol, cheeseburgers, or Coca Cola, you'll understand how it feels to be told you're a criminal because you like to enjoy life with a substance someone else decides is bad for you.