South Pacific: Sympathy for Marijuana Growers in Vanuatu

A recent National Drug Squad raid on Malekula, part of the 80-island New Hebrides archipelago that makes up the country of Vanuatu, has led at least one member of parliament to say that harsh economic conditions justify the growing of marijuana by community members. In the raid in question, police rounded up 20 villagers and took them to jail in the capital, Port Vila. Police also seized 40 bags of freshly harvested marijuana.

In reaction to the raid, MP Donna Browny, who represents Malekula, told Radio New Zealand that people are justified in planting marijuana to earn money for their children's school fees when the copra price is down and the government has not found an alternative commodity to replace it. Browny urged leniency for the villagers, saying they planted pot instead of coconut trees because they needed the money.

Browny's is the first voice in opposition to the rising clamor from local law enforcement and some nonprofit groups in the Connecticut-sized archipelago of some 200,000 people. Vanuatu police took advantage of the annual Law Week last week to warn that marijuana growing and use is on the rise. "Vanuatu is lucky, yet, because at this stage we haven't come across a case of hard drug consumption like cocaine or opium but with the current trend there is a risk," a drug squad spokesman told the audience at a cannabis awareness session, according to an account in the Vanuatu News.

The association of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Vanuatu, VANGO, was raising similar concerns a week earlier. Marijuana use is on the rise and so is use among young people, warned VANGO spokesman Henry Vira. "Every week there is young people being arrested for the use of marijuana or possession and cultivation of the plant," he told Radio New Zealand.

The police want more resources for law enforcement. The NGOs want increased drug treatment and substance education. The marijuana growers and smokers undoubtedly just want to be left alone.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Cannabis

I like the last paragraph of this article.

"The police want more resources for law enforcement. The NGOs want increased drug treatment and substance education. The marijuana growers and smokers undoubtedly just want to be left alone."

I guess that is the main issue when it comes down to it. Are the growers "the people"? Are they the majority in this small island nation?  Do the people want this plant to use for all its benefits and drawbacks? If they do, it should be the will of the people that is served, not the will of the police or the NGOs! 

Let your voice be heard people. Do not live in the shadows any longer.  Do not let these organizations and law enforcement personnel send your fathers, sons and daughters to prison for a plant that has not taken one life in 5000 years of use!

Don't make the mistake western countries made.

The police want more resources for law enforcement. The NGOs want increased drug treatment and substance education. The marijuana growers and smokers undoubtedly just want to be left alone.


The "war on drugs" is simply a war on individual rights.  It is the best excuse that the people who derive a living by taking money from others, through taxes, have to secure their incomes, increase their power and wealth.   People will always seek to secure their happiness, which is income, benefit, and security.  The people in government have learned that the best way to secure their happiness, income, benefit and security is by increasing their fellow citizen's reliance on them.  The do this for the same reasons business people market their product or service to increase profit.   Take heed, government like all things grows.  A small government grows into a large government and individual freedom declines.  This is the way of things.  This has always been the way this works, there has never been an occurrence where small government has grown AND individual freedom.   Not in the great capitalist or communist nations have we EVER seen individual freedom grow with government.  

Drug prohibition creates violence.  Just as the alcohol prohibition of the early 20th century in America made violent crime bosses wealthy, and caused murder and death, so has the intoxicant war of today.  The horrors that occur in Northern Mexico are the result of this prohibition.   It is better to follow the path of treating all intoxicants as bad habits, and inform the people of the dangers to their health then hire and pay for large police forces to arrest and imprison the people.  This just causes government to grow, and individual freedom to decline.  It causes violence.   

Do not follow this path.  It will only hurt you.  

 
 

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