Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 25. 3rd October 1973

Light up your joints Ladies and Gentlemen please, and let us smoke a toast to the Revolution

Light up your joints Ladies and Gentlemen please, and let us smoke a toast to the Revolution

Dear Sir,

On Wednesday night last week I watched an Inquiry documentary which dealt in a general way with the social character of marijuana use in New Zealand. I reached no profound conclusions nor saw any moral issues raised by the programme. What did occur to me though, after watching the programme and from my own observations, was that, in the context in which marijuana is used, its use is a personal acknowledgement of, or concession to, individual political impotence. Seen in this light it resembles many other activities which could be called 'escapist' (they hardly need enumerating). Perhaps, when this 'innocuous' aspect of grass is recognised by those who wield power they will consent to its legalisation.

I am not suggesting that the solution of all problems is to be found in politics, politics here given the widest interpretation. I am merely noting the fallaciousness of the belief that grass is the agent which will initiate widespread social change — it will not. On the contrary, present facilities will permit the immediate absorption of this new consumer good into the economy, with no consequential collapse of that economy.

What is wrong with escapism, one may ask, if one is politically impotent? Nothing perhaps, but in an age in which the affluent individual is encouraged to participate in 'a world ....... of indefinite possibilities', it seems ironic or contradictory that by indulging in escapism one is in fact assigning oneself a 'rank' and a 'limit' — exploitable and manipulable.


Steve Prendergast