Raybon Kan is an award-winning stand-up comedian

Raybon Kan: Forget Silicon Valley - how about Sativa Valley?

Opposing use of medicinal cannabis to relieve pain and nausea was a dopey crusade. Photo / Kurt Langer
Opposing use of medicinal cannabis to relieve pain and nausea was a dopey crusade. Photo / Kurt Langer

About time. What the hell took us so long with medicinal cannabis?

The Government finally took down some barriers this week - and not even in time for Bob Marley's birthday.

Sadly, Helen Kelly didn't get this comfort (among so many others, obviously) even while Colorado and other states in medieval, superstitious, gun-toting America were already providing it to those in need.

How backwards does that make us, to lag behind America in drug policy?

Even calling it drug policy is a mistake. This was pure hysteria, banning pain relief and nausea abatement (for cancer sufferers!) in the name of some literally dopey moral crusade.

Colorado did it in 2012. Finally, reluctantly, if only through attendance, we have (kinda) caught up.

And what good has it done anyone to wait? Imagine being in Government and deciding to make life more difficult for people on their deathbed.

Ugh. Not just dragging the chain, burying the chain and pouring concrete on it.
Besides that, why isn't New Zealand going into medicinal cannabis as an industry?

We should be at the absolute forefront of cannabis: growing, researching, developing and indeed, propagandizing about it.

Kiwi Peter Thiel, everyone's mate, should be buying gigabits of land in the north to grow vast amounts of it. Forget Silicon Valley: how about Sativa Valley?

Fonterra should be growing it, to hedge against the environmental burdens of dairy. Why isn't medicinal cannabis a flavour in a range of their cheeses? Think of the snack market.

Think of a chive, cumin and cannabis Camembert. Think how happy their cows would be.

What about cannabis-fed chickens? Cannabis-fed free range eggs? Come to think of it, caged hens would be happier too. Just load their pellets with cannabis, and project Netflix on one wall of their cage.

Cannabis-fed lamb, pork, steak. This is how you grow a market: foods that make you hungry, while you eat them!

And how about tourism? If we're saying NZ is clean and green (results may vary) let's show them exactly how green, and bring them here to consume. They wouldn't even have to smoke it, and risk polluting our skies. They could vape, they could supposit. We're not anal about how they take it.

Cannabis NZ would bring a whole new meaning to NZ as the Shire, and finally explain what those Hobbits were smoking in those pipes, and why they needed second breakfast, several times a day.

I don't mean to come across as a pothead. Weed is not my bag. But for decades, anti-drug hysteria has irrationally blocked medical research into all sorts of drugs, based on puritanical stigma, simply because people enjoy them. And meanwhile, alcohol.

Meanwhile, tobacco. It's just accidents of history that make these legal, while we blindfold ourselves from cannabis, like Jehovah just told us not to eat bacon.

Only now, when hippies and flower children are in their 70s, are we finally seeing some sense. Let's get off the couch on this issue, and get a move on. And politicians: don't expect anyone to have memory loss about where you stood on this issue, when it mattered. Helen Kelly didn't just want it for herself.

Wow, I can't believe I've made it this far without mentioning the American president. He is never far from my thoughts.

For the sake of my own sanity, I've tried to consume only sports and weather, and animal documentaries, preferably narrated by Sir David Attenborough. Come to think of it, he did one about animals living in cities. They followed a fox. This was news to me. Fox news. ARRRRRGH.

Trump is PTSD, during the event. Trauma, post-trauma, then live-tweeting the trauma, all at once.

He's just installed an Education Secretary, a billionaire, who will undermine public education in the US. Now, in theory, we Kiwis should welcome this. A generation of dumber Americans will clearly give NZ a competitive advantage. It's as if all our schools just received more funding, comparatively.

But a generation of dumber Americans will increase Trump's regime through two terms, then Ivanka's two terms, then a duet by the two sons who hang out with Draco Malfoy. Eventuallym voting will be done by drooling.

Trump is so ick, he lies about things people have seen on video.
Trump this week said that the media have under-reported terrorism. That's like saying HBO have under-reported games, and thrones.

Americans, if you're unhappy with Trump, ring the White House and complain to his supervisor, Mr Bannon. If you still get no joy, ask to be put through to Trump's manager, Mr Putin.

And if you want to live somewhere else, Peter Thiel knows the address.

@RaybonKan
www.raybonkan.com

- NZ Herald

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Raybon Kan is an award-winning stand-up comedian

Raybon Kan's books of humour include ‘America on 5 Bullets a Day’ and ‘An Asian at my Table’. Before comedy, he graduated with honours in law and his legal research was published in the New Zealand Law Journal. His TV work includes a documentary in which he trained to be a casino croupier. He once held his breath for 3 minutes and 50 seconds. Visit RaybonKan.com

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