Friday, April 11, 2008

S.A. Government 'Bans The Bong'

Australia has some pretty archaic cannabis laws in the eight states and territories that make up the country. Until a short time ago, South Australia had some pretty progressive legislation when it came to pot. The drug was still illegal, but it was a case of on the spot fines, and many people found that a blind eye was turned toward them when growing a few plants in the back yard, or when found in possession of a little bit of weed.

The laws in the S.A. differentiated between 'bush' weed and hydroponically grown weed as well. The law was heavy on hydro, yet quite lax when it came to bit of home grown bush bud. It seems now that things are changing for the worse. The latest news is that the Rann Government has made it illegal to sell any kind of drug taking implement, be it 'Ice' pipes, cocaine kits, or even the humble 'billy'. For non-Aussies, a billy is one of our colloquial terms for a bong.

Fines for retailers of bongs can now be as high (no pun intended) as $50000 or Two years in jail.

Who will this affect? Not the smoker. Most will just go back to the old juice bottle and garden hose variety, or bucket bongs, or whatever else is available around the kitchen to fashion a billy from. It is the retailers that will suffer. One shop has already shut its doors. 'Smoke Signals' in Hindley Street, which has been trading for sixteen years will no longer be there. Others are either closing, or looking at new ways to earn a crust.

Laws such as this are just a complete waste of time and effort. Governments will invariably say "We need to send the right message to the community". The only message that comes from this is that the South Australian Govt wants to restrict free enterprise and contribute to the demise of the health of the average cannabis smoker. After all, we all know that a bong reduces the harshness of the smoke we toke and reduces tar levels entering our lungs as well.

Good on ya Premier Rann...1 step forward, three back.