On Instagram, you will find thousands of pictures documenting cannabis use in all its fascinating glory. Such subtle hashtags as “cannabis”, “marijuana” and “weed” flag up photos of buds, bongs, towering home-grown plants, joints the size of baseball bats (obligatory, obviously), and scores of dead-eyed weed enthusiasts in the act of partaking.
As a result, two things have happened. First, a whole knuckle-headed subculture has grown around the snaps, perfectly crystallised by a scintillating blog entry from back in March titled The 20 Hottest #Girlswhosmokeweed on Instagram I’ve found (so far) and tweeted over 7,000 times. Second, there have been threats from the authorities in Victoria to somehow pursue anyone who has posted such images – which, predictably enough, have only accelerated the craze further.
At which point, it is worth pausing for thought, and marvelling at the stupidity of it all. Of course, the state getting in such a lather about cannabis use only underlines the lunacy of its prohibition – as with this week’s Guardian story about weed-trade-related violence and shootings, complete with a senior cop in Merseyside advocating harsher sentencing for those who grow and sell it. Both stories flag up much the same organised idiocy: the Melbourne-based Herald Sun quotes police warning that “anyone who posts images of this nature may find themselves subject to a criminal investigation”; assistant chief constable Andy Ward thunders that “the amount of money being made by criminals should be reflected in the sentencing”. Shades, as always, of Chicago circa 1925, a colossal waste of human effort – and, all too often, utterly needless gangsterism.
That much surely ought to be accepted by anyone even halfway rational.