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07 May 2014


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Angra Sil, I agree that laziness can be an issue and especially in employed people.

But it is less useful to describe the unemployed as being 'lazy people', when perhaps they have not had the same opportunity to find employment.

I recall one story about Simbu's playing cards on the side if the road being called lazy, when I'm fact, many of them had already been to the garden before dawn and they were now relaxing in the midday sun.

It is true nevertheless that youths who are otherwise not occupied will find either creative or destructive means to entertain themselves.

Sometimes, in their position, it is less easy to distinguish between the two.

Only taking on responsibility allows people to determine what actions may be helpful to themselves and society and what actions may not be beneficial.

What's reported is a snapshot of what's happening around Simbu and the highlands.

Someone in a corner in Simbu ate his own infant 10 years ago whilst high on marijuana. And two years ago it happened in Tabubil.

A couple of my own clansmen died due to constriction of veins after many years of high doses of Maryjane.

People do not have money to buy hard drugs like metamphetamines, ice, cocaine, etc, up there but marijuana is cultivated in people's own backyard.

They consume high doses because it's accessible. The sad thing is addicts don't have good meals (proteins to replenish the dead cells) up in the highlands unlike the coastlands (fish) and Australia (welfare state).

Kaukau, cordial and scones are the staple diet and that does not quench the thirst for meat after high doses.

Hence, the stock of domesticated animals in the highlands is fast regressing due to thievery and of course laziness as an obvious reason too.

There are of course extreme examples but I'm not sure it's useful to hone in on them alone.

We can also assert that alcohol consumption has led some people into psychotic behaviour, hallucinations and killing their family.

But alcohol barons have such a hold on our societies that it's not the done thing to question alcohol abuse.

There is also science that Maurijuana has health benefits.

“Currently, there is no strong evidence that use of cannabis of itself causes psychological or social problems, such as mental illness or school failure," says Dr John Macleod of the University of Birmingham in the UK.

“There is a great deal of evidence that cannabis use is associated with these things, but this association could have several explanations,” he said, citing factors such as adversity in early life, which may itself be associated with cannabis use and psychosocial problems.

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I think it all comes down to how it is used. Moderation is best.

Just like if you chew too much buai, there is likely to be consequences for the health of your mouth. Eat too much red meat and you're more at risk of Alzheimers. Watch too much television and your brain starts dying.

I'm inclined to agree with Jeremiah that society should be more worried about the hard drugs like methamphetamine.

Here's a quote from one of your sources Peter:

"Marijuana users who have taken large doses of the drug may experience acute psychosis, which includes hallucinations, delusions, and a loss of the sense of personal identity."

The other two sources seem to echo the same theme.

What I draw from this is that taken in moderation the effects are not particularly significant but taken in large doses it is dangerous - much like most drugs, good and bad.

So someone killing his daughter and cooking her in a pot on the stove and then eating her, as Francis depicts, is not beyond belief.

Thanks Peter. Let medical science research shed some light.

I for one would not like to see more Simbus end up being addicts. I have seen that the ones that have become a liability to society.

Try some basic medical research guys.

Jeremiah - "The effect from taking marijuana is just like drinking a bottle of SP."

I am not a doctor and I don't know the situation in Simbu. But I really doubt that this statement of yours can hold.

Of course "one" bottle of SP is not really a problem (it is probably even healthy); but addiction to alcohol disintegrates the liver.

One smoke of marijuana will not produce any damage; but I have always been told that this specific substance has a direct and lasting impact on the brain. Addiction to it will make the person crazy or at least... longlong.

Certainly our heart cries by seeing young people end up like that. Those who make money with drugs are guilty of murder.

You have brought up an interesting point about the efficacy of maryjane Johnny.

If you read Francis Nii's book, "Fitman, Raitman & Cooks", there is a disturbing scene where a character stoned on booze and dope eats his own daughter.

I asked Francis about this and he said that it wasn't something horrible that he had just made up.

I understand that New Guinea Gold is extremely potent, especially when mixed with alcohol.

I am also aware that the effects of alcohol on individuals in PNG seems to be much more pronounced than in Australia (except among indigenous people where it is disastrous and among young people on the Gold Coast).

I wonder whether there is any scientific basis to these apparent disparate outcomes.

Johnny you have a good point.

I know many professional people who smoke ganja on a regular basis. They are policy officers, journalists, foreign service officers, PR officers and the list goes on.

The slaughter and mayhem is caused by mental problems and not marijuana.

These mentally disoriented people are vulnerable to manipulation by political players and use the drug body label to satisfy their own interest.

As a writer you have to entertain your audience and you did just that Sil.

Humorous and revealing.

I grew up with this culture and have witnessed how it has evolved. Jeremiah is correct this group of individuals are used as political pawns.

It is another complex social problem that has more than one solution.

Smoking marijuana is correctly termed a culture and we label the users or participants of this culture 'drug bodies'.

Add to this the common denominators of their low status, predominantly youths, and there now exists a common cause for the group: their own welfare, surviving day to day in communities that offer them little hope for the future.

They feel less bound by the morals and laws of society because most societies reject them; individually and as a group.

The 'drug bodies' band together for strength.

They are trying to establish themselves as a subset of village society.

I sometimes think about PNG this way - too many children, not enough hope.

There is another group at the other end of the scale who are doing likewise: corrupt public servants and MP's.

Yet we communities love this group because they are in control of the nations purse. It is assumed that they will offer us 'hope', usually through private arrangements laka.

What we don't connect is that the one group is stealing the future of the other and we think it's business as usual.

It's revealing to note that nominating MP's and drug bodies are associated at election times.

You help them steal the hopes and dreams of your children every time you accept their bribes or give into their threat at election time.

The cruel joke is that the drug bodies are the real victims.

We might, if we have the courage, resolve this situation by turning the entire system on its head to start treating the corrupt public servants as outcasts with an appropriate label - thieves - and provide hope for the next generation of children.

The current drug bodies, unless they pick themselves up, may be a lost cause.

An excellent and revealing story Angra Sil.

Is it really just marijuana that is driving these people to this slaughter and mayhem you describe?

No doubt there are social ills around drug use, but PNG would be going against worldwide science if the effect of its natural cannabis is the leading cause of the kind of craziness referred to here.

Or maybe the gear is that strong, as Bernard Yegiora suggested in 'High over Madang' back in December 2012, where he asserted that some of the stuff is A-grade.

But let's be clear: dope abuse comes in addition to other habits and consumptions of the modern disillusioned young adult.

If there's hunger and marginalisation in the make-up, then the trouble has a foothold. Throw alcohol or homebrew into the mix too and a man is probably going to be a mess, emotional or even psychotic.

I know this is probably unfashionable to say, and I'm sorry if this offends anyone's beliefs about narcotics, but the fervent criticism of marijuana seems unfair. There are plenty of people who smoke the stuff and lead normal, productive lives.

I accept there are health risks involved and some people are not suited to it. But in some ways, taken the right way and in moderation, marijuana is a peaceful drug and has its purposes. This article even alludes to it: "Many couples smoke marijuana to inflate their energy so as to make gardens for their sustenance."

It's hard however to reconcile that pastoral image with the article's claim that the drug addicts in Simbu are beasts on the battlefield, taking the frontline without flinching.

The Americans and other imperial forces have long experimented with drugs on their troops. It can be said that marijuana has not been a reputed fuel for killing machines. For that, these days you're looking at pills with lethal psychotic doses of pharmaceuticals more than anything grown in God's green earth.

I always thought that if the WWI commanders had let their troops smoke up, they'd never have bothered to leave their trenches and get slaughtered.

Drug Bodies are responsible for all 7 members of Simbu in Parliament today. They all used these addicts to control polling places and do double voting. While we normal people call them "half sense", they themselves think we are the half senses and so it will be hard to get rid of them. Best way is to legalize marijuana because its not a hard drug like ice or cocaine.The effects from taking marijuana is just like drinking a bottle of S.P.

The consumption of Marijuana is fueled by many factors.

There are also many reasons for the cultivations and sales of the drug. Recreations, habitual, as an avenue to earn money, and as a strategy to cope with new and pressing lifestyles appear to be only some.

It has developed into a culture in many parts of PNG including urban centers. In the highlands, "drug bodies" as they are known these days are found in all communities.

Students, working class the businesmen, and the well to do also do it. It is becoming a recreational drug for may who use them.

I see a hope in saving the future generation if we target young people who are in schools now. Being educated they are better able to understand the pros and cons of drug use. They are also then better able to exert positive influence on their own siblings and their peers. Better that or we have a situation of crisis proportion on our hands.

No kidding!

Sil, thank you for pointing out this infectious illness in our society. However you are painting a very grave image of Simbu which doesn't necessarily reflect the reality in some villages.

Some villages in Simbu are better off than how you describe this situation. Addicts are treated as insignificant gits salvaging at the bottom of the social pyramid with few incentives to influence community welfare.

However I agree that the level of influence addicts are allowed to exercise is growing unabated and, if nothing is done now to stop this trend, we will surely be ruled by drug-lords in the not-too distant future.

Sadly some of our MP's are using these addicts as arrows to avenge their rivals, which only fuels the addicts cause.

Kops, the people in the village are being threatened and harassed by these drug addicts on a daily basis.

I went to the village last weekend to attend a traditional event and witnessed someone drinking SP beer mixed with home-brew and inhaled tonnes of maryjane at the same time.

This person took control of the village video house and demanded money for his next bottle of beer and held the generator at ransom.

No one stood up against him and prayed for him to get too drunk and go to sleep early. If nothing concrete is done to address drug addicts, our society will soon be controlled by them.

I see this has the well set concrete traps for the progress of PNG

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