By Colin Hyde
It pains me when people say bad things, especially when they have no proof of what they’re saying. At the minimum a human being should operate on the three-strike rule, if it can be afforded. There are situations where one has to make snap decisions about other human beings. If you have received information that a man is a date rapist or a child seducer rapist, you will go crazy if you hear they are around your daughter or sister or niece or any young female. The man might be the victim of a cruel lie, but circumstances can dictate how we act, at times. If there is no urgency, we must apply the 3-strike rule to our brother, at the minimum.
We’re mere human beings; we won’t always do the right thing, but we should strive to. I should put in here that anyone who tells you that a “judger is a sinner” needs to upgrade their wisdom bank. We are definitely caught midway between first and second base if we judge souls. I don’t care how much theology we may have studied, we can’t judge human hearts. But human character, we have the full license for that, especially when they are in or aspire for leadership positions. We have every right to put the microscope on the teacher, the youth leader, the religious leader and, more than all, the ones who are in politics.
It is a fact that a certain amount of us are predisposed to mental issues, various mental issues, without ever taking a non-prescribed medicine. Everyone who falls, can’t cope, becomes zombie-like, becomes homeless, isn’t a victim to drugs. Whoa there, if they took a drink, don’t be too quick to put the blame on alcohol; if they took a smoke, don’t be too quick to put the blame on the marijuana.
We need numbers, from thorough, unbiased research. Where did these overzealous people get their numbers from? I know we human beings have agendas, and the fight to discourage alcohol and drug use is not a bad agenda at all, but we can’t justify our position by plucking, cherry-picking everything that we find favorable. Whoa there, only politicians have license to toy with the truth.
You’ve noticed that the discussion about crack cocaine and cocaine isn’t getting much mention. That’s because the kitchen sink is being thrown at weed. For the agenda, everything bad must be thrown at that herb. We know that crack cocaine and cocaine are here. We know that because from time to time planes loaded with cocaine land in Belize, and cocaine is found floating in the sea. We know it because the authorities tell us that those of us who are seduced into running the drug get paid in cash, and product.
Based on my personal knowledge, I can say how therapeutic, how relaxing, how stimulating, yes, a drink (or two) is to me and people I know. Is weed therapeutic, relaxing, and stimulating to those who smoke it? Ah, we know how therapeutic, relaxing, and stimulating coffee is to those who drink it, because they tell us they become irritable if they don’t get a cup in the morning.
Before we look at our three countries, I will say that it is generally accepted that modern living is a lot more stressful than old-time living was. I would guess that living in a socialist state is a lot less stressful for adults than living in a capitalist state. Rat race, dog-eat-dog survival of the fittest, is hard on the mind, and there can be few conditions worse than being among the 50% in our country who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. There’s a whole lot of grin and bear it, kip haat, going on in our country.
These stats, they are for general consumption only. It’s just a look at the mental side of life in three highly developed countries that don’t allow the relief of weed to their citizens who might find solace there. Cannabis is ILLEGAL in Japan, Taiwan, and UK.
JHPN (Japan Health Policy Now) estimated that 4,193,000 Japanese were living with mental health issues in 2017. That’s 3.3% of their population, Braa. If you extrapolate that to Belize, that works out to around 15,000 of us having serious enough mental issues affecting our lives. JHPN says mental health cases in Japan are greater than “people who have been diagnosed with cancer, stroke, acute myocardial infarction, and diabetes combined.”
The Taiwan News said an astonishing 30% of children and teens in that country “suffer from some form of mental illness.” Keoni Everington of the Taiwan News said a study of children and youth, supervised by Susan Kao, a professor in psychiatry at the College of Medicine of National Taiwan University, found the most common illness in children “was ADHD (11.1%) [and that was followed by] nightmare disorder (8.8%), phobia (6.4%), conduct disorder (4.4%), separation anxiety disorder (3.3%), oppositional defiant disorder (1.9%), social anxiety disorder (1.8%) and autism (1.0%).”
The study “found that the lifetime prevalence of suicidal thoughts was 7.9%”, and that 310 out of every 100,000 children had “considered suicide in the six months before the survey.”
The website mind.org.uk/ said that in any given week in England 8% of people reported mixed anxiety and depression, 6% generalized anxiety disorder, 4% post-traumatic stress disorder, 3% depression, 2% phobias, 1% obsessive-compulsive disorder, and less than 1% panic disorder. 3% reported suffering from antisocial personality disorder in their lifetime, 2% borderline personality disorder, and 2% bipolar disorder. The website said “suicidal thoughts and self-harm aren’t mental health diagnoses”, but “over the course of someone’s lifetime 1 in 5 of us have suicidal thoughts, 1 in 14 of us have self-harm thoughts, and 1 in 15 of us will attempt to kill ourselves.”
The bottom line here is that many people are hurting, and it’s damned unconscionable to have such draconian attitudes toward something as benign as weed, a herb that is therapeutic, relaxing, stimulating to some. People aren’t thinking this thing through. Of course, the church offers its solutions. Ha, ha, a sign in an old movie said: revolution is the opium of the intellectuals. Ah, everyone has their thing. I’d never complain with anyone who finds an opiate in religion.
A very famous poet said no man is an island. Bully for those of us who find sufficient solace in the church building. I just don’t think it is Christian to send the police after the brother smoking his bush in his corner. Please don’t think about going after me and my little cup. Praise God for giving man the brilliance to work a little magic with sugarcane.
A kinder, gentler Julius
What’s this, what’s this, has the Cayo South Area Rep found religion? Pere must be saying, would that this present kinder, gentler Julius was in existence during the time I presided over the House. What a thorn in Pere’s side Julius was. Ah, Pere, God alone knows how he survived those years.
Seriously now, folk, it is good of Julius to give credit to the UDP for projects they started that are good for Belize. Me, personally, I was getting sick of hearing the UDP bleating that the PUP was stealing all their works.
Seriously now, folk, our Area Rep must shut down the next journalist who tries to needle him about some Blu promise to build, what, 10,000 houses. Belizeans are smart and practical; they expect the new GOB to build, and with good policies facilitate this construction. Of course, the state of our economy means the Blu doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of building/facilitating enough to satisfy the housing ambition.
Seriously now, folk, doesn’t Julius’s ministry have the budget to buy yellow paint to daub on those unaware sleeping policemen/raised crossings on the highways?