Poster Boys & Girls…#25 Neil Paine (CISTA)

27th April.

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Outside Dunne’s Stores, Coleraine. Neil Paine is the East Derry candidate for Canabis is Safer Than Alcohol Party.

A bit like the plain packaging on tobacco products, the party is designated as “CISTA”. Presumably even in a free society, where alcohol can only be sold to people over eighteen and tobacco products to people over sixteen (I think).

Additionally Cigarettes can only be sold from closed cupboards behind the counters in stores.

So it seems a curious compromise. Clearly you have to be eighteen to vote for “CISTA” and this poster is clearly visible to any child who can read. I would love to have been in the Electoral Commission when the Party, the symbol and the posters were discussed.

Yet Cannabis is an illegal product and this poster is more visible than a packet of twenty Mayfair Lites in Tesco.

I dont know if Cannabis is safer than Alcohol. I have minimal experience of it aged 49 and I have no experience of Alcohol. But I have sat in hospital waiting rooms on a Saturday night. cannabis is a safe drug or a “gateway” drug? I have no idea but I know that a lot of criminals make a lot of cash which ends up laundered in banks and I know bankers get a nice bonus.

Economically we seem to need the trade to be illegal.

A War on Money Laundering would make as much sense as a War on Terror. And is there really a War on Drugs?

Yet, I suppose “CISTA” deserve credit for highlighting a lot of hypocrisy. I dont believe the statistic that says one in ten people are regular users of “weed” as the cool kids call it. After all I know more than gen people.

But I do believe a candidate who says he has been a regular user for years. What I dont understand is that the Police Service for Norn Iron dont follow up….”where do you buy your supply?”. Maybe one in ten PSNI are smoking a “joint” (as the same cool kids say). I dunno if “CISTA” will get some protest votes. Maybe student votes from Coleraine campus of University of Ulster. Or maybe “CISTA” will do poorly. It would be a real “buzz kill”  (as the cool kids say).

I just think it very odd that Tobacco products cannot be advertised on TV but thru standing five candidates in Norn Iron, Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol is allowed a four minute FREE Party Political Broadcast without parental advisory.

Maybe next year we will have a Nudist Party. Or the Pornography Is Great Party. Look out for those “PIG” posters in 2016.

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