Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Kava Importation Ban in Australia

This may come as a shock to you, but there's not a lot to do in Adelaide on a Saturday night. If you're not a clubber or you're tired of going to the same old pubs (gigs if you're lucky), there's not a lot of places you can go if you just want to wind down. Sit down and relax and not have to listen to pop hits from whatever era, or alternatively people screaming incoherently into a microphone, a place where you'll probably hear some Bob Marley.

Well, that place exists in Adelaide. About 4 years ago some friends of mine introduced me to The Kava Hut, it's a great chilled out place where you can go to do the above, have a nice relaxing drink of kava (Ironically Wikipedia has a suggestion to list it under "legal drugs").

However, due to the Australian Federal Government's crackdown on child sexual abuse and substance abuse in Indigenous communities, they've decided to revoke all kava importation licences across Australia.

This ruins hundreds of Adelaideians Saturday nights, not even to mention the rest of Australia.

It annoyed me enough to actually do an interview about it, here it is.

This ban on kava is ridiculous and reminiscent of a big brother state. It is a poorly thought out, kneejerk reaction to be seen to be "Tough On Drugs" because most people don't know what the heck kava is, and hey, if you didn't know about it, it must be bad right? Wrong.

Many other points are explained in the video. Spread the word, Internets.

I suggest heading down to 254 Hindley st Adelaide and going to sign the petition, while you still can or writing to your Australian Federal MP.

UPDATE: I've put a copy of the petition online Here for download and mailing. Send it in a stamped, self addressed envelope to:

Kava Hut
254 Hindley Street
Australia 5000

And for people outside Australia not prepared to snail mail anything, send an angry email too, exactly how stupid the government is being about this.

11th Jul. I also just found a press release from the Minister of finance from the Government of Tonga where he was worried about the ban. It says that it will be banned in 3 months, but from my understanding the licences have been revoked on the 25th of June 2007.

Thanks to Taryn for proofreading :)

Update 2014 - well, I think this petition went nowhere :(. I suggest you read my article on the politics of kava about 3 posts up :D.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I tried to find updates about this on the net, but couldn't find any. Guess I'll have to wander down to 254 Hindley St...