Editorial: Head in the clouds

22:46, Jul 07 2014

Unworldly, unsophisticated or just unbelievably stupid?

A Canadian tourist has shown giddying unworldliness by seeking to fly from Queenstown to Bali with a cannabis pipe in her baggage.

Here's a woman who seems not to have appreciated the cultural difference between the home of extreme tourism and the home of extreme drug penalties.

A woman, we might add, whose story is also a cautionary reminder of the perils of not keeping up with current events.

It's perhaps understandable that, as a visitor, she was unaware of the recent reports of relief for New Zealander Leeza Ormsby, recently sentenced to a mere 10 months in jail for having a joint in her handbag - and potentially 12 years had police linked her to the hashish found in the villa she was caught about to enter.

Nor even, apparently, did the much more extensive international coverage of the torments of Schapelle Corby and the Bali nine cause any faint tinkle of alarm as she packed her travel bag.

Had Queenstown police not done here the considerable service of pinging her at checkout, the traveller would have found herself penalised sharply indeed for her addled sense of serenity about taking drug paraphernalia across international borders.

For their part, the Bali authorities would doubtless regard this near-miss with heavy sighs. Surely they'd be asking themselves what else they need to do to send out a sufficiently repellent message about the ardour and diligence of its opposition to illicit drug use.

Just how notoriously tough do you need to be to penetrate the fog around the heads of some of society's more hedonistic travellers?


The Southland Times