UK drug information organisation DrugScope has highlighted the plight of child "slaves" forced to work in illicit UK cannabis farms. According to the organisation, the mainly Vietnamese victims are trafficked into Britain and "coerced into working as 'human sprinkler systems' to water and tend plants in UK cannabis farms" - two …
I just wonder...
Surely the whole neighbourhood would become quite chilled if the local grow-house went up in flames!
Support and protection?
Deportation more like.
interesting to hear who creates all my tasty boode
Why are there quotation marks around 'slave' in this article? Surely if they're being forced to work, that *is* slave labour. If they are actual slaves (it sounds like they are), then drop the quote marks!
Drugscope's Martin Barnes is correct - they shouldn't be sent to jail. They should be deported. There's no room in our jails anyway.
Would solve this problem. Granted it may cause others but it solves one
Human Sprinkler Systems
Does this mean they forced to pee on the plants? No wonder skunk stinks so badly.
A wee problem...
I couldn't get past 'human sprinkler systems' - the phrase conjured a very bizzare image.
In a parallel universe where coffee is illicit
UK drug information organisation DrugScope has highlighted the plight of child "slaves" forced to work in illicit UK espresso farms.
According to the organisation, the mainly Vietnamese victims are trafficked into Britain and "coerced into working as 'human sprinkler systems' to water and tend plants in UK espresso farms" - two thirds to three quarters of which are run by Vietnamese criminal gangs.
We should point out that the farms in question are purely urban, with kids as young as 14 "living in cupboards and lofts to maximise space for plants, in houses powered by electricity running from makeshift connections to mains supplies". According to the London Fire Brigade, 50 such installations were detected in the capital last year "because of house fires caused by faulty lights or re-wiring".
While the Home Office in June published a report into child trafficking which "identified Vietnamese young people as a vulnerable group who had been particularly exploited in coffee production", it also fingered several cases where the "slaves" had been jailed for their unwilling participation in coffee cultivation.
Accordingly, the report "called on the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to avoid prosecuting trafficked coffee farmers", while Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Ken Macdonald, told an All Party Parliamentary Group on trafficking in July he would "be warning prosecutors to take into account the back story of children found working in coffee factories".
DrugScope's chief executive, Martin Barnes, said: "Some have considered large-scale coffee cultivation as an almost 'victimless crime' but the reality is that vulnerable young people are being exploited.
This is the consequence of a product being illegal that many people like to consume. If drugs were legalised and regulated, then this method of growing weed would be uneconomical and hence would stop.
The war on drugs has caused more problems than it ever claimed it would be able to stop. Educate a populace and let them decide if they want to get high or not.
6 Vietnamese Kids
To understand this, read the home office report:
"The data set has registered 22 Vietnamese children, of whom 11 are girls and 11 are boys aged between 14 and 17 years. In six of these cases, children were found to have been arrested in cannabis factories"
So what were the ages of the 6 arrested in cannabis factories? The report doesn't say the cannabis factories were staffed by 14 to 17 years olds, it says that 14 to 17 year illegal Vietnamese child immigrants were found with 6 of those caught in cannabis factories.
Do the search [Vietnamese children cupboard cannabis] and the cupboard thing also comes from DrugScope.
Can we have an informed debate on things? Just for once, instead of making up juicy stories to pitch to the Mirror & Sun?
It's a mild stimulant, yes it has some bad effects, it causes dehydration, bad skin, a bad case of the munchies, some people allege it has mental health effects in the long term, it has a nasty withdrawal symptom and some people become addicted to it. But when consumed as cappuccino it's nice with a biscotti and coffee 'high' effects are way overrated! And as long as criminalizing it causes so many bad side effects, it makes sense to review if the ban is worthwhile.
"Educate a populace and let them decide if they want to get high or not."
Sure, because that's working so well with alcohol at the moment.
this is really quite worrying
Person at the top - deport - please, have some humility.
These people, in a very similar sense to child prostitution, and even adult prostitution, are exploited by a few people who care not for anything but money.
They are the ones who need to be deported not these kids. If these reports can be trusted, the children mentioned DO need help and support, to rebuild their lives by the sound of things, if that involves getting them back in touch with their families so be it: the term slave does seem fairly appropriate.
This kinda makes you wonder, if this is happening in the UK, where we all are lead to believe that everything is fine and rosy, and for the most part it is, what happens in Vietnam, where these people are from, where there isn't a proper infrastructure like ours and regulations on working hous and suchlike? How many other countries round the world where slavery is officially obolished to these practices remain rife?
finally, what can we do about it? Not buying or smoking weed certainly isnt going to help, maybe grow it ourselves?
RE: "nasty withdrawal symptom"
strange, i've never experienced this withdrawal symptom and I've gone without many times (often for up to 3-4 months, once for 2 years).
re: "some people allege it has mental health effects in the long term"
I think you'd be surprised how many heavy regular uses HAVE had mental health problems related to cultivated skunk (and this only, mind ... hash and bush weed appear not to cause the problem). I certainly have. Still spent a weekend over in amsterdam recently and smoked some mind blowing hashes and not once did the schizophrenia kick back in. Note: It ended when i gave up, contrary to what the "system" has been saying, after realising what i was doing to myself. I was a VERY heavy smoker though.
I am having hard time believing that the police is bothered at all
If the police was bothered, it would have started using IR cameras on the choppers which they currently primarily use for showing off.
Due to the abissmal level of insulation in 99% of UK houses any cannabis installation will shine like a beacon in near IR. In fact, most of these are likely to be even visible from space on near-IR fotographs.
As long as it's still legal to eat chips, workers on potato farms have to abide by health and safety regulations. If Brown and co. banned the eating of chips "for our own good, to reduce obesity", no doubt there would be illegal potato (and sunflower; chips have to be fried in something, after all) farms springing up all over the place; and without the benefits of regulation, there would be certain to be casualties. Think about it from the now-illegal potato farmer's point of view ..... if you're going to go to prison for growing potatoes anyway, then why worry about paying for the water or the electricity you are going to be using? Far better to arrange the supplies yourself so as not to attract the attention of the authorities; but then of course you don't have much guarantee of safety, and the likely consequences include leaking pipes, inadequate insulation, circuit overloading and so forth.
As long as it remains illegal for adults to indulge in mildly-self-destructive pursuits, there will be all the attendant problems which go with illegal activities ..... and of course the problems arising directly from the illegality of the activity will be conflated with the problems due to the activity per se, so nobody seems to care when the former group totally overshadow the latter. (For instance, the ONLY reason why smackheads steal VCRs is because heroin is illegal; that both inflates the price and actively discourages users from seeking help *before* they become heavily addicted.)
"In six of these cases, children were found to have been arrested in cannabis factories"
Reading the report it sounds to me like a storm in a tea cup. Six kids were found working in grass farms across the whole UK? Oh noes. These are probably the only such cases, the profit margins on cannabis (even skunk) just aren't high enough to pay for a horde of child slaves to do the work.
"There is also some anecdotal information that Vietnamese girls are being trafficked into places such as nail bars"
We better ban false nails then coz they lead to child slavery.
"Sure, because that's working so well with alcohol at the moment."
Erm, yes - two guys in a fight at the footie - have they been drinking or smoking hash? DRINKING!
Alcohol makes people violent, Hash chills people out - if we legalise it then we end up with a LOT more chilled out people. Problem is you are still going to get people drinking and getting violent....hey ho....
"Due to the abissmal level of insulation in 99% of UK houses any cannabis installation will shine like a beacon in near IR. In fact, most of these are likely to be even visible from space on near-IR fotographs." -- Anton Ivanov
Better to line the inside of your roof with a layer of insulation, and cover with some reflective material on the surface to keep the heat from escaping through the slates. Use extractor fans to discharge the hot air into a disused chimbley; just make sure the fireplace is blocked off below. All the helicopters will see then is a cloud of hot gases coming out of a flue, which isn't really out of the ordinary.
If you are living in the growhouse, you can install a two-part air conditioner with the indoor unit in the loft and the outdoor unit in a living room. Might as well use that waste heat for something ..... And air-conditioner runoff is chemically equivalent to demineralised water.
Those who says it is a victimless crime are deluded.
Firstly the growers bypass the electric meter and steal electricity, secondly drug dealers aren't exactly the nicest people around (if they don't respect the law then what do they respect?).
The drug culture has a lot of bad eggs.
UK Slave = Third World Worker
Surely all this strengthens the case for legalisation of growing for own use, which in turn would be great news for Tech Start Up seliing Linux driven "grow your own" automation systems.
Unfortunatley I would probably still have to depend upon third world slaves to assemble and package them. But we all seem happy with that as long as we don't have to deal with the fall-out.
There is also a low-tech version to the IR cameras that is used in Brighton....
...wait for it to snow.. then look for the houses without a snowy roof. That technique has been used to bust farms before...
who cares about some brats from third world
If it brings down the price then it's great!
@mental health effects
"I think you'd be surprised how many heavy regular uses HAVE had mental health problems related to cultivated skunk"
Is that correct? My experience is from my friends near my house down in Murcia, none of them had any noticable problems, two of them skunk users. Mind you, it's a weekend thing like all the leisure users I know.
Spain makes it illegal to sell, but not illegal to grow one or two plants yourself for your own use. As a result, anyone that wants it, grows it and there is no criminal market for it, hence no 'gateway' drug.
I've read the report that says it can accelerate Schizophrenia in people with a genetic predisposition to it who are heavy users during adolescence.
"The findings also suggest that heavy use of marijuana may lead to earlier onset of schizophrenia in adolescents who are genetically predisposed to the disorder."
Fair enough, so skunk should be banned to under 18's. But why are we criminalizing people for it if it's the reality doesn't match the hype?
@ A J Stiles
Chemically equivalent to demineralised water?? With a slight hint of legionairres disease! Yum..
Here's the rub.. These "children" were either kidnapped or sold or mislead into coming to the UK. When they get to big for the cupboards, they'll be sold again, probably into the sex industry. I know you don't care, but that's because you're a dope head who was lucky enough to be born in a country where the adults will pay for your health care and unemployment benifit while you smoke your life away..Lucky you.. In my opinion, if these kids get caught, they should be given the home of a heavy dope adict and a good education and maybe a job in Kew or somewhere, the dope adict gets deported to Vietnam.. That'll make everyone happy.. The kid who got the raw end of the deal in Vietnam gets a better life, we get rid of the wasters, and the wasters can smoke themselves to death, at least until they get caught, and then put to death!
I know you're going to try to defend your habit.. Don't, you aren't worth the effort if you're going to try to defend a habit that causes the enslavement of children. Just crawl back into the haze you crawled out from and leave us adults to live in the real world.. You're not welcome here until you grow up.
@A J Stiles
This will not help you in the slightest with an average pre-1990-es UK house which has no cavity wall insulation whatsoever. While you may manage to make it less obvious from straight above with minimal effort, it will be clearly obvious from an angle, especially in a country where 95% of the population shuts down their central heating at night. So a police chopper with an IR camera taking a quick flight on a nice and cold autumn morning will pick up every single one of them. This of course depends on the police wanting to do that. So far they are showing that they do not.
Further to this if the "farmers" were that technically literate, they would not have set themselves on fire so often through incompetent wiring. Frankly, let's be real here, we are talking about someone who cannot wire a couple of lights without causing a fire now and then. I somehow do not see the same person insulating the disaster known as "average british house" to a spec suitable for Norway beyond the polar circle, followed by an airconditioning setup which can be envied by Australians. Forget it...
My point of view, while extremely cogent,
LOS ANGELES TIMES:
That the repressive nature of the legalities
vis-a-vis drugs are destroying the legal
system and corrupting the police system.
LOS ANGELES TIMES:
Let's talk about acting for a minute.
In the US we do it better
We use new homes in nice neighborhoods
they are nicely insulated and require
no one be there ever except at planting and harvest they
are generally nicely landscaped and the neighbors are
unaware mostly to date they have only found two
of these setups by shear accident but I think there could be
a few more.Just buy new houses it's not like you won't
make your money back.
More poor victims of the phony war on (some) drugs
This is the consequence of art students! If you really think legalisation would get rid of the criminal gangs then you really are living proof that hash has serious mental health issues.
The government is blind
The obvious fact of the matter is the government are loosing the War on Drugs, I could walk around a nightclubs shouting "pills" and within a few minutes someone will approach me and offer me 3 exatasy tablets for £5, every where i walk i get wafts of the smell of someone smoking a spliff.
Drugs are bad for peoples health but who gave the government the right to tell people what they can and can't do with their bodys?
You can ask any police officer or security person what their preference would be, dealing with a drunk or a stoner, i bet all of them would say they prefer to deal with a stoner.
Legalise cannabis and you'll see a serious drop in crime because people will be far to stoned to go starting fights, raping people and mugging old ladies.
Chav - "I dare you to nick that car"
Stoner "screw that, i can't get up.....im hungry"
"I know you're going to try to defend your habit.. Don't, you aren't worth the effort if you're going to try to defend a habit that causes the enslavement of children. Just crawl back into the haze you crawled out from and leave us adults to live in the real world.. You're not welcome here until you grow up."
So, tell me Anon... Where are your shirts made? Did some third world waif make your shoes? Or heavy metal water contamination for your cheap electronics? Just how many children have your habits exploited, hmm?
Well then, you say, what about your claim that the kids will get "to big" and THEN be sold to the sex industry? Clearly that's worse than anything that EVER went on in a Nike factory, right? Well, let's take a logical look at this: "...with kids as young as 14 living in cupboards and lofts." This implies that many are at least a couple years older, and I question your logic about size - even a full grown adult does not absolutely require any more space than a 16 year old. On the other hand, after these kids have been on the job for a few years (if they make it that far without being busted), you would think they would be trained, full of valuable knowledge. So, exploitation yes, but the sex industry? Maybe, but it seems unlikely to me.
That's not to say that this isn't horrible. It's not to say that we shouldn't be rescuing children from these situations when we find them, and doing our best to integrate them into OUR society, unless they just want to go home. After all, we pride ourselves on topics such as human rights, and slavery of any form - much less child slavery - is an abomination of human rights. But let's be blunt here - if you're really worried about child exploitation, this is a very small slice of the problem. Most drug manufacturing operations aren't going to operate on child slave labour, if for no other reason than it's not really effective in the long term. Frankly, it's a sign of incompetence, and it warms my soul to know that the few people who do this will almost certainly get caught and get what they deserve - even if much of that is technically for what I consider to be the wrong reason (i.e., growing weed, not exploiting children).
I know you're going to try to defend your misguided stand. Don't, you aren't worth the effort if you're going to try to attack someone without thinking based on a "think of the children!" cry. Just crawl back into the closed, narrowminded little world where you can be spoon fed what you want to hear by politicians and "journalists" who are more interested in selling you something than telling you anything you might not like. You're not welcome here until you learn to think for yourself, and act like it.
The only acceptable use for the term and concept of Slave, is to refer to African Negroes persecuted and exploited by white north americans.
Any other usage, no matter how technical, historically accurate, or totally unrelated to said shameful crime against humanity,is some kind of propaganda intended to further disenfranchise this oppressed minority.
Furthermore, any references to slavery existing in Africa prior to European involvement ,eg Egyptian pharoahs, or pre-christian european, eg Greek, Roman, and any mention whatsoever, of black africans selling other black africans to slave traders, will be regarded as heresy and the originator shall be stoned - probably from cannabis grown by illegal immigrant child labour.
"Note: It ended when i gave up, contrary to what the "system" has been saying, after realising what i was doing to myself."
Sounds like standard substance abuse to me, whether it be alcohol, cigarettes or weed; the substance is a symptom and the cause can only be addressed when the user is willing to.
"Drugs are bad for peoples health but who gave the government the right to tell people what they can and can't do with their bodys?" Erm, that would be when the government started spending my tax money on providing health care and benefits to people who had somehow buggered themselves up - whether that's through drugs, drinking, smoking, driving stupidly, not wearing a seat belt, eating crap food, unprotected sex or whatever. How about this: No disability, unemployment or health care benefits for people who's health or employment problems are caused by their own lifestyle? I've never understood why, for example, the government wastes so much money on providing medical care for smokers or fat people.
"By the Jim bloke" --
I take it the African negroes enslaved by the Spanish in Cuba don't count either.
Sparticus must have been completely deluded when he led the slaves revolt - no wonder he lost.
@In the US we do it better
Dude, 'Weeds' is a television show, not real life.
if pot's not addicitve
then why is everyone risking jail, confiscation, loss of livelyhood just to maintain their habit? I know some or all flavors of Mountain Dew soda aren't available in some places in Europe, but you don't see people busting their ass, spending years campaigning, ducking the law, and funding street hoods in order to get some. They just buy another soda.
But bring up the "non addicting" cannabis-and there's people spending decades of effort to "legalize". They'll risk losing their homes, risk losing their children, risk losing their freedom and jobs over getting some. Some go as far as to defraud health care workers and try to score "prescriptions" here.
Then after all this effort, all this risk, they tell me there's "no addiction"? The sheer monomaniacal effort that goes into scoring that next wake-n-bake weekend looks a lot like more than a casual thing to me.
This to me makes as much sense as California fringe politico's campaigning hard to legalize pot but also supporting draconian anti-smoking laws. WTF?! Tho it makes sense if you accept a possible link between too much pot and the inability to make common sense political policy...
Bloody idiots, legalise it? GROW UP.
Some side effects from both short and long term usage are:
Mood swings, short term memory loss, lack of concentration, SLOWER REACTIONS and inability to string words together, let alone coherently after prolonged use. (many of these side effects being in the few days following use)
And that's just a few.
Do you imbeciles think that because you dont believe it's affected you or your mates that way, it cant possibly affect anyone else like that? Are you (like most stoners) stuck in that soft and cosy little blinkered tunnel that keeps you safe from harm AND REALITY? If so..please just stay there, shut up and keep the hell away from society, we don't need you.
At least currently, while cannabis is not legal, we are less at risk from being on public transport driven by stoners as there is still the threat of drugs testing hanging over public transport employees. And therefore the public are that little bit safer.
I used to run around spouting out "the government should legalise it, man" when i was a teenage stoner (nearly 20 years ago)
Now I settle for the prozac that several years of regular cannabis has caused me and several others to need.
Good luck and feel free to join me when the shit hits YOUR fan - oh...that's if dope hasn't been legalised and you weren't killed in a train crash caused by a driver who'd smoked too much the night before to be able to concentrate properly.
p.s in case little mindeds out there wanted to hone in on just one aspect - the public transport is just an example of MANY occupations where the use of cannabis during or before the job would prove dangerous to the public.
And please read the message as a whole...I do so tire of having to repeat myself to idiots who deliberately remove bits from context.
Immediately deported - Be cautious
Well if we just deport them they will probably made be slaves in their countries. Their families probably saved money / borrowed off criminal gangs to give their children a chance of a better future in the UK and were hoping the money their children would earn would pay off the debt.
I believe that is how the Triads work, can't see the Vietnamese missing out on a valuable revenue stream. Even if the kids die / get locked up the debt is still owed! The dead cockle pickers families are apparently still being pursued by the gangs for money. That is why unaccompanied children disappear to their criminal masters a few days after going into the asylum system, their whole family will be killed if they don't.
What we should do is make sure they can't be imported in the first place, making us less complicit in their abuse. By encouraging illegal immigration by failing to guard our borders and granting asylum to anyone who stays under the radar long enough, we are encouraging this abuse.
After this we could deport them and work with the originating countries police to intercept and possibly catch the gangs before they can hurt the families. Make it unprofitable by removing demand and risky for the gangs then the trade will stop. We are the beneficiaries of slaves, our government turns a blind eye & the criminal gangs are the slave masters!
The government should act. It would be a far more fitting tribute to previous slaves than their descendants (many comparatively wealthy compared to their former countrymen) or their original tribal chiefs (who would probably spend it on new jets and shoes like many despot leaders do with foreign Aid) receiving compensation.
Exploiting poorer countries for cheap labour that is being abused in dire conditions should be stopped, our governments and the WTO need to act and provide minimum working standards that are enforced. Our cheap goods might become a little more expensive (inflation might go up - I wonder if that is a factor?) but if we set minimum staff care, eco and quality standards for goods / services produced in poorer countries everyone would be better off.
Right about the incompetence, its a good thing. Otherwise its unlikely plod would have wasted one of their 11 annual detections on the arrest.
Wrong about the absence of health effects of 'soft' drugs', plenty of psychiatrists will tell you it is a major factor in young people's mental health. Plenty of studies prove it.
Re:Bloody idiots, legalise it? GROW UP
Do you know what you're talking about or do you just enjoy typing rubbish?
by your logic we all get driven around by drunk bus drivers and we live in a society where there are no harmfull substances.
I wonder how many bus driver have driven you around whilst being unfit through prescribed medication? if someones taken prescribed sleeping tablets their still unfit to drive the next day.
Police officers that only work night shifts are unfit to do their jobs, this is proven fact that night shift workers are as responsive and capable as someone over the legal driving limit of alcohol.
Cannabis does have harmful effects, that is a fact but its not up to you, the government or anyone to dictate to people what they can and can't do to their own bodys, if someone is unfit to do their job or if they put someone at risk from taking harmfull substances then they should be dealt appropriatly but if someone is having a drink or a smoke on a friday night then no one has the right to tell them what their doing is wrong.
With people like you around its no wonder we're living in a nanny state, people like you need to be told what to do because you obviously had no self control when you were young but that doesn't mean everyone else lacks the self control you do.
"Chemically equivalent to demineralised water?? With a slight hint of legionairres disease! Yum.."
Sorry? Have you looked at a modern AC unit? The 'output' is effectively distilled water, created by condensation from the de-humidifying effect. Admittedly, older large units have a water circuit that can be a perfect environment for legionella, if the chemistry is improperly maintained - but that is not what was being proposed.
I think you will find that "the Jim Bloke" forgot his <sarcasm> tags.
@ those who decry drugs and their relationship with slavery.
Firstly, if child slavery really gets to you then I would suggest that you stop eating (non-fair trade) chocolate. Around 70% of the worlds cocoa is produced in the Ivory Coast, where child slavery on cocoa plantations is rife. Then start on your clothing.
There is much talk about the horrors of narcotic sales - it funds terrorism, it causes slavery, etc. These are problems related directly to organised crime, narcotics are peddled by this scum because there is a demand that cannot be met legally. Legalise and these problems cease though other, social, problems will follow. I seem to remember an analysis a few years back that showed that, while the US spent $5 billion on trying to stop drugs, a legal and modestly taxed drugs industry could have produced billions of revenue for the government (and saved $5bill in the process).
This meshes quite well with the study that demonstrated that a life-long smoker in the UK is paying an amount in tobacco duty that would not only cover the NHS costs incurred by smoking related illness for that individual but by several times, in effect subsidising the healthcare of non-smokers. You listening "Voice Of Reason" ?
Drugs are not all good though, I had a friend at university who suffered a severe paranoid episode after a rather heavy night on the puff (not skunk btw). His disappeared for a couple of years and then surfaced as a shadow of his former self. Then again he was very much the exception among the many I knew that partook.
Legalising narcotics is certainly not a panacea but removing a source of income from people traffickers and generating a modest tax income that could offset the cost of narcotic victim care is surely preferrable.
Voice of Reason or Voice of an ignorant idiot?
"I've never understood why, for example, the government wastes so much money on providing medical care for smokers or fat people."
That's because you are ignorant, or just plain stupid. Smokers pay for far more healthcare than they receive and don't cost as much in pensions. People that injure themselves playing sport have contributed nothing to the system with their hobby, maybe we should stop treating them. I personally resent my tax money paying forn the NHS to care for congenital idiots, please think before you breed.
Re:Voice of Reason or Voice of an ignorant idiot?
Total income from tax on tobacco products = £12 billion
Total spending on smoking related illnesses = £1.7 billion
So who pays for whos medical treatment?
..didnt bother reading it properly then...too stoned were you?
I have NO IDEA how you managed to draw those conclusions from my posting.
You strange, strange person.
Obviously you didn't read my post or your too doped up on prozac to understand.
- Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register
- Review What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight
- Product round-up Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids
- Antique Code Show World of Warcraft then and now: From Orcs and Humans to Warlords of Draenor
- Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...