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back to article Brown opts for morality over science on 'lethal skunk'

Gordon Brown looks set to ignore scientific advice and upgrade cannabis next week. There is no official word from Downing Street, but Brown dropped heavy hints to that traditional home of serious political debate, GMTV. The government's panel of advisors, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, gave its report to Home …

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Anonymous Coward

lethal skunk

yeh? like... you forget to breathe or something?

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Coat

Brown is lucky

It's a while since I've seen any lethal skunk around my way.

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FOR FUCK'S SAKE

Just listen to the people who you employ to tell you about it you pruitan twat.

Lethal means that it kills you. Err, FAIL. I really hope you aren't involved in specifying weapons for the army. "Urr, yes <mouth thing> we'll kit them out with some err, <mouth thing> militry grade doobies, that'll warn off the enemy. <mouth thing>"

How is it right to classify canabis (and I'm not suggesting that it's harmless) in the same category as Amphetamines? Even the strongest skunk is not going to fuck you up like amphetamines.

I also take issue with "it's stronger so it gets people more dangerously wasted" because if I drink beer and then move on to wisky, I can work out that I don't need to drink as much to get me the same level of drunk. So from a lung cancer point of view smoking skunk may be less bad for you than smoking bog standard grass.

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Happy

like that's going to make any difference.

A drug being Class A doesn't stop people buying and using it so the change from C to B will have no effect except to futher crimilise a large percentage of the population.

Anyhow, if I've got enough cash I'll be running at the next election, vote for me and I'll put drugs into safe hands and get them out of the hands of the criminals by making them legal and generating a tidy profit for the country that could even help lower the tax rate.

ACID, for the obvious reason

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Oi! Gordon, you plum! Get yourself a dictionary!

lethal |ˈlēθəl|

adjective

sufficient to cause death : a lethal cocktail of alcohol and pills.

• harmful or destructive : the Krakatoa eruption was the most lethal on record.

There is no such thing as a "lethal" strain of cannabis.

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Unhappy

Hardly morality

There seems to be another pair of quotes missing from the headline.

Giving people criminal records, with all that entails, for the simple pleasure

of smoking cannabis can hardly be described as moral.

Maybe "Brown opts for stupidity over science on 'lethal skunk'"

Mike.

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Lethal?

So how many skunk-related deaths have there been ever? Compare that to the amount of alcohol-related deaths YESTERDAY and anyone can see that this is a personal vendetta and has nothing to do with facts OR social arguments.

The poor woman who appeared before the PM on GMTV who lost her goth-styled daughter in a horrendous attack seems to be supporting the PM in this but I fail to understand why. I've just read the report of the incident again and I'm sure that it was alcohol-related and not marijuana related. So Gordon, when are you going to ban alcohol which kills a huge number of people every year including the goth girl who's mother now seems to be backing you? (I bet she didn't realise she was backing a campaign against cannabis until she met the PM this morning).

Also Gordon, why bother wasting MY MONEY on a review of cannabis when you're not even going to read the bloody thing before you make your decision (oh, sorry, your decision has already been made).

Just give me the date for the election so I can help the rest of the country to get rid of you, you complete waste of mind, body and time.

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Prohibition is very effective

</sarcasm>

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Government ignores facts: shock

Interesting to hear about the *fall* in schizophrenia though.

Lethal, my arse!

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The real danger of cannabis

is in the smoking. Fumes from burning substances are never healthy to inhale. Stronger forms of cannabis reduce this danger as less total material is required. Never mind that "skunk" isn't as strong as some of the hash that's been around since Westerners first started taking this drug.

Brown has said this is about sending a message to users that cannabis is unacceptable. That is not what this is really about, that was always the message even now while it is class C. This move will make no difference to users. This is about sending a message to middle England and the Daily Mail.

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Coat

So...

"Sprawling on the GMTV sofa, Brown described cannabis as lethal"

Must have been good gear then ...

It's raining out, I'll need it anyway.

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Re: Oi! Gordon, you plum! Get yourself a dictionary!

He has, It's called the dictionary of spin.

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Anonymous Coward

Morality?

How moral is it to punish people based on false information?

"Mr Brown has made clear that, notwithstanding the scientific evidence, there are other considerations."

No doubt he Home Office will hire 3 'researchers' to 'analyse' evidence and produce a nice paper to back up Nanny Brown's opinion. Better to lock up 1000 innocent people than to let them make their own choices to do something pleasurable that has an unproven link to a mental illness if used in large quantities in genetically susceptible people during their teenage years.

Because locking people up has no negative consequence to their mental health at all.

Next up, outlaw sunbeds, because people can't be trusted to make sensible choices, unless their ministers with scienti^H^H^H^H^H^H^H reports in which case they make excellent choices and know everything.

Nanny knows better than you!

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the renaming ceremony part 1

Source: wiki... Despotism is a form of government by a single authority, either an individual or tightly knit group, which rules with absolute political power. In its classical form, a despotism is a state where one single person, called a Despot, wields all the power and authority, and everyone else is considered thier slave. This form of despotism was the first known form of statehood and civilization; the Pharaoh of Egypt is exemplary of the classical Despot.

Henseforth you shall be Brown, Pharaoh of Kircaldy.

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Alert

Cannabis use is falling?

Virtually every single teenager and 20-something I know smokes it regularly. (I'm 22, so know plenty)

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Silver badge

Schizophrenia link not disproved

"The committee found that reported cases of schizophrenia actually fell between 1998 and 2005 suggesting little link to cannabis use which has increased in the last two decades."

Falling cases of schizophrenia and many other conditions can be attributed to the funding model of the health service. A doctor who controls his own budget is less likely to diagnose schizophrenia or refer a suspected case to a specialist because the drugs needed to treat the patient will come out of his budget. This will be a lifetime outgoing not a one off course of antibiotics. I suspect this is more the real reason for a decline in reported cases.

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Black Helicopters

ffs

fekking idiots in charge of this country. SO, wtf is SKUNK actually? to the ininformed it is simply ALL kinds of weed. skunk ACTUALLY is one of the thousands of strains of weed that can be grown, and the vast majority of people probably have never even smoked it.

we all smoke bud now as its so hard to get nice resin (im going back about 15 years for decent resin i guess) - so, mr brown, who's fault is this then? if you calmed the laws we would all be smoking nice mellow gold, red and black seal still wouldnt we?

the fact that he is VERY HAPPY to charge massive amounts of tax on a far more dangerous substance (alcohol) and makes a fair amount of cash off the killer tobacco. the guy is just full of shit.

the lancet AND his drugs panel both classify weed as a low risk/damage drug yet he thinks he knows best.

this really annoys me (cant you guess). im sick of people with no knowledge making rulings over my life and making me out to be a criminal. when we all know any offie is doing far more damage to society selling stella and white lightning!

this government is going to pot (no pun intended) - this is becoming a fascist society and unless we all do something about it in 10 years we will have no civil liberties left at all.

we all know prohibition NEVER WORKS, all you do is force it underground. stop turning decent law abiding citizens into criminals.

and just because 1 or 2 complete psychos do bad things and blame weed we are all made to suffer. the fact is that some people are just mentally imbalanced - they are the same people who kill over video games etc. some people just need to take account of their own actions rather than blaming weed/video games/porn or whatever other bollocks their solicitor gives in court! if its so lethal mow come so many MPs have smoked it?

also, surely a crime must have a victim??? who is the victim??? myself??? well, i dont press charges against me!

so, mr scottish darth vader - fuck off and take your uninformed views with you.

vive la revolucion! is it me or should we ask al queda to do us a favour and finish off what guy fawkes once started?

posting as AC to stop the back choppers coming for my 'lethal' stash!

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Anonymous Coward

Voters....

Two types affected.

- Those who smoke cannabis, predominately labour voters, aren't going to switch over this (who to?), many don't vote anyway.

- Those who don't like the idea of other people smoking cannabis, tory voters, may be more likely to vote new puritan labour over this (think of the poor skunks etc).

The electorate really is that thick, he's made the right move from a voting standpoint.

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Paris Hilton

Eh?

"Mr Brown has made clear that, notwithstanding the scientific evidence, there are other considerations."

Such as?

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Paris Hilton

Brown makes wrong decision shocker

In other news:

- Bear makes decision to shit in woods.

- Pontiff admits to "Catholic tendencies."

I'm not much of a smoker, but... the weed is no worse than alcohol, surely? Like a poster above said, legalise it and cream the tax revenue off the top. Then you can stop taxing my bloody petrol.

I think, in situations like this, Brown should ask himself... what would Paris do?

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Anonymous Coward

People who smoke cannabis are, by and large, immoral people...

...because they invariably have to buy the drug from nefarious drug dealer types, and inadvertantly fund organised crime.

"But," they bleat, "if it were legal then we wouldn't have to stoop to such levels to obtain our guilty little pleasures!"

Ah, but if they truly had any morals then they would abstain from purchasing the substance until such time as it could be purchased from an ethical source.

Of course, the fact that hundred of thousands, if not millions of people, find it impossible to abstain from smoking cannabis, even given it's underworld connections, demonstrates quite nicely that it's an addictive substance. ;)

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Typical Brown

Spend a fortune investigating the "truth" of the issue, then do what you want anyway.

The guy is a moron, roll on the next election.

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Boffin

There is no such thing as a "lethal" strain of cannabis.

Call me Dr Pedantic if you must but I seem to recall hearing someplace that it was "technically" possible to have a medically confirmed overdose of cannabis - at something like 40,000 times the "effective" dose ... what's that... ten thousand pipeloads or, depending on how strong you like your spliffs, about 2,000 joints... although equally you can now call me Herr Prude because I can't help thinking that if these figures are correct, the first "hit" would have worn off long before you could possibly inhale the overdosing one.

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Alien

Lucky criminals

I seem to remember that shortly after the move form B to C there was a reduction in the recorded use of canabis, it was deemed no to be 'cool' enough'.

Whether this meant a move to other 'harder' drugs is another matter. Also the amount of time freed up for police to tackle other more offensive crimes was a real benefit.

So all in all with our boys & girls in blue having to book anyone with a spliff there's ample opportunity for other criminals to get away with...

I'm off out to mug an old lady or two as soon as the change goes through...

Alien, because Brown is obviously from planet "Daily Mail".

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@Mike Johnson

Beats giving them a criminal record for throwing away one too many rubbish sacks so you bin is open a fraction.

Still the gov has made it clear it's opposed to trail by jury, if they can give everyone in the country a record then there won't be anyone left to sit on juries and that particular problem will be solved.

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Linux

It's not the drug thats the problem

At my old job in Canada the managment talked about bringing in mandatory drug testing and firing anyone testing positive. I stated in a meeting that this would mean a reduction of about 85% of staff in less than 6 months. All IT people and no drugs, yeah right.

The issue is they are trying to tie weed smoking to crime, problem is they have allowed the law to change so that people using it can use that as an excuse so they get lighter sentences.

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Flame

reefer madness 2 : bastard idiot hagis bashing fatnecked spineless cunt

i mean ffs, its not 1920's america and the news paper owners are in a piss cus hemp makes cheaper, higher quality paper, with less investment, after they spent billions buying the northern forests in the US...

y cant the government accept facts alcohol is an order of magnitude worse for u than bud will ever be.

as for lethal, well thats bollox, sure it has health implications, such as my friend who was wheel chair bound, till she started smoking dope for pain relife, who since then has had a marked imporvement in lifestyle, to my mind you run the same risks and health implications walking down a busy road in a city. sure it can effect your ability to operaqte machineary, but so does booze, and we know the vast majority of people dont drink and drive.

still hope they dont legalize it, just decriminalize it cus then the bastards would tax you as well, probs like this: (tax&duty_on_fags + tax&duty_on_booze = tax_on_bud)

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Anonymous Coward

mental health

It isn't as though there is any evidence that cannabis in any form causes mental health issues. All we know is that some borderline people have been sent over the edge by smoking. What the mental health professionals fail to point out is that it might also be that some people with borderline personalities could be drawn to smoking and that their disorder would have emerged in later life anyway.

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ben

Lethal Skunk

Sounds amazing I gotta get some of this shit. It sounds like many people died in putting together this report on lethal skunk, I'll read up to see who their supplier was.

The government have go a habit of making stuff leathal like war, depleted uranium munitions, pesticides, nerve gas, landmines. I think I'll just settle for lethal skunk.

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Happy

Trip to the Brain warehouse Mr. Brown!?!

Time for a trip to see Dr. Frank at the Brain Warehouse me thinks Mr. Brown...

http://www.brainwarehouse.tv/

They do replacement brains to combat the effects of cannabis...

Who knows, perhaps they supply replacements for people suffering the effects of pure stupidity!?!?

Lethal Skunk, WTF !?!

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Ash
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Unbelievable...

Documented deaths as a direct result of excessive alcohol consumption: 13.4 per 100,000 population (One year, 2006, http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=1091 )

Documented deaths as a direct result of excessive smoking: 114,000 (Per year, Average over 50 years, http://old.ash.org.uk/html/factsheets/html/fact02.html )

TOTAL documented deaths as a direct result of excessive cannabis consumption: ONE (All time, World population, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article999100.ece )

Hypocritical facists.

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Black Helicopters

Spin and Outright, Downright Lies .....

"Lethal" ....... Oh dear, what a sorry State for Mr Bean to have descended into, deliberate MisSpeaking . It does make one wonder what dirty little secrets are being used to steer a hapless, clueless Jessie of a Primed Minister, whenever scientific evidence is dismissed, in favour of gossip and tittle tattle, and with everything in Collapse and in Hiding around him...... http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/news/article.html?in_article_id=440824&in_page_id=2&ct=5

What an excellent idea, to create ever more newly minted criminals of relative inconsequence for a Police State, with no more room for criminals, and with a whole host of them Hiding around him, with him feeding them Public Funds.

He must be QuITe Potty, himself, for it certainly not a Sane thing to do whenever they Hordes are at the Gate, baying for Bread while he gorges on, and with false friends, Cake.

Is it Space Cake, I wonder? Certainly a Confection which would not suit a repressed and depressed Son of the Manse, that's for sure.

Is he not able to do Anything Right and Well? Are we to see Random Drugs Testing of MPs next, to find out what is driving them crazy spending Public money so disgracefully on themselves and their friends?

What a Jolly Good, Spiffing Idea..... for quite obviously more that a few, are in need of desperate help and specialised attention.

And really that is just another non-story, so I wonder what else they are trying to hide. Come on, spill the beans, the game is up, failure is an option whenever all you are doing is digging a deeper black hole which will consume you.

"Many of the 23-strong council of experts could feel they have to resign if the Prime Minister ignores their recommendation. " .... http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/04/29/ncannabis129.xml

Surely the logical answer, considering everything, is for the Prime Minister to resign. After All, it is he who is leading nothing of value and should be held to account for disgraceful, Sub Prime Ministerial Behaviour/Rotten Performance.

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Stop

If Gordon Say it is, it is.

Don't you people understand, our leadership makes balanced and informed decisions based on firm scientific evidence, and just because a few rouge elements have a differing opinion, doesn't make them right.

Today's Realpolitik leaves no room for dissent or ambiguity, any opinion other than the PM's position is to be ignored, as it is patently rubbish, and not worth considering, and we can safely ignore it, because the public believe us if we say it enough.

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Where's the eject button?

the problem with super skunk is not so much the weed itself, but the fucking legal chemicals that are applied whilst growing them. the other issue with super skunk is that it's illegality means no quality control i.e. sand can be added to bulk it up.

Cannabis is NOT lethal and Gordon 'mouth thing' Brown should observe facts (commissioned by his government and funded by us)

lastly, stop calling cannabis a "gateway drug" and blaming it for the consequences of OTHER substances. Your legal and socially acceptable drugs are most definitely the drugs that people start off with before making it up the classification ladder.

With Boris for London and an exciting choice between Brown and Cameron i think i'll have to leave this sweet democracy behind... any suggestions for other countries?

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Black Helicopters

nevermind the issue this is ignorance in the extreme

...for another poilitician to get advice and ignore it, showing they do not actually care, just pushing their own agenda (see despot comment above).

.. many people think its legal now and changes will confuse even further. Most under 20s do, they also think its worse for you than cocaine, which will help them no end in future (sarcasm).

... to waste more parlimentary time by re-doing laws they should have done properly in the first place. New laws do not get the thought they used as they are rushed in to avoid attention and scrutiny.

Is there any legal charge that can be levelled at a governement for time wasting... this one has taken the fox hunting law through the house repeatedly and now this, are they trying to show they are incompetant or just trying to distract us.

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This man has NO IDEA !

As the mother of a 16 year old who was cautioned for posession last week, I was told by the police (confirmed by my son) that 80% of his school smoked cannabis. Do we really want to criminalize something that the vast majority of young kids use safely? This isn't about harming youngsters, it's about Brown adopting a cloak of morality because he thinks it will play well with the floating voters.

He is just completely out of touch. He hasn't made a single good decison since the one he made the day he became chancellor (giving away responsibility to the Bank of England). How anyone thought he could step into Blair's shoes is beyond me.

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Paris Hilton

Getting on with it

Eventually this man is going to be known as Gordon Ban. Can we just cut to that?

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Coat

Is this really about drugs?

...and of course think of all the people they will be able to fingerprint and take DNA from if this becomes arrestable again. There should be enough familial matches if they DNA swab all the pot smokers to be able to catch most people. Let's get all the pussy-footing out the way, DNA swab and issue everyone with an offender number at birth. They'll get caught for something one day.

Gordon Brown is a nasty piece of work. We thought Blair couldn't be any worse than the Tories but he was. We were sure Brown couldn't be any worse than Tony. Looks like we were wrong there too. Guess now we know who had his hand up Tony Blair working the controls.

What a sorry crock they're turning this country into. Trust me, I'd emigrate if I could.

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Coat

Brown thinks cannabis is leathal?

I want some of what he's smoking!

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Anonymous Coward

@Morality

Morals are a curious thing, they are by and large inflicted by the observers rather than the observed. But in my experience the vast majority of people have morals, including dope smokers, it's just that all of us tend to overlook some things when it suits our purpose.

Accusing someone who lacks one moral value you have, of having no morals is hypocritical, tell me are you a politician by chance.

Also, do you buy cheap goods at chain stores without considering where they were made, and who made them, bet you do, so where is your moral line?

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Flame

Two Points

@Slaine:

I think this probably refers to the LD50 dosage which, I believe is about how much of something it takes to kill 50% of a population of RATS(not humans).

Point 2: I do hope we aren't going back to the days of my youth when I'd be taken back to the bleedin' pigsty for having a Rizla packet with a tear in it in my pocket, but its going to be worse than that. I should have emigrated to the Netherlands in the 80's - this country is turning to shit....

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@AManFromMars

You're making sense. Have you been smoking cannabis?

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H
Alien

I had something to say...

... but for the life of me I can't remember what it is.

an alien. because they're, like, out there, man.

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Paris Hilton

well...

I was going to have my own little tirade about Emperor Browns utter idiocy, about the fact that there is no such thing as 'lethal skunk', that legalising the stuff would cut out the crime and provide revenue to the tax man, that cannabis is far less dangerous than alcohol and its effects on society far less dileterious... but it seems my fellow El Reg readers have already expressed my sentiments perfectly.

Thanks guys!

Also, lethal skunk? what has HE been smoking?

Paris, cos she can wrap her lips around my pipe any day.

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Pirate

I aten't dead. Am I?

It's been a few years admittedly, but I used to smoke skunk. If it's lethal then I must be dead so I'd like a refund on my taxes please. Gormless, unelected plebian stain that he is, Brown is making the most of his little power trip before he gets his arse handed to him in the next election either by the Tories or a (admittedly unlikely) coalition of Tories and Lib Dems or by his own party.

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There's only one lethal skunk here

Methinks Iraq. Methinks Lebanon. Or perhaps two, counting the well turned out but retiring Jacqui Whacky Smith, whose notion of extreme pr0n means to turn the country into the Nu Tasmania - 21st century prison island.

Did amanfromMars slip a typo? Surely he meant to say "What a Jolly Good, Spliffing Idea..." As for dirty little secrets, parameterize "A rose by any other name", substitute terms, and you will likely get close, tho too close would be most unwise in view of the Nu World Odor.

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Ban on Buns Next???

Skunk bashing

Pr0n censoring

(Northern) Rock breaking

No Drugs, No Sex, No Rock...

This is government by cheezy lyrics isn't it?

Oi Graudon, grow up! You're not a bullied little teenager any more.

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Flame

Wow, stupid much?

[The committee found that reported cases of schizophrenia actually fell between 1998 and 2005 suggesting little link to cannabis use which has increased in the last two decades.]

And? Superimpose the graphs for number of male smokers in the UK from 1940 to date and the graph for number of males diagnosed with lung cancer. Guess what you see? Yes, the number of smokers drops off after about 1970 and the number of cancers goes UP. Because it takes TIME to develop. Jesus...

The argument about cannabis being safer than alcohol because more people die of alcohol related diseases is almost as retarded as my cousin with three chromosome 21s. You may as well say shooting people in the face is safer than drinking because less people die from being shot in the face than do from alcohol.

Frankly the clasification of cannabis arguments make me laugh. Who gives a fuck? It;s illegal either way. Either don't smoke it, or smoke it and take the consequences in the unlikely event you get busted. It;s called being a grown up.

I would laugh even more if the Government listened to the "alcohol is more dangerous" arguments and banned alcohol too, but only for about half an hour, then I'd be pissed I couldn't get a drink.

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Happy

I'm sorry

*inhales*

What are we talking about

*exhales with fit of giggles*

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