back to article Home Secretary goes crazy on drugs... policy

As an example of the brain-gobbling stupidity that affects those who dabble with drugs, you really cannot beat Home Secretary Jacqui Smith's announcement that cannabis is going to be upgraded again, from a Class C drug to a Class B one. This is the sort of drivelling idiocy more normally associated with decades on peyote rather …


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  1. Pete

    Women cry for it...

    Men die for it. Governments lie for it. Reefer madness.

    May the Home Secretary never find a pair of matching socks when she needs them!

  2. Pete

    Weed is addictive

    which is why it usefully feeds an addictive personality. If you have an addictive personality, it is one of the better ways of quenching it, especially if you don't fancy becoming a gym-junkie.

  3. Steve Evans

    I say....

    ...they do a random drug test on the contents of the house... Although they'd have to pick a suitable day with a high turnout.

    How about when they are all voting for this new bill...

    Everyone that votes for the reclassification, go through the green door, roll up your sleeves, then a publicly published hypocrite list comes out the other side.

  4. Ben
    IT Angle


    I can't believe I haven't seen this symbol yet - what is this doing on an IT news site?

  5. Harry Stottle

    The only point Missing from this excellent summary

    is the rather important observation that the authoritarian practices Tim correctly describes are merely following in the well trodden footsteps of the Police State of America.

    In the opening to my chapter on the Drug War I make the following points, which I think Tim's description fully vindicates:

    There are two forms of Cannabis Psychosis. The first is a treatable clinical condition which affects about 3% of the young (largely) male users of the drug who tend to overindulge in their teenage years. Those most at risk are those who have a genetic predisposition to psychosis, particularly if they have inherited two copies of a specific genetic variation. Fortunately, in most cases, if they stop consuming, the symptoms clear up without further treatment.

    The second form causes far more long term damage. It is an untreatable social condition which affects about 25% of those who have never consumed Cannabis. It is a deeply rooted sub-clinical phobia usually triggered by a religiously inspired fear of the liberating effects - in other people - of intoxication. This is often combined with a monomaniacal desire to control the behaviour of other people. The net result is a dangerous form of anti-social behaviour which has produced a form of low level warfare within society between those who wish to consume Cannabis and other recreational drugs and those whose mission in life is to stop them. This warfare - commonly referred to as "The War On Drugs" has been going on since - at least - the 1920s. Here we seek to explore this psychotic behaviour.


    If you want to read the rest, you'll find it minding its own business right here:

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cost of schizophrenia....

    From :-

    "In the UK, in economic terms: some 80 million working days are lost each year at a cost of £3.7 billion; the NHS spends around £1 billion on treatment and personal social services another £400 million."

    So total about 5 billion quid. 3 million tokers have to provide 1667 quid a year in tax or 32 pounds per week. To cover the entire UK costs of schizophrenia from any cause.

    Treatment alone, would come in at 1.4 billion, or 467 a head or 9 pounds per week.

    Of course this doesn't take into account the money saved from the reduction of illness and injury from lowered alcohol consumption.

    Seems fairly plausible given how cheap the base product is....

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    > Labour, Tories. Same politics, different snouts.

    Same New Insect Overlords pulling the strings, changing the puppets over from time to time. WHO ARE THEY? And HOW TO BE RID of them?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Either way, if you use mind altering drugs including booze it just means that you can't enjoy life sober, which sucks for you :D, i smoked and drank everyday for years only ot realise in the end that i was missing out on my own creativity and imagination whilst monotinously following the next high, whatever the government does, Cannabis, Booze, Ritalin etc, they are all just poor excuses for having a real peronsality.

  9. Adrian Jooste

    If society is in any real danger from this "lethal" drug...

    ...then why has no change been made to the punishment for those distributing this evil menace to society? I thought the idea of fighting drug related crime was to bring the source down. This change has so many hypocritical holes in it that even stoners can see the fundamental flaws it has. How can they make 24hr liquor licensing legal and then do this is to Mary J after all the deaths and hospital visits we know alcohol causes in this country every day?

    Luckily I've got a trip to the 'Dam at the end of this month. Anyone else going to PinkPop? The grass IS greener on the other side!

  10. Steve

    Re: Re: Never trust a junkie

    So, Sarah, if we can't call her a junkie, can I call her an "ignorant, disingenous, authoritarian douche who would be of far more use to the country if someone nailed her face to a tree"?

    It might also be going to far if I called her an "intellectual whore who will lie to your face and endager your life and liberty with her desperate schemes to retain power"?

    Fortunately, those are both speculative questions rather than statements so I don't believe they are libellous.

  11. Chris Miller

    Not entirely stupid

    While I agree with the main thrust of the article, I think there is a case to be made for the confiscation of assets gained (prima facie) through illegal activity. Criminal law (quite rightly) demands a very high standard of proof before a 'guilty' verdict can be passed - 'beyond a reasonable doubt', often said to equate to 98%. Civil law operates on the balance of probabilities, 51% is more than good enough.

    Now, if someone has a stack of money with no reasonable explanation of where they (legitimately) could have obtained it, and can be shown to have probably (>50%) been involved with highly profitable illegal activities, I can see no reason why the state should not be able to confiscate their ill-gotten gains, even if there is insufficient evidence to bring a criminal case. We already see this where those found not guilty of murder or other violent acts are being pursued for damages in civil cases.

    PS Nothing here to worry Sarah, 'cos I can't think of a worse fate than being Jacqui Smith.

  12. Matthew

    Wrong Tim!

    I think you'll find that rather than "Toryite social paternalism", as Labour has been in power for waaay too long, this is "Labour Nanny Statism".

  13. Danny Silver badge

    @Kirk and MCPacket

    >Either way, if you use mind altering drugs including booze it just means that you can't enjoy life sober, which sucks for you :D

    You LOL at the thought of someone elses life sucks ? Proving the only person nastier than an addict is a reformed addict

    Most mornings I pull on a pair of trousers, but I'm not really addicted to trousers. I can still experience pleasant trouserless mornings.

    Dope is addictive in the same way chocolate is addictive or sex is addictive, not the same way alcohol and nicotine are addictive. The strongest skunk in the world has far fewer health risks, societal damage or mind-warping effects than the cheapest whisky. Yet one is legal and taxed and the other is emblazoned on footballers clothing. Straight people are crazier than stoners.

    In answer to 'Maliciously Crafted Packet' wondering if money is behind dope being illegal, yes it is. The legislation was introduced after lobbying by the timber and cotton industries which viewed hemp as a commercial rival. Read the history or listen to Jello Biafras 'Grow More Pot' from his album 'I Blow Minds For a Living' ( he is not a smoker himself ).

  14. Ash

    Thank you

    For providing a rational (a dirty word in politics it seems) analysis of Cannabis reclassification. The most frustrating thing for me is that the two main parties are both advocating the same thing, this country is fucked :(

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Dutch Coffee Shops

    Just for the record my favourite Dam shop - please feel free to share your own.

    The Dampkring you can google it, lovely place for a coffee or a orange juice and a fine selection of weed and solids. Some of the most expensive solids I have seen in Dam we are talking EU30/gram if my hazy memory is anything to go by. The solid stuff here blows NuLab argument about "skunk" out of the water. What I don't get is that they were happier with "soap" that amalgam of rubber tires, diesel, plastics and some actual resin that used to be sold in vast quantities in the UK 15 years ago. That shit was highly toxic, but obviously class C as it rarely even got you stoned, just left you with a throbbing head ache.

    All those planning a Dam trip (I am a canal!) you now can't buy a beer in a coffee shop, but the mushrooms are still worth the assault on your sanity.

    @Kirk Bannister - or maybe an indication that you have an addictive personality and need to be aware that you have a preponderance for over doing things. Hey, some people have no awareness of moderation. Just as liking a beer doesn't make you a drunk, having a spliff does not make you a druggy. Anyway, whoever told you "you have a personality now?" may have been lying. Or is this a subjective assessment ? If so, what score did you give yourself and what were the positive elements you drew from this review? What were the negatives ?

    Tux .. cos I saw him in there, he had this huge spliff and a very small coffee. Hmmmm ?

    For sure it was him, can't miss a penguin in a coffee shop.

  16. Eugene Goodrich

    Welcome to America.

    Where it's already _exactly like this_.

  17. Liam


    @ JonB

    im confused... do you expect me to pay for all the schitzos out there? wtf? for all you know the % that smoke herb is probably quite low..

    so as a person who probably has a drink occasionally how many millions are you paying for all the alchohol related problems?

    i might have gotten the wrong gist (and i apologise if i have) but to speculate that potheads should pay for all the mental deficients out there is just ridiculous.

    @ kirk

    "they are all just poor excuses for having a real peronsality." - let me tell you mate - a lot of the potheads i know are some of the largest characters ive ever known - and we are generally very amiable people (compared to people who drink daily) :)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    So if it was guns and not cannabis

    So, 3 million hand gun owners, partake in a little shooting (paper targets,grey squirrels,seagulls - you know, nothing offensive) that'll be OK. When 480-odd go postal and start shooting humans is the government going to say 'well, it's only 0.0013 per cent of gun owners so we wont ban hand guns' or are they going to do a typical knee-jerk reaction and ban everyones pleasure ?

    Same as cannabis, it's all fine and dandy until someone drives over a baby whilst under the influence of cannabis then it all goes pearshaped.

    Won't somebody please think of the children.

    Paris, cos she's thinking of children

  19. peter

    The usual

    If only the Labour Home Secretary would take notice of the rising GHB/GBL problem, according to the EU EMCDDA report on GHB and one of it's precursors GBL the sale is steady at around 3-7% of illicit drug use.

    GBL is sold legally in the EU for cleaning chrome, car wheels, part of nail care products but metabolises into GHB once drops are ingested. The conversion rate and the short time for testing , (around 18 hours for urine, 8 for blood is the time limit for detection) mean it can be used as a date rape drug the same as GHB or a recreational drug because it basically is GHB. The human body does the chemistry.

    Even the UK ACMD report on "Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault" which includes all drugs such as alcohol, says as the first point.

    1) A proposal for the ACMD to examine measures for restricting the availability of

    gamma butyrolactone (GBL) and 1, 4-butanediol.

    Although nobody needs "1, 4-butanediol" when most sales according to the BBC in Dec 2007 are now GBL instead of GHB so the market is using it straight.

    Gallons of GBL can be purchased easily and resold for a massive profit, the lack of joined up thinking with the Home Secretary on cannabis and failing to follow the advice given, will I hope not be the case with GBL.

    Let's get industrial chemists to add dyes, unpleasent tastes and smell and even cause vomiting and nausea to people who try to ingest GBL or use it to commit date rape, sexual abuse and so on.

    Of course this involves some work, not just talking to journalists over coffee while completely ignoring the advice of those who have worked hard to provide a clear report such as ACMD, EMCDDA etc.


  20. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Re: Never trust a junkie

    No, Steve, that wasn't the word I nixed your comment for. Doesn't offend me but can't put it up here.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Re: I've said something about this before.

    Exactly the same situation here, tried prozac, tried seroxat (horrible), tried lithium, jus tmade me numb (No emotions. Ever.), which after a little while is worse than depression.

    During this time I lost all my friends, dropped out of school, destroyed my relationship with my parents, became an alcoholic and one day cut both my wrists.

    Anyway, you can appreciate this wasn't the happiest chapter in my life.

    Long story short, I tried cannabis. It was like a veil had been lifted, I felt happy for the first time in a long time. Anyway, I became something of a regular smoker.

    I got my social life back, kicked the booze, made up with my parents, got a decent job, and have considered myself a happy person ever since. I now smoke maybe two or three spliffs a week, and though I rather enjoy it, don't imagine I'll be a smoker much longer.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    >im confused... do you expect me to pay for all the schitzos out there?

    No, I was observing that a relatively low level of tax would comfortably pick up the tab for all the damage that is claimed.

  23. Danny Silver badge

    @Peter - Drugs as weapons

    Adulterating GHB and GBL aren't the solution as it would still be dangerously incapacitating. There is already the technology to prevent date-rape crimes:

    So if the government can introduce legislation criminalising millions of citizens, why can't it legislate to force clubs and pubs to provide these coasters to stop the genuinely horrific and widespread crimes ?

  24. Ishkandar

    @Tim Worstall - Re. Nut allergy

    The message - May contain nuts - does NOT have sufficient coverage !! E.g. it is not clearly displayed in both the Houses of Parliament !! Or the National Union of Teachers, either !!

    @So if it was guns and not cannabis >>until someone drives over a baby whilst under the influence of cannabis<< I DO NOT condone cannabis but this statement is too extreme to let pass without comment.

    What is the percentage of babies killed by skunked drivers compared to those killed by drunk drivers or those killed by joy-riders ?? Or those killed by drivers smoking or using a mobile phone while driving ??

    I know Jacqui Smith resembles a lobotomised rabbit but she does not have to act like one !!

  25. Jason Lane

    To much time?

    Is all this pointless, farcical, inane policy making just a confirmation that this government has way too much time on their hands?

    Keep 'em fucking busy ACTUALLY running *gasp* the country to a decent level and may be, just may be they will stay out of meddling with our lives.

  26. Sean Aaron

    Sounds like another page from the US lawbooks...

    Seizure of assets of dealers upon arrest without benefit of conviction in the States is pretty much SOP now along with jail sentences for multiple possession arrests that make 5 years look like a gift.

    Read "Reefer Madness" by Schlosser (the man who brought us Fast Food Nation) for a preview of where we could be heading if the UK continues to ape the worst policies of the USA...

  27. Anonymous

    I'm an expat currently living in the Netherlands, and the rest of the world's drug laws has me shaking my head. Most Dutch don't even smoke the stuff. Outside of Amsterdam the coffee shops more like small pool halls. Smoking weed is just an unremarkable thing that some people do.

  28. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Do they or don't they? Does it or doesn't it?

    Do the Tories, Lib Dems and Others support reclassification? And does the proposal require a vote to carry it?

  29. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    "Buggered if I know ..."

    Same goes for me. But full marks to Gordon "I really will listen to the electorate" Brown and his team for demonstrating exactly what he thinks listening means. Then again, it's just a continuation of a long line of ludicrous policy so no one should be really surprised, or popular vote appears to have them firmly dumped in third place.

    Pars : Better looking and far brighter than Brown. I'm sure she'd do no worse at running Britain than New Knee-Jerk Headline-Seeking Labour does.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Same as cannabis, it's all fine and dandy until someone drives over a baby whilst under the influence of cannabis then it all goes pearshaped.

    Won't somebody please think of the children."

    Yes, because nobody ever hurt another person by drving drunk, and we banned alcohol all that time ago....

    It's called self control and common sense. Don't drive on any drug, if you do then you deserve jail.

    Weed should be legalised, regulated and taxed like booze.

  31. Matthew Hale

    5 years? Oh no!

    Ooooh....guess we should all stop then! Ahahaha.... Right. Like before, I wasn't worried about being arrested by a police force comprised largely of individuals who didn't go out of their way to enforce the law on this issue anyway. Secondly..

    5 years not 2... Wow. So what, I was up for the idea of being locked up/bed and breakfast for two years (Fuck, may as well get SOMETHING in return for all that tax I've paid to line the pockets of these vipers and thieves over the years - I don't consider bombing tinpot third world countries as a return) but FIVE years?? Oh shit, you know what, I think I'd better stop... After all, I don't want to get locked up for FIVE years. But two was FINE. Yea....Mmmmkay....

    Also, for the record, if you are just break the law for thrills, then it's probably worth getting drunk and mowing a few people down on the road - you'll probably only get a fraction of the sentence you will receive for being in posession of the `lethal` skunk (

    ). Do these people ever breed outside of their own shallow end of the genetic pool? Is that what makes them so retarded? Really, what is it with these zealots?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a proposal...

    In light of claims that the number of admissions to mental hospitals has risen by 85% under Labour, I propose we upgrade Labour to class B with immediate effect.

  33. trackSuit

    Yo Homie, spark another 'Owl

    What Pearls of Wisdom are these, if ignored? Police unhappy, numerous voters annoyed - 'owls of protest. Is that the way Forwards and what Purpose will this law / lore be For?

    The scientists which The Prime Minister and his chosen Home Secretary have chosen to ignore are professionals and people of good faith. Why ignore them? Better their opinion than that of a 'dis'-ingenuous lobby-group/thinkTank or dodgy 'paid to prove' type Pseudo Scientist. Or would you beg to differ?

  34. Schultz

    Dangerous Britannia

    Uncounted thousands of terrorists and millions of drug criminals

    ... It's fun to watch from the other side

  35. Pete

    Sober/straight people don't cause crashes

    I worry about the babies run over by people who are neither drunk nor stoned.

    Surely the penalty should be far more harsh for sober/straight people, I mean what excuse have they got for their actions?

  36. Danny Silver badge

    @Pete again - On behalf of the Dutch tourism board

    There is Scottish comedy show with a regular sketch where someone confesses to the most awful deeds to everyones horror. Then they suffix the statement with 'but I was drunk' and suddenly everyone laughs as dismisses the offence.

    It works the other way around in the Nederlands. After trying to acclimatise myself socially one evening, I went into work the next day with severe red-eye, at the poshest employer on earth. The dutch aren't diplomatic at all so I was asked to explain why my my eyes looked like roadmaps. I explained to my boss I get bad hayfever, to which he replied 'Ah, yes. The hay is very strong here'. The trick to staying employed is not giggling.

    Do you all realise if you take a job that has been advertised in the Nederlands for the past six months then you don't have to pay any tax ? I didn't until I worked with people who did and so earned twice as much as me.

    Something else, they don't put points on driving licences you just get fined or imprisoned. The Dutch made me change my British driving licence for a Dutch one, which meant when I came back to the UK and got that replaced I had lost my 9 penalty points.

    Last top tip. The very best dope in Europe is found in the outskirts of Amsterdam and in the provincial towns, and only in Moroccan coffeeshops, and it is genuine Moroccan keef. It is not necessarily the strongest per Euro or gram but it is the best dope hit you will ever have. It is the sort of dope and the sort of location that requires you are accompanied by someone you trust who is straight. It won't make you try to fly out of a tall window, but it has been known to make you want to try to swim home. I rigorously tested them all, and the single best coffee shop is a subterranean Moroccan run cafe in Utrecht. It is so good I can't remember it's name.

    I heart Alkmaar.

  37. luke
    Black Helicopters

    Excellent article

    ... looks like the facts speak for themselves.

  38. Richard Hebert

    Just legalise

    Imagine the drop in criminality if the gov instead of trying to throw us

    all in jail would instead sell us the stuff ..

    Can you see the new roads , schools and additional health care

    funding ? ...

    I certainly can .. heck .. can't anyone think in government ?

  39. Ign R. Amis
    Thumb Down

    As an American, I'd like to apologize

    Apparently the drug war hysteria that's been so prevalent over here is contagious. I always viewed England as a country that was far more rational than the US (chavs notwithstanding). I guess I was wrong.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    Ultimate hypocracy

    They lied in their manifesto to get elected.

    They cause the death of large numbers of civilians in the middle east,

    They cheat their way to their own party funding,

    They waste billions of pounds of our hard earned money on international projects, while neglecting causes at home that cost a fraction of that amount such as paying teachers, nurses etc a decent amount - they even choose to let the sea consume our coastal regions rather than spend the necessary millions it would take to protect them.

    Now again they will spend the money we pay them to criminalise millions of normal working people who want to unwind with a Joint after a long day.

    It is utterly sickening that the money that this will cost is not being spent on education and rehabilitation instead.

    We are in hard times right now, and the last thing people want to see is things like this consuming government effort and money when there are so many real problems that need addressing. In the face of recent tax changes, it is laughable.

    Once property prices have risen - which probably won't happen until this government is gone, I will leave this foresaken hell hole for pastures new. I am a freelancer and half my clients are oversees anyway.

    I've travelled around and worked abroad - and compared to many countries, this place feels more and more like a facist state, and now it look's like we've truly got the leader to go with it. For a while there at the beginning of the Blair reign, things did feel like they were on the up, but sadly no....

    Fire, because I'm lighting up right now, and because Guy Fawkes had the right idea.

  41. Anonymous Coward


    I think people who think there are no issues with Cannabis and the mind are blinded, and living in a dream world, Theres not just two ends of the scale either "Ive been smoking for 20 years and it hasnt effected me" and people being schizophrenic, The middle of the scale is things like Memory loss and extreme paranoia to name but a few, Dont fool yourself into thinking its a harmless drug because your not helping the cause.

    Being someone whos smoked it since I was 14 up untill now (26) I can honestly say ive sufferd with some of the above problems due to smoking it, Looking a little deaper in to it ive realised that the time when my "problems" started was when I was 16 and smoking about an ounce of soild/slate/brown/what ever you want to call it a week, This was all that was on the market and it was "watered down" with all sorts of horrible things, Plastic bags/horse hair/oil/etc, While I dont blame these things alone for my problems, Im sure it didnt HELP!

    In the last few years ive found "skunk"-weed available everywhere, And I switched to that and I dont feal so bad anymore, Sure the damage is done but its managable now.

    So to the point, Ive seen the highs and lows of smoking this drug (lolpun), These so called super strains may be strong but they have less effect on your mind that what was past and a lot of legal drugs, and yet our micky mouse government is using that as reason to reclass it as a class b drug? Thats madness so yeah what are they smoking, can I have some?

    And all this "pathway drug" to harder things is nonsence, Ive sufferd problems with this drug but I can honestly say ive never touched another ilegal drug, If you want to snort a line of ajax thats down to your personality nothing else.

    I dont know the real reason they take this stance, but there must be some reason for it, I think its clear the government dont care what we think (and dont kid yourself thinking any other "major" party will take another stance) They dont care what we think.

    We are living in a dictatorship really, No not like North Korea thats an extreme, But the second the state remove your freedom, over one thing without real ryme or reason, what else do you call it?

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lol PT 2

    my my arn't we all a little defensive, i never said i don't drink or smoke anymore, i just do things in moderation, well i don't smoke but i have a beer every evening or so sometimes i don't have any booze for a month. If we're talking addictive personalities here, don't we all share the facit of addiction, do you go to work everyday ?

    are you forced or addicted to it, consuming goods addicted or not ? everybody is addicted to something, even if it's the gym. What i find interesting is how everyone seems to be swooping in on anyone who has something bad to say about cannabis, why are you all so protective of it ? For me sitting in the sun stoned is no where near as good as sitting in the sun just thinking you know, of course we are all addicted to serotonin and vitamin D, so maybe thats the reson for a sunny disposition.

    I really don't mind people smoking themselves to death but we should regulate, restrict and tax it just as we do with other legal drugs, more importantly we need to bring in measures along side it to make sure that people who are susceptable to psychosis are either found earlier or tested for it at a young age so that they know and so that cannabis retailers know not to sell to them .

  43. Anonymous Coward

    @"4. Do whatever you want and ingore the report."

    No, that's not how it goes at all, it goes like this:

    4. Regardless of what the report says, do whatever the headlines in the Murdoch press are currently screaming about.

  44. Pete

    Age matters

    I reckon alot of males experience some degree of mental illness at some stage between the ages of 14-24, regardless of drug intake.

    It makes a kind of sense that after you have worked through the physical childhood illnesses, you make a start on one or two of the mental ones for 10 years or so.

    Things generally even out after then. The good news is you should be able to get back to a paranoia-free toke by the age of 30 or so.

  45. Danny Silver badge


    " i just do things in moderation"

    'Moderaion is for monks - Robert Heinlien

    Still, you don't have to be a smoker to see the sense in decriminalising weed. In fact that is rather brainwashed thinking, I actually defy anyone to explain the justice in outlawing a plant. I fully understand the true reason dope is illegal - it is because noone can copyright a naturally grown plant. It seemingly has counterintuitive health benefits. It helps restore memory in Alzheimers patients and it is surpresses coughs. Apart from all the well known health benefits to people with MS etc.

    "What i find interesting is how everyone seems to be swooping in on anyone who has something bad to say about cannabis, why are you all so protective of it ?"

    Because tens of thousands of innocents have been criminalised unfairly and many prisoners turned into junkys from existing 'drug war' legislation. Opinions are deadly important now legislation is about to get more repressive.

    "Nothing is more surprising to those, who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than to see the easiness with which the many are governed by the few; and to observe the implicite submission with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers. When we enquire by what means this wonder is brought about, we shall find that, as force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. ‘Tis therefore, on opinion only that government is founded; and this maxim extends to the most despotic and military governments as well as to the most free and popular." –David Hume

    "For me sitting in the sun stoned is no where near as good as sitting in the sun just thinking you know, of course we are all addicted to serotonin and vitamin D, so maybe thats the reson for a sunny disposition."

    That and genes and latitude. Good malt whisky is sometimes described as 'liquid sunshine', and some Scots are decribed as 'one drink under' meaningly they are really only verbal once they've had a drink. There was a recent article in New Scientist linking suicide clusters to times when the earths magnetic shield is weakest, and this would affect people closer to the poles more. Helsinki is a helluva Friday night if you can afford the booze and don't mind taking risks.

    "I really don't mind people smoking themselves to death but we should regulate, restrict and tax it just as we do with other legal drugs, more importantly we need to bring in measures along side it to make sure that people who are susceptable to psychosis are either found earlier or tested for it at a young age so that they know and so that cannabis retailers know not to sell to them ."

    Skunk shouldn't worry you half as much as the fact criminalising it is about to fill your street with junkies. I think all drugs should be legalised after ten years of drug eductaion in schools. If you tax them, then provide the social care the victims require. Last time I checked there were only two beds for junkies in Glasgows NHS. There are honestly more than two junkies in Glasgow requiring medical attention.

  46. Nexox Enigma

    Just wondering...

    If there exists today a single national governing body that isn't completely ass backwards in most of their decisions? Seems like probably no. Good thing countries are run by popularity contests instead of sound reasoning. I really need to start my own country one of these days. At least if I was dictator I wouldn't have to worry about whether my citizens (If I decide to have those) like me!

    In any case, I wish a visit from Twoflower's Luggage on Jacqui.

  47. Spider

    so actions follows stats...

    if government policy must follow stats on "health" grounds then we need to investigate the correlation between high blood pressure in the population and stupid feckin politician spouting absolute guff. Surely there is a case for putting them down on public health grounds alone, or at the very least allowing mild relaxants on demand, such as.... well...

  48. Simon Noble

    Mass protest

    Here in Christchurch NZ, there is a yearly gathering in the city center, people just turn up and smoke to promote decriminalisation. how about 100000 people out side #10 all smoking. it would be so easy to crash the justice system.

  49. Anonymous Coward

    re: pffft

    As a (obviously not any more ociffer) practising gardener myself,

    Obviously how much water you use depend on how big you grow the plants.

    I like Xmas tree style plants myself.

    My experience of soil/compost grows were 3 BB plants under a 600 HID, a 3 month veg then nine weeks flower.

    By the time flowering was induced plants were 3.5 feet tall and drinking dry three 5l feeds every day per plant.

    By the last week of flowering they were 4.5 foot tall and drinking 20L a day apiece. Final yield was 5-6 bone dry Os per plant.

    With a self contructed "bubbler" system (couple of buckets, some clay pebbles, airstone, 40 watt air pump with mutiple outlets and job's a good un) I went down to 20L of water a *week* per plant.

    The hydro plants seemed to be ready a day or two earlier but otherwise the same,

    same strain from same mother, same number of plants, same veg time, same nutrients, resulting in very minimal difference in yield or quality.

    As for organic nutes, I'm aware that the likes of biocanna exist.

    My point was actually that it's much cheaper to write an extra seven letters on a packet than do anything different vis a vis pesticides etc.

    b) Hydroponics is used widely in conventional agri-business and the heavy metals are found in lower levels in hydroponic produce then in soil grown produce.

    Heavy metals interfere with E.C. measurements (basically concentration of the nutrient mix), as such decent manufacturers of hydro nutrients (*cough canna/ *cough) use food grade additives and have minimal amounts of heavy metals in their products.

    Get a water quality report from your local water board, I'll wager you the best bud from the top of the best plant, you'll have more heavy metals coming out of your tap then you'll find in a bottle of hydro nutes.

    As for heavy pumps, don't bother, 40 watts/hour air pump from any aquarium shop will do, they're pretty reliable, bosh an air stone on the end and that'll do.

  50. Tim Worstal


    "Regardless of what the report says, do whatever the headlines in the Murdoch press are currently screaming about."

    It's really The Mail, Rothermere press we're talking about here. No, this comment not prompted by the fact that I sometimes write for The Times.

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