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. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Fantastic article

    Every point was well put - made me want to leave our shores forever though.

    Every time I read an article like that I realise how bad our country is becoming and how many freedoms we are losing - and the newspapers cry out for more and more.

    There was some quote from a fiction book (quote was probably made up) describing paranoid people making a cage out of their fears and then crying out for their freedom afterwards.

    Apt description - except it is newspapers and certain older generations putting us in a cage of their fears and sweeping our crys for freedom under the rug of what they think is best for us.

  2. Steve

    Re: Mass protest

    You'll need to ask for permission first and then the police will use that as an excuse to arrest you to prevent the commission of a crime - if you're planning to have more than one person turn up it'll probably be a conspiracy charge as well.

    Of course, if you, Howard Marks and a camera crew walk into a police station reception, blaze up and ask to be arrested, they won't do anything.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    @ Danny

    Lol i agree with most of what you said, nice to see somoene still reads David Hume. However this qoute "Moderation is for monks - Robert Heinlien" is a rather poor piece of sophistry from Heinlien. The reason for this is that in reality the majority of christian monks to whom Heinlien is referring were in no way moderated, they were either incredibly over zealous, or incredibly bawdy by most medieveal accounts before the dissolution. Therefore one would counterpose that "Monks abhore moderation". I for my part am addicted to moderation when it comes to chemicals, it's bad enough i conusme ten times my weight in hydrocarbons every year... but hey who wants to live forever.

    I am all for the "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" part except that trying to belittle the potential dangers of cannabis and those who argue there are potential dangers stifles the debate. I think you'll find that most of us who realise cannabis is dangerous to a certian demographics mental health still agree that what the governement is doing is authoritarian and when taken in perspective along with the extreme porn laws, breathalising of youngsters, creation of community police with no legal mandate to enforce the rule of law is clearly double plus un-good.

  4. Liam
    Black Helicopters

    cant we

    just burn the daily hail offices down :) that would stop a lot of the bollocks laws we have now.

    to be honest the press are ruining this country. the daily hail, express, sun mirror et all seem to control the country more than the gov!

  5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Puritanism

    Puritanism: the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

    -- H.L. Mencken.

  7. Spleen
    Black Helicopters

    Re: Mass protest

    "how about 100000 people out side #10 all smoking. it would be so easy to crash the justice system."

    Well, you couldn't fit 100,000 people in Downing Street, so let's say you protested in Hyde Park. They'd ignore you. They might drag off a few people to make an example, but overall they'd just let you let off steam (no pun intended).

    If you go to a protest to "let your voice be heard", you might as well stay at home. The government doesn't care what you think. Why should it? Do you have thousands of trained soldiers? at your command? No. Millions of people protesting couldn't stop the Iraq war. It couldn't even stop the Hunting Act, for God's sake! 100,000 sounds like a very big number but 100,000 times nothing is still nothing. When you see protests working, as they did in Georgia and Ukraine, it was because they were a threat. They were actually willing to do more than wave banners to get what they wanted, the protest was just letting the government know that and giving them a chance to give in before it got to that point. Protests only work as a means, not as an end.

    @Liam: "can't we just burn the daily hail offices down :)"

    Careful. That sounds like actually doing something to me. You can probably be prosecuted for suggesting it, even in jest.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Lethal?

    If Brown & Co. thinks Skunk is lethal they obviously don't remember "Hash Oil" so high in THC it had to be kept airtight in the fridge. There was also, Red Leb, Durban Poison, Temple Balls, Thai Sticks, Malawi, Rocky Gold Seal, Aghan Black, etc. those were the days (late sixties early seventies)

    BROWN: What do you know about "Skunk"?

    OLD HIPPY MATE: That's lethal s**t man

  9. Mark

    Re: hmmm

    So liam, do you think that there is no cost to arresting weed smokers? That when in jail they cost nothing to keep there? That having been fired for smoking weed that they will not turn dependant on the state? That the manager will fill the post with another person rather than make a cost saving and get their ex-coworkers to cover?

    If you're ONLY worried about the cost of looking after the small fraction of a percent whose problems extant are made worse (this is what you said), then there are more costs in attempting to remove weekd smoking through a War On Drugs.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Spleen

    Quite right, only violent protest will work in Britain.

  11. Dominic Richardson
    Alien

    I never thought I'd say this but...

    Vote Liberal! Given the Labour government are s_h_1_t_ing themselves about GB's sliding poll ratings, aren't they just dragging any old crap out of the bag in order to clinch back votes?

    This is (I suspect) what's going down. Unfortunately for our clueless cabinet, it would seem tory government is not too far away at all. Again, unfortunately the pin-striped brigade are hardly likely to swap back to class-C. Right, I guess it's time to go to the shop for some baccy and skins. I will be sure to wave my driving license to all the CCTV cameras in my area, then I can be correctly identified and tracked by the five 0 and they can prosecute me at will.

    Oh sorry I forgot, they don't actually use CCTV footage, it's obviously used as a deterrent to stop me going to the shop :(

    I did not inhale...

    Dom -x-

  12. Aron A Aardvark
    Heart

    Motivation for keeping drugs illegal

    "Could it be that there is too much money being made out of keeping cannabis and other drugs illegal? And some of that money is finding its way to those in power.

    That's the only explanation I can think of for the current status quo.

    Nothing else makes sense"

    Yes that is one major factor. People tend to forget and politicians tend to ignore that since OTC drug sales of Diamorphine, Cocaine, Cannabis et al became progressively more illegal since the 1920s in the UK, a vast octupus-like global drug network has emerged. I've noticed that the 'Mr Big' element is rarely discussed in the media while politicians generally only talk about penalising the user and dealer. Someone don't want independent dealers siphoning off drug profits.

    Several journalists have tried to investigate and expose govt-sponsored drug trafficking and met with dubious ends. See Gary Webb's Dark Alliance book for example and Barry Seal's connections to the Bush family. A certain well-known US politician, WJC, has been alleged to be deeply connected to the Cocaine business. His brother said as much in an interview with Sunday Telegraph years ago. The reaction from the media? Not a peep. They know what's going on but are afraid to investigate and expose because of the power of the gangsters.

    There does appear to be some media disinformation on the subject. Are we really meant to believe that a few poor and desperate women from Colombia with a gut full of condoms are responsible for supplying the UK's coke habit for example?

    On the contrary, the drug business, apparently the biggest industry on the planet, must have an extensive and robust distribution network to import sufficient amounts of 'product' to the market. I suspect but cannot prove that this would involve the complicity of cells within govt agencies e.g. Customs for one. One just cannot keep importing kilo and kilo of coke walking thru customs at Heathrow without someone on the inside ensuring you don't get checked. Periodically you could expose a few kilos and some dupe to the authorities as a diversion.

    Celeb flights into the UK are, I understand, rarely if ever subject to passport/customs inspections so that would be another great way to bring it. But about the most secure way would be to use military bases. Land, taxi to a remote hangar, unload to fedex whatever and off to the 'distribution center' you go.

    A retired Detective admitted to me that he was aware that cops were confiscating drugs then selling them on out the back door. And that's just low-level scumbaggery but still an abuse of power and massively corrupt.

    Next time you hear a dumb MP standing up to denounce drugs, ask yourself - are they saying they prefer the vast web of narco gangsters who don't give a rats ass about quality control to a peacefulish coffee shop style culture? I/D which politicians and officials are sleeping with the enemy while publicly denouncing drugs and the whole house of cards would start to collapse. I cannot see how you stop people using drugs but you can mitigate the worst problems by converting a corrupt black network to a transparent legal retail market with competent manufacture, QA and retail in 'off-licenses' to O18s only.

  13. Adam White

    RE: So if it was guns and not cannabis

    Better criminalize cars then AC, since they're involved in 100% of fatal car crashes. And horse riding too, because that's involved in 100% of fatal horse riding accidents.

    Better criminalize electricity because it's involved in 100% of electrocutions.

    Better criminalize immersion in water because it's involved in 100% of drownings.

    With all due respect, you're a loony.

  14. bambi

    teenage tokers

    How many of these people who are adversely affected by the use of cannabis are acutally minors?

    How many of the great British public would be outraged if they decided to make alcohol illegal because of teenagers were getting drunk at the weekend? Did I hear someone say 'you cant count alcohol as a drug' wtf not? Oh cos the government would loose too much revenue and the health service would collapse.

    Simple answer, classify cannabis in the same group as alcohol, tax it and improve our national Health Service with the proceeds. It only needs some politicians with balls to do this but they wont cos they would loose the white middle class ignorant vote.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    My Choice To Abuse Drugs

    The above is the title of a free book available from lulu.com. It's a good argument. I did not write it, but I recommend reading it.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jello Biafra once mentioned the concept...

    instead of Jonny Appleseed we have Johnny Potseed, planting marijuana in public parks, gardens, lawns etc until there is so much of the stuff growing that it would be impossible to get rid of it all

    I'm game if you are!

  17. Liam
    Black Helicopters

    pffft :)

    @ mark:

    yes there is a MASSIVE cost involved in arresting people that are doing nothing wrong - this is one of my points! weed does make a lot of people lazy - but im a working professional IT manager. im not even sure a company CAN fire you for getting stoned the night before. fair enough if you are hammered at work but a cup of coffee in the AM and im ready to go :) . i work in the construction industry - everyone drinks a lot (i dont drink much at all these days) - so many co workers are often hung over - which seems acceptable - odd eh?

    @ re: pffft:

    wtf? 20ltr a day (thats 2 buckets of water EACH!!)! for little 4 foot plants? thats impressive! i hope you arent on a water meter :) (when i used to grow ;)) mine generally get over 6ft :) but that WAS in a cupboard rather than in more space. and 3 weeks from seed i flowered :) im also lucky enough to live in a good PH area. need no PH alterations :)

    "Simple answer, classify cannabis in the same group as alcohol, tax it and improve our national Health Service with the proceeds. It only needs some politicians with balls to do this but they wont cos they would loose the white middle class ignorant vote." - interesting. i wonder if the ignorant white middle class people know their kids smoke? or how they would feel seeing their friends kids go to jail. im sure most dont even realise how many people smoke!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @ Jello Biafra once mentioned the concept...

    we have 10 just groeing in the wild a few miles from my house.

    if it works i have 2 bags full of seeds (1 hermie plant lol!) that i plan to scatter all over the county :)

    so, next xmas lincolnshire might be quite interesting :)

  19. Seán

    Rise up

    Kill everyone, unless you're able to smoke a joint.

    It's the only language these people understand.

  20. THOMAS STEWART VON DRASHEK
    IT Angle

    Less Criminal than Victim making Machine.

    Harsh penalities bring crowd of poor law enforcement, leaving 13 years of public school wasted fluff compared to afternoon of experimentation is NOT right.

    So Far NO One has Died from Marihuana Useage, inspite of Hon Browns opinion.

    Signed:PHYSICIAN THOMAS STEWART VON DRASHEK M.D.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Worthless gobshites

    When governments push through laws with spurious value, to try to regain popularity, without heeding to all the relevant scientific advice, and go with what the daily whale says, you've got a recipe for dictatorship.. They've missed a pretty big trick here, if a legalised coffee shop model was employed, along with strict controls forbidding sales to minors, ie sell to somebody under voting age, go to jail, do not pass go, coupled with a tax on every gram sold, then there would be a sort of parity with alcohol, and I'd be willing to bet that random street crime would fall as more people would switch from alcohol to the herb, but adoption of this model won't happen as most breweries/distilleries are owned by large multinationals (mainly american owned), and since cannabis was downgraded from B to C, the government has been under constant state department pressure to re-classify it back again, so what's next, the death penalty restored, oh sorry it's already here, just look a bit shifty/arabic/brazilian, or carry a table leg, you'll soon find out...

  22. John

    Top Class Article

    Just spent quite a while reading the article & comments so far.

    I must say it's by far the most accurate and unbiased article I've read on the subject for a long time, one of the main reasons I love this site.

    @liam - well said, couldn't agree more about the paranoia :)

    I found this one most interesting...

    "Simple answer, classify cannabis in the same group as alcohol, tax it and improve our national Health Service with the proceeds. It only needs some politicians with balls to do this but they wont cos they would loose the white middle class ignorant vote." - interesting. i wonder if the ignorant white middle class people know their kids smoke? or how they would feel seeing their friends kids go to jail. im sure most dont even realise how many people smoke!"

    To me that seems the most logical action, it's always seemed weird to me that alcohol should be legal whilst cannabis is illegal, seriously which causes more health problems!? But we all know they aren't about to make alcohol a class C drug, people wouldn't stand for it for one thing.

    So I find myself asking why a natural herb which has many genuine medical uses and does no harm to anyone except the odd predisposed nut-job (who would likely go off the rails on alcohol etc anyway) shouldn't be legal!?

    I could go on but this is turning into an article in itself, I've smoked it for around 12 years, no ill-effects, if anything the opposite is true as it's the only thing I've ever found that helps keep my stress levels in check, not to mention I used to be an insomniac and now enjoy... no, REALLY enjoy... a full nights sleep every night.

    I'm with the others that said something needs to be done, but again... what?

    To openly declare ourselves as cannabis smokers would most likely lead to the police paying us a visit etc, and as a lot of us have family responsibilities it's a risk we can't take, but something has to be done, and I hope one day an opportunity arises to really show the government how strongly a large proportion of the population (probably a whole lot bigger than the government suspects) feels about this issue once and for all!!

  23. Neil Stansbury
    Coat

    Per usual - Idiot Politicians & Civil Servants

    So weed makes you go mad and encourages other drug use? Really.....

    ~30 years ago the Dutch de-criminalised (not legalised) marijuana so lets examine some real anthropological evidence....

    The Dutch should have higher incidents of mental illness

    ...but they don't

    The Dutch should have higher incidents of "Class A" usage

    ...but they don't

    So after 30 years there is basically no evidence to support the the government assertions whatsoever.

    I do wish the talentless idiots we call Politicians would they read some of their own Scientific reports: http://www.skunked.co.uk/articles/medicinal-marijuana.htm

    Finally, lets just suppose excessive weed smoking does make you mad... so what? Excessive chocolate eclair consumption will give you diabetes, and excessive fry-up consumption will cause heart disease. Should I tell my local cafe to expect a "black pudding & bacon" raid soon?

    God I hate Politicians - they truly are a bunch of mindless talentless incompetent idiots.

  24. I.P. Freely
    Stop

    Stop bashing GHB

    FYI, GHB is an endogenous substance naturally found in small amounts in the human body. For this reason it is not possible to argue that there is not a safe level of GHB consumption for humans. Unfortunately, just as in the case of our beloved Cannabis, the fact that GHB cannot be patented makes it a threat to the pharmaceutical companies and their aggressive marketing strategies.

    In my humble experience, GHB is one of the most wonderful sleep aids known to man. It actually facilitates entry into REM sleep making your dreams more vivid and can help you receive a full night's rest whenever you have 5 hours to spare even if your sleep schedule is hopelessly muddled with deadlines and stress. The pharmaceutical competition however will only get you to sleep state 4 with no dreams and no mind-healing rest even if you are under for 10 hours.

    So upset is the pharmaceutical industry with the efficacy of their natural competition that in the US the non-toxic sleep-aiding amino acid L-tryptophan was removed from store shelves for almost a decade by action of the FDA after one bad batch was manufactured from Japan via an untested practice. This provided their pretext to sabotage big pharma's competition with little fanfare. To add insult to injury, manufactures of supplements like GHB and L-tryotophan cannot print their clinical results on the packaging as fact but must instead say for example "may reduce heart disease" when in fact it demonstrably does so.

    Granted, GHB does cause dependence and withdrawl when used chronically. So do most useful drugs and medicines.

    As a recreational substance, GHB provides mood-elevation and silliness similar to alcohol, except that the hangover and feeling of being stupid are totally absent. When I first went to university and dealt with the pervasive, ubiquitous alcohol culture there I used GHB to help me share in the socialization of the alcohol users without incurring the same negative effects.

    In fact, GHB is such a good drug that they are telling an updated version of the same lie that they told about Cannabis in the 1930's to have it banned "It makes girls have sex when they would not otherwise do so." I do concede that persons have used GHB as a date rape drug and this is terrible. But the media campaign "against" this practice here in the US is riddled with negligent distortions which only make the occurrence more likely. Again and again I have read (or even heard from university officials) that GHB is "colorless, odorless, tasteless substance."

    GHB IS NOT A TASTELESS SUBSTANCE. IT TASTES VERY SALTY. WARN YOUR FEMALE FRIENDS.

    I tried for many months to find something to mix it with for personal use and the only option we found is orange juice. Even then you will have to hold your nose to get it down. There is no vodka so bad that you could confuse it with GHB. In fact the taste is so bad that after awhile my body started to have a nausea response merely from thinking about it. (That was 10 years ago and I have not taken GHB since in part because the quality on the black market is not good).

    For this obvious reason alcohol and rohypnol are used 100x more in date rapes than GHB is. The "death toll" for GHB is similarly misrepresented. The few dozen cases that could be scrounged together of GHB fatalities also involved consumption of alcohol. No case involved GHB alone. The medical literature describes a life-threating dose as being 100x the active dose, a higher margin of safety than almost any non-herbal drug. (That's 300g of Na-GHB you have to eat to die, how absurd!)

    Perhaps all it would take to end this madness is some politician's child to go on a hunger strike until their daddy stops abusing the sick and vulnerable with lies and violence. Indeed to arrest, pilfer, and ostracize men for the use of natural medicines is the most vicious sort of profit-driven violence.

    If you would have any love for liberty and posterity vote against this bullocks with your voice, your work, your currency, and (what's that other thing, oh yeah) those damn Diebold election-stealing satanic voting booths...

    If you really are ready to die for liberty, are you ready to tell your parents that they're the problem and you won't eat until they stop? The real revolution starts at home. Fight it.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Dutch should have higher incidents of mental illness

    The problem with your assessment is that the Dutch aren't like us, they're very conservative, smoking cannabis is broadly frowned upon and smokers are broadly considered a bit chavvy.

    It means that usage amongst the local population is generally low.

    @John

    >To openly declare ourselves as cannabis smokers would most likely

    >lead to the police paying us a visit etc

    Given that the police recently ignored a 999 call that shortly preceded three houses being blown to bits, I doubt that they're likely to show up.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Sanity Check...

    ...if we can't trust someone as senior as the Home Secretary to handle basic statistics in a logical way, how can we trust the people who appointed her to handle the national budget?

    BTW, there is always "old skool" stuff out there that kicks the arse of any skunk around. Every dope smoker knows that and then probably thinks HMG must be full of utter morons or complete liars.

    Vote? What's the point? Didn't someone say that politics is just acting for ugly people?

    Paris Hilton cos there's something lacking in credibility here

  27. BitBotherer
    Stop

    Gloucester under siege

    Heres one way to get the police around next time you need them, tell them you are about to cut your own car in half, FFS talk about an over reaction 5 police cars and ten plod plus the fire brigade. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/gloucestershire/7395452.stm

    Think of all the children left unprotected.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    The war, on drugs

    If you are unfortunate to suffer from a full-blown schizophrenic breakdown your chances of full recovery, living in Nigeria, is about 66%. If you live in the USA it's 33%.

    Drugs don't treat schizophrenia, people do.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Leon - Sanity Check..

    >Vote? What's the point? Didn't someone say that politics is just acting for ugly people?

    This is why they shit all over the pot heads to curry favour with the

    more conservative middle classes.

    >Every dope smoker knows that and then probably thinks HMG must be full of utter morons or complete liars.

    And why would a government care about what non-voters think?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Heart

    @ JonB

    Point taken. Do you have a solution when all politicians, whatever shade, flavour or colour they may be are basically the same?

    How about THC in the water to educate those conservative middle class voters?

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