Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Reform. Regulate. Realise.

with 208 comments

REFORM the law and end prohibition.

REGULATE production and supply based on facts and evidence.

REALISE the huge benefits as medicine and as a new source of £billions in tax revenue.

Written by Peter Reynolds

January 15, 2011 at 9:11 pm

208 Responses

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  1. Now THAT makes sense!


    January 15, 2011 at 9:18 pm

  2. Too true brother!


    January 15, 2011 at 9:21 pm

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dr Hemp. Dr Hemp said: Reform. Regulate. Realise.: […]

  4. I have a dream..


    January 15, 2011 at 11:07 pm

  5. absolutely – it is a crime that so many people are denied the benefits of such a versatile plant and that instead an ill law punishes those it ought to protect


    January 15, 2011 at 11:11 pm

  6. Yes, agreed. The Revenue diverted away from organised criminals and instead into the treasury, not forgeting the extra budget saving from not clogging up the legal system and reduce prison populations.

    Prohibition can only be justified if year after year drug drug seizure and user statistics steadily dropped in numbers as a direct result of various prohibition efforts. The reality is very much the opposite with drug seizures are more frequent larger and ever more sophisticated and hard to find.

    The possible revenue is at least £1Billion per annum because many companies will start producing cannabis based products and services resulting in a huge booming market to inject much needed life into the ever struggling commercial property sector.

    but whether our current coalition government has the clarity of thought, the insight and courage, to do what is right for this country and make a positive step towards fixing the economy, only time will tell.


    January 16, 2011 at 12:50 am

  7. 1, Reform law and end prohibition – the law is fine if it were administered properly, there is a policy which amounts to a prohibition of ordinary persons having property interests in drugs. It isn’t outright prohibition, especially as defined in law.

    2. Regulate: yes, but do allow people to grow their own though etc.

    3. Tax: sometimes I wonder about this govt profiteering benefit people keep suggesting, how much money they will make. The reason to allow people more freedom is that there is no justifaction for not doing so. The costs argument against policy is a awful, a bit like if the country was rolling in it we could afford to persecute more people. No, forget costs, the reasons to stop the current policy, its illegal, irrational, unequal and unfair.

    4. It’s not about cannabis – its about ALL drugs

    Darryl Bickler

    January 16, 2011 at 3:17 pm

  8. Reform, regulate, realise you don’t need it.


    January 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    • You should be free to choose

      Peter Reynolds

      January 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      • There is another abuse of substances already, why help it get worse and no doubt end up with the tax payer footing the bill for it via NHS.

        I have no doubt there would be a exponential leap in medicinal “ailments” for those who want their high via the NHS.


        January 16, 2011 at 5:02 pm

      • What? are you like completely ignorant? What damage does marijuana do which the NHS needs to chip in for?

        Most the so called “addicts” which went into “treatment” for cannabis addiction went in because they had a choice a fine, jail time or a few NHS addiction clinic sessions. Then the government played the same dirty trick the US did saying “oh look at all these people with the NHS for cannabis addiction – oh heavens no clearly this is the work of taking it from class B to C with this dreadful skunk around” (cannabis use actually FELL).

        Yes some may get addicted but I saw a program on the other day about how pathetically addictive young people get to video games, shall we outlaw video games too? There are certainly no addictive chemicals in cannabis and the claims about it (cancer or the gateway theory for instance) are absurd and have even been proven to be wrong.

        I don’t even see why they should tax it as it could be saving the government money by leaving it legal and untaxed but why they refuse any form of legalisation is beyond me.


        January 16, 2011 at 5:44 pm

      • I am not talking abotu addication, I am refering to thsoe who will use “medicinal ailments” in order to get their Cannabis FREE on the NHS simply to get a high in the same way they do to get exploit benefits. Read again and don’t be so ignorant yourself.


        January 16, 2011 at 7:01 pm

      • Okay, and who said that people should get cannabis free on the NHS? And so what even if they did as it would actually SAVE the taxpayer money making cannabis than highly expensive and ineffective pharmaceutical poison.


        January 16, 2011 at 7:13 pm

      • What makes you think Cannabis would be cheap if it was on the NHS? If people want it for medicinal use then it is obvious a great deal of them will be on benefits and get it on the NHS, hence the abuse of it in the same way that State benefits are abused.

        Better to sit on disability and incapacity benfits for yet another reason?


        January 16, 2011 at 7:34 pm

      • Cannabis costs nothing to grow out doors it costs about £30 a month for 6 plants under a 400 watt bulb which has the possablity given the right genetics sutable veg period to produce 2-3 kilo’s of plant matter.

        the only thing that makes cannabis expensive is stupid people and stupid interpritation of the law.

        John Ellis

        February 7, 2011 at 9:52 pm

      • Fact and evidence based regulation which includes legitimate use is the way to minimse abuse and the consequences for healthcare expenditure. Prohibition creates more harm and costs more.

        While there may well be some abuse of any regulated system it’s nothing less than evil to deny medicine to those in genune need.

        Peter Reynolds

        January 17, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    • Lol are you a politician, telling people to realize what they do and don’t need based on your ideology! Where do you get such a dillusional view of the world to give you the self righteousness to say that? If your mind is so closed to anything outside of what your life experience brings you into contact with, so be it, I am not telling you to take any drugs, I am simply stating that while governments allow people to kill themselves with drink and tobacco then they, including your good self, have no moral, legal standing to dictate to me what I can and can’t choose to take in my own space and time on this planet. I pay taxes just as you do but I don’t get a discount because i benefit less from this so called democratic system than the people that choose alcohol as their drug of choice. I can see alcohol causes huge harms and thus made the decision 20 years ago to choose a non harmful alternative, cannabis! But I can only enjoy this within the confines of my own home, I do not have the luxury of government regulated supply and a multitude of choice regarding types of cannabis, like you have when choosing alcohol, my choice is restricted to what i can purchase from the black market, which unfortunately feeds crime but that isnt a conscious choice to do so, its the only choice available to me.

      So, in a nutshell, you carry on walking through life feeling so righteous that I am assuming you are in total agreement with prohibition and the social, economic harms that are a direct consequence of such a draconian policy, but please at least attempt to do so without preaching to me what I should and shouldn’t do..

      The choice I make nourishes me and relaxes me, doesn’t result in me smashing up public property, emptying the contents of my stomach onto public pavements, doesnt result in me feeling the need to beat up people and doesn’t cost the health service 1 single penny.


      January 16, 2011 at 6:31 pm

      • The choice you make clearly shows you do not have the brain or WIll to do these things without a drug. P.S I do have the experience of using just about every drug there is years ago, then I realised how weak you have to be to need such.

        Funny how these kind of people wax lyrical about, “Tolerance” every 5 minutes but show such a lack of it when it comes to a reasonable opinion that differs from theirs?

        Push them , the cracks always show eventually.


        January 16, 2011 at 7:03 pm

      • Cannabis is NOT non-harmful,to say so is complete nonsense! While socially I would agree you do not see the visibile affects in the same way as you do Alcohol (louts, fights etc) to say it is “completely harmless” is to display real ignorance.

        If you want to argue for it at least have the dignity to be honest about it and recognise the ill’s as well as any perceived “benefits.”


        January 16, 2011 at 7:09 pm

      • It’s not completely harmless but comparing it to lovely legal alcohol is like comparing a poodle to a pit-bull.

        Since the vast majority of marijuana users don’t harm society (violence etc) or themselves (if they are sensible with it) If weed was legal (well probably legal worldwide actually) it wouldn’t cost the tax payer a penny, and would in fact generate tax money.

        What gives me a headache is why should cannabis users be made criminals for choosing something less harmful than for instance alcohol, tobacco, solvents etc? Why should people who want to enjoy themselves with a substance choose “acceptable” alcohol and such over cannabis just because it’s legal? But what gives me a MIGRAINE is why should wheelchair bounded people who choose cannabis over pharmaceutical poison (as they find it far more effective) be given jail sentences?


        January 16, 2011 at 7:27 pm

      • Well said Stephen. I have been angry about the denial of my personal freedom to use cannabis for nearly 40 years but recently, as the evidence for the medicinal benefits has become overwhelming, this is the issue that has gripped me. It is outrageous and nothing short of evil that people suffering from terrible diseases and conditions are denied access to the medicine that they need. The disinformation campaign from Big Pharma and Alcohol Corp is also extraordinary and reveals just how much a threat cananbis is to their dangerous and expensive products.

        Peter Reynolds

        January 16, 2011 at 7:40 pm

      • So Peter what medicinal use do you need it for? Are you disabled? Have a terminal illness?


        January 16, 2011 at 8:00 pm

      • No. I don’t claim to be a medicinal user.

        Peter Reynolds

        January 16, 2011 at 8:28 pm

      • It is precisely that Cannabis can be harmful that it needs to be legal and regulated. I assume you accept that some people enjoy to smoke Cannabis (or take other drugs). What we have now under prohibition is gangsters producing these drugs and cutting them for profit. Specifically with Cannabis this involves spraying nano-sized silica beads onto it, adding clay, unregulated and dangerous pesticides, (with hash) diesel, polish etc. This makes having your drug of choice far more harmful than it needs to be. Just look into the chemicals the US govt put into industrial alcohol to stop people drinking that during 1930’s prohibition (it caused death and blindness). Why do some drugs have to be made available in the most unsafe forms?

        If the ‘illegal’ drugs were made available under a regulated market, we could truthfully tell people (most importantly kids) the real pro’s and con’s of each drug, rather than lying to try stop them doing it, so when they try a drug and don’t die/get side effects and realise they have been lied to, they may not feel the need to distrust the government and try further drugs.

        Yes some people may have a problem with Cannabis, just like some have a problem with Alochol, Cocaine or even Caffeine. The real problem is that we blame the drug rather than the actual causes that led to misuse, such as a poverty, mentall illness, domestic abuse etc. But just because ‘Dave down at the pub’ has a drinking problem and can get violent doesn’t mean that everyone else in the country should be criminalised for consuming alcohol. It is easier to blame a drug than blame your own prejudice polices.

        Prohibition leaves those most vulnerable, such as those in poverty, in the worst situation. It criminalises their behaviour, reducing their chance of getting a good job and perpetuates their situation. Regulation will allow those most effected by their drug misuse to get compassionate help, rather than a jail cell. Portugal is testament to this.


        January 16, 2011 at 7:33 pm

      • Well I have heard some sensible argument for legalising it and despite my anti-drugs stance I am not completely against the concept but there are a great many issues and avenues that first need to be traversed before such a move can be contemplated. We already have issues with alcohol addiction, pharma addiction,food addiction and God knows what else. Wht introduce yet another addiction? I have seen myself the addiction of suc a substance, the damage it can do etc so all these things need to be taken into account and explored to the full. What the legalise lobby fail to do every time is to admit fully these problems and discuss them openly instead of pretending they do not exist.


        January 16, 2011 at 7:37 pm

      • “What the legalise lobby fail to do every time is to admit fully these problems and discuss them openly instead of pretending they do not exist.”

        The competent lobby accepts that cannabis has it’s risks, and much like alcohol, asprin and cake, it can be abused.

        The point of the matter is that prohibition does harm in and by itself, and does nothing to stop people abusing the substance.

        Legalisation of cannabis isn’t about the problems of the drug, its about the problems of prohibition.

        Lewis Pritchard

        January 19, 2011 at 12:15 pm

      • Well said Jake. I’m not happy with the over- and undertones of the “Legalise Cannabis” message.

        The more pertinent message is “End Prohibition”. It is not only an ineffective but a fundamentally immoral policy.

        Peter Reynolds

        January 16, 2011 at 7:44 pm

      • P.S If “those in poverty” are in poverty then clearly they are stupid to need it. When I cannot afford a Beer I don’t have one, simple. Why can Cannabis users not do the same? Weak mind or addiction?


        January 16, 2011 at 8:02 pm

  9. The goverment are already raking in a fortune in taxes from tokers. Just think how much is spent on cigarette papers alone!


    January 16, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    • I think ordinary smokers give far more in that regard than tokers 🙂


      January 16, 2011 at 7:04 pm

      • I know a lot of people who only buy cigs or baccy to put in joints.

        Papers, pipes, bongs, cannabis seeds, growing equipemnt etc, oh and don’t forget the money on flights to the Netherlands the list goes on.

        Then you have the revenue the police bring in from this war on some people who use some drugs.


        January 16, 2011 at 7:42 pm

      • Money the Police make? Please give me a breakdown of this?


        January 16, 2011 at 8:02 pm

      • For a start there are the fines for possession and cultivation of cannabis. Then you have the property/money taken from people under the proceeds of crime act.


        January 17, 2011 at 1:30 am

  10. David,

    how harmful marijuana, or any other drug for that matter, may be is something that can be established scientifically and should be beyond anecdotal evidence, for or against. That’s the point of calling for looking at prohibition and War on Drugs (WoD) policies scientifically, objectively and without pre-conceptions or prejudices. But it is not just drugs harm that is amenable to scientific analysis. Those same policies can be and are, in fact, being the subject of economic analysis: cost-benefit analysis, demand and supply of illegal drugs, prohibition externalities, and many, many more aspects of the WoD have being analysed by economists, many of them Nobel Laureates. You can get access to some useful studies in my blog:

    I do respect your right to disagree, but I also hope that by looking at the extensive evidence available, you will be able to support the calling to objective, scientifically based analysis of prohibition and legalisation policies

    Gart Valenc

    Gart Valenc

    January 16, 2011 at 8:00 pm

  11. Thanks for your reply Gart, I do speak as an ex-user BTW (many years ago) and someone who has seen enough of what drugs can do. I do not rely on anyones views, like most things I speak strongly about, I go both sides of a fence before I speak abotu it.


    January 16, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    • And I don’t mean to be patronising, but is only understandable that you feel the way you do. However, the whole discussion about drugs legalisation is based on the premise that prohibition is not the rational, effective or even practical policies to face the consequences of drug abuse, and the emphasis is in ABUSE.

      Gart Valenc

      Gart Valenc

      January 16, 2011 at 8:13 pm

      • Indeed, ABUSE. This is a key factor and one those wishing to legalise it must address with vigour as well as frank honesty! It is the key I feel to opening up the subject to the majority of people who are “anti”. Constantly banging on “evidence” which is sometimes border line, calling everyone ignorant that does not agree with you and refusing to acknowledge and deal fully with the negative issues of Cannibis and drug use serves only to re-enforce the Status Quo.

        That’ll do me for tonight, back to my paperwork..pffff.


        January 16, 2011 at 8:21 pm

      • P.S

        I was reffering to the majority of drug “pro” people who take those attitudes above Gart, not you 🙂


        January 16, 2011 at 8:23 pm

      • Dont’t worry, I don’t take it personally. I want to assure you that there are many issues about drugs that require a lot of research before we may be conclusive about. But, but I can also assure you that there are lots of reliable, sounding, well-founded analysis out there. Just take the time to look into them, and hopefully, we will continue the discussion another day.

        Gart Valenc

        Gart Valenc

        January 16, 2011 at 8:31 pm

      • The point is prohibition is an ineffective way in comparison to a >good< method of legalisation and regulation for controlling drugs.

        But having soft drugs illegal, easily accessible by kids (I could have gotten my hands on weed from the age of 12) and often packed with adulterants simply means there are more social and private costs in prohibition than a good policy of legalisation.

        We would be able to tackle drug abuse with funds saved/generated from legalisation via education rather than lies.

        What I (personally) think could work well is a controlled prescription service for hard drug addicts (only) providing cheap, pure drugs. This could easily get rid of the dealers who rely on the addicts meaning they cant get any more people addicted (they cant base their business on people wanting to try first time/occasionals(if they exist)) and those addicted receiving prescribed drugs; the government can then try and wade them off the drugs. Since the addicts are coming to THEM not the dealers and arn't given the treatment of a cold cell.

        Most the problems created by soft drugs like cannabis are there because of prohibition. They say most people who get private costs from cannabis are those with health problems.

        Prohibition clearly doesn't work to solve drug problems OR the fact money is wasted on prohibition and of course crime. Legalisation seems to be the only alternative.


        January 16, 2011 at 8:49 pm

      • Just for an example of the scale:

        “Total economic and social costs for this group increase the range of figures to between £10.1bn and £17.4bn – £35,455 per user per annum.” (page vii)

        And I’m pretty sure that doesn’t include the ancillary costs…


        January 16, 2011 at 8:57 pm

      • Jake,

        The figure was revised upwards by the same research team in their 2003 report (p.41)

        Click to access rdsolr1606.pdf

        Gart Valenc

        Gart Valenc

        January 16, 2011 at 9:07 pm

  12. @David (It wouldn’t let me reply above).

    Yes, there are many issues that need to be worked out on the way to legalisation, but what we currently have is just flat refusal to acknowledge the issue mixed in with bald-faced lies. If you have not already done so, I advise reading Transforms’ Blueprint for Regulation .

    Another issue, you say “Why introduce yet another” substance/addiction, but also say you have seen addiction. This ‘why another’ drug argument is fundamentally flawed, people can and do already get hold of drugs, any drugs, easily for that matter. You yourself say you have seen addiction – was it to an ‘illegal’ drug? If it was, that testament pretty much shows how regulation won’t be introducing new drugs to get people addicted, as they are already here and this must be accepted! Instead it allows you to properly deal with any addiction as a health problem rather than through the criminal justice system (which costs vastly more). My statement before was that regardless of the law, people can become addicted to any drug, be it alochol, cocaine or prescription drugs currently. You have to treat the reason why that person feels so bad that they need mind-altering substances to get through the day.

    Every drug has a risk, just like every activity really – just look at cars, fast-food etc. Absent harm to others, we should have the freedom to decide ourselves what we put into our own bodies. It is the governments responsibility to ensure that if we want to, we can take these drugs in the safest way possible. Prohibition abjecates that responsibility.

    Also, your comment about people in poverty being stupid is insensitive. I am fortunate enough to not live below the ‘bread line’, but I know those who do, and I don’t think you should label people as stupid until you have walked in their shoes/have an appreciation for what it is like. It is statements like that that help segregate ‘them’ from ‘us’ which only perpetuates a negative situation.


    January 16, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    • Somewhat of a nonsense, if legalised it would be easier to get hold of for those who may not have used it while illegal. There are way to many underlying social issues today being ignored in this matter. The abuse you see with Alcohol will very likley end up the same and on a similar scale with drugs if legalised. Abuse of drugs is already extremely high, legalising it will only make that worse.

      Until that can be minimalised, I cannot see it being legalised.


      January 16, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    • Sorry Jake but your rather pitiful attempts to use a “card” with the poverty matter is boring and tedious. I have been below the breadline many times and what I cannot afford I do not buy, ergo I say again those in “poverty” who still choose to use drugs and waste what little money they have are either stupid or addicts.



      January 16, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    • “Every drug has a risk, just like every activity really – just look at cars”

      It is desperatley bull**itting an argument with ridiculous statements like that which undermine any argument and re-enforce the majority opinion.


      January 16, 2011 at 10:10 pm

      • Ok:
        If legalised it would be easier for consenting adults to get hold of and harder for kids (yes some would still be able to get it, just like alcohol, but at least it would be safer than it is currently). Please remember that use does not automatically constitute ABUSE. In Holland, when they liberalised the Cannabis laws in the 1970’s, use initially went up, then declined… why is that? Maybe the glamour was taken out of the illegality, maybe some people who wouldn’t have tried it before did and decided it wasn’t for them. Their usage rate is now far lower than the USA which has harsh laws (and I think lower than our use?). Then just look at Tobacco – with a relentless education campaign its use/abuse has declined.. and that is one of the most addictive drugs known! All I’m saying is that yes use may initially go up, but things will level out, and we have to take that risk as the consequences of continuing what we have are far more damaging.

        Also, those predisposed to addiction or those with issues that turn them to drugs as an escape/self-medication will most likely go down that path regardless of the law, or use ‘legal’ drugs. By legalising we will have a framework where we can care compassionately and also reduce the huge cost of crime committed to purchase certain drugs.

        Just because you have been under/above the line doesn’t mean it works for everyone or everyone has your strength and determination. Anecdote doesn’t equal evidence.

        And with my comments on risk, I was merely trying to show how many other ways you can hurt/kill/maim yourself or others that are perfectly acceptable in todays society. It is a fact that cars and fatty foods kill more people than Cannabis but we still allow people to make up their own minds on those. Professor Nutt compared ecstasy to horse-riding, showing that statistically horse-riding is more dangerous and was equally shot down. All I’m trying to illustrate is that there are risks with everyday activities and we accept them whilst trying to reduce said risks, but not with drugs – the government thinks that the best way to ‘protect us’ is that if you are going to take them, you have to take the most dangerous forms to deter use instead of a regulated product. Well.. that clearly hasn’t worked. Usage levels are up and a substantial number of UK citizens are regarded as criminals under the law. We have to accept that Humans like to alter their consciousness with drugs, have done so since before civilisation began and get over that fact. Then, and only then will we allow consensual drug taking to happen in the safest way possible to the overall benefit to society.


        January 16, 2011 at 11:50 pm

  13. Thanks Gart, I was actually looking for the 2010 one (was in a rush and saw lots of 0’s lol). I think the current estimate is around £15.4bn?

    Either way, is a hell of a lot of money to be throwing away in the name of ‘morals’ or ideology..


    January 16, 2011 at 10:00 pm

  14. In response to David’s post of 8:02 and before.

    David, your message is being clouded by your clear dislike of the working classes. Snob are we Sir??

    People of disadvantage or lower mental prowess are not deserving of derision from a snob such as yourself or, is being less intelligent a punishable offence in your mind?

    No… I’m not even slightly disadvantaged.

    Some people do not have the natural faculties that many of us enjoy. This is not a point for derision it is simply a part of mother natures rich tapestry. Individuals such as yourself who clearly hold inflated self opinions of grandeur should reflect on your own failings before your pomposity overshadows any redeeming features you may or may not have.

    Individuals circumstance are often not of their own making. Even the intelligent sometimes are not offered the opportunity of self esteem through which they could fully recognise their true potential.

    Your suggestion that this ‘lower tier’ of our society would abuse the system in order for the NHS to foot the bill is wrong and you need to reflect.

    I don’t recall that too many those cheating, stealing MP’s who’s infamous behaviour recently shocked us all, came from working class homes.

    And just so i don’t have to respond:

    No, I’m Tory
    No, they were middle class whatever that is.


    January 16, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    • Nick, I AM working class, sorry to diffuse yet another “Card” by the lobbyist.


      January 16, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      • David, so why the tone of lack of respect for your fellow working class man? This is not a card. When reading your dialogue it appears you show little or no respect for individuals who have not ‘made it’ in our sorry society. This was the first ‘message’ I took from your righting. My apologies that this stood out to me.

        Also, this nonsense about it will be easier to get is pure rubbish. Anyone who wants it (anything) can already get it, its only ever a couple of calls away.
        Also, do you believe that these individuals would be better off being alcoholic?? Whilst, unlike many, I DO see the potential for harm relating to weed I also know that alcohol is by far and I mean by a really long way, more harmful to both the individual and society as a whole. Have you ever seen AandE on a Friday and saturday night? Absolutely rammed with piss head fools harming everything they come into contact with. Is it so wrong that whilst all these piss heads are on their weekly rampage that an unknown number of smokers are minding their own at home doing no harm to society as a whole. Given that all drugs are so readily available and always will be whichever the law falls, is it not better to take from the hand of criminals who, without conscience adulterate and control their trade through violence and, minimise the risk to both society and the individual.

        Yes, I do agree that there are harms associated with smoking weed but, these are considerably amplified by the current law of prohibition.

        The government label weed and other drugs as controlled. This is the most stupid of statements… using the same theory do we call the pirates in our southern oceans as controlled sailors?? They do seem to have minds of their own.

        The only control is in the hands of criminals who would as soon as see us all dead as make their next buck.

        Currently, the law is gifting this trade to criminals. This trade funds prostitution, gun and knife crime and many more, far more sinful and truly immoral causes. Is this then the best way forward. Regulation strips these scum of their business. Weed as an example can be then grown by either the individual or the horticultural industry. These individuals are not going to adulterate their product. In a free market quality and cost are the driving factors…you see, its already that bit safe…yes, the risks still exist but have already been reduced considerably.

        I’ve read back…can’t see any ‘cards’ x


        January 16, 2011 at 10:54 pm

      • A great number of those piss head fools with respects, are also taking drugs. The important issue is the social problems BEHIND this abuse, the same abuse that will and deos happen with drugs. These underlying social issues need to be dealt with I think before and further openign up of the “substances” markets.

        Those social issues that lead ot the abuse of these things will take a GREAT deal of time and upheavel to repair, if they can be after all the damage that has been done since 1997 especially.


        January 17, 2011 at 12:18 am

      • Do you not think that the money that can be made from drugs illegality is not a contributing cause to the social ills..? how many kids on estates turn to selling ‘illegal’ drugs to make money, and then turn to gangs and violence to defend their territory and investments.

        The social issues that lead to abuse are only worsened by the corrupting effect of huge amounts of easy money made off illicit drugs… or a system that would rather put you in jail with hundreds of hardened criminals than refer you to the NHS for real help.


        January 17, 2011 at 12:41 am

      • I completely agree that a high proportion of these individuals also use drugs and that this is a indicator that our society as a whole is in a sorry state. At the same time we need to recognise that the majority of people who use illegal drugs do so because they enjoy the effects.I believe that our young of today lack direction and the opportunities that were available to those just a generation ago. We only have to look at the high street to see that opportunities for free trade and independence have all but been destroyed by the large corporations who are aloud by law to control many aspects of our lives. I do believe you are right however, don’t agree that the continued prohibition offers anyone other than dealers a future. We are also talking as if the drug issue is a new problem when we all know its not. If any policy relating to any problem fails to deliver improvement especially, considering the duration of the so called war on drugs then it is time to reconsider the options. If there are intelligent arguments for alternative action then these should be explored without the dogma of political morality. Whilst, legalisation would not stop all drug related problems it would bring the issue in house, where at least some control and damage limitation could be achieved. The current situation does not reduce the problem rather, compounds it. Criminals have free rain. The law gifts them this trade whilst, the tax payer often foots the bill. At very least if these products became taxable then, these revenue could be directed toward helping individuals who become victims. I understand that allowing yet another vice to be readily available is not an answer however, we have to accept that this problem is here to stay and at very least, it is the responsibility of our governors to minimise the harm that is being done. This law does more harm than good a fact expressed by many sections of society including medical and those who’s lives are dedicated to supporting the victims. Prohibition has failed and compounds the problem and this can not go on.


        January 17, 2011 at 11:10 am

      • EXACLY, Exacly. I’m high right now (sorry to say) How am I harming the community compared to those pissheads. I agree with every one of your words.


        January 17, 2011 at 5:13 pm

  15. David, Nick,

    We won’t be able to make any progress whatsoever if we resort to a war of personal attacks. We don’t need to preach to the converted, as it were. I’m not moralising or proselytising here, in case anybody wonders: what we need is to carefully construct convincing arguments so that people who do not see the flaws of the current drug policies can get engaged in the conversation, not casting away so that no one is the wiser!

    Gart Valenc

    Gart Valenc

    January 16, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    • Sounds like good advice Gart.


      January 16, 2011 at 10:40 pm

      • David, my proposal is that we reform the law so that the production and supply of cannabis is regulated based on a system of facts and evidence.

        According to the Home Office, something like six million people in Britain use cannabis regularly. Is it not better to bring it within a system of control where harm is minimised, criminal gangs are kept out of it and the expenditure is recovered from the black economy?

        I seek, simply, that regulation of cannabis is based on science and facts, not prejudice and propaganda.

        We can debate what the actual controls would be but they would certainly include age restrictions and limit the amount that could be grown without a special licence.

        This would massively reduce the costs of law enforcement and provide potential for new tax revenue.

        Everywhere such reforms have been introduced, usage and harms have reduced significantly.

        I just ask for rational government. Both the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee have criticised ministers for basing drugs policy on opinion rather than evidence.

        Peter Reynolds

        January 16, 2011 at 10:56 pm

      • I think we all know it would not be quite as simple as that and there are many other factors to take into consideration, however I do agree that Politicians refusing to debate helps nothing. Then again I would also say that there are far more important concerns that we need to be spending time on before considering drugs.

        6 million regular? Hmm Doubtful I would have thought. Not “regular”.


        January 17, 2011 at 12:14 am

      • Far more important things? Around 60-70% of all crime is related to ‘drugs’ in one way or another, more specifically their illegality. Look at the governments around the world being undermined or outright corrupted by the huge profits of the drug trade (i.e. Mexico, Sierra Leone etc.). What about the Taliban killing British soldiers, who fund most of their operations from Opium/Heroin profits as it can make 2000% profit once it reaches our shores… What about the continual erosion of civil liberties in the name of the war on drugs. What about the fact that 2/3rds of HIV/AIDs infections outside sub-Saharan Africa occur between intravenous drug users? There are lots of urgent concerns and ending prohibition is right up there!


        January 17, 2011 at 12:47 am

      • Well if you don’t want Aids, don’t use drugs its bloody simple. I worry about OUR problems not Africa. Why should any fool who sticks a needle in their arms expect sympathy?

        Like everything in this country, it is dumbed down and victimised. People need to take responsibility for their own stupidity.


        January 17, 2011 at 10:34 am

      • David, I’ve been reading your posts with interest. You seem a considered and rational man, so I hope my reply reads with the same respect.

        The one thing that does stand out to me in your posts is the lack of constructive alternatives. You are clearly open to debate so I would genuinely like to hear your full stance on this, ie, explain what all the other factors are that prevent regulation to which you spoke of. Also, can you give a consolidated figure of how many regular users you think there are in the UK (as 6-10 million is what the Home Office and many others seem to settle on, this figure isn’t just plucked). You’re doing a good job of batting away discussion without adding your own view and explaining further.

        And, I must pick you up on a personal point of contention; the “More important concerns that we need to be spending time on…” is perplexing. Firstly, look at the list of domestic legislation that were created & overseen in World War II. You’d think fighting a war was the apex of stretched resources, but on a domestic level, we were pretty productive – to say we need to focus on a few key areas of policy nowadays is quite amusing and political jargon for “I can’t be bothered”. Furthermore, as it goes, I watched a 3 hour debate just last month on how badly kept shrubs were ruining community spirit. This received overwhelming support in the Commons, I think you see my point, there really is no “we’ve more important things” in politics and gawd help us if we ever have this methodology.

        I would wager there is little else that is so affecting of the UK than drug policy. The war on drugs costs us 19 billion, the cannabis industry on the street is raking in around 6 billion now, and where is this paydirt going? To some very powerful and scary cartels & gangs who have a grip over the UK’s children. So, if we were to tackle this another way and regulate, yes, we’ll have a small black market perhaps, but you’re directly cutting a lucrative trail. The UK could arguably be in profit by 10 billion within the year and free up valuable & diminished police resources.

        Keeping things as the staus quo is going to lead us in one direction; we of course have the notorious “War on drugs? Chance will be a fine thing…” brigade, (those who want to wage all out war). We need to draw fervent attention to Mexico. This country now has a full war on drugs, they’ve been waging it with military for nearly 5 years. Have they won? No, more drugs than ever, more power in the cartels and gangs than ever, and 36 000 deaths and counting… this tally includes innocents, kids, women, the works. We really are in danger of this level of fallout under the strict prohibition laws we have in Britain.

        … final point (I could go on and on so forgive me for my lengthy reply) you mention harms and the NHS etc. A common misconception is that under liberalised law, consumption goes up. This is not the case, Portugal, most of Europe – consumption goes down as the illicit tag of drugs tends to be the selling point to many. If you’re going to do cannabis, or any substance, you’re going to as the law is pretty much of no consequence in decision making. So, any drain on resources is here already and it is free-loading by not having the tax revenue pay for it – ironically, the tax payer is currently fully paying for the war on drugs with absolutely no return and no chance of ever winning. You’re throwing your tax money down the pan David to the tune of 19 billion and a collection revenue of 5 or 6 billion.

        The law only exists to “send a message to the children”. A health message is preferable and those countries that take this route have reaped the benefits. Plus, under regulation of cannabis specifically, you’ll have the following emplacements:

        -Potency information; eg., what strain (there are thousands), and what thc & cbd content

        -What dosage and ingestion method dosage

        -Harvesting traits of the product (early harvest/late harvest etc)

        If you know these things the chances are you’ll suffer little consequence. Under feral street control, most people take ‘cannabis’ – just generic, ignorantly termed, cannabis. Who in there right mind would down a pint of generic alcohol without knowing potency and what the pint of spirit is? Not many I would wager, and this is sadly what is currently going in the UK and cannabis. Ignorance is the key to abuse.

        And who can get hold cannabis easily and at targeted pocket money prices?! Kids. So as you can see, I disagree that there are more important things to worry about wholeheartedly.

      • First off show me the paperwork to prove it is costing 19 billion, show me the paperwokr to prove it is 6 million.

        Quiote frankly a ramble like that could try to convince someone an elephant is the size of a mouse. To compare drugs to other problems we have is ridiculous. We have bigger problems, many of which turn people into losers that end up addicted to drugs in the frist place.


        January 17, 2011 at 10:32 am

      • Ok, David, you’re coming across as pointlessly flippant now in your tone, I extended a very different courtesy to you.

        19 billion?

        And yes, as you well know we can only make an estimated guess on the cannabis industry because it is an underground feral industry. Given its lack of Government control, we are in a degree of unknown, funny how that works… but, most of the major parties agree 5/6 billion is around the mark if you care to contact them as I and many others have.

        What bigger problems do we have then David, because yet again you have bought nothing to this debate other than flailing and batting the discussion down without any constructive input. I suggest you have a look over the debates in house from time to time because you’ll have a fit with what goes on with regards to motions and the running of the country.

        You don’t feel 36 000 deaths in Mexico to be of concern in their staunch prohibitionists ethics? Britain is exempt from street war?

        You’ll be pleased to know I’ll leave my discussion at that with you as I do not feel calling people losers for taking substances has any place in rational debate, especially given you have admitted that you were one of these people. If the law works so well, why did you fail to abide, why do you still blindly advocate it, and why don’t you do the good deed and turn yourself in now to make an example? Or, could it be the law is indeed futile?

      • Why do you waste your time posting with and about this Moron?

        This David may be a great writer, but his logic is flawed – deeply flawed.

        Society will begin to fall apart as the era of cheap abundant oil comes to an end (happening right Now) Hemp can be a viable commodity and the 6 to 10 million UK User’s of cannabis will use it weather illegal or not, This moron davids opinion matters zero!

        The government will never legalize, but dont worry, as the government wont matter as we slide down the slippery slope of less and less cheap abundant energy and neither will the police as they lose total control of certain towns and villages around the UK – just see Tunisia – dont think it cant happen here?

        The UK was the first country to industralize and will be the first to do the reverse and all the wealth and trappings and idealism people like David think they have or own will not matter


        January 17, 2011 at 7:14 pm

      • Sry replying to Dave not jason, odd reply system .. nvm…,

        While Daves questioning is always welcome i get the feeling he is one of those people ( and there are MANY ) that no matter how many stats/papers etc you reference him that he will never take anyone’s word for it. Yet another victim of prohibitionist brainwashing campaign that has to be brought down.

        David, i would suggest you do the research for yourself instead of taking word from anyone here. The figures you seek regarding drug usage are openly available on the home office website. Its clear to me that while your criticising others references you offer none of your own, just narrow opinion and “anecdotal evidence” as the government like to say. Really… where is your proof that prohibition is working? I don’t believe a word you say, its about time you handed in your opinion in this debate with the towel. That is unless you can provide rock solid evidence backing up your anecdotal claims.

        As for and i quote “Well if you don’t want Aids, don’t use drugs its bloody simple. ”
        What a bloody outrage!!! i find this both an ignorant and offensive statement…, where are your claims that all drug use causes AIDS? I stopped reading your tosh (no direct offense intended )at that statement you lost all credibility. Yes, people need to take responsibility for their stupidity, that includes failed drug policy, but how can they do it when they are afraid to address the issue., instead we have more of the same ruining peoples lives with stupid legislation.


        January 17, 2011 at 11:31 am

  16. Too true Gart, my apologies to the cause.


    January 16, 2011 at 10:55 pm

  17. David, you need to get yourself up to speed with the statistics. These are well established and universally accepted by reformers and prohibitionists alike. We’re not going to go back over old ground now. Perhaps your scepticism about the figures reveals why you think there are “more important concerns”.

    I would agree that drug policy is not the most important subject on the government’s agenda but it is of huge significance and at present is just swept under the carpet because no one has the courage to deal with it.

    All the evidence is that reforming the laws against the use of cananbis would offer a net financial benefit of about £10 billion to the UK economy (with massive reductions in drug harms and enhanced individual liberty). That’s about the same as the recent VAT increase so not to be sniffed at!!

    Transform and IDMU are probably the best sources of information and statistics:

    Peter Reynolds

    January 17, 2011 at 11:02 am

    • Thank you Peter, does anyone have any actual documents from the H.O or completely independant bodies etc rather than just more info from the Pro-lobby people or those with such leanings? I learned one thing from the Feminist lobby and that is how easy it is to fabricate evidence, Lie and deceive with amazxing statistics and such. I like to research those sending the message fully before listening to anything they have to say. The Independant drug monitoring page looks as independant as a Russian Gangster in an Oil field BTW. 🙂

      I will never change my stance Peter, the one of, “if you NEED to use them recreationally and on a regular basis, you clearly have a problem with your head”. This also applies to ANY intoxicating substance that anyone feels they must use regularly in order to relax, socialise, operate or whatever. (medical use is a different matter)

      It is that issue which is as important, likley more so then the drugs issue alone. It is that issue which is failing to be addressed in all this and will undoubtedly cause problems in moving things forward better.

      WHY do you need it, why can you not operate without it? This is the bigger issue.


      January 17, 2011 at 11:34 am

      • Why is my Avatar always looking angry LOL#!!!


        January 17, 2011 at 11:35 am

      • Maybe it’s something you said?

        I have a special avatar widget on this site which tracks back to your IP address and is sensitive to the electromagnetic radiation given off by your brain and the way it interacts with the electromagnetic field from your monitor. Using a series of incredibly complex algorithms written by a geek living in the hashish producing region of the Nepalese border, it creates an avatar to reflect your personality.

        Now what is is that you don’t you believe?

        Peter Reynolds

        January 17, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      • LOL. Your a Freemason aren’t you 😉


        January 17, 2011 at 3:43 pm

  18. “ignorant and offensive,”

    Jimbob, what is it with you people, you do love to over-use those boring words don’t you. Always offended or a victim when something does not suit you? It is like a sickness in this Country.
    I am refering ot those who get HIV/Aids through needles in drug use..obviously.

    In that sympathy. What is your problem with that? If your stupid enough to inject crap into your veins why should anyone have sympathy for you if you get HIV/Aids from it?

    If you do these stupid things yourself, take responsibility for them yourself, simple.


    January 17, 2011 at 11:45 am

    • Boring words? ROFL much like “idiots who take drugs and get aids, no sympathy”.., pot, kettle , dark in nature?

      My problem with it is your apparent disdain for anyone who takes drugs…, your an ex user that has to hate to justify your abstinence much like an ex nicotine junkie? You drink alcohol? you take aspirin? hell even coffee is a mind altering psychoactive substance that kills.

      Seriously, be careful who your tarring, you might just trip up on your contradictions.

      Also.., you think AIDS is a lifestyle choice? you talk as if people set out to catch AIDS by taking drugs.., what blinkered nonsense you write.


      January 17, 2011 at 2:06 pm

      • Coffee that kills, you do talk bollocks Bob.


        January 17, 2011 at 3:42 pm

      • ok dont believe me by all accounts im crazy.. but really instead of saying im talking bollocks why not look it up?


        January 17, 2011 at 4:21 pm

  19. David, please be reasonable about this. What is wrong with growing you own cannabis and enjoying it. Cannabis is not a drug but a herb and the fact is it will have to be legal soon as we can not keep pushing shit up hill with this war on the people. I have used it for over a decade in a responsible manner and it has also enhanced my abilities as an architect.

    If I wish to have a smoke or a brownie then I will regardless of the law. Simple as that my friend.


    January 17, 2011 at 11:51 am

  20. And yes Peter I agree that the message is to end prohabition because it does not work, never has and never will. We can not afford prohabition.


    January 17, 2011 at 11:59 am

  21. Architect, again nobody wants to address that side of it do they. This is a problem, not just with me but one you will face with the politico’s and “anti’s” also. Cannabis is not a drug..really oh come on.

    It is not a war “on the people” it is a war on drug users, I am not at war as after using it many years ago I realised I was being weak minded and diod not need it. I have no war other than making sure such stays away form my Children and those who have problems and are vulnerable to “grooming” by users.


    January 17, 2011 at 12:01 pm

  22. David,

    When it comes to information out there one has two options: one, ignore them and believe only in what one sees or experience, or two, grab them, wrestle with them, squeezed them to the point where we make it sure what they portray as a solid evidence, is exactly that and not just a well concocted piece of propaganda at the service of nefarious interests. In order to do that one has to look at the information critically, analytically.

    Now, there are to my knowledge many good, independent report on the issue at hand. I would like to recommend you two that are very thorough in the way they discuss the issue and how the data have been collected and analysed.

    This one published by the Home Office themselves will give you a run for your money, as it discusses to great depth the problems of assessing the so-called ‘drug problem’ and collecting the data:

    Click to access rdsolr1606.pdf

    This one, on the other hand, goes to great length in analysing various aspects of the, again, so-called “drug problem” (I really hate this word). Anyway, as I say, it is to my knowledge one of the most comprehensive studies made on the subject.

    Please, take a plunge. I cannot guarantee what the outcome will be: whether it will be enough to change your views, or to remain totally and utterly sceptical about the whole thing. One thing is for sure, you will have more ammunition in your hands to battle this lot (i.e. us the pro-…whatever!)

    Gart Valenc

    Gart Valenc

    January 17, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    • Thanks Gart, I will check them out.


      January 17, 2011 at 4:39 pm

  23. David. I respect you views and this is my opinion. I use cannabis in a meditative and almost ritualistic way. I do not sit on the couch all day with my mates playing computer games.

    I have never used anything else apart from red wine and good quality beer once in a while.

    All this aside my friend we do need a change. A good starting point is with cannabis. We can not afford prohabition. It does not work.


    January 17, 2011 at 12:18 pm

  24. You need a drug to “Meditate” respectfully I refer you to my previous observations.

    As for ritualistic, that’s flimsy at best, I guess I could always start up some new age”Psuedo-religion” spirituality nonsnese as I would like to roll up Gerbil’s and smoke them?


    January 17, 2011 at 12:25 pm

  25. why not. You are free to choose.

    I need a drug to meditate, maybe I do maybe i do not…

    I meditate all day in my studio without cannabis… So I do not require it to meditate my friend.

    What is wrong with rituals?

    David please grow up.


    January 17, 2011 at 12:44 pm

  26. Anyway mate you and I will never cross paths so lets let each other be. I toke, you did, but do not now. I respect this, good man you are.

    I have a very busy day ahead my friend with much to achieve in the studio.

    Prohabition must stop and an abstinence based approach will never work.


    January 17, 2011 at 12:47 pm

  27. The reason why cannabis is forbidden:

    For David.

    Many people assume that marijuana was made illegal through some kind of process involving scientific, medical, and government hearings; that it was to protect the citizens from what was determined to be a dangerous drug.

    The actual story shows a much different picture. Those who voted on the legal fate of this plant never had the facts, but were dependent on information supplied by those who had a specific agenda to deceive lawmakers. You’ll see below that the very first federal vote to prohibit marijuana was based entirely on a documented lie on the floor of the Senate.

    You’ll also see that the history of marijuana’s criminalization is filled with:

    * Racism
    * Fear
    * Protection of Corporate Profits
    * Yellow Journalism
    * Ignorant, Incompetent, and/or Corrupt Legislators
    * Personal Career Advancement and Greed

    These are the actual reasons marijuana is illegal.

    A picture named leaf.gif

    For most of human history, marijuana has been completely legal. It’s not a recently discovered plant, nor is it a long-standing law. Marijuana has been illegal for less than 1% of the time that it’s been in use. Its known uses go back further than 7,000 B.C. and it was legal as recently as when Ronald Reagan was a boy.

    The marijuana (hemp) plant, of course, has an incredible number of uses. The earliest known woven fabric was apparently of hemp, and over the centuries the plant was used for food, incense, cloth, rope, and much more. This adds to some of the confusion over its introduction in the United States, as the plant was well known from the early 1600′s, but did not reach public awareness as a recreational drug until the early 1900′s.

    America’s first marijuana law was enacted at Jamestown Colony, Virginia in 1619. It was a law “ordering” all farmers to grow Indian hempseed. There were several other “must grow” laws over the next 200 years (you could be jailed for not growing hemp during times of shortage in Virginia between 1763 and 1767), and during most of that time, hemp was legal tender (you could even pay your taxes with hemp — try that today!) Hemp was such a critical crop for a number of purposes (including essential war requirements – rope, etc.) that the government went out of its way to encourage growth.

    The United States Census of 1850 counted 8,327 hemp “plantations” (minimum 2,000-acre farm) growing cannabis hemp for cloth, canvas and even the cordage used for baling cotton.

    The Mexican Connection

    In the early 1900s, the western states developed significant tensions regarding the influx of Mexican-Americans. The revolution in Mexico in 1910 spilled over the border, with General Pershing’s army clashing with bandit Pancho Villa. Later in that decade, bad feelings developed between the small farmer and the large farms that used cheaper Mexican labor. Then, the depression came and increased tensions, as jobs and welfare resources became scarce.

    One of the “differences” seized upon during this time was the fact that many Mexicans smoked marijuana and had brought the plant with them, and it was through this that California apparently passed the first state marijuana law, outlawing “preparations of hemp, or loco weed.”

    However, one of the first state laws outlawing marijuana may have been influenced, not just by Mexicans using the drug, but, oddly enough, because of Mormons using it. Mormons who traveled to Mexico in 1910 came back to Salt Lake City with marijuana. The church’s reaction to this may have contributed to the state’s marijuana law. (Note: the source for this speculation is from articles by Charles Whitebread, Professor of Law at USC Law School in a paper for the Virginia Law Review, and a speech to the California Judges Association (sourced below). Mormon blogger Ardis Parshall disputes this.)

    Other states quickly followed suit with marijuana prohibition laws, including Wyoming (1915), Texas (1919), Iowa (1923), Nevada (1923), Oregon (1923), Washington (1923), Arkansas (1923), and Nebraska (1927). These laws tended to be specifically targeted against the Mexican-American population.

    When Montana outlawed marijuana in 1927, the Butte Montana Standard reported a legislator’s comment: “When some beet field peon takes a few traces of this stuff… he thinks he has just been elected president of Mexico, so he starts out to execute all his political enemies.” In Texas, a senator said on the floor of the Senate: “All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff [marijuana] is what makes them crazy.”

    Jazz and Assassins

    In the eastern states, the “problem” was attributed to a combination of Latin Americans and black jazz musicians. Marijuana and jazz traveled from New Orleans to Chicago, and then to Harlem, where marijuana became an indispensable part of the music scene, even entering the language of the black hits of the time (Louis Armstrong’s “Muggles”, Cab Calloway’s “That Funny Reefer Man”, Fats Waller’s “Viper’s Drag”).

    Again, racism was part of the charge against marijuana, as newspapers in 1934 editorialized: “Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men’s shadows and look at a white woman twice.”

    Two other fear-tactic rumors started to spread: one, that Mexicans, Blacks and other foreigners were snaring white children with marijuana; and two, the story of the “assassins.” Early stories of Marco Polo had told of “hasheesh-eaters” or hashashin, from which derived the term “assassin.” In the original stories, these professional killers were given large doses of hashish and brought to the ruler’s garden (to give them a glimpse of the paradise that awaited them upon successful completion of their mission). Then, after the effects of the drug disappeared, the assassin would fulfill his ruler’s wishes with cool, calculating loyalty.

    By the 1930s, the story had changed. Dr. A. E. Fossier wrote in the 1931 New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal: “Under the influence of hashish those fanatics would madly rush at their enemies, and ruthlessly massacre every one within their grasp.” Within a very short time, marijuana started being linked to violent behavior.

    Alcohol Prohibition and Federal Approaches to Drug Prohibition

    During this time, the United States was also dealing with alcohol prohibition, which lasted from 1919 to 1933. Alcohol prohibition was extremely visible and debated at all levels, while drug laws were passed without the general public’s knowledge. National alcohol prohibition happened through the mechanism of an amendment to the constitution.

    Earlier (1914), the Harrison Act was passed, which provided federal tax penalties for opiates and cocaine.

    The federal approach is important. It was considered at the time that the federal government did not have the constitutional power to outlaw alcohol or drugs. It is because of this that alcohol prohibition required a constitutional amendment.

    At that time in our country’s history, the judiciary regularly placed the tenth amendment in the path of congressional regulation of “local” affairs, and direct regulation of medical practice was considered beyond congressional power under the commerce clause (since then, both provisions have been weakened so far as to have almost no meaning).

    Since drugs could not be outlawed at the federal level, the decision was made to use federal taxes as a way around the restriction. In the Harrison Act, legal uses of opiates and cocaine were taxed (supposedly as a revenue need by the federal government, which is the only way it would hold up in the courts), and those who didn’t follow the law found themselves in trouble with the treasury department.

    In 1930, a new division in the Treasury Department was established — the Federal Bureau of Narcotics — and Harry J. Anslinger was named director. This, if anything, marked the beginning of the all-out war against marijuana.

    A picture named anslinger.jpg
    Harry J. Anslinger

    Anslinger was an extremely ambitious man, and he recognized the Bureau of Narcotics as an amazing career opportunity — a new government agency with the opportunity to define both the problem and the solution. He immediately realized that opiates and cocaine wouldn’t be enough to help build his agency, so he latched on to marijuana and started to work on making it illegal at the federal level.

    Anslinger immediately drew upon the themes of racism and violence to draw national attention to the problem he wanted to create. He also promoted and frequently read from “Gore Files” — wild reefer-madness-style exploitation tales of ax murderers on marijuana and sex and… Negroes. Here are some quotes that have been widely attributed to Anslinger and his Gore Files:

    “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.”

    “…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.”

    “Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.”

    “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”

    “Marihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing”

    “You smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother.”

    “Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”

    And he loved to pull out his own version of the “assassin” definition:

    “In the year 1090, there was founded in Persia the religious and military order of the Assassins, whose history is one of cruelty, barbarity, and murder, and for good reason: the members were confirmed users of hashish, or marihuana, and it is from the Arabs’ ‘hashashin’ that we have the English word ‘assassin.’”

    A picture named hearst.jpg
    Yellow Journalism

    Harry Anslinger got some additional help from William Randolf Hearst, owner of a huge chain of newspapers. Hearst had lots of reasons to help. First, he hated Mexicans. Second, he had invested heavily in the timber industry to support his newspaper chain and didn’t want to see the development of hemp paper in competition. Third, he had lost 800,000 acres of timberland to Pancho Villa, so he hated Mexicans. Fourth, telling lurid lies about Mexicans (and the devil marijuana weed causing violence) sold newspapers, making him rich.

    Some samples from the San Francisco Examiner:

    “Marihuana makes fiends of boys in thirty days — Hashish goads users to bloodlust.”

    “By the tons it is coming into this country — the deadly, dreadful poison that racks and tears not only the body, but the very heart and soul of every human being who once becomes a slave to it in any of its cruel and devastating forms…. Marihuana is a short cut to the insane asylum. Smoke marihuana cigarettes for a month and what was once your brain will be nothing but a storehouse of horrid specters. Hasheesh makes a murderer who kills for the love of killing out of the mildest mannered man who ever laughed at the idea that any habit could ever get him….”

    And other nationwide columns…

    “Users of marijuana become STIMULATED as they inhale the drug and are LIKELY TO DO ANYTHING. Most crimes of violence in this section, especially in country districts are laid to users of that drug.”

    “Was it marijuana, the new Mexican drug, that nerved the murderous arm of Clara Phillips when she hammered out her victim’s life in Los Angeles?… THREE-FOURTHS OF THE CRIMES of violence in this country today are committed by DOPE SLAVES — that is a matter of cold record.”

    Hearst and Anslinger were then supported by Dupont chemical company and various pharmaceutical companies in the effort to outlaw cannabis. Dupont had patented nylon, and wanted hemp removed as competition. The pharmaceutical companies could neither identify nor standardize cannabis dosages, and besides, with cannabis, folks could grow their own medicine and not have to purchase it from large companies.

    This all set the stage for…

    The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.

    After two years of secret planning, Anslinger brought his plan to Congress — complete with a scrapbook full of sensational Hearst editorials, stories of ax murderers who had supposedly smoked marijuana, and racial slurs.

    It was a remarkably short set of hearings.

    The one fly in Anslinger’s ointment was the appearance by Dr. William C. Woodward, Legislative Council of the American Medical Association.

    Woodward started by slamming Harry Anslinger and the Bureau of Narcotics for distorting earlier AMA statements that had nothing to do with marijuana and making them appear to be AMA endorsement for Anslinger’s view.

    He also reproached the legislature and the Bureau for using the term marijuana in the legislation and not publicizing it as a bill about cannabis or hemp. At this point, marijuana (or marihuana) was a sensationalist word used to refer to Mexicans smoking a drug and had not been connected in most people’s minds to the existing cannabis/hemp plant. Thus, many who had legitimate reasons to oppose the bill weren’t even aware of it.

    Woodward went on to state that the AMA was opposed to the legislation and further questioned the approach of the hearings, coming close to outright accusation of misconduct by Anslinger and the committee:

    “That there is a certain amount of narcotic addiction of an objectionable character no one will deny. The newspapers have called attention to it so prominently that there must be some grounds for [their] statements [even Woodward was partially taken in by Hearst’s propaganda]. It has surprised me, however, that the facts on which these statements have been based have not been brought before this committee by competent primary evidence. We are referred to newspaper publications concerning the prevalence of marihuana addiction. We are told that the use of marihuana causes crime.

    But yet no one has been produced from the Bureau of Prisons to show the number of prisoners who have been found addicted to the marihuana habit. An informed inquiry shows that the Bureau of Prisons has no evidence on that point.

    You have been told that school children are great users of marihuana cigarettes. No one has been summoned from the Children’s Bureau to show the nature and extent of the habit, among children.

    Inquiry of the Children’s Bureau shows that they have had no occasion to investigate it and know nothing particularly of it.

    Inquiry of the Office of Education— and they certainly should know something of the prevalence of the habit among the school children of the country, if there is a prevalent habit— indicates that they have had no occasion to investigate and know nothing of it.

    Moreover, there is in the Treasury Department itself, the Public Health Service, with its Division of Mental Hygiene. The Division of Mental Hygiene was, in the first place, the Division of Narcotics. It was converted into the Division of Mental Hygiene, I think, about 1930. That particular Bureau has control at the present time of the narcotics farms that were created about 1929 or 1930 and came into operation a few years later. No one has been summoned from that Bureau to give evidence on that point.

    Informal inquiry by me indicates that they have had no record of any marihuana of Cannabis addicts who have ever been committed to those farms.

    The bureau of Public Health Service has also a division of pharmacology. If you desire evidence as to the pharmacology of Cannabis, that obviously is the place where you can get direct and primary evidence, rather than the indirect hearsay evidence.”

    Committee members then proceeded to attack Dr. Woodward, questioning his motives in opposing the legislation. Even the Chairman joined in:

    The Chairman: If you want to advise us on legislation, you ought to come here with some constructive proposals, rather than criticism, rather than trying to throw obstacles in the way of something that the Federal Government is trying to do. It has not only an unselfish motive in this, but they have a serious responsibility.

    Dr. Woodward: We cannot understand yet, Mr. Chairman, why this bill should have been prepared in secret for 2 years without any intimation, even, to the profession, that it was being prepared.

    After some further bantering…

    The Chairman: I would like to read a quotation from a recent editorial in the Washington Times:

    The marihuana cigarette is one of the most insidious of all forms of dope, largely because of the failure of the public to understand its fatal qualities.

    The Nation is almost defenseless against it, having no Federal laws to cope with it and virtually no organized campaign for combating it.

    The result is tragic.

    School children are the prey of peddlers who infest school neighborhoods.

    High school boys and girls buy the destructive weed without knowledge of its capacity of harm, and conscienceless dealers sell it with impunity.

    This is a national problem, and it must have national attention.

    The fatal marihuana cigarette must be recognized as a deadly drug, and American children must be protected against it.

    That is a pretty severe indictment. They say it is a national question and that it requires effective legislation. Of course, in a general way, you have responded to all of these statements; but that indicates very clearly that it is an evil of such magnitude that it is recognized by the press of the country as such.

    And that was basically it. Yellow journalism won over medical science.

    The committee passed the legislation on. And on the floor of the house, the entire discussion was:

    Member from upstate New York: “Mr. Speaker, what is this bill about?”

    Speaker Rayburn: “I don’t know. It has something to do with a thing called marihuana. I think it’s a narcotic of some kind.”

    “Mr. Speaker, does the American Medical Association support this bill?”

    Member on the committee jumps up and says: “Their Doctor Wentworth[sic] came down here. They support this bill 100 percent.”

    And on the basis of that lie, on August 2, 1937, marijuana became illegal at the federal level.

    The entire coverage in the New York Times: “President Roosevelt signed today a bill to curb traffic in the narcotic, marihuana, through heavy taxes on transactions.”

    Anslinger as precursor to the Drug Czars

    Anslinger was essentially the first Drug Czar. Even though the term didn’t exist until William Bennett’s position as director of the White House Office of National Drug Policy, Anslinger acted in a similar fashion. In fact, there are some amazing parallels between Anslinger and the current Drug Czar John Walters. Both had kind of a carte blanche to go around demonizing drugs and drug users. Both had resources and a large public podium for their voice to be heard and to promote their personal agenda. Both lied constantly, often when it was unnecessary. Both were racists. Both had the ear of lawmakers, and both realized that they could persuade legislators and others based on lies, particularly if they could co-opt the media into squelching or downplaying any opposition views.

    Anslinger even had the ability to circumvent the First Amendment. He banned the Canadian movie “Drug Addict,” a 1946 documentary that realistically depicted the drug addicts and law enforcement efforts. He even tried to get Canada to ban the movie in their own country, or failing that, to prevent U.S. citizens from seeing the movie in Canada. Canada refused. (Today, Drug Czar John Walters is trying to bully Canada into keeping harsh marijuana laws.)

    Anslinger had 37 years to solidify the propaganda and stifle opposition. The lies continued the entire time (although the stories would adjust — the 21 year old Florida boy who killed his family of five got younger each time he told it). In 1961, he looked back at his efforts:

    “Much of the most irrational juvenile violence and that has written a new chapter of shame and tragedy is traceable directly to this hemp intoxication. A gang of boys tear the clothes from two school girls and rape the screaming girls, one boy after the other. A sixteen-year-old kills his entire family of five in Florida, a man in Minnesota puts a bullet through the head of a stranger on the road; in Colorado husband tries to shoot his wife, kills her grandmother instead and then kills himself. Every one of these crimes had been proceeded [sic] by the smoking of one or more marijuana “reefers.” As the marijuana situation grew worse, I knew action had to be taken to get the proper legislation passed. By 1937 under my direction, the Bureau launched two important steps First, a legislative plan to seek from Congress a new law that would place marijuana and its distribution directly under federal control. Second, on radio and at major forums, such that presented annually by the New York Herald Tribune, I told the story of this evil weed of the fields and river beds and roadsides. I wrote articles for magazines; our agents gave hundreds of lectures to parents, educators, social and civic leaders. In network broadcasts I reported on the growing list of crimes, including murder and rape. I described the nature of marijuana and its close kinship to hashish. I continued to hammer at the facts.

    I believe we did a thorough job, for the public was alerted and the laws to protect them were passed, both nationally and at the state level. We also brought under control the wild growing marijuana in this country. Working with local authorities, we cleaned up hundreds of acres of marijuana and we uprooted plants sprouting along the roadsides.”

    After Anslinger

    On a break from college in the 70s, I was visiting a church in rural Illinois. There in the literature racks in the back of the church was a lurid pamphlet about the evils of marijuana — all the old reefer madness propaganda about how it caused insanity and murder. I approached the minister and said “You can’t have this in your church. It’s all lies, and the church shouldn’t be about promoting lies.” Fortunately, my dad believed me, and he had the material removed. He didn’t even know how it got there. But without me speaking up, neither he nor the other members of the church had any reason NOT to believe what the pamphlet said. The propaganda machine had been that effective.

    The narrative since then has been a continual litany of:

    * Politicians wanting to appear tough on crime and passing tougher penalties
    * Constant increases in spending on law enforcement and prisons
    * Racist application of drug laws
    * Taxpayer funded propaganda
    * Stifling of opposition speech
    * Political contributions from corporations that profit from marijuana being illegal (pharmaceuticals, alcohol, etc.)

    … but that’s another whole story.


    January 17, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    • Architect, this is supposed to be a discussion, not a place to publish essays or articles. If you want to publish an article here about the history of cannabis prohibition then I’ll happily arrange that. Let’s try and keep the responses in the comments thread within reason shall we?

      Peter Reynolds

      January 17, 2011 at 2:45 pm

  28. You seem to be changing the goalpost of your replies to suit the moment?


    January 17, 2011 at 1:03 pm

  29. Architecht, I am not about to read the propaganda and ramblings you have copied and pasted filling this blog with noise.

    Such a response proves my earlier points. Good luck.


    January 17, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    • Well this just proves that you have no balanced outlook and your happy to accept government decisions without question.
      So what do you make of this?

      Common Sense on Cannabis: The Conservative Case for Change

      This was even referenced on David Cameron’s maiden speech as prime minister.

      However, i have no doubt wont believe a word of this.

      Again David… WHERE’S YOU PROOF THAT PROHIBITION IS WORKING? Id like to see it please.


      January 17, 2011 at 2:20 pm

      • Jimbob, The gov don’t tell me anything. Seeing as half my time is spent fighting the “system” and telling “the Man” to go f**k themselves it is not I who is brainwashed here.

        I have used drugs and I use THAT as one of the backpinning’s of my debate, however even the fact that I have first hand experience of drug use, I am “working class”, the fact that I went on to do a job clearing up after the remains of drug users corpses and what their wasted lives left behind, the fact One of my Cousins took a dive off a block of flats becauase of drugs, topped up with the fact I spent three years on the streets seeing very close and personal all about the wonders of drugs…

        …. is still not enough to satisfy some who will avoid the awkward questions and just do what most addicts do.

        Fingers in ears..La la la…..

        My aim is sifting out the recreational, “Pothead” from the medical use debate, which does have genuine grounds and a stronger argument. IMHO a large number are not medicinal users but recreational addicts who are hijacking the Medicinal side of the debate to help legalise their mental crutch.

        The other side of my eqnquieries is to get to the bottom of why people “need” to use it on a regular basis instead of being more mentally strong and balanced,this of course encompasses a whole manner of Social issues and ills.


        January 17, 2011 at 2:52 pm

      • So from your “lengthy” individual experience then you should be able to tell us how prohibition is working? Please do tell.


        January 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm

      • BTW i also find it highly amusing ( at the same time very frustrating ) when the cannabis subject arises that people instantly start saying things about harder drugs, death, AIDS blah blah blah blah…. utter sensationalist, scaremongering claptrap that doesn’t address the issues but at least it looks good on tabloid paper.


        January 17, 2011 at 3:12 pm

      • I did not raise the Aids part, someone else did Jimbob, I merely replied to it, I suppoose know you are going to deny that drug users never get it from needles right?

        I do not need to tell you how prohibiton is working because I have touched such drugs for over 25 years, I realised I did not need them as a crutch. The only prohibition I care about is the right to beat seven bells out of anyone i see near my kids with drugs. That should also be legalised.


        January 17, 2011 at 3:40 pm

      • If your children turn to drugs then i wouldnt blame the drug honestly, Debra bell all over again.


        January 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm

      • NO but I willl come after anyone with drugs who assists them down that road and to hell with the consequences.


        January 17, 2011 at 10:57 pm

  30. I need a drug to meditate, maybe I do maybe i do not…

    I meditate all day in my studio without cannabis… So I do not require it to meditate my friend.

    What is wrong with rituals?

    David please grow up.

    Architect, please make some SENSE!
    Drugs are good for you eh? Riiiiight?


    January 17, 2011 at 1:08 pm

  31. Come on guys,

    Give David time to read the reports I mentioned in my previous message. Enjoy (am I pushing my luck?) the reading, David

    Gart Valenc

    Gart Valenc

    January 17, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    • He wont read it fella because his mind is made up due to his “Anecdotal” life experience. Nothing will sway him.


      January 17, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    • Appreciate the approach Gart. I will read anything as long as I can verify it has come from a truly independant source. All I keep seeing is propaganda that is dubious in source and questionable in statistics. Bit like Feminism really 🙂


      January 17, 2011 at 2:54 pm

  32. I am reading the peter lilley page Jimbob, hwoever the very fact it is a charity flags up warnings to me.

    I did spend some time in and around NGO’s and “charity” to witness how it has become the most abused and financially misused source of corruption and political subversion going.

    Maybe I will do some scratch n sniff reading on this one later 😉


    January 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    • Cant help thinking that even if you got a letter from God saying cannabis ok its all been one big mix up .., you’d probably send it off as been religious extremism lol.


      January 17, 2011 at 3:23 pm

      • Can’t help thinking if God said your an addict and weak because you cannot go without it you would think the same 😉


        January 17, 2011 at 3:26 pm

      • Actually just to prove you so wrong, i’ve been without for the past 4 months now and that’s the truth. I have financial commitments that need to be met and life things that need to be done. Contrary to popular belief there IS such a thing as responsible use (unlike nicotine use). Even when i do use i don’t take days/weeks out to be stoned that’s just plain stupid. Cannabis is something i do when i can afford it and when i want to instead of alcohol.., really where is the crime in that?
        Now does that fit into your little box of a cannabis addict?


        January 17, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      • Well that’s fair enough Bob, however trying to argue that others are like you is not realistic and the abuse of it needs to be at the crux of any legislation or proposals. It does still fit in the box though Bob, you still need to have it at some point.

        Of course one only has your word to go on this. The word of someone wanting to legalise it.


        January 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm

      • Nope i don’t NEED to have it,i choose it over alcohol. You seem hell bent on pigeon holeing me as an addict. Why is this? I have no more drive to smoke cannabis than the everyday person who drinks on a weekend. IF i drank alcohol on a weekend would you still label me as an addict?

        I agree that abuse is an issue that needs to be debated, unfortunately BOTH sides are so equally up their own asses that nobody can come to an agreement let alone be able to discuss it in a balanced way. That’s because moral issues get in the way. Since there is no moral standard that everyone adheres to in this subject its a snake pit of sensationalism and disinformation.


        January 17, 2011 at 3:50 pm

      • Ok Jimbob on your word we will have to take it that you are not. Just thought of this, many compare the abuse of alcohol, however alcohol is legal, so if you legalise drugs do you not expect that this too will go the same way, more than it is already with drugs? I can see many younger people who would not have gone near drugs while illegal to maybe start on that road if it was?

        If a real “moral standard” was being adhered to, I don’t think drugs would be an issue because nobody would be using them 🙂


        January 17, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      • I mean the real issue on that point here is one of our cultural breakdown. We have binge drinking as a result of this and I know damn well from my own activities and research that is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

        So how is it safe to legalise something that I can see ending up as abused as the alcohol is currently? What laws will be put in place to ensure it and how much will it cost to police this?


        January 17, 2011 at 4:04 pm

      • Its been said many times by the PTB that the only reason why alcohol is legal and cannabis is illegal is due to “Historical and cultural precedence” whatever the f$^%$k that means.


        January 17, 2011 at 4:07 pm

      • I have to pull you up here David. If you are to engage in this debate, you’re going to have to read the Misuse of Drugs Act. Alcohol is not ‘legal’, it is simply not controlled under the MDA despite every call to do so. This means that industry and big business have control and marketing has spiralled. 800million per year is spent on advertising in the UK alone, and we have price cuts, deals, an alco-pop product to target youngsters.

        I made a video on this if you’d like to have a look at some point, you’ll be pleased to know that citations are there too via my blog or youtube:

      • Alcohol vs cannabis debate hrm not really gonna go there in detail as its a none starter.., what i will say though is it is utterly ridiculous that alcohol is legal and cannabis is not since its been clearly proven in MANY MANY studies that alcohol is way more harmful.

        I could split hairs and say (scientifically) that there is not and has NEVER been a drug free exhistance. This includes the drugs you use in meditation such as dopamine and serotonin.


        January 17, 2011 at 4:05 pm

      • That’s funny the “alcohol Vs drugs ” debate is constantly used by the Pro-drugs lobby? It is not seen as a “non starter” when it suits them to use the comparison? So I will do likewise…

        So I say to you given Alcohol is legal and it is being so massivley abused as a result, what is to stop the legalisation of cannabis resulting in the same kind of abuse, how can that be policed and what will it cost to police it?

        Hmm, Maybe it is a good thing in fact? Instead of the noisy destructive Lager moron out smashing things up and generally being a pain in the arse to all, they can Toke up a spliff every night and rot their brains out at home out of the earshot and sight of normal folk?

        Okay I am seeing THAT thinking…


        January 17, 2011 at 4:19 pm

      • I could split hairs and say (scientifically) that there is not and has NEVER been a drug free exhistance. This includes the drugs you use in meditation such as dopamine and serotonin.

        Meditation? Medication you mean?

        No I won’t accept that comparison. Medication is for those who are ill or suffering. I clearly stated above the difference in my opinions on medicinal use and recreational. I also pointed out how recreational users and addicts constantly hijacked medical factors to help legalise their drugs.

        Now now…


        January 17, 2011 at 4:30 pm

      • IMHO i believe its all a matter of damage control but nobody wants to address this publicly. I understand the “debate” on alcohol damage caused on a weekend by bingers. This vid amuisingly address’ that..,

        however the subject is far from humorous.

        There would obviously be in place some sort of “clinic/treatment” to address the issues of abuse of cannabis, however when you look at the likes of portugal ( and everyone’s favourite debate, Amsterdam) youll see something happening that appears to be extremely counter intuitive.

        These countries have decriminalised ( ok so not Amsterdam its just tolerated ) and in the case of Portugal drug use has plummeted dramatically, HIV infections are down massively also, drug related crime down!. This seems to be the elephant in the room that no-one wants to talk about. Decriminalisation seems to work after 5+ years of it been in force.

        How can this be? no really, how does that work? cats and dogs didn’t marry each other, we didn’t see the country turn into a drug tourists heaven, the next door neighbours dog didn’t get sexually abused…, odd isn’t it. Sensationalism about Portugal current “liberal” drug laws seems to be very quiet indeed.


        January 17, 2011 at 4:37 pm

      • moral standards? wake are being nicked on the reg for possesion,and that is having a detrimental effect on the rest of there lives.morality? dont make me many people defy the law,because THEY know,there is nothing immoral about cannabis.making something illegal does not make it immoral.
        the law is wrong in this case(cannabis)

        :~ one of the weak ones..


        January 17, 2011 at 7:41 pm

  33. Dude. Cannabis does not rot the brain. Its the British that have a problem with drinking. I lived in France and had 2 hour lunch breaks where we often consumed wine. does this make all french alcoholics? Absolutely not. Also David, in the places where they have a liberal view towards cannabis they also have less problems. Portugal, Holland, Switzerland, Cannada, New Zealand anyone. These countries also have a better quality of life and are much safer than the UK. Good places to bring up children.

    David, you need to make a distinction between users and abusers. Look at British television. One of the most disscusting drugs out there.


    January 17, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    • Architect, your point was exactly what I am saying, I also enjoyed some yeas in other countries etc as I said OUR cultural breakdown that causes it, what makes you think the same will nto happen with legalised drugs as it has alcohol? This is what I mean about other issues being solved before legalising a further drug and adding ot the problems.

      As for TV it is all shit and unlike all the hypocrites I threw mine out years ago 🙂


      January 17, 2011 at 3:53 pm

  34. And nothing wrong with recreation mate.


    January 17, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    • Well Jimbo if you are meditating correctly you should not need drugs to do it.

      Give it a try without the need for drugs, it is a far better acievment then taking the easy way.;-)


      January 17, 2011 at 3:59 pm

      • Levels of dopamine and serotonin are naturally occurring in the human brain levels of which are increased/decreased according to meditation levels. Not to mention DMT the supposed “God drug” that is released in massive amounts at the time of death that some people appear to be able to access at will with meditation.


        January 17, 2011 at 4:06 pm

      • And yes.. you can get “strung out” on those too.


        January 17, 2011 at 4:12 pm

  35. @ David yes i meant MEDITATION NOT MEDICATION, that wasnt a typo 😉


    January 17, 2011 at 4:40 pm

  36. Alcohol is massively more harmful than cannabis to both the individual and society, perhaps by a factor of 10 or 20 times. Alcohol makes people violent. Cannabis does not. With excessive alcohol consumption psychosis is almost certain even if your genes allow you to escape liver failure. Relative to alcohol, cannabis is virtually harmless. Prohibition of cannabis when alcohol is legal and actively promoted is unjust and undemocratic

    Prohibition is fundamentally immoral. It means that the government bans a drug on an arbitrary basis without any reference to science or medicine. More than that it then criminalises those that choose this drug to the extent of destroying their lives and/or incarcerating them.

    Peter Reynolds

    January 17, 2011 at 4:42 pm

  37. Cannabis can cause paranoia and a host of other mental issues it CAN also lead onto harder drugs, I know that because I have seen it happen first hand enough times. Also you say around 3-3.5Bn in total drug market, well Tobacco smokers alone pay around 9bn in tax so the financial incentive is not that great for legalising drugs in that regard. Tosay it does not rot the brain is nonsense, I seen many a person a permanent lethargic idiot as a result of prolonged use of Cannabis.

    I said, what would it take to ensure such abuse does not take place and how much is that going to cost to police it given the market value? What happens when it it is legalised and has 80% tax slapped on it liek they do cigarettes?

    I mean surley that is fair isn’t it? That any legalised drug should have massive amounts of tax placed on it, then that policed and enforced also?

    What happens then?


    January 17, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    • David the gateway effect is dull and without real foundation. I say this because if you are inclined to try one drug you’ll probably try all at some point or another. People don’t for example take crack because they had a joint. No, it’s a type of individual that has less fear of consequence or they are deliberately trying to self harm.


      January 17, 2011 at 4:03 pm

      • Okay then all the years I was seeing it happen myself I will ignore because they obviously never happened and I did in fact never see this happen. Okay? Seems to me the only debate most of you will accept is one where everyone ends up agreeing with everything you say.

        Waste of time indeed.


        January 17, 2011 at 4:07 pm

      • As the Governments favourite saying… “Anecdotal evidence my friend, Anecdotal evidence”. Just because you’ve see it doesn’t mean that is the bigger picture.


        January 17, 2011 at 4:18 pm

      • Not at all David. I understand your opinion and respect it but, you seem to refuse to accept that whatever the law says they are here on the street, no more than a few calls away. Surely it a no brainer to at least control as best we can the problem and allow it to self fund the rehab for the damage they do to some..
        I find it hard to believe you refuse to at very least see that the current system is part of the problem. I wonder how many of the lives you have seen ruined could have been saved if people felt they truly could seek help without fear of being morally stamped as bad etc. Your basically saying prohibition works,,,,just like a dealer


        January 17, 2011 at 4:26 pm

  38. Guys, I really think your wasting your time on David. He has his opinion and is entitled to it… no point everyone getting stressed. Clearly, he’s had some bad experiences and we are not all suited to relaxing with a joint. I suggest it didn’t suit David. Whilst we are all in control, David has experiences of those who are not. Not sure why he’s here preaching his opinion but there you go, takes all sorts so we are constantly told.
    There are those who chose to blame drugs for every wrong in the world. I was talking to someone recently who told me that their son was a ‘horrible, violent person’ as a result of weed. Upon questioning, they said this person had always been like this even as a child, expelled from various schools etc. I pointed out that all this individuals problem started before contact with and so called controlled substances…They looked at me with hint of recognition of the truth but then, off they went saying it was made worse blardy blar… The simple fact is that due to the demonisation of the likes of cannabis it offers those with week intellect and lack of personal responsibility for the event that surround them the easy way out.
    We know it to be true that often the mentally ill seek solace in illegal drugs. This inevitably compounds the demonisation.. Lets not even get into the nasty shit doctors push..


    January 17, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    • So no drugs cause any mental problems then?

      Funny I have never had a Doctor push drugs on me in my life, I always have to ask them for it and quite often that is never because I abstain from Pharma drugs also unless they are criticaly needed.


      January 17, 2011 at 4:05 pm

      • Of course they can David, it would be flippant to suggest they don’t. Again we go back to the fact that they are already readily available to those who have a thirst but, you keep ignoring this very real fact don’t you David.
        I have had doctors pushing and so have many I’ve worked with. I can tell you that I’ve worked in offices in very stressful environments where a good 50-60 percent of the staff are addicted to doctor prescribed porzac and various other anti psycots. Its a very real situation.


        January 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm

      • So you don’t think they should use pharma and become addicted but you think it is okay for cannabis and other drugs to do the same thing to them?

        Surley for every argument you have for using Cannabis, the same argument can be used for Pharma? They choose to use it too much and become addicted don’t they? I have used both Pharma drugs and “other drugs”. Pharma drugs I never got addicted to but the other drugs I did for a time..ergo Pharma drugs must be not legalise other drugs, case solved.

        There you go your arguments applied in the same manner by basing it on individual experience and applying it as if it will fit all Bet you wont accept that though?


        January 17, 2011 at 4:33 pm

      • Your quote:

        They choose to use it too much and become addicted don’t they?

        A light shines…you actually have no idea what your talking about do you David. You don’t even understand how an addiction works.. Still, thanks so much for the value for your limited wisdom. ha ha your a very funny man David. The likes of Prozac are addictive (chemically) this is proven unlike addition to weed as, users of weed can not become physically addicted. Psychologically maybe but not physically. When prescribed the prescription dosage gets you don’t actually have an option.


        January 17, 2011 at 4:42 pm

      • Total crap, I know many who have used Pharma like that and not become addicted, it is the over-use of it that makes them dependant. I know plenty who cannoot walk away from Cannabis. Hypocrite.


        January 18, 2011 at 1:31 pm

      • Sorry david, you are misguided. Maybe you’d like to come over and talk to my daughter was addicted to pharma antidepressants since she was a teen. Nearly ten years ago. Fortunatly she has managed to kick her peddled chems and enjoys nothing more than a brownie after breakfast and one before bed. No more anxiety issues for that girl and a couple of very relieved parents.

        With what we know now (society) FRANK really should be telling us “A Gram a day keeps the doctor away” and not the prohibitionist claptrap you keep spouting.


        January 18, 2011 at 6:27 pm

      • must be gr8 in your world.


        January 17, 2011 at 7:47 pm

  39. David. if you had a bad experience with cannabis this is an understandable viewpoint to have then. But if I and millions of others around the world have not then what is your problem?

    How about I give you some firsthand experience. In the decade plus that I have enjoyed cannabis I have been offered everything else and always turned it down. I have no desire to try speed or MDMA or LSD or mushrooms. How do you explain that David. the gateway theory is what the DEA have been brainwashing the less informed with for years. Its just not true ad if it was I should be on methamphetamine by now dont you think?


    January 17, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    • No I didn’t have a bad experience on Cannabis but not pleasant either, no the really bad experiences were LSD and others. Then of course I realised I was a wanker to be using such drugs, never touched them again. There you go.


      January 17, 2011 at 4:35 pm

  40. OKay guys thats me for this thread for today , got much else I should have been doing aleady…

    Actually despite what the likes of Nick and Jimbob think especially, I appreciate many of your comments and I have picked up a few things today I did not think of and also saw many things that I expected to see and hear. I will maintain that nothing is as simple as you make out, there are factors that seemed to be left out in so many of the “statistics”,not to mention some rather absurd comparisons like Cars?

    The biggest issue I have (this is with regard recreational use) is the current social and cultural breakdown we are suffering due to the erosion of traditional values, erosion of our culture and the destruction of the Nuclear Family model. These things have largley been responsible for the massive increase in abuse of substances as a result of these breakdowns.

    This breakdown is unlikley to change anytime soon, in fact I am certain it will get worse. We have seen every “legal” substance from Cigarettes, to alcohol, to Mcdonalds Arseburgers being greatly abused, what makes you think for one minute that the same will not happen if drugs are legalised?

    For a start there would HAVE to be a massive tax burden on any legalised drug, same as there is for alcohol and tobacco. Add that to the cost of the drug when it is produced under licenses (which have to be administered and policed) by companies that have to ensure quality and grade (all costs money) THEN add the huge tax lump on top of all that..and…

    Then what?


    January 17, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    • Then what? Read about the success in Portugal and their decriminalisation approach, as counter intuitive as it may seem its working beyond anything anyone expected.


      January 17, 2011 at 4:34 pm

      • I’ll check it out.


        January 17, 2011 at 4:43 pm

  41. Then what when those on benefits and low pay cannot afford their little fixes? Back to crime again?


    January 17, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    • Back onto the lower levels of society again David..Yes, that card


      January 17, 2011 at 4:44 pm

      • You denying that won’t be a problem?

        P.S the portugal matter is not so clear cut either it seems? Admittance cannabis can cause mental damage, create more addicts and keep them addicts etc etc


        January 17, 2011 at 4:53 pm

      • Cannabis causes mental “damage” in those already vulnerable to mental health issues. Even the tenuous link between cannabis and schizophrenia has been debunked medically, the result been that cannabis could/should/may ( all very vague) aggravate schizophrenia in those who have a family history or vulnerable to it. After government stats revealed that during the huge rise in cannabis use in the 80’s and 90’s there were NO new additional cases of schizophrenia due to cannabis use.

        IMHO Cannabis only enhances what you feel when will people wake up to that. If your lazy then you’ll be more lazy, if you have a vulnerability to mental health problems cannabis WILL out the problem. Heavy cannabis use is the result of someone with mental health issues in the first place, cannabis doesn’t make you depressed, although it wont help if your that type of person already. However, that’s debatable as it goes, as some find medicating with cannabis help relieves depression. Something that pharma companies don’t like you to know.

        That said there are many people, yes more than those who have problems, who have NO problem with cannabis. The stats say that its something ( cant recall exact figure i dont have the stat sheet) like 4-6% of people who use heavily.


        January 17, 2011 at 5:13 pm

      • Professor Glyn Lewis of the University of Bristol said in 2009 that even on the most extreme interpretation of the data on cannabis and psychosis (a review of all published evidence) that 96% of people could use cannabis with no risk whatsoever of developing psychosis.

        Peter Reynolds

        January 17, 2011 at 5:51 pm

      • The authors estimate that if cannabis had a causal relationship with psychosis, about 14 per cent of psychotic illnesses in young adults in the UK could be prevented if cannabis were not consumed.

        Paper: Cannabis use and risk of psychotic or affective mental health outcomes: a systematic review by Theresa H M Moore (University of Bristol ), Stanley Zammit ….. Glyn Lewis (University of Bristol)



        January 17, 2011 at 6:18 pm

      • The study, funded by the Department of Health and based in the University of Bristol, found that individuals who used cannabis were 41 per cent more likely to have any psychosis than those who had never used the drug. The risk increased relative to dose, with the most frequent cannabis users more than twice as likely to have a psychotic outcome.

        Professor Glyn Lewis from the University of Bristol, and senior author on the paper, said: “It is difficult to be certain about whether cannabis use causes psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia. It is possible that the people who use cannabis might have other characteristics that themselves increase risk of psychotic illness . However, all the studies have found an association and it seems appropriate to warn members of the public about the possible risk.



        January 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm

      • According to NHS stats 25% of the UK population will at some point in their lives suffer from some form of mental illness. With this figure so high it must be very difficult for the scientific community to attribute a real cause other than it is inherent in our species. I’m sure it would be very easy to point a finger at any substance from coffee to heroin. Haveing worked in the advertising world for far too long I know we habitually bend facts to suit the target. I’m not saying for one minute that weed does not have many negatives as i’m sure just like any substance it does but we shouldn’t always hold onto governmeent stats which often have adgendas


        January 17, 2011 at 6:31 pm

      • Bearin gon that article, how many of that 25% used drugs I wonder?


        January 17, 2011 at 6:34 pm

      • All stats have agendas Nick, it depends on who is paying them off, I am just showing how one person quoted by a Pro-cannabis person turns out to say the opposite in another article for the sake of 10 seconds of googling.

        This is why I get fed up with all these “facts and figures” they are mostly skewed based on who is paying them off or who is in them. Especially when the pro-cannabis people are quoting Psuedo-Scientists like Psychiatrists who most of the time ARE pushing drugs on people for big pharma.

        Funny how the Pro’s slag off big pharma in one breath then quote people when it suits them who spend most of their careers selling hogwash and working with big Pharma making up crap for profit:-)

        THIS is why I am so hard on anything “quoted” and rely mostly on my own personal experience and observation over many years. It is the safest bet.


        January 17, 2011 at 6:43 pm

      • Certainly not 25% of the population I would have thought. It is true that it is inherent in humans though. I don’t dispute that drugs have harms but mental illness is a fact of life for many many people who have never touched anything. Causes are varied and i would suggest that a very low percentage have had their symptoms as a result of recreational drug use. I would suspect that far more have issues with alcohol dependency. I’m not going along the line of weeds bad BUT alcohol is worse as it serves no purpose but, if a study is commissioned on anything they will quickly find the associated problems/harms. Remember Edwena and her eggs. The same can be applied to anything. we still come back to the fact that they are readily available and prohibition creates adulteration with substances often far more harmful. Until the trade is removed from the criminal greed chain more harm is done. I completely agree with you that this is not a risk free past time but that risk is increased by criminal scum. I once new a guy who sold penicillin capsuls as E’s.. MDMA is actually a pretty harmless drug but imagine if someone buys one of this guy’s pills and they go into anaphylactic shock and die because they have penicillin allergy. Surely better to have MDMA and this is the problem with prohibition. Its not about pretending there is no risk and its all about risk reduction.


        January 17, 2011 at 6:54 pm

      • Professor Lewis is at approx 04.00 and 08.10 mins

        Peter Reynolds

        January 17, 2011 at 6:49 pm

      • 104 plants.! Thats not pers this guy is making a packet. Despite my beliefs this guys in the wrong. ! 104 plants that a good 100 plus ounces per crop .. maybe 20K a go. He’s not one of us Peter.


        January 17, 2011 at 7:05 pm

      • I was thinking the same thing and Nick, not a good example for your cause at all.


        January 17, 2011 at 7:15 pm

      • Hey guys you don’t know what he is doing with that amount of plants, how do you know he isn’t making hash or oil ? Maybe he does one big grow a year.


        January 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm

      • Nick forgive me if this is cheeky but you made this comment ”And there is the irony.. I’ve got a horticultural degree yet, I absolutely will not grow my own as I’m not a criminal and I have at very least that much respect for the law.”

        You smoke it ? So you are still breaking the law and as you are not growing your own then you are expecting someone to supply you with it, possibly someone who grows 100 odd plants.


        January 18, 2011 at 5:31 pm

      • There is the hypocrasy of those who constantly say about the criminal element and how bad they are etc, well then why can you not wait until it is legalised and NOT buy from criminals and break the law? Go for a trip to a country where it is legal in the meantime?

        Surely if it is NOT addictive then you can go without until then and pop abroad occasionaly to have a toke instead of giving money to criminals ?

        We all know the truth of it though…


        January 18, 2011 at 5:52 pm

      • Becasue someone is a criminal doses not mean they are a bad person.


        January 18, 2011 at 6:07 pm

      • Phil

        January 18, 2011 at 6:15 pm

      • True, but it usualy does.


        January 18, 2011 at 6:50 pm

      • Millions of people worldwide with a criminal conviction for posession of cannabis are usually bad people ?


        January 18, 2011 at 7:15 pm

      • Yes many are.


        January 19, 2011 at 4:19 pm

      • sorry nick, who gives a…… he’s growing cannabis and selling it to people that want it. He actually seems like a nice guy.

        Cannabis is a plant we can all enjoy and someones gotta bloody grow it. I’d rather score my weed from a hippy in his caravans, than through a letter box on a housing estate!! Its prohibition that brings violence and crime. not hippies growing ganja in the woods. get a grip


        January 18, 2011 at 6:33 pm

      • Yes, I’d rather go the hippy route everytime, geeeees some of the scum I’ve scored from… But, he’s still making a massive amount of untaxed cash and its this kind of action that tars us all. Got no prob at all with the hippy cause, in fact pro peace and love in all forms but, thats not what I was trying to get at.


        January 19, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      • Nick you saying he is making a massive amount of untaxed cash is nothing more than an unfounded accusation.


        January 19, 2011 at 5:45 pm

      • The study, funded by the Department of Health and based in the University of Bristol, found that individuals who used cannabis were 41 per cent more likely to have any psychosis than those who had never used the drug……

        Professor Glyn Lewis from the University of Bristol, and senior author on the paper,

        So glyn contradicts himself and he is a quack.

        Video…LOL what a shining example for your cause? Funny how they always tend to look the same? Does he feel okay to flout planning laws as well then, I know because I used to live like that, although I was always tidy and did not look like some hippy loser so I guess I could not get away with it so easy.


        January 17, 2011 at 7:13 pm

      • I think the problem is that often these studies are commissioned with an agenda ie lets look at weed and see how it can hurt you. Too many times have we seen studies that show the potential risks only for the author to back peddle. The truth is they THINK there might be a link but thought is all it often is as, they cant actually back it up with scientific fact. The truth is that the politicians want it to be an evil so they can point to it as the undermining factor of our failing society. Obviously, to some its a problem whilst to many its not. The fact that the key members of the scientific body set up to give honest advise were sacked or resigned last year after they said it was generally OK says alot, Its all about political fear and very little to do with fact.
        I’m no saint but i spend all week at work paying an obscene amount of tax.. On a saturday morning i do some old peoples gardens for free and i love a smoke because it brings me a peace I cannot find through alcohol, exercise or anything else yet they call me a f—— criminal. I’m not a bad or stupid person yet my choices are controlled by politicians based on their fear of the electorate. Is that right. Tell me, am I a bad person cause i like to smoke. The answer is generally no. I’m reasoably intelligent and have the ability to process facts and reason yet this choice is not mine based purely on an unsuccessful campaign of prohibition, ordered by people who often smoked when at Oxbridge. It stinks David. I’m not saying its harmless but, don’t we have a human right to make our own choices in life.


        January 17, 2011 at 7:29 pm

      • Well you do have some very good points there Nick, actually I just thought of another down side, what about the Smoking of it? the risks also present with the inhaling of the smoke? would eating it not be much better still?


        January 17, 2011 at 7:57 pm

      • Again your right, lots of people use it in different ways though so not everyone smokes it. But, I would say your concentration is focused on the negatives, whatever the subject its easy to focus on negatives. I understand that you have neg experiences however, any subject should be viewed in a balanced way in order to see the truth. I think you’ll find all along that I do see the problem but there are also upsides for those it does not appear to harm. One point you have ignore repeatedly in my posts is the fact that its available to anyone who wants it and that the adulteration causes many many problems. Please, honestly and without agenda respond to this. Also, forgetting the ‘scrounger’ what do you make of the medicinal issue? I used to think this was bollocks until i worked with a lady who had MS. Bit of a cow she was..bless her ! Anyway her doctor suggested she try a smoke. At first she resisted…then she tried and instantly saw benefits despite not really wanting to. This is not something she is alone in.


        January 17, 2011 at 8:12 pm

      • Personally I vaporise my cannabis. But it’s been proven that cannabis doesn’t cause any of the lung problems the government(s) claim. If so why have so many athletes been caught with cannabis in their system? I smoke it on occasions and it doesn’t effect my training at the gym or when I race.

        The only damage it does seem to do is damage throat and lung tissue (heat) but for cancer for example they found NO link at all and in fact suggestions it can prevent cancer of the lungs.


        January 19, 2011 at 4:50 pm

      • It’s a news story for God’s sake! There’s some pretty rough looking drinkers or any other group you wajbnt to abuse.

        David, the point about this and all research is it says the risks are very small but PROVES that regulation is a better policy.

        Peter Reynolds

        January 17, 2011 at 7:37 pm

      • Well your quoted Quack previously stated in a paper 41% more likley to have Psychosis, that is NOT small potatoes Peter.

        Please what is it with people and your “abuse” is that abusive? What special group is he a part of exactly peter? the, “I think I can do what I like and ignore the law group?” The , “looking presentable and washing my blood hair is against my religion group?

        He is not some special indigenous tribe nearly extinct in the outer mountains of bloody mongolia.

        I am so SICK of this liberal poison thinking! Everyone is a poor victim.
        What next the gay and lesbian black hispanic weed smokers alliane of DV victims from albania with one arm and halitosis…and a dyslexic fucking Hamster called Numpty?!

        Such P.C crap deserves a bollocks in response.


        January 17, 2011 at 7:50 pm

      • Your bombast is revinvigorated David. Have you learned nothing?

        Peter Reynolds

        January 17, 2011 at 7:55 pm

      • Come on David that was beneath you. It doesn’t really matter what that guy looks like its his choice after all and it doesn’t effect anyone how long his hair is or when he last had a wash thats not the issue. Peter happens to be a Tory so not really that liberal! Also you introduced the quack I think. I thought that maybe whilst not a convert you were starting to see at very least a little truth in our argument which surrounds both freedom of choice and damage limitation. I must have misunderstood.


        January 17, 2011 at 7:57 pm

      • I didn’t introduce the Quack Nick, Peter did, I introduced the Quacks contradictions.

        Yes it was in order Peter, I am sick to the back gills of the victimology. I will tell you this I have spent most of my life as a “minority” or an outsider to society and I either use my brain or my fists to fight, I do not use some pathetic dribbling weak arsed P.C nonsense. Such stuff deserves no respect and it will get none.

        He is NOT some special group who need to be treated like they are fragile little victims peter, he is a self-chosen drop out of society, a criminal and by the looks of it untidy git. I have never heard such liberal undertones from a “Conservative”.

        Hello lightning and thunder over head…NOW THIS IS MY HIGH!”


        January 17, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      • David, to be honest it doesn’t make any diference what evidence you’re presented with, if necessary you dismiss it out of hand. You just revert back to generral hyperbole once a point’s been made. You’ve had your fun, now let’s move on and be constructive. If you’re honest I think you’re sold on regulation as the right policy so how can you help to make that happen?

        Thunder and lightning over me too. Maybe God is pointing his finger?

        Peter Reynolds

        January 17, 2011 at 8:20 pm

      • I notice the smoking of Cannabis for medicinal use is not reccomended on that Netherlands site Peter, I did raise that earlier and this is one of the reasons why I said Medicinal Cannabis in herbal form, well smoked anyway, is not the way for it to be accepted, it is also a way I can see the recreational user or “abuser” tries to legitimise themselves by hikacking the medicinal side of it.

        They do state other methods that apparently work as well.


        January 17, 2011 at 9:56 pm

      • Nick, Medicinal use is a whole different issue as far as I am concerned. I stand by whatI have always said in so much as the terminally ill should be allowed to snort Moon dust if they like, their should be no restrictions on the terminally ill. As for pain relief etc again not so much of a problem as long as steps are taken to ensure the validity of the claimants illness, evidence it does make a difference etc. I see no reason however if it is for medicinal use that it cannot be delivered in a suspension or similar, the over riding fact is making sure that Medicinal use is not abused by the recreational user.


        January 17, 2011 at 8:23 pm

      • So you have learned something! I am delighted. One vital point though. I agree with proper regulation but the OVER RIDING concern is that patients get their medicine. That’s much more important than enforcing any sort of recreational ban.

        Peter Reynolds

        January 17, 2011 at 8:30 pm

      • Peter I have already undermined some of your evidence or at least shown its contradictions, brought questions as to its validty and source and attempted to tolerate some ridiculous comparisons and excuses from others. No I am not unchangeable on my stance, in fact I have picked up some things today that have made me look at it a little different. I will not however change completely until true FACTS are debated and not skewed statistics, more importantly all the negative aspects of the issue are drawn out and debated. We have come close to some of that today though I am glad to say.

        What I will not stand for in any debate is the use of P.C, victimology, or any other liberal tone of manipulation. It gets my back up straight away as the speaker presumes I buy into that nonsense.

        I hear it every other day in every damn debate or argument I enter and it reminds me of how utterly weak, spineless and contemptable the left has made this Country through such nonsense. I would rather you called me a mother fu**er and tried ot stick one on my chin or whatever you please then use that sort of nonsense, it really is so infuriating to hear it especially from someone who calls themselves a Tory.

        Please no more with the abuse and victim talk.

        P.S from where I am sitting it sounds like it is over YOU 🙂


        January 17, 2011 at 8:35 pm

      • Peter,

        1) Providing they are “Genuine” Medical patients.

        2) Providing it is shown that the Cannabis does effect the claimed relief of their symptoms

        3) Providing the Cannabis comes from a licensed, quality controlled and reputable source

        4) Providing that steps are taken to ensure no abuse of medicinal Cannabis can take place by those who are not judged to be in proper need of it by a proper qualified mnedical practitioner….

        I can honestly see no reason to ban it for Medical use.


        January 17, 2011 at 8:45 pm

      • Ha ha ha, I posted my agreement on medicinal use…the lightning, rain and thunder suddenly stopped!

        Okay, who arranged for that ?


        January 17, 2011 at 8:48 pm

      • David, you’ve still side stepped the subject of adulteration and the increased harm this results in due in full to prohibition. Is it because you cannot answer without agreeing?


        January 17, 2011 at 8:56 pm

      • Yes that was the big man in the sky. Definitely.

        I’m content with your outline on medicinal use.

        Properly regulated medicinal herbal cannabis as grown under controlled conditions for the Dutch government is available from Bedrocan BV – Three products are available with varying proportions of CBD and THC.

        In Britain, patients prescribed these products are denied access by law and ministers refuse to discuss or even consider the matter.

        I don’t understand your reference to “abuse and victim”. I’m about the least PC person you could meet. I am a liberal but defintely on the right. The last thing I want is some nanny state, big government, socialist nonsense. I want freedom, self-determination, small state, individuality.

        There is loads of evidence. It is a very complicated matter and there are often contradictions but, quite clearly, with the reality of millions of existing users and the comparatively low harms, regulation is a more effective policy than prohibition.

        Peter Reynolds

        January 17, 2011 at 9:03 pm

      • Then for Gods sake get rid of WordPress, lefties use that …LOL, seriously though the comments layout is terrible and hard to follow, they need the compress/expand of javascript fo something similar to make it more readable..Next your going to tell me you have an Apple computer?

        You refered to groups I wish to “Abuse”, toned in a manner to suggest they are all victims of something I have placed upon them with my words. I really hate that stuff.

        Anyway, Yes on that basis I pointed out previously I would join you in asking why MP’s are not prepared to enter into dialouge on the specific topic of medicinal Cannabis. If your talking about Drax…I have my own issues with that lying bastard.


        January 17, 2011 at 9:16 pm

      • Oi I agreed on the medicinal , don’t push it Nick 🙂

        The other matters require a lot more debating and facts that can be explored without skew from either side. I feel on that matter of recreational use there are some parts that I will never agree on, like the fact that you should not need it if you are a balanced well adjusted person, I stand by that completely, but in fairness recognise the same can be said for alcohol and other things too.

        Without doubt the recreational debate is a much harder one than the medicinal debate.


        January 17, 2011 at 9:36 pm

      • That is not what that person who has worked in it for years in the article seems to think.


        January 17, 2011 at 6:14 pm

      • I’m not sure of your point David.

        Cannabis is a psychoactive drug. Clearly there must be some potential for harm, particularly in the developing brain. What the evidence says is that the risk is tiny (perhaps a tenth of the risk with alcohol) but people should be warned.

        I agree entirely. All the more reason for cananbis use to be brought into a properly regulated framework where harms can be minimised. Whether it’s two, six or ten million regular users, regulation makes much more sense than the present wasteful and ineffective policy. Prohibition doesn’t work. It just creates even more harm.

        That’s the pragmatic argument. As an adult and a free citizen, I also say that it’s an arbitrary, unjustifiable infringement of my personal liberty and private life. No victim. No crime.

        Peter Reynolds

        January 17, 2011 at 6:42 pm

  42. You do not need money to grow herb. Just sun and water.

    No need for crime with regards to cannabis.


    January 17, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    • But you know everyone growing it wont happen if anything happens at all.

      It will and needs to be controlled. This will mean quality, license etc. Any notions of people growing it in their backyards in a bathtub and selling it are nuts. Then the Tax, which will have to be instituted regardless of who grows it, you will not have the alcohol and tobacco producers, not to mention every drinker and smoker kicking off on that one if it isn’t.

      So how much will a spliff cost then?


      January 17, 2011 at 5:03 pm

      • Why not? You can brew your own beer, make your own wine etc. Why not be allowed to grow your own for your own consumption? Nobody suggested they were going to sell it like so many criminal do now.


        January 17, 2011 at 5:07 pm

      • Still need taxing at the same rates as alcohol and tobacco. What will it cost to administer and police that if all are growing it themselves? Tax the seeds and equipment, then you get the black market in that I guess.


        January 17, 2011 at 5:10 pm

      • So, using the same reasoning how did brew your own get off the ground?? Fine tax the seeds. You can’t really tax the equipment as it will grow just as well in soil as on hydroponics its just subject to NPK levels.


        January 17, 2011 at 5:14 pm

      • Then a method of taxing, administering and poilicing it all will need to be brought in. After all it is only fair that all substances are taxed equally isnt it.


        January 17, 2011 at 5:24 pm

      • So, using the same reasoning how did brew your own get off the ground?? Fine, tax it like brew your own is.


        January 17, 2011 at 5:26 pm

      • The only answer is to make it illegal to grow at home over a certain quantity and illegal to sell it. Any public sale of it to be licensed, controlled and taxed similar ot alcohol I guess.


        January 17, 2011 at 5:30 pm

      • It is illegal to distill alcohol in the UK BTW without license. Even at home.


        January 17, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      • I think that relates to spirits rather then beer and wine otherwise middle aged men across the land are law breakers! I could be wrong but, I doubt Boots would sell wine kits if it was illegal


        January 17, 2011 at 5:36 pm

      • Yes Beer is fermentation, spirits is distilliation. Home Brew…Bleehh for the unwashed.


        January 17, 2011 at 5:41 pm

      • Absolutely.. totally agree. No more than something like 3 plants/ cuttings. In a relatively secure not your front garden etc. This is the way forward as no criminals are involved. No one is profiting apart from VAT on equipment. No diff to brew your own.


        January 17, 2011 at 5:34 pm

      • Fair point. The abuse factor still is a major issue to be addressed though especially in the current social climate and in light of the Portugal article I posted above, the extra cost of treatment etc for the abusers.

        On the growing side I could tell you such a funny friggin story about that and ……


        January 17, 2011 at 5:39 pm

      • I went to a Horticultural collage for four years.. I bet I’ve got a few similar.

        And there is the irony.. I’ve got a horticultural degree yet, I absolutely will not grow my own as I’m not a criminal and I have at very least that much respect for the law.


        January 17, 2011 at 5:44 pm

      • Seeds and growing equipment are already taxed.


        January 17, 2011 at 5:14 pm

  43. I would have thought the first step in this process is to get the Schedule changed for cannabis.

    Cannabis is currently a schedule-1 drug “of no medicinal value” however the government have granted GW Pharm’ a license to produce Sativex – a drug for MS (and other specific illnesses), their website is full of medicinal uses of “Skunk cannabis” – this must mean that cannabis does have government recognised medicinal uses so is not a schedule-1 drug.

    If it is reclassified then medical trials can be freely done across the country and all the data needed to prove/disprove what cannabis can do would be quickly available – these cannot be done while it’s schedule-1 and effectively gives GW Pharm’ an illegal monopoly on cannabis based medications in the UK.

    This could be done without affecting the legallity of cannabis and incuring the wrath of the tabloids.


    Mr Bimble

    January 17, 2011 at 11:31 pm

  44. what is the difference between alcohol use abuse.
    Is abuse only when it creates problems for the individual or society. If that is the case why is it that just because someone has a joint it is abuse.
    Their is a huge difference between all drugs + should be classified according to the harm they cause not on myth.
    Perhaps cannabis is the solution not the problem !!!
    As for you Dave, you sound like a liar or at the very least a hypocrite, if you are not one of those then you are just a troll with nothing better to do with your sad existence, perhaps you should be spending quality time with your kids ensuring they stay drug free instead of talking crap here.
    You keep demanding proof but provide none to back up your statements apart from personal experience, perhaps you need to keep convincing yourself as to how bad drugs are so you feel better about yourself + your own mental short falls.
    Would you prefer your children to come home drunk or on cannabis. I know which I would prefer + yes it may be against the law but is far less dangerous than alcohol.

    ryan griffiths

    January 19, 2011 at 3:39 pm

  45. Phils quote: Nick you saying he is making a massive amount of untaxed cash is nothing more than an unfounded accusation.

    You really think so Phil? 104 plants is not personal unless he’s grown if for his own consumption for the next 100 months. Somehow, i think not.104 plants is no way pers so, without having to delve too deeply into thought its reasonable to assume he has customers and unless he’s bucking the general dealer trend, its only reasonable to assume he pockets all the cash. Come on Phil no one here is daft enough to think he either gives it away or smokes it all himself.
    Its common sense.


    January 19, 2011 at 9:20 pm

  46. Wonderful website you have here but I was wanting to know if
    you knew of any community forums that cover
    the same topics discussed here? I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get comments from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks a lot!

    Mandakini Ravi

    October 9, 2012 at 7:23 pm

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