Listen to reason? This government?
Nah, they'd much rather listen to the hysterical rantings of the right-wing press.
A group of scientists has urged the House of Lords to listen to scientific advice rather than the ranting of Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and reject her proposal to change the classification of cannabis from C to B. In a letter to the Guardian, eight leading scientists call on the Lords to back an amendment tabled by Baroness …
"Even more importantly, the move would be a sad departure from the welcome trend - established after the Phillips report into the BSE disaster - of public policy following expert scientific advice unless there is new evidence."
What public policy decided by experts who know what they are talking about and not government spin doctors?? I for one wont stand for it!!
The governement lowers the classification of cannabis. Useage goes down. Also further research into the drug is published and indicates that it is if anything even less harmful than originally believed. As a result the government wants to raise the classification again.
I think the police should get down to the house of commons with some of those 'drug swab thingies', as I for one would like to know exactly what they are on!
That someone with some sense and understanding was proposing government policy. The whole story about Cannabis being linked to mental health was a joke. sure, there may have been some increase in the likelihood but it was such a negligible increase from such a negligible starting point (1000's to 1) that it was a clear case of government propaganda from the get-go.
I for one will be lighting the bong tonight in celebration that someone in this damn country has some common sense!
Paris 'cos she can suck on my bong anytime!
"Cannabis use has fallen significantly across all age ranges and this is a testament to the success of the previous ten year Drug Strategy. However, the reduction in cannabis use must not be allowed to reverse."
So we (Smithites and NuGov) will make it more illegal and there fore more edgy and cool as opposed to that drug your parents smoked back in the old days. Becouse we don't have a clue how to do anything and can often be cought trying to bite our own ears.
A drop of sanity in an ocean of overspun political dogma.
Heaven forbid we should listen to the experts. Remember: never let the truth get in the way of a good peice of legislation.
Let hope the Lords have their collective backbone with them on the day they vote.
The cannabis debated ceased to be about health or happyness long ago, it's a wedge issue (an issue you can use to split a majority into easy to classify parts) like abortion/gay rights in the US.
This makes it an invaluable political tool, and the idea of letting common sense/well funded research play a part in the decicions is just ludicrous.
Much though the reclassification of cannabis from class C to class B is a terrible idea for a whole host of reasons, the first reason quoted in the article seems a little odd. Are they seriously suggesting that downgrading cannabis to class C in 2004 was directly responsible for a reduction in cannabis use? I must be missing something here. Did a whole bunch of cannabis users suddenly turn around and decide it's not worth bothering with now it's not so naughty any more?
Prohibition of psychoactive substances will always be done on more than the science. Previous bans on alcohol in the US and UK have been done on a moral basis, the effect on the lower classes always being the most important factor. Any science was quoted selectively to support a position already taken. Governments will always have the social, economic and international aspects to consider (try legalising Cocaine or Heroin in the UK and see how quickly the US government phones up).
As Ms Smith's cabinet colleague pointed out yesterday, we're all off to the workhouse (would have been but the builders have gone bust). In troubled times I suspect that Auntie Jacqui wants us all to trundle off to the pub and pop up the taxman. Rather than drowning our sorrows in ale and gin some may prefer to stay at home and get stoned for the next few years.
Unfortunatley Smith says she is listening to the countries fears yet she appears to be one of the few stirring up the shit. The only thing she can hear is 'La La La I can't hear you' as she wanders about with her fingers in her ears.
Surely governments threw off the shackles of the booze industry's influence years ago - it's what caused the bloody problem in the first place.
Damn right it has fallen. Since having kids i have barely had a spliff except for an evening with my brother earlier this year while on a business trip when we got happily stoned and we ordered a chinese and played on the computer half the night.
Dangerous stuff eh? Not like that nice alcohol that everyone behaves perfectly on and is legal.
Most dangerous/harmful thing i did while being stoned was upon having an attack of the munchies late at night contemplating eating some suspicious looking food in the fridge... in the end took a paranoid 10 minute walk to the nearest 24-hour shop to collect supplies all the time thinking "Try not to look stoned, try not to look stoned"... and then upon handing money over for my purchases noticing a big black stain from the cannabis resin on my index finger.... girl serving me said, "Having a nice smoke?" with a big smile on her face.... sure i had bought a pack of Rizzla as well which could have tipped her off.
Mines the one with an ounce in the pocket.
Who are they and what field are they experts in?
An astrophysicist can be considered a leading scientist, but his opinion wouldbe no more relevent on this issue than anyone elses.
Stop abusing the word 'scientist'. They're not all nerdy boffin genuises who have experience in every scientific discipline known to man, you know.
this is all just a cunning ploy to kick start the economy.
think about it, by raising to a class B, by there logic, MORE people will smoke.
therefore there will be more grown, and in turn will be helping the poor.
there you go,
as there could not be anything in the budget about it this as it is 'illegal',
so this is a subtle way of keeping the bored + unemployed quite,
(reverse psycoligy is the oldest ploy in the book afterall)
god im good....
(That almost looks like a blank cannibis leaf.... ish)
but heads down, i think the gov' might be after me now.....
aaaaaagh..! they have found me.... run run run..!
What study showed that up? In my personal experience cannabis use has been rising ever since it was dowgraded to a Class C. Most of my friends smoke it at least once a week and every day I see people smoking it openly in the streets.
How on Earth can this be the result of a decrease in usage?
"Are they seriously suggesting that downgrading cannabis to class C in 2004 was directly responsible for a reduction in cannabis use?"
I reckon it;s more to do with Labour's earlier activity on making students pay for university and move everything to loans rather than grants - they're all working two jobs trying to do well in their courses now rather than lying around smoking weed all day.
Ah, the good old days...
I agree. But how do they get these 'usage' statistics anyway - could it be some kind of extrapolation from number of arrests for possession? In which case it's a self-fullfilling prophesy.
Reminds me of the 'business confidence' or 'happiness' statistics (?) How the hell do they measure those? (i've seen graphs - so they must be real science)
so the kingpins that control it think it'll sell better if it's re-rated as a Class B substance.
They're politically well connected I'm certain, so off they go to lobby their favorite MP or Congress Critter to fix their bottom line. Wish I could fix my bottom line that easily.
Mine's the one next to the one with the tin foil hat.
Which Radio4 newreader was it who commented on a news story about Vietmanese gangs not growing dope within the M25 because of high property prices with "Whats the world coming to when an Englishman can't grow cannibis in his own home?"
Consumption may also be down because the price has been driven up by energy rates... indoor grow systems use a lot of electricity, so some growers are finding things uneconomical. In this age of capping Carbon Emissions, legalisation or decriminalisation would allow it to be grow in more environmentally-friendly greenhouses.
Is more likely connected to the raising of the legal age for smoking in general. If you smoke from an early age, I would say you're more likely to smoke cannabis, if offered, than someone who doesn't smoke at all. Once you've crossed that moral white line in the sand (so to speak), one drug is the same as any other and you're not going to think twice about doing other recreationals such as cocaine, speed etc which could then lead to Heroine if you've got a particularly addicitive personality and dependency issues.
The answer is to ban smoking completely. Kids will find it more difficult to take it up and won't feel tempted to move onto "training drugs" like cannabis. The next generation will benefit the most, this generation is f*cked.
All in my humble opinion of course
Why settle for someone who pretends to be elected officially but was actually given the job by his friends, when you've got a group of people who just accept that they've given the job by their friends and don't care. The benefit being, the former is out to keep said job, and make himself look good, whereas the latter just votes with their own, more experienced conscience.
Hopefully they listen to reason on this.
Lol surest give away ever king size blues and a ten deck.
Man I loved those times, several nice local dealers, gear was cheap, fags were cheap and rizzla was almost free. Hell you even had gratis points to make a roach from, ahhh what heady days. I remember stood out back of the coal sheds trying to sheild my mate who was skinning up from the wind. Ahh well those were the days.
try legalising Cocaine or Heroin in the UK and see how quickly the US government phones up).
We could threaten to do this, as I'm sure those nice Americans would rather see our National debt reduced than us legalising Cocaine or Heroin.
I wonder how much it's worth to them for us to keep these drugs illegal.
Ironically, enough, yes.
I remember reading a report some time ago that the "naughtiness facter" of any given drug does indeed have quite an impact on it's alure.
Take the propoganda war instigated by Edward Bernays on behalf of the tobacco industry. In the 1930s, it was still a social taboo for women to smoke, So to subverse this trend, Edward hired a group of models, and instructed them to discretely join a suffragette march. On a secret signal they would all pull out a pack of ciggarettes and light them up.
Prior to this, Edward had called most of the press alerting them to this 'protest', and had already given them the slogan "Torches of freedom".
Lo, and behold, a dramatic change in the way women perceived ciggarettes now, as devices for social rebellion.
Put it simply, it's reverse psychology. Tell someone they can't do something, and they'll want to do it all the more. Make anything a taboo, and suddenly people will want to do it. This is why cencership is a prime cause for perversion. You only need to look at the victorians or the japanese for examples (the panty fetish is a direct result of the strict censorship laws governing what can and can't be shown)
Here in the real world, we bypass the meter for our growlights.
Property prices are a bugger, though - that's why it's still over a hundred quid for an ounce.
The real issue is the principle, though - there is no good reason for cannabis being illegal, and it's a diabolical infringement on my personal liberty.
Neues Arbeit - welcome to the 4th Reich!
Your humble opinion isn't worth the paper it was printed on.
Most cannibis users I've ever met (a lot) start smoking weed first and move on to cigarettes later, when weed gets hard to find/expensive/whatever.
It's not a moral white line in the sand, it's a psychological line created by broken laws and propaganda. If cannibis is demonised to the same extent as, say, crystal meth, is it any wonder that once someone's tried it and realised that they've been lied to by politicians, teachers and parents from the start that they'll try other things that they've heard exactly the same lies about?
When they find out that weed doesn't leave them feeling crap the next day, doesn't involve getting into fights or doing embarassing stuff, is pretty relaxing and far cheaper than the pub, what's to stop them investigating everything else they've been told is bad and wrong?
What we need is evidence based law, quality control and real information.
The flame icon is there because your implication that the use of any illegal substance is some sort of moral failure is offensive.
Dave, electricity pricing has no impact. Growers don't hook up to the grid as a massive spike in energy usage (along with midnight deliveries of fertiliser, blacked out windows and an infrared footprint easily visible from police helicopters) is an indicator of an indoor growing setup. They either steal electricity from a neighbour or connect themselves to the nearest lamppost/junction box. If you're growing plants with a street value of hundreds of thousands of pounds (or millions, according to the Daily Fail) and risk a 15-20 year stretch if caught, the last thing you give a shit about is paying the leccy bill.
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Excellent point - here's the list of notables putting their name to this:
* Dr Evan Harris MP Lib Dem science spokesman
* David King Former government chief scientific adviser
* Professor Michael Rawlins Chair, ACMD 1998-2008
* (Lord) Robert May Former government chief scientific adviser
* Phil Willis MP Chair, Science select committee
* Professor Gabriel Horne Chair, Academy of Medical Science working group on addiction,
Professor Colin Blakemore Member, UK Drug Policy Commission; former director, Medical Research Council
* Tracey Brown Director, Sense about Science
* Dr Leslie King Member, ACMD
* Ruth Runciman Former member, ACMD
* Prof Ian Gilmore, President, Royal College of Physicians and member, Academy of Medical Sciences Working Group on Brain Science, Addiction and Drugs
* Prof. Roger Brownsword, Professor of Law at King's College London and member, Academy of Medical Sciences Working Group on Brain Science, Addiction and Drugs
* Prof Bill Deakin, Professor of Psychiatry, Manchester University and member, Academy of Medical Sciences Working Group on Brain Science, Addiction and Drugs
* Prof Trevor Robbins, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, member, Academy of Medical Sciences Working Group on Brain Science, Addiction and Drugs
I'm slightly miffed El Reg's resident computer-scientist-cum-global-warming expert isn't on the list - perhaps he has an opinion on this topic too?
When John Reid took over the Home Office he famously described the department as '"not fit for purpose". Now we have a Home Secretary who is neither fit for purpose nor capable of producing any valid evidence to support her ludicrous proposals.
Despite evidence and advice from experienced senior police chiefs, ex-government law officers and former security service chiefs she pressed ahead with her plan to extend detention without charge from 28 to 42 days based solely on her conviction that she was right and they were wrong. Result: humiliating defeat in the House of Lords.
More recently she has proposed an Orwellian uberdatabase that would be continuously trawled seeking to establish suspicious communication links between individuals in a population of 60 million. Once you throw the billions of spam messages that are automatically generated daily into this melting pot the number of false-positives created would soon overwhelm even GCHQ. Technically unfeasible and politically unsustainable as recent events have shown by the project being kicked into the long grass. Humiliated again.
Undaunted by her defeats at the hands of the those who know better, she ploughs on into another evidence-free zone where images containing sexual content will corrupt the viewer to such an extent that he - it's always a man - will immediately rampage through the streets, assaulting and raping innocent maidens. And no, Mr Smartass, you can't just engage with one of those ladies of the night to work off your sexual urges because you will be charged with people-trafficking for the purpose of prostitution. No defence allowed, you've got testicles.
Since when has being a man-hating ignoramus been seen as a qualification for high ministerial office in this country?
Are you equating a crime of violence against another person with someone smoking cannabis in their own home to unwind at the end of a hard day at work? I'd also suggest you shot yourself in the foot by suggesting your hypothetical reformed rapist had become a born-again Christian.
"Half the illegal substances would be legalised, tobacco would be banned immediately and UK faith schools would be prohibited from teaching creationism as scientific. Never gonna happen though."
You're too timid by half, Mr. Anon Coward. After giving the matter much thought, I have concluded that the only viable approach is full legalization of *all* recreational intoxicants, no exceptions. The present approach is utterly broken; it causes nothing but evil results. To wit:
1. No one who wants to use any drug has the slightest difficulty acquiring the stuff. Thus the law is brought into disrepute.
2. Users are at the mercies of producers and dealers, and can never be sure about the identity, purity, and potency of whatever it is they enjoy getting high on.
3. The real addicts end up committing petty crimes to pay for their habits, to say nothing of the sad women prostituting themselves to pay for their next fix. Legalize all intoxicants, give them free to certified addicts and guess what? You could leave your front door unlocked.
4. The money that organized crime derives from the drug trade has utterly corrupted any number of countries. Plus there are those with a vested interest in keeping the present system of prohibition unchanged: cops, the incarceration industry, mafia dons, sleazebag politicians. You may be sure that the louder a politician squeals about the evils of drugs, the more money they're being paid by gangsters. [Hello, Wakkyjakky!]
5. Police manpower is diverted to drug law enforcement when it could be used to combat more serious menaces.
6. Drug law enforcement becomes a vehicle to justify further Stasi-fication of many countries.
7. Mankind, from its earliest days and quite likely before that, has always sought to get as stoned as possible as often as possible. You simply can't fight human nature.
I'm quite sure every El Reg reader can add other points to this list of "the evils caused by the prohibition of most intoxicants."
Yes, legalize even the dangerously addictive drugs like crack and meth.
I used to propose all this as a way of stirring up the shit, but one day I paid attention to what I was saying and realized that it may all sorts of sense.
Spread the word.
As an ex long-term user of this drug, my conclusion must be that our bureaucracy and government must have located the mother-lode.
From my experience and observations, over a 35 year period, I have noticed that cannabis is a facilitator.
After all, the name hash is derived from the Arab word assassin and the first place that hash was in general use was amongst a group of secret warriors, who were better and more efficient killers if fired up with a dose of this substance.
So, if one is prone to, or good at sitting on a sofa, giggling and babbling… a joint is just the thing to make one better at that. The munchies is another expression of this idea... we need food, sweet food and we need it now... lots of it.
Or, if one has a dodgy personality, like a bit of paranoia, a joint will make one more so.
If one is an artist or musician, the chances are, things will come into one’s consciousness that would never have done so without the holy smoke.
For my last analogy, if one is a fascistic home secretary or prime minister who’s entire output is inane, insane and idealistic rubbish, a few joints will make one completely incoherent. My considered conclusion, Wakkyjakky is a pothead and is suffering from all of the above… including a dose of the munchies… fat cow.
Oh by the way, I was always a cynical fellow with libertarian tendencies; I can’t think what pot has done for me. Anyway, as an ex afficionado, (so, no longer prone to any of the above), I couldn't give a flying f**k what this evil bint does or says, I am just going to ignore her deliberations and keep a wry smile on my face while she digs her own and NULAB's grave.
"The flame icon is there because your implication that the use of any illegal substance is some sort of moral failure is offensive."
Wouldn't breaking the law, no matter how much you disagree with it, no matter how stupid you believe it to be, constitute a moral failure by definition?
In any case, they won't legalise drugs because:
1) The USA won't let them;
2) They proit too much from bribes paid by drug overlords.
"Wouldn't breaking the law, no matter how much you disagree with it, no matter how stupid you believe it to be, constitute a moral failure by definition?"
Some of us believe it is our moral duty to break immoral laws such as those that limit what people can and can' do with their own bodies.
People smoke less dope nowadays because dope is a more "serious" drug. Their used to be a nice choice of different types of hashish available to suit the occasion , and grass was rare. When grass was available it was nice light-headed stuff like thai stick. All of this was imported and home-grown was a nerdy hobby that rarely yielded anything worth smoking. When engineered varieties such as skunk, purple haze and northern lights became available to grow in Britain, the pressure to endure the risk of importing cannabis was released. However, these varieties were not only hugely stronger if effect than many of the imported types of cannabis, but the British grower never learned how to make hashish. The hashish that was available was nasty pressed "slate rocky" that had been tampered with and often had the essential oils removed with solvents and sold separately to make more profits. Weak slate was sometimes treated with pharmaceuticals to trick the gullible into thinking they were getting stoned. This started the decline of the casual smoker. A joint of skunk was just too strong and harsh and unpleasant a high for many hashish smokers, so they stopped. Of course many smokers liked the stronger new weed, and as the body rapidly mounts a resistance to THC, those who persevered found it not too strong to keep smoking casually. It is also important to remember that following the ban on smoking in public places, many people have given up cigarette smoking. The casual cannabis smoker might be reluctant to continue smoking joints as the tobacco in the spliff maintains the addiction to cigarettes, while smoking cannabis from a pipe or bong yields a much stronger high that might not always be appropriate for the smoker at the time.
Whatever your tastes, the fact remains that the government did nothing whatsoever to trigger the decline in cannabis smoking, ironically it was the availability of types of cannabis itself that did this, its analogous to all beer disappearing from the shops to be replaced by nothing but vodka.
As far as reclassification goes, if you smoke the odd spliff you will be fine, if you drink the odd pint you will be fine. If you drink a bottle of vodka every night you will probably die of alcohol related disease, if you smoke an eighth of skunk every night, you may go a bit potty or (rarely) develop throat cancer.
with all the resources available to the worlds greatest economies, it is not possible to curb the instinct of people to grab a few leaves, dry them and toke them up. Are our armed forces really that stupid or is it just the law that is that stupid. Only YOU can decide.