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23/09/2007 00:00:00

Press Release: Marjorie's Strong "Skunk" causes bad smell for campaigners.

Marjorie's Strong "Skunk" causes bad smell for campaigners.

The Legalise Cannabis Alliance ( UK group campaigning to legalise
cannabis)has written to Lord Hansard the Chairman SANE (UK mental heath
charity) expressing concern the misinformation on strength and risks of
cannabis frequently cited by SANE spokesperson Marjorie Wallace does
nothing to further harm reduction.

(See full Letter to Lord Hansard at end of editors' notes).

A spokesperson from the LCA press office said: "It is a shame that we
had to "Thank and Spank" SANE in the same letter. But we are fed up with
Mrs Wallace making unsubstantiated claims about cannabis distracting us
from more important issues."

"The bottom line here is anyone who makes an incorrect claim being
unaware of the facts can be forgiven. However, To repeat the same claim
after being made aware of the fact would be both irresponsible and

"The facts are.. The average THC content of cannabis not grown
hydroponically has remained stable since 1995. The average THC content
of hydroponically grown cannabis has increased from 7% 1995 to 14 % in

"We can only hope that Ms Wallace will take note."

Press Office
Legalise Cannabis Alliance
PO BOX 2883
S74 9EE
07984 255015

Editors' Notes

1. SANE (UK mental heath charity)

2. A report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug
Addiction (EMCDDA) was commissioned in 2004 to specifically examine the
validity of these claims about increased potency. The report, entitled
"An Overview of Cannabis Potency in Europe", concluded that;

"Statements in the popular media that the potency of cannabis has
increased by ten times or more in recent decades are not supported by
the data available from either the USA or Europe."

"there have been modest changes in THC levels that are largely confined
to the relatively recent appearance on the market of intensively
cultivated domestically produced cannabis. Cannabis of this type is
typically more potent, although it is also clear that the THC content of
cannabis products in general is extremely variable and that there have
always been some samples that have had a high potency."

3. The findings of two recent studies by Professor Leslie King, the
former head of the Forensic Science Service's drugs intelligence, And
Researchers at Kings College, London to be published in Druglink,
(DrugScope magazine), later this year also expected contradict claims
that super-strength 30% plus "superskunk" is dominating the market.

The average THC content of Non Skunk variety cannabis (not grown
hydroponically) has remained stable since 1995.

The average THC content of hydroponically grown cannabis has increased
from 7% 1995 to 14 % in 2005.

4. Letter to Lord Hansard:

I write on behalf of the Legalise Cannabis Alliance to thank SANE for
adding your support to our campaign to make cannabis users aware of, and
avoid unscrupulous cannabis growers who add chemicals or grit to add
weight and increase profits. Clearly an example of working together for
the better good.

Sadly we are concerned about some of the comments on strength and risks
frequently cited by Marjorie Wallace. Mrs Wallace has again raised the
misconception that cannabis is stronger now than it was a decade ago. It
has been established and reported by experts, including the European
Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction and researchers at KingÂ’s
College London, that this is not the case. I hope you will ensure that
in future your spokespersons are aware of the facts and that credible
statements are made. Misinformation does nothing to further harm reduction.

Her comments about the contamination of cannabis are however valid and
this is a direct result of its prohibition. Unscrupulous cannabis
growers add chemicals during the growing process to increase weight or
they add ground glass or grit to the dried cannabis, also to add weight
and therefore increase profits.

The consequences of smoking these additives are unknown.

The LCA does not advocate that anyone take any substance if its negative
effects outweigh its positive ones. However the vast majority of people
who use cannabis report that it is beneficial to them, medically,
spiritually and mentally. Millions of people in the UK and around the
world report the beneficial effects of cannabis. These people are
harming no-one so it is unreasonable for them to be criminalised and

Millions of people in the UK rely on alcohol, tobacco, food or
prescription drugs to get them through the day and yet it is only those
who choose cannabis who are demonised and criminalised.

If cannabis is dangerous to vulnerable groups e.g. children or people
with a history of mental health problems, then information, education
and support is the way forward, not this continued prohibition. Cannabis
use should be a matter of personal choice, not of law and if harm
reduction is to be achieved cannabis should be legalised and made an
issue for the Department of Health, not the Home Office.

ItÂ’s time we regulated the drugs market, instead of leaving it in the
hands of criminals where the age of consent is £10.

Yours sincerely,
Dilys Wood
Secretary & Co-ordinator

Author: Legalise Cannabis Alliance via UKCIA

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