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13/01/2008 00:00:00

UK: No Cannabis News is Bad News For Government, Police

Source: CannaZine
Date: January 12 2008

According to "The Telegraph", Rehab centre to the rich and famous The
Priory, in South West London, is to treat 12 year olds for marijuana
related mental health problems.

The headlines are big and bold. The message they scream out to the
nation, dark and sinister.

Children as young as 12 are being treated for cannabis and the nation is
doomed to a future of drug abuse and depravation at the hands of council
estate cannabis dealers.

I would be interested in finding out exactly how many "12 year olds"
well-respected treatment centre The Priory will actually treat as to be
fair The Telegraph have printed a news story which doesn't actually give
us any news.
A lot of rhetorical "ifs and buts", which is standard fare when it comes
to cannabis, but no hard and fast information and just like I feel 20
minutes after a good curry, I'm hungry for more.

Perhaps I'll give The Priory a call and ask?

Its a message which has prevailed, perhaps unsurprisingly, ever since
the governments own Department of Health announced shocking figures
regarding the nations alcohol habits. Habits, which have inspired a
whole new genre of TV programs.

A documentary info-tainment style "thread" which follows the nations
police forces as they stand shoulder to shoulder with colleagues,
fist-fighting a youth awash with strong cheap cider and alco-pops, and
if the alcohol itself wasn't enough to kick off a riot, all that sugar
certainly would be.

It makes compulsive viewing, but clearly not very good news coverage as
only The Telegraph deemed it newsworthy enough to print.

Drugs in the UK
According to the government the Great British youth are succumbing to
cannabis abuse in their droves, just as the majority of the Cabinet (as
well as the Conservative opposition, including leader David Cameron) did
in their own sordid, drug fueled childhood and on searching through
respected news vehicle "Google News", I decided to see how the cannabis
issue stacks up with regard to other, British drug news stories.

If the cannabis issue is as bad as the government would have us believe,
there must be more regarding class A drugs so I fire up Google News and
attempt to fill in the gaps left by The Telegraph and its inadequate

First I check out the news listed under the "Ecstasy" heading. After
everything I have read concerning a certain Chief Constable, I figure
ecstasy is as good a place to start as any, But apart from a story
published by self-confessed drug issue experts "The Telegraph", the
title of which reads "Coroner Says Police Chief Wrong On Ecstasy", every
other news story on the front page comes from distant shores, including
Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

My appetite unsated, I try a search for "Cocaine" related news.

When then Home Secretary David Blunkett declassified cannabis back in
2004, he quoted the reason for doing so as being, "So police could
concentrate on dealing with class A drugs, and its logistical chain." So
I figure I must be on to a winner here.

Straightaway I come across a story published by "The Independent" and my
heart skips a beat, (but that could just be the coffee I'm drinking).

The story reads "Spanish Police Sieze 600 Kilos of Cocaine".

To put things into perspective, thats over half a ton! Quite an amount
to sieze when you consider a single gram of cocaine works out at about
£40-£60, (so I'm reliably informed - contrary to the "gateway theory"
I've never touched a Class A substance in my life).

I look further, searching for evidence of the UK cocaine connection. But
apart from a story about a man dressed as an orthodox catholic landing
at Amsterdam airport with cocaine strapped to his legs underneath his
robes, and a few stories from the Republic of Ireland, a country which
has loudly and publicly decided to tackle Class A drugs head on after a
number of death's over the festive season, there's nothing relating to
the mainland.

China, America, Peru, Spain plus three stories based in or around
Dublin, but the mainland gets not a single mention on the front page.

A fact I find surprising as cocaine is more readily available in my own
area of South Wales, than ever before.

Undeterred I try a search for "heroin news".

2007 was a particularly dark period here in South Wales.

Respected drugs charity "DrugScope" reported for the first time, a child
of 13 had been treated for heroin dependence in Swansea.

Recent figures released by the Home Office showed the South Wales
Constabulary, led by Chief Constable Barbara Wilding, lay in ninth
position in the nations league tables when it comes to detecting and
prosecuting criminals with successful prosecutions in only 25% of cases
- 2% below the national average.

A fact which goes some way to explaining why heroin is more widely
available, and at a price which falls squarely into the "pocket money"
bracket, than ever before in and around South Wales.

A fact you won't have read in the press, is the North Wales Constabulary
under Chief Constable "mad mullah" Richard Brunstrom, sits at the top of
the league table, head and shoulders above every other Police Force in
England and Wales, with a detection and prosecution rate of 48%, or 21%
above the national average expected by the Home Office!

The first heroin story I read, is published by the Hindustan Times, and
relates to a capture of 1 kilo of heroin in Jammu, wherever that may be.

Two seperate stories, from "Medical News Today", and "Science Daily",
ask the question "Should heroin be prescribed to addicts?"

Apart from that everything is related to Boston (US), New jersey (US),
New York (US), and an interesting story from Australias Gold Coast, the
title of which reads, "GC Addicts High On Hill-Billy Heroin", a story
which relates to the new trend of heroin addicts "acquiring" opiate
based pain killers, in this instance Hydrocodone, a painkiller so strong
its only ever prescribed to terminally ill patients.

The Hydrocodone epidemic, powered by the pharmaceutical industry is
quite literally, sweeping the world and according to sources in the US,
prescription pain killer abuse, led by Hydrocodone (brand names include
OxyContin, Vicodin etc) is now more of a problem in US schools and
colleges, than heroin, cannabis, methamphetamine and cocaine put
together, and that's quite a statistic!

But no news out of the UK. No huge heroin seizures. Not even any small ones.

Dejected, I carry out a search for "Cannabis", and I hit pay dirt.
There's as much news as a person could wish for and after another "fix"
of my own particular brand of Colombian stimulant, I sit and read the

In the North East of the country, the "Northern Echo" tells a story of
police finding a second cannabis farm in as many days.

The Telegraph published a story, the title of which reads, "Cannabis
Clinic To Treat 12 Year Olds", which is The Priory story I mention
earlier, and The Guardian, under the title "My brother's first joint and
his descent into a mental war zone", tells the story of a young man and
his fight with a mental illness, supposedly exacerbated by using
cannabis as a young person of 14.

Not chronic use by any means, but enough to interest the press.

The Bucks Freepress, The Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph and
Hartlepool Today, all lead with stories regarding the police busting
cannabis farms, set up in rented domestic homes, so there's plenty to
choose from.

Suddenly, like an epipheny, the mist clears and the reasons for this
insane war on cannabis and its users becomes all to apparent.

No news is bad news for government
If it wasn't for the good old "cannabis farm" stories we read every
single day in the British press, there would be nothing at all to read
regarding the UK drugs issue, as the enforcement agencies have failed
dismally, to make even a dent in the widescale distribution of class A
drugs, and regardless of the best efforts of Mr Blunkett, to free up
resources necessary to fight the evils of cocaine, heroin and amphetamines.

Rather than make a difference to the class A drugs issue, its actually
gotten worse since the reclassification of cannabis, which in itself,
has shown a marked improvement over the last three years regarding the
amounts of people using cannabis, or should that be the amounts of
people NOT using cannabis.

Allied to the fact the alcohol and pharmaceutical industries spend
millions every year in actively lobbying government to maintain the
criminal status of cannabis and its users, there's little wonder Prime
Minister Gordon Brown's hands are tied when it comes to decriminalising

It comes as no surprise then, the Association of Chief Police Officers
(ACPO) wishes to keep chasing, arresting and incarcerating cannabis
users, as without them, they would have absolutely no results to speak
of at their next annual meeting. None!

In short, the Police, have failed in the war against drugs and are using
cannabis arrests to hide the fact.

But is that a valid reason to imprison UK citizens, for choosing to use
a substance which is far safer than alcohol and tobacco?

No it's not!

Bring on the next General Election.

Author: Cannazine via UKCIA

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01/05/08 UK: Confused? You may be

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