Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New research highlights effects of cannabis on hyperbole

As Gordon Brown apparently prepares to ignore his own expert advisers and side with the tabloids in rehashing our cannabis laws, he has well and truly jumped aboard the skunk-panic bandwagon - declaring on GMTV this morning that it is 'lethal'.

On the Comment is Free blog someone has posted some historical reefer madness quotes under an excellent piece from Paul Corry from the mental health charity Rethink. Here they are for your reading pleasure, with Gordon Brown's earning his place and now joining them at at the end.

(Now just to restate, whilst the majority of users do not experience problems with cannabis, its use has risks and no one is claiming it is harmless or that some users have not been harmed by it. However, emotive anecdotes and tabloid journal trawls for scarey sounding epedemiologocal data that can form the basis of a shock headline or soundbite, cannot be the basis of sound public health policy making, as it would seem, we are about to learn. Again.)

Alex Wodak describes politicians use of drug policy as 'poltical viagra'. Gordon, you're a stud...

". . . The dope begins its DEADLY WORK of arousing SEXUAL PASSIONS . . . with no restraint as to COLOR or RACE!"
Rev. Robert James Devine, 'Assassin of Youth: Marihuana' 1943

"marihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing!"
Federal Bureau of Narcotics Chief Harry J. Anslinger1948

"A California man decapitated his best friend while under the violent spell of the smoke!"
Newsweek August 14, 1937

"Under [MARIHUANA'S] influence, prison inmates fall desperately in love with each other, just as they would with women outside prison walls!"
Earle Albert Rowell & Robert Rowell, 'On the Trail of Marihuana the Weed of Madness', 1939
"reefer makes darkies think they're as good as white men."
Harry J. Anslinger, 1929

"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-forth's of the crimes of violence in this country today are committed by dope slaves - that is a matter of cold record."
Annie Laurie's column, Hearst newspapers nationwide, date unknown

"Permanent brain damage is one of the inevitable results of the use of marijuana."
Ronald Reagan, 1974

"Marijuana leads to homosexuality . . . and therefore to AIDS."
White House Drug Czar Carlton Turner, 1986

"Marijuana is ten times more dangerous than twenty years ago."
Presidential Candidate Bill Clinton, 1992

"The shift to Class C - which meant most users faced a simple ticking off if caught - has coincided with an explosion in drug crime and several brutal cannabis-related murders."
The Daily Mail, 29th April 2008

"Cannabis 'is making teenagers impotent', say doctors"
The Daily Mail, 28th April 2008

"(But) I think people know my view about cannabis and particularly about this lethal version of it, skunk."
Gordon Brown, GMTV, Tuesday 29 April

Thanks to http://www.reefermadnesslondon.com/


john-boi said...

What a dickhead.

He thinks that by being stupid on Cannabis he can maintain some popularity with the other stupids at the Daily Mail.

The below quote from 2005 shows the success of the policy and the ACMD know this

"Arrests for possession of cannabis fell by a third in the first year since it was downgraded to a Class C drug, official Home Office figures show.

An estimated 199,000 police hours were saved, according to data from 26 of the 42 English and Welsh police forces.

Cannabis was reclassified so that officers could target hard drugs.

Minister Caroline Flint said new crime survey figures also showed that fears for a rise in cannabis use among young people were "wholly unfounded."

'Significant savings'

Based on the feedback from the 26 police forces, there were an estimated 43,750 arrests in the last 12 months compared with 68,625 in the previous period - a fall of 36%, according to the Home Office."

So now we are going back to 200,000+ hours of Police time wasted on Cananbis. Unbelievable.

I just can't wait for a coupkle of years and we see the use of cananbis once agin rising in spite of upgrading. Prohibition doesn't work when will they realise.

Steve R said...

I think its likely that the regrading will come in tandem with some fairly sensible enforcement protocols that mean little will change in practice but political needs will have been satisfied and messages sent etc. They want to have their cake and eat it - thats probably the best way. they get to look tough and make the right noises without actually changing anything.

All this tedious nonsense for nothing.

Anonymous said...

Also in today's Graun :


Sunshine Band said...

It is a hostile blow against cannabis users whom are already members of the most discriminated against part of society (drug users). What next; more invasive testing initiatives and effective screening technology (as used in some airports)?

This is a perverse denial of equal rights in respect of choice for those that may choose cannabis over alcohol, this being a reasonable choice being the less harmful form of available drugs.

The DENIAL of equal protection to all under the law requires rational justification and there is no health or social argument which can apply to the scheduling cannabis in any class of drugs at all that cannot be applied to alcohol only ten times as easily.

The ACMD have been under the strong arm of the Home office for far too long, and now they are making a few noises about not being listened to (although where was their voice of consternation when the government improperly by-passed them entirely when Blair scheduled "magic mushrooms"?)

The ACMD need to find their teeth or be noted in history as the lost hope of the generations whom suffered under the terrible wrath of the war on drugs and it's consequences.

Equality for all seems a fake promise as touted by the Equality Act and the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Supposedly all the types of discrimination they can address are already detailed. Hmm, what a nonsense, how can you set in stone the way societies understanding of discrimination evolves or is won through struggle. It seems as if they are saying that there is no debate to have, we are in power so we can just ignore whatever is said. They were no better with the slaves or the other groups of victims who went before them, now granted equal rights through their struggle against oppression.