Cannabis

Before we get onto today’s juicy debate, if you didn’t catch David on last night’s London Tonight news programme, talking about Gary McKinnon, click here.

So, on this day in 1967, a petition was printed in The Times calling for the legalisation of cannabis in the UK. Among the signatories were The Beatles.

It had five points:

1. The government should permit and encourage research into all aspects of cannabis use, including its medical applications.
2. Allowing the smoking of cannabis on private premises should no longer constitute an offence.
3. Cannabis should be taken off the Dangerous Drugs list and controlled, rather than prohibited.
4. Possession of cannabis should either be legally permitted or, at most, be considered a misdemeanour, punishable by a fine.
5. All persons imprisoned for possession of cannabis, or for allowing cannabis to be smoked on private premises, should have their sentences commuted.

25 years later, there was another petition, which David signed.

It’s a controversial issue, I know, but I’d like to know where you stand.

There is considerable scientific evidence of marijuana’s healing and therapeutic properties. Cancer patients are thankful for its help easing pain and nausea caused by chemotherapy, as are sufferers of multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. HIV and AIDS patients use it to increase appetite. It’s said to relieve stress, anxiety, asthma and glaucoma, to clear headaches and banish insomnia.

Indeed, some doctors consider it to be safer than highly-addictive prescription medication. After all, marijuana withdrawal is not nearly as severe as withdrawal from these or other drugs.

That said, plenty of people – as this recent New York Times article shows – insist that cannabis has ruined their lives, and research from the US suggests that as well as the obvious respiratory problems caused by smoking anything, frequent or long-term cannabis use may raise a man’s risk of testicular cancer.

What is consumed today – now available on prescription in 13 US states – can be up to five times more potent than what was available in the ’70s, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and this is blamed for increased addiction rates. Many insist that cannabis use paves the way towards harder drugs.

There has always been, at best, confusion, at worst, blatant propaganda surrounding this debate. When hemp was banned in the US in 1937 with the passing of the Marijuana Tax Act, Congress claimed that marijuana made users extremely violent. However, by the ’50s and ’60s, it was blamed for turning would-be soldiers soft and, therefore, unsuitable for waging war. Strange.

Last month, the US Supreme Court declared that federal law over-rides drug policies in states where marijuana is allowed for medicinal purposes, thus allowing federal officials to destroy home-grown plants and to arrest anyone found to be in possession of the drug, even if they have it on their doctor’s advice.

My personal feeling – and that of San Francisco Democrat, Tom Ammiano, who introduced a bill earlier this year which would allow anyone over 21 to legally possess, grow, buy and sell marijuana – is that it should be taxed… just like cigarettes and alcohol, which we all know are responsible for millions of deaths every year.

A report by the State Board of Equalisation estimates that marijuana sales would raise $990 million from a $50-per-ounce fee and $392 million in sales taxes.

Currently, its prohibition costs the US more than $400 million per year.

To look at it from a different perspective, it’s commonly agreed that we should all be exploring ways of reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. Does the answer partially lie in the industrialisation of hemp cultivation? Hemp is a renewable resource which can be used widely as, among other things, a source of food and medicine, as well as a hard-wearing alternative to cotton. Its seed oil can be used to make more environmentally-sound plastics and paints.

It was assumed that, by the 1940s, all paper would be made from hemp in the US, thus sparing trees – and we all want to save the rainforests, don’t we?

Furthermore, the production of hemp is said to be far less harmful to the environment: requiring fewer chemicals, the fast-growing plant needs barely a season to reach maturity, making it more ‘renewable’ than the trusted tree.

Romanticised, certainly. Demonised, definitely. Should cannabis be legalised?

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour's official blog, The Blog ('Features' previously being its rather naff title), affectionately - or lazily - shortened to 'FEd'.

114 thoughts on “Cannabis”

  1. Firstly, The War on Drugs should have been renamed The War on Some Drugs, with alcohol and tobacco always getting special pleading.

    For the cannabis side of things I think control would be more useful than the foolish situation we are in now. Where cannabis was reclassified with the added statement ‘we are not interested in the evidence’.

    The cannabis = gateway drug is silly unless alcohol is accepted as a gateway drug an order of magnitude more serious than cannabis. If many hard drug users used cannabis then even more have consumed alcohol.

    Indeed how many cannabis users consumed alcohol before they smoked?

    Ignoring the potential medical uses of cannabis is plain stupid and changing (very slowly).

    Much of the cannabis/hemp illegality actually came from lobbying from the cotton producers in the US (as the cotton couldn’t complete against hemp) and they also played the race card. 🙁

    Not that cannabis is without issues (friends and family with issues) but the current system simply doesn’t work especially with the stronger strains around these days.

    Alcohol is such a killer and messes up so many lives but all the government want to do is prevent the sale of cheap alcohol. If you have an alcohol problem you will simply pay the price (or steal) and whether the alcohol is cheap or expensive the violence some drunks like to dish out hurts just the same.

  2. I’m not for drugs at all, but I’d legalize them all, if only to stop making sick people to criminals and dealers to rich men…

    Best regards
    Taki

  3. Well, a “friend of mine” has smoked Grass (without tobacco) since he was 16 and he’s now 43… no Heroin addiction, no criminal record of violence, no criminal record of any kind in fact and on the face of it appears fairly normal-ish.

    Alcohol, IMHO, is worse and is sold to teenagers openly along with cigarettes???

    Have a nice weekend all! Just heading out to see my friend. 😉 8|

    Cheers
    Paul

  4. Funny you started an entry on this topic. Just earlier this week I read this article where they passed a special tax on medical cannabis in California. Seems that when government budgets get tight they will consider anything to line the coffers.

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  5. Interesting topic, one surely close to the hearts of all Pink Floyd fans. 😛

    I would support the decriminalisation of Cannabis, and also agree that there is a fortune in tax to be made from legalisation and all of the things you have mentioned.

    I don’t know any interesting statistics, or have any insight to the hemp vs cotton wars, but I can tell you about my experience as a 15 year old kid thinking ‘I’d like to get stoned’.

    It was relatively simple to find someone at school who could help me out, indeed a group of us decided to all try it together. Only two of us went through with it. What a night that was – still remember it now – I was completely mashed and had a blast.

    But, let’s look at that for a second. A 15 year old had easy access to illegal drugs – and at school no less!

    The legalisation would surely halt the illegal trade, provide some sort of standardisation on quality (possibly more important for potentially legalising other drugs) provide revenue for the governments, possibly create jobs?

    I also don’t accept it as a gateway drug – I think people have a predisposition to either take any drug they can get their hands on, or choose not to. I was never interested in taking hard drugs, not even in today’s youth culture where taking a few pills is seen as the norm. Anyone remember Leah Betts? That was a huge shit storm about Ecstasy but people I know used to take that like M&Ms.

    Cannabis has its uses, and in some context is a positive force, but there are downsides. Ask my long suffering non pot smoking girlfriend about when I used to smoke. Mood swings, bad skin, and even though I wasn’t a heavy user, I did suffer withdrawal symptoms, and I attribute my awful memory to cannabis use. (I used to have a good memory… and I’m only 25 before you start calling me old, LOL.)

    1. To Rob: I can assure you your bad skin was not caused by cannabis, unless you got the munchies and ate junk food, but then it’s the junk food’s fault. As for mood swings and ‘withdrawal syndrome’: I have quit using after using heavily for long periods of time with NO withdrawal syndrome of any kind. Whenever I visit my sister’s family I bring some “medicine” in case I want it, but I never do – I just go without and take an extra pain pill if needed.

      Cannabis does not cause any kind of withdrawal or addiction, but it does make you feel better. Besides being an effective pain treatment, it also treats my depression, so thankfully I don’t need those horrific psychiatric drugs. It also helps me with anxiety and PTSD. You may not like it, or it may make you have a negative mood swing, but most people have a POSITIVE mood swing when they use cannabis. Please don’t project your self-perceived health problems which you attribute to cannabis to all people, because your experience is contrary to what I’ve seen its effects on most other people, and myself. Cannabis can cause panic attacks, especially if you haven’t used it in a long time, and most experienced users know better than to use more than a little when it’s the first use in a while. Some people have psychiatric problems and they self-medicate with cannabis, which is a MUCH better alternative to psychiatric allopathic fascism, IMHO. Cannabis is the the most valuable medicinal herb, safe to use, and also has thousands of other uses making it the most valuable plant on the planet.

      Demonizing cannabis is so hypocritical in a society that allows tobacco, alcohol, and big-pharma toxic drugs and vaccines that kill.

  6. Well, as I used to be an exceedingly heavy dope smoker (well over 15 years ago), I am against its legislation as it did nearly ruin my life. In the end I used to lock myself up in my loftroom and smoke all day and literally just flake out with the headphones on. However, I think it was also because I was caught in a trap with who I was in a relationship with that gave me the desire to escape.

    It makes one paranoid too so it is not worth it. It also introduced me to speed and acid, but I was VERY against heroin. Fortunately, I quit the speed and acid and stuck to the blow, but it got to me in the end.

    I have seen a lot of other people turn into loafabouts and not working through this “recreational” drug. The only plus side it had for me was that it made me very creative.

    It took being on the “brink” of a nervous breakdown (which I fought tooth and nail to hang onto my sanity – which I prevailed I might add) to make me quit. And when I did quit, my life got better and better and better. When I was a stoner I became reclusive and anti-social.

    Thanks to me finally quitting the stuff, I left the man who made me unhappy, got an excellent job, met my wonderful husband and now have a beautiful little girl.

    Amen. 😀

  7. I have been after this for a while being paralysed neck down on a vent but there still is no way it seems I can get any.

    I have a valium based tablet but I don’t take this as I’ve seen what it does to people compared to the weed.

    Oh well, back to heroin. :))

  8. Hi, FEd.

    Oh, It’s a very controversial question.

    Maybe, it’s good to find a right way for cannabis to be legalised, because today there’s big confusion.

    In my opinion, it’s very important to permit and encourage research into all aspects of cannabis use, including its medical applications, and it should be taxed just like cigarettes and alcohol.

    I think everyone can smoke cannabis in private even if I don’t agree with someone who smokes in public, because they must be respect other persons, and in many case unfortunately they don’t care a hang. I don’t know why, they don’t respect who doesn’t smoke.

    At least, I remember when I was at David’s concert in Florence in 2006. Someone smoked a joint and I said: “Sorry, can you move up? I don’t like the cannabis smell!” 😉

    Bye, Hydrea

  9. Interesting topic FEd.

    This past November Michigan passed the Medical Marijuana law. It is not without its problems. Click here for a little more info.

    Personally I have no problem with it. I guess it depends on the person.

    If it was legalized it would free up law enforcement to use its resources on much more pressing matters.

    Have a good weekend everyone,
    Hoss

  10. Being 420 friendly myself, I find that pot actually increases my senses and awareness. I haven’t seen the paranoia that some say comes with smoking pot. I’m sure the $50 per ounce good stuff would equate to less paranoia (along with it being legal) than say a $120 per ounce bag.

    I’m all for making it legal for people with illnesses and also for those who like to take the edge off.

    I’ve never seen anybody in my lifetime that became violent from smoking pot. I’ve heard of a couple going nuts from mixing their pills in pill popping parties, though I’ve never been to one. Life is about choices and I’m comfortable with my choice concerning marijuana use and my consumption thereof.

    1. Might I add that the quality today is exponentially higher than when I was in college. It’s all bud now and the highs are as different as wines on the shelf.

  11. I first smoked cannabis when I was 17 years old. After a year of smoking cannabis I took Ecstasy and I used both drugs for another 2 years. The weed everyday and the Es around 3 or 4 times a week.

    I do regret the heavy drug use and the damage it left me with. If it wasn’t for the cannabis smoking that first got me in to the drug circle I probably wouldn’t have moved on to stronger things.

    I would fear that if cannabis was legal we would lose so many more teens to the harder side of drugs.

    1. Hi mondo,

      Do you think that if cannabis were legal and you could buy it from say a chemist shop, that the risk of meeting the drug dealer offering other drugs would be reduced?

      snow

    2. I missed the Ecstasy/Crack thing… those drugs were after my time. However I do carry some credentials from my participation in the seventies. I smoked a lot of pot back then, also took peyote, mushrooms, opium, windowpain acid, etc.

      I don’t lump pot in the same category as all those other drugs, first off, and secondly I drank some booze before smoking pot. If it wasn’t for the drinking… well, anyway, you get the picture. Life led to drinking… that damn life anyway! Damn you life, all to hell!

      I have a bad back also, and have had to take some drugs for pain that started to get as addicting as cocaine.

      I know the differences between substances that can really harm you, and the ones that can easily be controlled for recreation.

      It’s simply not fair to put people in jail because we don’t like them smoking pot. Taking people’s lives away, and putting them in jail IS THE CRIME! There are millions of fun loving innocent pot smokers who have a dream… don’t put them up on a cross.

      I think a lot more people would mellow out if pot were legal… and god knows the United States of America could use that.

      Uuuuwwwweeeeeeeee, boy howdy… you betcha!

  12. Hello FEd!

    Being a drug counsellor intern and federal case manager working with inmates straight out of prison, I have always believed marijuana should be legal. It would help with overcrowding of prisons and give law enforcement less to deal with. Let’s keep the murderers and rapists locked up and let the marijuana dealers/smokers go.

    Marijuana could definitely become a “cash” crop. The government (US) could tax the sh*t out of it like they do cigarettes and alcohol.

    I have many medical conditions that could benefit from it (Glaucoma being one).

    Hope you had a good week and an even better weekend FEd.

    Penny

    1. I agree Penny. It ruins people’s lives and keeps good men and women from getting good jobs as I’ve seen here in Southwest Missouri. I make sure I keep less than an ounce (which makes it only like a traffic ticket) and also use my better judgement on when and where to use.

  13. It’s not really controversial, only to the typical UK voter who expresses opinions and outrage about everything but without the understanding.

    Personally I’m all for the legalisation of medical marijuana, not the general legalisation of marijuana in general (i.e. popping down to the corner shop for a pack of 20 Marlboro Skunks). Firstly I’d like it if everyone who received relief/benefit from using a cannibinoid-based product was able to buy or grow that medicine without worry of legal consequence. It is crazy that MS sufferers, chemo patients etc. are all denied a low cost highly effective medicine (e.g. Sativex being only really available off license in the UK).

    Those of us who aren’t specifically medical users can become medical users by using a California-style system: go to the doctor, say you’ve got insomnia, get a weed card, go to a dispensary and buy some smoke. What this means is the black market for marijuana dries up and all the money spent policing it is used more effectively (on serious drugs which have major personal and social consequences, unlike marijuana).

    The most important thing is that the kids (defined as under 18s – i.e. immature brains) do not get hold of weed because the studies do show that it can bring out latent schizophrenia – either immediately or later on in the 30s.

    However, if it was so causal a relationship there would be significantly more schizos in Holland than there are!!!

  14. oh, nice timing FEd, I just returned from a few days amsterdam (been attending one of the U2 shows).

    the netherlands are a great example in this regard, and very personally it makes me shudder to think of all the policies that go with cannabis around the rest of europe including the country I live in, austria.

    since I am working in a home for asylum seekers, the visit in a’dam made me realize how inhumane the penalties and legal consequences that come with the possession of cannabis actually are . I am not soft on drugs at all. we’re talking cannabis, right?

    it’s a huge issue, and I won’t comment in detail, but what it boils down to in regard to the netherlands is that it’s a live and let live situation, with all its good and bad sides. it works, and even so better, more controlled, safer, than employing misguided politics, which mostly don’t hurt those which they should.

    oh I am vague, I know, but if you are a little familiar with the situation in any european country you’ll know where I am pointing at.

    great topic, FEd!

    cheerio, bernhard

  15. Hey All,

    I don’t have an issue with legalization. It is no worse than booze and probably a whole lot better.

    Cheers, Howard

  16. Hi Ho FEd,

    Where to start…

    To make it clearer, all too often, as you have done here FEd, there is a common misconception about this whole topic. Hemp and marijuana, although both species of cannabis, are not the same plant. When I do try and point this out to folks, I use the simple analogy of oranges and lemons; both are citrus, both plants look the same, but their chemistry, (and obviously their fruit), are different enough to be classed as different plants.

    Because of this confusion, all too often, the legalisation of hemp gets mixed up with the legalisation of marijuana.

    As you wrote, hemp truly is a wonder plant for the environment. The quality of its fibres are second to none for making clothes, paper and so on. It’s easier, quicker and cheaper to grow than plantation trees, and easy to grow etc than recycling paper. Cotton farmers, logging industry and whoever else all happily backed its banning way back when simply because it was so good and so cheap and easy to grow.

    Marijuana is basically crap at producing any of those products.

    Marijuana is, I’m led to believe, wonderful as a pain killer for cancer patients (and a whole bunch of other ailments). Now as I hate cancer with a vengeance, that reason alone gets it my vote for legalisation as a medicine.

    Hemp will only get you high by making a rope and climbing it… it lacks, almost completely, the bit that gets you stoned.

    I say legalise both.

    Cheers
    Christopher

    1. Great post, Christopher.

      Lack of information is so often misleading.

      I don’t think our mass media are interested in explaining us the differences between Cannabis Sativa and Indica. They seem much more interested in scaring us, than in making us aware of the real risks of doing anything.

      So, you have to see lots of parents who are afraid their kids could use cannabis and can’t realise they abuse of alcohol every time they go out. But alcohol is legal…

  17. FEd’s introduction to this blog entry is probably one of the longest I’ve ever seen.

    I think he was listening to the one-hit wonder Brewer & Shipley, “One Toke Over the Line” which led into Bob Dylan doing “Everybody Must Get Stoned,” then The Byrds and “Eight Miles High” and finally “Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds.”

    Take your choice on the last one, either the Beatles version or Elton John’s just not William Shatner’s.

    What do you think???

    Thanks.

    Andrew

    1. I have to go with this classic, myself! :))

      I think I’ll have to watch Easy Rider tonight…

      Peace ‘n’ Love. 😛

      Gabrielle

  18. Yes, cannabis should be legalised.

    So many people find and use it everywhere, that it really makes no sense to keep it illegal.

    When a forbidden behaviour becomes so common, it would be better to change the law instead of pretending to apply it, I think.

    Saying that cannabis use paves the way towards harder drugs is like saying that chocolate necessarily causes obesity. Speaking like that is a wrong generalization, because it depends on the quantities.

    It’s like when we were talking about eating meat, moderation is the key.

    People should be educated to think that everything can be done in a moderated way, instead of being obliged not to do something (or to do something secretly) by prohibitions. Too many prohibitions make the people unable to decide for themselves.

    Then, we all know that many people, especially the youngest, are much more attracted by anything forbidden, than by usual behaviours, so what they obtain with prohibitions is, often, exactly the opposite.

    Hemp is not a drug, it’s only a plant, in the end.

    1. So many people find and use it everywhere, that it really makes no sense to keep it illegal.

      On the other hand, if you take the principle that if a law doesn’t work you should legalise it… Hmm… 😉

    2. :)) Even though, in general, I consider myself as an anti-prohibitionist, I’m not going to apply that principle to everything.

      Talking seriously, if you look at the history of law, you’ll see that most of laws have been changed (not necessarily cancelled) when they were no more suitable to their social context.

      That’s just the normal evolution of any law system, so I don’t know why Cannabis regulation should be treated as an exception.

  19. I dated a woman several years ago, before I got married, who was a survivor of breast cancer. She swore by marijuana as the ONLY thing that alleviated the negative effects of chemotherapy. Nothing else worked for her.

    I have known several other people who said that marijuana cured or alleviated their medical conditions.

    Based upon this, I would suport legalization — particularly for medicinal use.

    I also think it’d be a great way to raise tax revenue (at least here in the USA). At the very least, we in the USA should study the issue of legalization, stop being so paranoid and start thinking in a rational way about whether or not to legalize the stuff. I mean, why are tobacco and alcohol legal and pot is not?

  20. Hi FEd,

    Oh yes, the terrible “Pot Controversy”. Our lovely first lady, Ms. Reagan and those after her had to have some cause to take up while doing time in the White House.

    Back to the subject, first off, my favorite hemp shirt has a real cool graphic of all of the Pink Floyd albums and is quite neat.

    I think California and Michigan have the right idea of medical usage of marijuana and I think it needs to go a few more steps. The over population of prisons and the cost to keep someone in jail for pot is absolutely ridiculous. No wonder our country is struggling with money matters. Legalize personal usage and tax accordingly and for goodness sake, leave folks alone about what they do in their spare time.

    Good book called Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do written by Peter McWilliams, have you heard of that? Bought it for my husband years ago. Look it up.

    Besides the medical advantages listed in the previous comments, the native Indians would also add medically helpful for folks with breathing problems, contrary to what the govt. states. Glaucoma, headaches, nausea, vomiting and whatever a person needs it for.

    I believe Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon and pot are probably still as good together as they were in the past. 😉

    I think any form of drug or alcohol can lead to addiction. One of course is probably already there if a joint can put them over the edge. The outcome of alcohol intoxication is probably one of the deadliest yet that is perfectly legal.

  21. It’s no greater threat to public health and safety than tobacco or alcohol.

    Legalize it, tax it, and take the marijuana trade out of the hands of street dealers.

  22. Hey, FEd.

    I don’t think much needs to be said on this topic. Cannabis isn’t any worse than alcohol or tobacco, so why couldn’t it be legalized, too?

    Being stoned isn’t any worse than being drunk. The fascists just like playing mind games with you, telling you marijuana is bad for your health and all that. But of course we can’t stop them.

    By the way, there’s an early version of “Candy and A Current Bun” by Pink Floyd on YouTube, titled “Let’s Roll Another One”. Very interesting. I was just looking at that video before coming to this site.

    -Shannon

  23. I’d go along with the legalise it, then tax the hell out of it option.

    If people can benefit in health terms from its use, then I’m all for it. Personally I’d rather have a glass of wine but live and let live and all that.

    The big problem I have with cannabis is the way in which it is produced – by organised criminals. Apparently it’s mostly produced in so-called cannabis factories. Usually in private houses that have been kitted out with with sunlight lamps, heaters etc. All of which consume vast amounts of electricity – that being free electricity because that usually comes from an illegal (read deathtrap for the neighbours) supply too.

    So, grow yer own and save the planet!

  24. When hemp was banned in the US in 1937 with the passing of the Marijuana Tax Act, Congress claimed that marijuana made users extremely violent. However, by the ’50s and ’60s, it was blamed for turning would-be soldiers soft and, therefore, unsuitable for waging war. Strange.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m not convinced that taking a drug, or anything like that, could actually change someone’s nature, making him violent if he’s usually peaceful.

    Maybe drugs or alcohol work like neurological diseases.

    Unfortunately, my boyfriend’s family and mine had more than one experience of neurological diseases (Alzheimer’s and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis with frontal syndrome) and the doctors have always told us those diseases never “create” anything, just take out what have always been hidden.

    Maybe, who becomes violent or commits crimes after taking a drug or being drunk, has also some other kind of problem, frustration, anger or something like that.

    Every case is different, I think.

    1. I agree that no substance can create a personality trait where one does not already exist; nevertheless, I have seen the personality changes brought on by the use of certain drugs. The drug can alter the composition of personality traits you already have, can bring things out that would otherwise remain unseen.

      Perfect example: one of my students had an extreme form of ADHD which made him unable to concentrate on anything. While he was running around my classroom he would hit other students, and one time he threw a chair. Then he started to get medication, and gained control over his impulses. That was when this friendly, kind child began to emerge. It was as though someone had placed another person into this bad boy’s body. The transformation was pretty radical, and it was all because the medication (drug) had uncovered parts of his personality that had been hidden beneath all those violent impulses.

      It goes the other way as well, of course. Through my work with the homeless, I have met drug users who are perfectly reasonable people, until they are using. I could tell very quickly whether certain people had recently been using. The drug can remove the filters that most people depend upon to keep themselves in check, and the user can become quite hostile and violent. This is what makes drugs dangerous.

      It is not that these drugs MAKE someone get violent, CREATE violence. It’s that we all have these impulses to begin with, some more so than others, and the drug removes the inhibitions that keep us in check. As noted above, there are uses of drugs to help patients regain these inhibitions, in cases where there is an underlying condition that has caused them to lose control.

      For me, the real issue is people using these substances without understanding the ways in which they affect impulse control.

      (Disclaimer: I have never seen a person get belligerent under the influence of cannabis. I am here talking about other drugs.)

    2. I’m glad to read that you consider medications like the ones used to treat ADHD (was it Ritalin?) the same as drugs, because that’s exactly what they are, even if not many people are aware of that.

      Of course, the appropriate medication can work fine, but, maybe, that’s because it’s assumed for a precise aim, in determined quantities and, above all, under medical control.

      In my opinion, the problem is that most of people who take drugs or alcohol (or medications, too) do it without any control. They often choose to take a certain drug ignoring which could be its effect on their personality. Sometimes they don’t even know which are the general effects and risks of the substance they are using/abusing, so the consequences are unpredictable.

      Most of the time nothing bad happens, but sometimes something goes wrong.

  25. We should legalise it at the same time as encouraging people to moderate their use of it. Politicians will say this is a confusing message but that will blow over in 6 months and we will be in the same situation as we are now with Alcohol and Tobacco. Except that:

    1. Millions of pounds won’t be going to the criminals. It will going to government where it can be spent on drugs education and healthcare.

    2. The quality and strength can be controlled so it’s less likely to ruin lives.

    3. There will fewer people on the street on a Saturday night fighting in alcohol fuelled violence. A proportion of those people will be getting stoned instead.

    The only real loser in the UK would be the pubs, because of the smoking ban, which should remain in my opinion. Maybe there is mileage in popularising eating it, which would avoid at least some of the health issues.

    I don’t buy that it’s a gateway drug. I think some people are predisposed to hard drugs and we should do what we can to help them. But they will still try them without cannabis. In fact not having to get to know a drug dealer to obtain cannabis might actually have a positive effect!

  26. Smoking pot, she said, “was a slow form of suicide.” – snippet taken from FEd’s linked article

    Exactly right. I have been there. I nearly did it but thank God that I did not all those years ago. Life is much too precious for such a thing.

    When I was 15 and living in Virginia this good looking, very popular boy that I had a crush on in school actually committed suicide and he was a pothead. He was only 18. His brother said his smoking contributed to his suicide.

  27. It’s amazing that it’s still not legal after all these years. If more people smoked it the world WOULD be a much better place.

    If you haven’t tried it, do it NOW!!! 😀

    It’s one law that should definitely be broken…

  28. Great topic for my birthday weekend. You head the nail right on the head, FEd. 🙂

    I think it would be very beneficial to legalize cannabis. I still don’t understand how cigarettes and alcohol can be legal and not cannabis. I think the benefits far out weigh some of the negative consequences. With the legalization of it, more tests and studies would be able to take place. I think at some point, they may be able to produce it without some of the negative side effects (memory loss, paranoia, etc).

    I don’t think we should legalize it just to fix a budget deficit though. I’m sick of the people paying for the problems governments make.

    I too worry about the taxation of it. In California, they are proposing a $50/ounce tax (an ounce goes for about $300). That doesn’t sound too steep, but as you said Penny, as soon as times are tough again, they’ll just raise the taxes on it, like they do alcohol and tobacco.

    I don’t think it should be put into the same kind of category as alcohol and cigarettes, being as there are medical benefits to it. As many of you probably heard, this week in Oakland, CA they passed a 1.8% tax on medicinal marijuana, the first city in the US to do so.

    Great topic FEd! I enjoy reading everyone’s take on this. Thanks, and have a great weekend!

    ~Erin

    1. Erin! 😀

      Belated Birthday Greetings!!!!! I hope you had a great one.

      I missed loads of people’s birthdays this month, sincere apologies and belated greetings to Tiago, Darren, Frank and Peiro.

      Better late than never… been catching up. :v

      ash X

  29. Olá Fed!!

    Topico interessante e verdadeiro.

    Gostaria que pessoas que conheço lessem esta introdução, e assim, terem um pouco mais de clareza sobre o uso da Cannabis. O peso esta nas pessoas que a usam como desculpa para fazerem coisas horriveis, como violentar ou assassinar alguem… Dai sempre dizem “ela estava drogada”. Será a droga (cannabis) ou a pessoa?? uma droga?? Na verdade é só uma desculpa pra mostrarem os monstros que são. Mas tem toda uma politica e mafia por traz da lei de tamanho imaginavel. Quantas pessoas morrem por ano por trafico?? Qual o envolvimento dos policiais??

    E sim.. pode-se fumar e fazer uma musica… Visitar um museu… Beijar seu filho e dizer-lhe te amo. Criar uma obra de arte… Viajar por galaxias e reencontrar seu complemento Divino…

    Tudo está dentro das pessoas… Anjos ou Demonios?? Temos os dois… e escolhemos a qual queremos alimentar a cada dia.

    SIM… A CANNABIS DEVE SER LEGALIZADA!

    Grande abraço Fed!! e meu amor a Gilmour!!

    Rosangela / Brasil. 😛

  30. As a painfully down to earth guy, that works, in the broad terms industry of European social health, I do have a problem with its use; however, on a pure term, social security base. I don’t mean those bent guys that moonlight for Amway that run the dole shops these days.

    What I mean is this; it has its use, in moral society, but; if everyone did it, world-wide; who would ever pass a drugs test?

    This did get taken out of the papers; circa, Maddy fever; and her kidnapping; facts are; area in question is the same as Yemen; at a given time, everyone around, gets stoned; on cue. Can’t be good.

  31. When they start banning Twinkies, I will begin to listen to their arguments concerning our health.

    I’ve always believed that marijuana brings out the true personality. If you are prone to paranoia, pot will exacerbate it. But I never had a bad experience with it. I stopped using it, though, because there was no quality control.

    It didn’t lead me to anything else. I never liked alcohol (though I keep trying to like wine; I don’t know why). I tried cocaine once and didn’t care for it either.

    It’s a bit like solar power: When the powers that be figure out a way to control it and profit from it, it will become legal.

  32. because of the way I was brought up I smoke cannabis just to be normal. no stoner for me. 🙁

    hey FE’d hope everything is going well & sunny @ DGHQ?

    andy.

  33. About the difference between hemp and marijuana.

    After replying to Christopher’s post, I searched the web and I found something more I didn’t know.

    I had always taken for granted that Cannabis Sativa was the scientific name of hemp and Cannabis Indica was marijuana, but it seems it’s not so easy. The scientific community seems to have different opinions about Cannabis classification.

    Some say the right classification is the one I’ve always knew, but some says Cannabis Sativa is a general specie which includes Indica (marijuana).

    I think it’s very interesting, because, probably, this second classification could justify much better than the first one the decision to keep all kinds of Cannabis illegal, including the ones which have a little quantity of THC.

    Unfortunately, the species which should be suitable for medical aims is just the one which is considered a drug, because of its high level of THC, so that it seems harder and harder to have it legal.

    I don’t know if it’s the same in all countries, but in Italy the laws about this topic change with the Governments. :/

  34. I think that cannabis should be made legal.

    Many studies have shown that cannabis is less offensive than legal drugs such as alcohol or tobacco. It’s not addictive, overdose is nearly impossible.

    Seeing that cannabis users are not dangerous to society, they are not violent (unlike alcohol drinkers), using it is a personal choice. Governments should not control people’s choice. Adults should have the right to take responsibility for their own actions. (There should be a law to prevent people from driving under its influence, though. Of course, the problem lies in the lack of effective tests to recognise drugged people behind the wheel of a car.)

    Adults. The problem is for teenagers who are so easily influenced and fragile. They are easy prey for drug dealers, in the streets, around their school. I think that legalising cannabis could help get it out of the hands of organised criminals/dealers, help stop uncontrolled black market and bad quality. Not sure, though.

    Prevention being better than cure, legalising cannabis doesn’t mean ‘glamourising’ it. It should still be discouraged and young people in school should be more informed, educated on drugs and their side-effects. The money saved by depenalising the use of cannabis could be used in youth education.

    We can dream, can’t we?

    Michèle

    1. Adults should have the right to take responsibility for their own actions. (There should be a law to prevent people from driving under its influence, though. Of course, the problem lies in the lack of effective tests to recognise drugged people behind the wheel of a car.)

      I completely agree with you, Michèle, that’s a very important point.

  35. Speaking of adults, teenagers and drugs, I found this article very interesting.

    Parents and kids, keep talking, it’s so important…

  36. If it was legalised, would it be like saying “yes, it is safe to use it”, and it would be available like cigarettes and could be taxed etc.

    In recent years it was realised there were huge health risks from smoking cigarettes and tobacco companies were sued for causing people to become addicted and get cancer, etc., we all are aware of this. (I am an ex-smoker who was told by a doctor ten years after I stopped that he could tell from the damage to my lungs that I used to smoke!)

    How do we know cannabis has no ill effects and the government/health authorities/supply companies wouldn’t be sued? We don’t know yet if it has any health hazards because not enough research has been done. Of course the ‘for’ lobbyists will try to quote examples of why it is safe. Why have the medical researchers not come out and said so yet? They have been able to state categorically the safety and benefits of quinine, for example, derived from a tree. (Yes, I know it’s not so effective anymore but I needed an example).

    I think it won’t be legalised for this reason alone.

    Why put your health at risk? Would you like someone to tell you “it’s safe, do it”, so you won’t have to have responsibility for your health?

    I’d rather be high on good health, hard work and hard play. (AND Rock and Roll music!)

    ash X

  37. I don’t smoke as much as in my younger days. It has a creative effect on myself personally.

    The side effects of modern drugs are more devastating than weed. Case in point for MS sufferers.

    Cannabis is a medicinal plant, all plants have a purpose in life, until we break them down chemically and isolate compounds. This then becomes potency of a drug.

  38. I think cannabis use should be decriminalized/legalized and the sale of cannabis should be regulated and taxed, just like alcohol and tobacco.

    If there is a gateway drug, alcohol would be it, in my humble opinion. I think you’d be hard pressed to find ANY drug user whose first drug wasn’t alcohol.

    Obviously, if one becomes ‘dependent’ on something, be it alcohol, tobacco, or sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, then the question would be whether that dependence is causing real harm to that person or others in the community.

    Lately, it seems as though texting while operating a motor vehicle has become nearly as much a danger to innocent bystanders as driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. 😡

    That’s all folks!

    Peace. 🙂

    Gabrielle

    1. Gabrielle,

      I agree with you on the texting comment and according to this, so do others.

      At my house, I ban texting at the dinner table.

      Thanks.

      Andrew

  39. Hi Fed;

    I don’t know if you remember, I have been a foster parent for over 20 years. Anyway, my foster daughter received the sad news that her biological mother died this morning, a possible suicide. The circumstances are under investigation. Along with this traumatic event, her 7-year-old cat, Wally is critically ill.

    My sweet girl is having such a rough time right now. I just want to take the pain away, even though I know that grieving is something she must go through. Death is part of life. 🙁

    Penny

    1. 🙁 I’m sorry to hear this, Penny, but I’m sure that you’ll get through it together. Hang in there.

    2. My sweet girl is having such a rough time right now. I just want to take the pain away, even though I know that grieving is something she must go through. Death is part of life.

      I beseech you, do not give her cannabis. Believe me, rejected by their biological parent – children (I am one, I was adopted) do not need to smoke the stuff. That 18 year old boy I mentioned earlier who committed suicide was a foster child. It was the smoking which made the issue of his real mother not wanting him worse.

      No matter how much love you can give, and I am sure you have given her lots, nothing changes the fact that the child is not with their birth mother. However, I am eternally grateful to my adoptive parents for giving me a second chance.

      Once again, I beg you, please, please do not give her cannabis as that will only make things worse for your sweet girl.

      I do, however, want to adopt a child to give them a second chance. I think my daughter, Imogen would like that too.

      I am reaching out to you and your foster daughter.

    3. I have to say, being a former foster child myself, that smoking cannabis will not necessarily make it worse. And it is ridiculous blanket statements and generalizations like this that has brought us to this place in the world of intolerance. Things like this should be looked at based on the individuals and their situation.

      I’ve talked to Penny enough to trust that her and her girls can make good decisions, whatever they decide to do.

      Off my soapbox,
      ~Erin

    4. And it is ridiculous blanket statements and generalizations like this that has brought us to this place in the world of intolerance.

      Just for the record mine wasn’t a blanket statement or generalisation, I have seen the damage with my own two eyes. Okay, some people are stronger than others. But that kid at school was so popular, so good looking and loved by his friends and it was such a shame. He used to show me his joints at school and he said it was to help soothe the pain.

      I have seen a lot of messed up children when it comes to drugs and rejection.

      However, as long as it does not become a 24-7 habit due to loneliness then it might be alright.

    5. It also can happen if one, as an innocent person, who is adopted or fostered, are told that they are a piece of shit all their life too by their colleagues or peers.

    6. And I am not just basing this on only one person I knew or myself. I have seen it with kids in Oxford back in the ’80s.

      I have also noticed that smoking a lot also makes one not want to work. Loads and loads of guys in Oxford who smoked, did not have a job and did not want a job, they just wanted to smoke all day whilst their girlfriends went to work.

      Cannabis is like all things in small doses, but once you make it a daily recreational habit, it could lead to a downward spiral.

      Oh by the way, there is nothing worse than a “reformed” smoker. 😀

      So true, so true. I am the world’s worst. 😉

    7. Thank you FEd, the funeral is today at 2 pm. We are in Houston right now for a lay over. The service is in Beaumont, about 90 miles from here.

      Thank you Erin, I appreciate that.

      Julie Davies;

      What would make you think I would give my daughter weed? I was just commenting on what we are going through at the moment. Maybe I should have added a disclaimer to my comment…”I know this is off topic, but…” would that have helped? I take offense to the fact that you would make such a statement, not even knowing me. Did you not read my previous comment, I AM A DRUG COUNSELLOR INTERN.

      Have a lovely day.

      Penny the drug pusher… :/

    8. Penny,

      I do apologise most humbly. It was how I read it being attached to the Cannabis topic.

      I admit, I make the mistake of misreading a lot when I am tired. Too much work and not enough bed.

      So, once again, I do apologise, I did not mean to offend you, honestly. I was trying to be friendly and offer a hand; I was actually crying when I typed that too.

  40. Maybe the Netherlands is a good/ bad example what legalisation does.

    In my neighbourhood there are a few coffee shops where you can buy whatever you want. That’s legal, but growing wiet on a big scale so that the coffee shops can order big amounts is illegal, selling or buying more as 5 gram, or something like that, is illegal. So every coffee shop owner could be busted and sent to jail on a daily basis.

    So what happens; growing wiet in forgotten and hidden halls, stealing electricity (you need some KWs), illegal workers, etc. Around the coffee shops there is more crime, a lot of traffic jams, apparently people who want to buy are in despaired need or don’t give a shit about other drivers… That’s all no fun.

    The step till for some harmless wiet to hard drugs is a thin line… saw a lot of people who smoked a joint so now and then are now they need needles… Saw some good friends who became “not of this world” anymore by the long long use of wiet. And yes, I know some guys who use it for more than 20 years and they still have very good jobs. It’s all possible… but there are more drop outs.

    So yes, I’m again smoking wiet, smoking in general, but yeah, sometimes I drink some beers too, so no, I’m not a Saint at all. But I saw too many bad things with drugs/wiet.

    And yes, I know that when the Dutch government would forbid the coffee shops, the illegal circuit would become a big and million-selling business with maybe more crime and maybe more drop outs…

  41. Legalize it!

    In Italy so many people use it and everybody has tried at least once. Marijuana never killed nor it’s a bridge to heavier drugs. And if it is, also alcohol and cigarettes are.

    Some people are already talking of legalizing cocaine, not because it is a good product to use but because this is the only way to really hit the Mafia etc.

    This debate is ridiculous but it will go on forever… and they will not legalize it. Only the Dutch people are have really tried to move forward.

  42. Off topic but check this out.

    An interesting idea but certainly makes you wonder how man will be able to screw this one up.

    Costs aside, how will it impact the environment and life below the sea? Turbines underwater certainly may have a different impact to life than ones that are above ground. I understand that the ones above ground are just generally noisy. In water though there are so many small species and microscopic life.

    Guess we’ll see but I bet the decision will come down to money.

    Thanks.

    Andrew

    1. I didn’t know about it, thank you for the link, Andrew.

      I really hope they will never do it.

  43. I am all for the decriminalisation but not for all the legal mumbo jumbo listed ad nauseam. I want it legalized strictly for my entertainment as most of our classic books, records and movies have been either fuelled or enhanced by the influence of marijuana.

  44. I saw two people die from drugs in the late sixties. One was an extremely talented keyboard player who made a living from repairing clavichords and harpsichords. The other was just a very funny and nice guy. Both smoked to start with but then got into Speed and heroin. Their deaths were a pointless waste.

    There will be equally others who can site instances of people who smoke who have not gone onto other forms of drugs.

    What people do is up to them as long as their participation in the activity does not impinge on others lives. This could be anything from a dependency on the NHS from treatment to the hurt a family may go through as a result of illness or worse, death.

    I am no shrinking violet. In the sixties I smoked and tried the fashionable drug of the time, LSD. I had a good time the few times I tried it but was put off by seeing people stoned and out of their heads. So never took it further or tried it since.

    The decision must be for the individual, as I say, but do not let it interfere with others. The stance of the Government is for politics and no matter what we say it will not change their minds while we are alive.

    Rock on all you ravers. 😛

  45. As a cancer patient, I can vouch for the fact that marijuana definitely helps chemotherapy patients with nausea and appetite… and sometimes boredom. 8) It has truly been therapeutic for me; being “stuck in the house” for so long.

    I think it should not only be taxed, but available through the government; as it is now in California (Medical Marijuana Program). California charges patients for it, but I don’t know who gets that revenue. (?)

    Imagine the revenue that could be put to good use, like cancer research and hemp rope manufacturing!

    I suppose it’ll be legal 50 or 100 years from now when people wise up.

  46. Hi Fed!

    I think that marijuana should be legal. In my country (Uruguay) it´s legal to smoke but if you want to sell you are a criminal (Third F… World).

    I don´t want to repeat the concepts that I agree. I just want to tell you that I heard an interview of a former President of my country (actually, he´s running now for President, again).

    In this interview, he remembers a reunion with George Bush, Carlos Menem, Enrique Iglesias (not the singer) and a bunch of important bankers in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In that meeting Enrique Iglesias was supporting the legalisation of drugs because, in his opinion, the violence, the killings, etc. will come to an end. The bankers’ response to this was that, if governments legalise drugs, it will generate an economic crisis because there will be reduced profits and the banks will have less money to inject funds in the market.

    The journalist didn´t ask more about this item (he was more interested about certain acts of corruption during his government) but it is frightening if it´s true. Do the maths.

    If you are interested in the interview and understand Spanish here is the link to the first video on YouTube. The title is: “Entrevista a Lacalle por Figares” and the complete interview is ten videos.

    I hope I don´t bother you.

    Cheers.

    1. Yes, indeed.

      Unfortunately, he is a person, not a fictional character and certainly the worst President we had after the 1973-1985 dictatorship. 😡

  47. Off topic-

    Dear F.Ed. and Bloggers,

    My first thought of this morning has been for Richard on his birthday. Do they celebrate birthdays in Heaven? I don’t know.

    Rest in peace, Richard, this is for you:

    Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore
    So do our minutes hasten to their end;
    Each changing place with that which goes before
    In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
    Nativity, once in the main of light,
    Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crowned,
    Crooked eclipses ‘gainst his glory fight,
    And time that gave doth now his gift confound.
    Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth
    And delves the parallels in beauty’s brow,
    Feeds on the rarities of nature’s truth,
    And nothing stands but for his schythe to mow:
    And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand,
    Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.

    Shakespeare – Sonnets nr. 60

    Bye/ciao
    Elisabetta

    1. Hi Elisabetta,

      I didn’t know it was the late Richard’s Birthday on Tuesday.

      An unusual thing happened to me on Tuesday, I went to see Guy Pratt and at one stage in his talk I had to look at the floor for a short time. He didn’t mention anything about Richard’s birthday but when he spoke about him he changed a little, maybe this is why.

      I just got one of Richard’s LPs on Monday called “Wet Dream”. I’ve been playing it all week, very relaxing.

      To his family and friends, he lives on in this house.

      snow

  48. Happy birthday Richard, wherever you are.

    Please remember all the smiles he gave.

  49. Hi FEd,

    as a lot of bloggers, I think that the use of marijuana should be legal too. BUT not on the free market or without medical prescriptions.

    The marijuana plant is a medicinal plant, I know, but the joints sold today are really stronger and with a very potent tax of THC than ever.

    So this matter is controversial and in Italy – we have Vatican State – it is an ethic/moral matter and not only a crime. I think a joint works in some pathologic symptoms more than alcohol or other official remedies but many addictions start by medical abuse, not only marijuana.

    I have a 16 year old daughter who doesn’t smoke anything… at the moment. Really, this is a small piece of happiness.

    diana

  50. If you haven’t seen it, check out the movie Reefer Madness.

    For those that don’t know, it is a film that was released back in the 1930s. It is rather comical today but this film shows what many believed would be the dangers of smoking pot. Fact is that although this film is a bit over the top, there are people that still see it the same way today.

    The film is now in public domain which means you can search for it online, download it legally and watch it.

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  51. Yes, certainly cannabis should be legalized, encouraging information and awareness, and of course controlling quantity and consumption.

    Most of the crime all over the world, at all levels, is related to illegal drug traffic, it’s one huge silent war.

    But cigarette traffic kills as well, so does oil traffic, what is the difference? It’s just another sort of product that we need in huge quantity, so of course it attracts the worst criminals.

    We need awareness, responsibility, constant dialogue between parents and kids, control and prevention, certainly not taboos. It’s way easier sending soldiers fighting the proclaimed illegality than spending energy educating, assisting who is in difficulty, or offering a word to someone before it’s too late.

    I believe many steps forward have been made since 1967, thanks to people like David, Neil Young, The Beatles, and all who have been the pioneers of the psychedelic era. But there’s so much to do yet, especially among kids and teens, we need a new Flower Power season, we need more liberal and open minds, focused on people’s health, not on profit.

  52. Hi,

    I agree with the five points of the petition, I would sign it right now.

    Here in Italy there is no hope to legalize it.

  53. hey FE’d

    just a quick note to say that Sky Arts 256 is double booking us some major fun!

    1 – Remember That Night
    2 – PULSE

    repeated though the day (and yesterday).

    been glued to the telly ever since. 🙂

    andy.

    1. Belated thanks (again), Andy.

      Some good stuff on Sky Arts. I noticed they’ve been showing the Beach Boys’ documentary, ‘Endless Summer’, quite a lot.

  54. I think they should legalize it just so I don’t feel so paranoid when I do want to smoke. My husband smokes and has for well over the 15 years we’ve been together and that freaks me out, because it seems in California or America (you choose) you go to jail for carrying it on you for longer time than you do for killing someone.

    Do I sound paranoid? 🙂

    I do think that sometimes any drug, be it cigarette, heroin, cocaine, alcohol, etc., can be addictive, however, I believe more that the person who is doing said drug has the addictive personality and usually doesn’t realize it until it’s time for an intervention. Why can’t some people take responsibility for their actions instead of blaming it on something else? It is sad when someone gets addicted to anything, even porn.

    That said, it would be GREAT revenue for the state of California, which I live in at the time, to make it legal even if just to cover the debt that those silly politicians have incurred for making idiotic decisions. They can over-turn a law, they did it for the gay marriage bill that passed.

  55. I’m pro legalization and always have been despite it being… oh, at least twenty years since I smoked any.

    I hate morality and misinformation ruling medical care and cannabis has lots of uses. Furthermore, we need the tax money.

    And… (j/k but not) if someone had passed Cheney a ‘J’ would we be this deeply in a mess? Who knows, but he could lighten up.

  56. I would legalize marijuana and make it able to get only in hospitals, with medical supervision.

    I personally don’t like it, it makes me feel confused when the effect started, and really, really stupid under its effects, laughing of everything and stuff like that.

    But I have just tried it and I’m not a thief, an addict or something like that.

  57. Well, there’s a lot of sense here bringing out most sides of the argument.

    On balance I would be OK with legalisation… as has been said the drug appears to have some positive aspects if used with knowledge and little immediate “anti-social” downside.

    I suspect it would prove to be a gateway for a significant number of users… after all it’s all about the “experience” isn’t it? But I’m sure it would do less net harm than fags and booze, which would surely be subject to greater restriction if they did not have such strong economic lobbies behind them.

    Personally I would never use any substance, alcohol included, to the extent that it alters my mood or perspective. That probably makes me a control freak but I don’t see that the answer to anything lies in an altered state. I don’t want to be, or act, under the influence of a substance.

    My choice.

    1. Music news which only seems off topic. 😀

      We once talked about the reggae-dub band Easy Star All-Stars and, if I remember well, you said you liked them.

      Did you listen to their new cover album? It’s called “Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band”.

      I didn’t listen to it, yet, but it must be an interesting experiment.

    2. Hi Alessandra,

      No, I didn’t hear “Lonely Heart’s Dub Band” but I’m putting it on my list… thanks for pointing it out.

      A nod to “Radiodread” (the OK Computer cover) also – although poor old Lucia would be spinning in her proverbial grave at the idea…

      8)

  58. Hi FEd,

    long time etc…

    I’m a bit undecided on this – on one hand I agree with an earlier posting to legalise all drugs purely to eliminate the criminal aspect, but I really don’t think that’ll do it.

    As regards to hash I’m not so sure that it is as harmless as many make out. I witnessed a close friend withdraw and lose all self belief, they weren’t sociable at all while they smoked hash. They later gave it up and after returning to the social scene met someone. They have been happy together for the last number of years. But is this down to the absence of the drug or love? I guess love is a drug too..

    I think Holland has a good balance with its attitude to cannabis, I’m not sure legalisation would work here in Ireland, but if it came to a vote tomorrow I reckon I’d give it the thumbs up.

    Maybe.

    Kind regards
    Tom B

  59. Dear FEd,

    Wow! Hot topic isn’t it? We did not get your view on this. Your thoughts count too!

    Love to the world.

    1. A very hot topic, Judy.

      I’m with Tim and Hydrea, in particular, on this one (and Lorraine, preferably if she’s still got some of that wine left): I’m not interested in using the stuff, myself.

      I consider smoking a disgusting habit and don’t allow visitors to smoke in my home, so I certainly don’t have any personal wish to see cannabis legalised and won’t lose any sleep over the debate. But I would lend my voice to any calls for legalisation/de-criminalisation because the medical evidence is compelling, there are worse things you can do than enjoy a little recreational use (which are more worthy of putting time and resources towards trying to stop), and it seems a good way to increase government revenue.

      I don’t really care if it is a gateway drug (which, to some people of a weak persuasion, it’s bound to be, much in the same way that some drink to the point where they can’t control their urge and become alcoholics). If people want to use it, let them use it and face the consequences. But then, we do live in a world where obese people want to sue McDonald’s for making them fat… Isn’t that more worrying?

      I only wish that any money raised from taxing it heavily would be put to good use, but I’m not foolish enough to believe that it would be spent on anything other than tanks and bombs.

  60. Dear Fed and Bloggers,

    About this matter, sorry, but I fully agree with the thought’s line to apply tougher punishments for dealers, seize their assets and ban permission to hold small quantities of narcotics for personal use. I think that drugs must absolutely not be liberalized and dealers must be punished by tough laws and sentences.

    I write by personal experience about my husband’s cousin, who is paying in a psychiatric-prison with a two year–punishment for his violence against family and other people due to long use of sniffing cocaine and assuming other drugs.

    Ciao
    Elisabetta

  61. By the way, off topic, today is the Gilmours’ anniversary, so this is for you:

    L’INFINITO

    Sempre caro mi fu quest’ermo colle,
    E questa siepe, che da tanta parte
    Dell’ultimo orizzonte il guardo escude.
    Ma sedendo e mirando, interminati
    Spazi di là quella, e sovrumani
    Silenzi, e profondissima quiete
    Io nel pensier mi fingo; ove per poco
    Il cor non si spaura. E come il vento
    Odo stormir tra queste piante, io quello
    Infinito silenzio a questa voce
    Vo comparando: e mi sovvien l’eterno,
    E le morte stagioni, e la presente
    E viva, e il suon di lei. Così tra questa
    Immensità s’annega il pensier mio:
    E il naufragar m’è dolce in questo mare.

    (Giacomo Leopardi)

    The Infinite

    It was always dear to me, this solitary hill,
    and this hedgerow here, that closes off my view,
    from so much of the ultimate horizon.
    But sitting here, and watching here,
    in thought, I create interminable spaces,
    greater than human silences, and deepest
    quiet, where the heart barely fails to terrify.
    When I hear the wind, blowing among these leaves,
    I go on to compare that infinite silence
    with this voice, and I remember the eternal
    and the dead seasons, and the living present,
    and its sound, so that in this immensity
    my thoughts are drowned, and shipwreck
    seems sweet to me in this sea.

    My warmest and best wishes to David and Polly for a very happy wedding anniversary. Enjoy your very special day.

    Ciao/Bye
    Elisabetta

  62. Wow, this topic is smokin’…..

    Once again when it comes to money or the lack thereof, so many things are considered. Check out this article discussing the taxing of sex and drugs but luckily not rock ‘n’ roll.

    Seems that if there was ever a time for cannabis to be legalized, particularly in the U.S., this is it. I’m actually surprised that some of the special interest tobacco companies aren’t jumping all over this one as well, maybe they are. Think of the money that Phillip Morris would make if they started selling packs of pot.

    I wonder if anyone here could chime in regarding some places where it is legal to smoke pot such as in Amsterdam. I also know that in Jamaica while pot is not legal it is also not heavily persecuted. What do these places bring to the discussion?

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  63. Off topic slightly but according to this they found benefits to the blue dye in M&Ms. My question is will they ever have conclusive evidence regarding the green M&Ms?

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  64. I’m with Tim and Hydrea, in particular, on this one (and Lorraine, preferably if she’s still got some of that wine left): I’m not interested in using the stuff, myself.

    Dear FEd,

    Thanks for your voice on the matter. Appreciate you taking the time.

    Maybe if our governments smoked a little more they would be a little more mellow and do away with the tanks and bombs. It would be worth it then, don’t you think?

    1. Hmmmm… does anyone see the irony here that so many are against tanks and bombs yet frequently the phrase ‘VIVA LA REVOLUTION!’ is brought up. The phrase as I understand it is from the French Revolution which of course was a war.

      So what do we have here? A violent bunch or just violent for their own cause and beliefs? Ahhh… and I realize there is a contingent who use the phrase in jest.

      Effectively and unfortunately there is a need for tanks and bombs. However, who can really decide which war should and should not be fought? Fact is that no one can and hence that is why there is war because two sides can’t agree.

      I have to agree with Judy that all governments should mellow out a bit and learn a bit more of the aspect of give and take. Didn’t the Native Americans start some of their diplomatic discussions by first smoking a peace pipe? Of course, in the end, where did that get them?

      Thanks.

      Andrew

    2. Of course I have to say that rich countries cause the people of other, poorer countries tremendous suffering through sanctions alone. Surely they don’t need more tanks and more bombs to keep whipping the weak into submission.

      Yes, it does seem that UK forces need more helicopters…

    3. Hmmmm… does anyone see the irony here

      I don’t.

      Comparing the French Revolution (or any revolution led to escape from any form of oppression inside a country) to a war whose aim is to send tanks and bombs to foreign countries in order to make huge benefits on their back, is a bit of a shortcut, isn’t it?

      Sorry if that doesn’t make sense in English.

  65. WtF,

    I think of myself as an adult, and therfore do not require the Government/Law to save me from myself.

    Free The Weed.

    The increase in strength/potency equate to the fact that the equipment used to grade same has improved dramatically from the 70s as has everything else. The greater availability of strain genetics has given most access to strains that were very hard to come by in the 60s and 70s. We have not just created a super strong strain of pot just combined the best.

    It would be more beneficial to educate yourself rather that spout the same old propaganda that the good ol’ U.S. of A. has been spreading since who knows when.

    Do the tobacco companies really want you smoking hash/pot or chemically enhanced tobacco? Should the rich few really be allowed the position to dictate so much of our lives, let the law of nature rule the law of man?

    Peace.

    Long live Mr Nice.

  66. Yes, I do think cannibus should be legalized, everywhere. I have smoked it in the past, I was not addicted and I easily quit when it became necessary for me to do so. I am a Paramedic now, I graduated on the Presidents Honor roll so there was no adverse effect from using it in my teen years.

    Besides, so many people need to chill out, and pot would help! 😀

  67. I’m glad that this blog (as well as David) are giving this issue its time again. There are a plethora of jobs to be created if this stuff is finally legalized – and isn’t that something that we need (in the US, at least)?

    I would personally start my own lounge/bar where people could relax on some pillows, talk to friends and listen to some chill music.

  68. It occurs naturally, Legalize it. That’s that part of the discussion, but from all I’ve read here, the conversation is simply topical and rehashes everything that CNN and the like have spoon fed the populace for years.

    We are being manipulated and controlled by a lie far greater than any political system.

    I encourage each of you to watch a 2 hour on-line movie, free of charge, in the comforts of your homes. I won’t suggest that the movie provides all the answers. I do suggest that it paves the way for illuminated discussions.

    The website is ZEITGEISTMOVIE.COM… watch both movies, but watch the addendum second. Just mouse over the icons to see which is which.

    But watch them. Seriously consider what you’ve seen. Then let’s see if a different perspective emerges in this discussion.

    Take Care!

    Cosmo

    1. Makes me think of microchips under the skin so when you go to the grocery store they know how much you can spend. I’ll be counted among the non compliant if that happens. Robot cops with submachine guns, etc. This is certainly not the option I would like to see. The big corporations would still own control, only they would have a more complete control. Somebody blackballed for whatever reason couldn’t work anywhere in the world?

      Lenin wasn’t that bad, but Stalin was a bastard. Same principal applies here. It may start off good, but let a Cheney or a Rove get a hold of it and citizens better beware. And don’t think leaders’ greed and ambition will go away because money is gone. Conquests will still be sought from the (still) rich and the common people will still be subject to their whims.

      I would be a John Connor type and hope like hell the Terminators don’t seek to find me… of course I’ve survived everything thus far.

      I say no. It needs to be modified and prohibitions which protect the rights of the citizens be set in stone.

      I’d still rather see a Jewish world, even though I’m very indifferent at the moment… still haven’t fully forgiven, but it’s much better than being subjects to machines. Are there any models out there that use kraft (faith)?

      Besides, Jews “know” how to party! 😉

  69. TO COMMENT TRUTHFULLY ABOUT CANNABIS SATIVIA, I WOULD HAVE TO SAY AS WITH ANY DRUG OR MEDICATION THERE IS A PRESCRIBED METHOD OF USE. OVERUSE OR ABUSE OF ANYTHING IS NOT A GOOD THING TO DO. I’M SURE LEGALITIES OVER ABUSE HAVE DELAYED ANY POSITIVE RESULT HERE FOR LEGALIZATION. THE POPULATION AT LARGE PROBABLY DO NOT KNOW WHAT A “PROPER DOSE” ACTUALLY IS. SIDE EFFECTS AND DRAWBACKS ARE ALWAYS A LEGAL POINT OF INTEREST TO GOVT. OR THEIR LAWYERS. IS THE GOVT. LOOKING AT STUDIES DONE FROM ABUSE OR CLINICAL DOSAGE?

    I CAN ONLY SAY THAT PERHAPS AN UNBIASED STUDY SHOULD BE INTRODUCED ABOUT THE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE RESULTS FROM A PRESCRIBED AMOUNT OF USE OF THE DRUG. IF YOU ABUSE ANY DRUG IT MAY WELL RUIN YOUR LIFE. FROM MY STUDIES I NOTICE ANY OPIATE TYPE MEDICATION TENDS TO BECOME EASILY HABIT FORMING. I MEAN, HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF THE SAYING “GO WITH THE FLOW”? IT’S EASIER FOR WATER TO GO AROUND THE ROCKS THAN OVER THEM, MEANING HUMAN NATURE IS THAT IT’S MORE PLEASURABLE TO MEDICATE THAN ENDURE PAIN, IT’S MORE ENJOYABLE TO RELAX THAN WORK (FOR MOST). WE ALWAYS SEEM TO TAKE THE PATH OF THE LEAST RESISTANCE. THIS IS AN ARGUABLE POINT AT BEST, HOWEVER, SHOULD IT BECOME A LEGAL MEDICATION, CAREFULLY MONITORED DOSAGE WOULD BE MANDATORY FROM A DOCTOR’S POINT OF VIEW.

    ABUSE AND ADDICTION WOULD ALWAYS BE A STUMBLING BLOCK FOR LEGALIZATION. A COMPLETE AND HONEST STUDY OF IT WOULD FILL A LIBRARY. HOWEVER IT SHOULD BE DRAGGED FROM THE SHADOWS AND BE SERIOUSLY ADDRESSED.

  70. Legalize it and regulate it as you do with alcohol. No more people should be marked as criminals and a social stigma imposed on them just because a select few men with questionable motives and warped religious views decide what is wrong for all.

  71. High Every1 😀

    I’d just like too add my 2 cents… I’ve been smokin weed since 1969… 8| and I never had any desire to drink alcohol, snort cocaine, shoot heroin… but I did get my thrills by takin pills… Valium, Seconal, Tuinal, Methaqualone (Qualudes), Demerol… 😛

    But my personal fave has always been good ol Maryjane… I’m 53 now and recently had a full blown physical and the doc tells me I’m a picture of clean health… in fact he told me he can see no reason for me to stop smokin weed for another 47 years… 🙂

    So that’s what i plan to do, to KEEP ON SMOKIN’. 😉

  72. Legalize it. Don’t tax it. The gov has enough money. All those fat pigs with seven houses and more money than they know what to do with.

    Mary Jane is a plant. A beautiful plant. Naturally occurring. How can some selfish ass holes sitting in an office saying we can use nature and what has been here for us for thousands of years because “god” says its bad? And its expensive enough already.

    I don’t need to buy John McCain a Ferrari because I wanna smoke some weed. I should be able to utilize a plant and not have to pay already rich selfish warmongers even more money.

  73. Right – Gateway drug argument – Nonsense. You have a simple choice, take it or leave it. You chose to take it. Don’t try to blame your use of other drugs on cannabis simply because you didn’t have the will to turn harder drugs down. That’s an excuse.

    Paranoia and Anxiety is caused by abuse instead of moderation. Both can apply to drinking and smoking too, as well as with class A drugs.

    Cannabis can and will have a detrimental affect if that is all you do all day long. I had a pretty heavy cannabis habit for over 10 years and yes, I felt paranoia, I felt Idleness, I felt all of the above described 10x over. You never used to see me without a bit of weed. I’ve done E’s, I’ve done coke, Ketamine, MDMA, Mushrooms, legal highs illegal highs. The only thing I ain’t done is heroin, Acid and mescaline PCP, crack cocaine and crystal meth. And I did these things OF MY OWN CHOICE, not because cannabis led me to it. And although I still dabble, it doesn’t prevent me from functioning.

    I’m not perfect, I have hang-ups and issues, but please point me to he or she who doesn’t whether or not they are clean living or hedonistic as hell.

    Get a grip people. The war on drugs is lost, the evidence for legalisation and control is overwhelming. Those who deal do not want to see it legalised cause Whoops! there goes the profits.

    Any argument whether through good experience or bad is bullshit. Let us do what we do and the world will be a happier place.

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