Saturday, 27 September 2014

'Scratch and sniff' cannabis plan

Be warned, this is a con and somebody is going to make a small fortune from selling these cards to authorities when the cards actually smell nothing like cannabis. They already have dogs much better than humans at smelling.

It will also risk turning neighbour against neighbour.

But it also sends out the wrong message that cannabis is a dangerous drug.

Firstly, cannabis is a plant - a plant that grew wild until about a century ago - a plant used throughout history since the times of the ancient Chinese and Egyptians right through Culpeper's Herbal time until the present day - and used widely for medicinal benefit.

Today it is used to treat, ease and cure a wide range of ailments and pains, from MS, epilepsy and glaucoma to headaches and back aches and even said to cure and ease cancers and tumours.

The number of users - often young people - that suffer bad consequences is a minute proportion of users - far smaller in number than those that get bad effects from using prescribed drugs. And in fact cannabis is prescribed in the raw but irradiated and standardised form of Bedrocan in many countries, and in the UK and elsewhere as a powerful whole-plant extract in alcohol (a far more dangerous drug itself) called Sativex.

Those youngsters that get cannabis do not grow their own, they buy from the street dealers just like adults - dealers that are untaxed, unknown, uncontrolled and may have few or no scruples about age or quality and may even offer harder drugs.

It makes no sense to punish all growers or users because a few users suffer - no more sense than it would to punish all drinkers because of those that suffer or do harm.

To solve whatever cannabis problems we have it is essential, as they realised in Colorado, Washington and the Netherlands, Uruguay etc, to allow adults to buy cannabis and to allow people their Right to their private lives including the growing of cannabis for their own uses.

PSNI 'scratch and sniff' cannabis plan: UTV, 27 September 2014

The PSNI is to distribute scratch and sniff cards to the public in order to raise awareness and improve detection of illegal cannabis factories.

The campaign comes after an increase in the number of cannabis factories discovered in the past year rose by 44%.

Since April, police have uncovered 49 factories. In the previous year they broke up 130 facilities compared to 90 in 2012/13 financial year.

The scratch and sniff cards contain an element which replicates the smell of the plant being grown, which is different to the smell of it being smoked.
It's hoped the campaign, launched by the PSNI and independent charity Crimestoppers, will educate the public on how to spot the signs of an illicit operation in their neighbourhoods and encourage them to report their suspicions.

A special presentation will also be made to landlords and others about the signs to look out for and a special DVD has been produced for further guidance.
Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris said: "More than two cannabis factories are being uncovered every week in Northern Ireland. They are illegal and they are dangerous.

"The money generated by them runs into millions of pounds. That's money going into the pockets of organised criminals - used to fund even more criminal activity.

"From 1 April 2014 until 31 August 2014, police have arrested over 1,110 people for drugs offences and removed an estimated £3.9m of drugs from our streets.

"Over the coming weeks, officers across Northern Ireland will be distributing scratch and sniff cards to the public so that they will be able to recognise the signs and smells of cannabis factories in their local communities.
I have been impressed with this project and hope it will prove to be a successful additional tool to the police in their efforts to thwart cannabis growing in Northern Ireland.
Justice Minister David Ford
"We know that people may not realise that the empty, run down house or flat on their street with people coming and going may actually be a cannabis factory. It's not just the stereotype of the remote rural dwelling or disused industrial unit."

Justice Minister David Ford described the campaign as a "novel approach to a growing problem in society".

The Alliance minister added: "The distinctive smell is a tell-tale sign which the public should report to the PSNI or to Crimestoppers.

"This initiative is a very innovative example of law enforcement agencies, the voluntary sector and the public coming together to help keep Northern Ireland society safe."

Val Smith, vice chair of Crimestoppers Board Northern Ireland, emphasised the important role which the charity plays in crime detection: "It is really important for people to understand what happens when they ring Crimestoppers.

"There is no caller ID, so the person taking the call can't see the phone number that the call is being made from.

"This means that the caller remains totally anonymous. Similarly, the Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 number does not appear on your telephone bill, a further measure that helps to ensure complete anonymity.

"The caller isn't asked for their name or any personal information; they are simply given an opportunity to share information that they may have about an incident or suspicious behaviour.

"Any information Crimestoppers receives is then submitted to a central point within the Police Service of Northern Ireland and forwarded to the relevant policing area. This information can result in searches being conducted which lead to drugs being seized or cannabis farms being closed down."

Monday, 15 September 2014

Praise over Portsmouth ‘pot picnic’ as users smoke in public

People ought to be concerned about why people that grow or possess cannabis in their own homes for their own use, whether as a recreation to relax or to ease pains or treat illnesses, face arrest even though they have done no harm.

Maybe it is to give the pharmaceutical companies an advantage - after all it is a pharmaceutical business that sells cannabis as a medicinal product (Sativex) at huge profits in the UK?

It is about time that the failed law was corrected and maybe then picnics and information events like this would stop -

Or maybe the cannabis smokers could be allocated somewhere safe and clean to go, away from the public and any children, where they can enjoy their herb in peace.

Let's face it, imagine agroup gathered ina park to drink booze (or take any other drug or medication) - what chaos there could hav ebeen - how many arrests would there have been - but thankfully drinkers have somehwere safe to go - pubs, clubs etc.

Let's give the cannabis smokers the same in the name of health and safety for all.

In the meantime I congratulate these protesters for having the courage to demand what is right and fair for all
Criticism over Portsmouth ‘pot picnic’ as users smoke in public
The News, Portsmouth, September 15, 2014

CANNABIS campaigners have held the first ‘pot picnic’ in Portsmouth for 12 years – but are now facing criticism after some users openly smoked the drug in public.
Dozens went to the event, which organisers said was about awareness of what they say are the illegal drug’s benefits.
Police attended but city council leader, Councillor Donna Jones, was unhappy about the way the event – the first since the final Smokey Bear’s Picnic on Southses Common in 2002 – was policed.
Cllr Jones, a magistrate said: ‘I will be taking this up with the chief inspector for Portsmouth and urgently reviewing the situation.
‘I criticise anybody who is smoking any kind of illegal substance, particularly if they are doing it in public.
‘It’s a deplorable situation when young children are subjected to the smoke and smell from a very strong drug.’
Organiser Simon Dignam said he was not responsible for people smoking.
‘This one is going successfully, I can’t see a reason why we wouldn’t have one next year,’ he said.
‘They are smoking but there’s nothing I can do about that, it’s a personal preference. I personally haven’t had one, because I want to have a level head.’
Simon, from Hampshire Cannabis Community, had attracted campaigners, recreational users, families and people who use the drug medicinally to the day.
Hazel Pannell was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012. Doctors discovered it spread and she believes she has around five years to live.
She told The News she takes the drug in oil form in the hope it would cure her.
The 65-year-old from Worthing said: ‘Hopefully it will cure it or stop it spreading. The legality is a worry, a constant concern and the fact that it’s difficult to get hold of, too.’
It comes as Dr Janet Maxwell, director of public health in Portsmouth, last week told The News that the class B drug has real and harmful effects on the human body and mind, including a link to ‘serious, long-term health problems’.
As reported, reform advocates have since criticised Dr Maxwell for her ‘scaremongering’ comments and said they will complain to the city council about her.
At the picnic on Saturday, held at Castle Field, in Southsea, many users of the drug said it brought them benefits.
Stevie Sizer, 33, from Milton, said it had changed his life.
He said: ‘I won’t hide the fact that I do smoke it myself, I have done for 18 years.
‘I started smoking it purely because I had anger management problems and depression at a young age, 13 or 14.
‘It completely changed my life. I still smoke it to this day, as recreational use and for medicinal purposes.’
Hampshire police were unable to confirm to The News if any arrests were made at the picnic but said they would make a comment today.
Business owner selling seeds wants drug to be legal
A COMPANY in the city is thriving selling cannabis seeds – but its owner has said legalising the drug would bring in tax cash.
Martin Bear, who runs the online retailer with 11 people and was at the event on Saturday, said: ‘The war on drugs isn’t working.
‘At the moment it’s a free-for-all. They’re not making any tax or VAT. The government has abandoned it to organised crime.’
But Mr Bear, from Fawcett Road, in Southsea, added selling seeds is legal. He said: ‘Seeds are 100 per cent legal to buy, possess, give away – the problem starts when you water them.’

Friday, 5 September 2014

CENSORED: 1947 Cannabis Study on Epilepsy

It seems to be the pattern for governments that clearly favour synthetics and pharmaceuticals over plants. From the times of the ancient Chinese and ancient Egyptians through Romans and Culpeper's Herbal until 1971 cannabis was used as a medicine. But in 1961 and then in 1971 in the UK, cannabis was suddenly deemed to have no medical uses and possession, cultivation etc was banned. Nowadays Bedrocan is grown and sold through pharmacies in Netherlands and prescribed in other countries, Sativex a whole-plant extract marketted almost worldwide (both produced by pharmaceutical companies, pharmers, not farmers), as a medicine is now available in many US States and in fact USA has been supplying it to a very few patients for decades whilst all the time burning crops, arresting growers and claiming it has no medical use in international treaties and many country's national legislation. That reveals the hypocrisy and corruption of the governments we have elected.

please see