The Stupid Drug War Lumbers On


One of the defining characteristics of the drug war is politician’s ignoring expert findings and providing demagogic enforcement measures to placate idiot & ignorant voters. And never, ever, EVER considering de-criminalising and harm reduction allied to social reform. And Gordon’s no different-

Downing Street today signalled that the prime minister remained intent on toughening the law on cannabis despite reports that the government’s official drugs advisory body opposes its reclassification. Gordon Brown’s spokesman played down reports that the advisory committee on the misuse of drugs (ACMD) had concluded there was no need to raise the classification of cannabis from class C to class B.

The mental health charity Rethink said Mr Brown should heed the committee’s advice. The charity spokesman Paul Corry said: “Gordon Brown should put aside his personal views on cannabis and accept the fact that it does not make sense to reclassify.

“Use of the drug has gone down since it was downgraded in 2004 and research by Rethink shows that only 3% of users would consider stopping on the grounds of illegality.”

Cannabis was downgraded from class B to class C in January 2004. People still face up to two years in prison if caught in possession of the drug, while those supplying the drug to others can be given a five-year sentence.

5 Responses to “The Stupid Drug War Lumbers On”

  1. libhomo Says:

    This war on drugs crap reminds me of Ronald Reagan. I wonder what the structural flaw is in the Labor Party that keeps causing it to pick conservative prime ministers.

  2. RickB Says:

    I would say the changes began in the 80’s as they changed to chase the same neo-liberal corporatist agenda of the tories. Then Blair/Brown went further into a corporate management style and by allying with Bush the total result is the absolute corruption of the labour party. There are still great people in it but the question is can it be salvaged or is it abandon ship time. They’d have do do a lot to get my support again, if John McDonnell lead that would be a good thing. Maybe out of power there is a chance of a re-emergence of left principles. In power there seems little appetite for anything but middle management for corporations and lap dogging US imperialism (as some kind of sick nostalgic compensation for the British empire).

  3. iridescent cuttlefish Says:

    Not so sure that the compensation for the British empire is entirely nostalgic, mate. If you look beyond the sanitized version of history written by the victors, it’s fairly obvious that The Empire never really died at all. (Cue old Genesis song, from before they too became tools of industry:

    “…It seems because through time and space
    Though names may change each face retains the mask it wore…”)

    But enough of the metaphysics of the morphing masks of empire; it’s the drug racket we’re addressing here.

    The drug war syndicate or conspiracy–yes, I used the word–is the flagship of the simulacrum that the empire’s running, and it’s pure, evil genius. Unlike the alcohol prohibition (from which they also profited immensely), the criminalization/demonization of cannabis suits their purposes perfectly. First, its use was not a well established cultural phenomenon in the West, so that there was no significant backlash, at least initially. Second, and most importantly, its many potential benefits, from medicine and creativity (see Michael Pollan’s Botany of Desire) to the numerous industrial applications of its fibrous cousin, the hemp plant, pose very significant economic threats to a great many of their central monopolies; a whole flock of birds are murdered with one little stone.

    Instead of watching its foundations crumble as the noble weed takes root, the empire is enriched a thousand fold, fed by the blood of millions of serfs sacrificed to the prison economy (the biggest growth industry in America) and by the tough-on-crime political capital earned from the scam. (Not sure how this works in the UK, but the illegal drug trade in the States also makes massive, trillion-dollar profits for the government that go very conveniently into black budget projects over which there is no public or congressional oversight at all under the conditions of the National Security Act—it’s actually treasonous to enquire, as some investigators have found.)

    The truth will, however, eventually out. The first dam to burst will be the pharmaceutical fraud. We’ve known for twenty years already that the human body produces its own cannaboids; what’s just now emerging is the existence and the function of the endocannaboid system. It’s the homeostatic regulator that controls life, health and death of the body, from the cellular level to its many critical systems. Recent discoveries of cannaboid augmentation, that is, ingesting cannaboids from outside the body (smoking dope, in much plainer English) include the growth of new brain cells, the destruction of cancer cells, and the halting of the demyelination process in MS, none of which traditional pharmacology has managed despite all those decades of research and mountains of money.

    Big Pharma is scrambling to isolate & synthesize individual cannaboids for commodification, but it doesn’t work that way; the typical natural sample contains up to sixty different cannaboids that work in concert to achieve their effect. There is a way to design therapies which take into account such complexity, but it is not the reductionist, single cause & effect method used almost everywhere in mainstream, corporate science. (Watch for the revival of Goethe’s exploratory experimentation and the application of chaos theory here…)

    The secret that’s already very much out in the open is that cannabis works on chronic & acute pain management, without debilitating side effects of all that crap that’s currently prescribed. I have MS and I know about this firsthand, as do most of my fellow sufferers. It is no accident or coincidence that Big Pharma, the insurance industry, the prison guard’s union (and the companies that profit from the slave labor in the prisons…shades of wartime Bayer, IG Farben, ITT, IBM, etc, eh?) are funding massive new propaganda campaigns, as well as attempting to limit endocannaboidal systemic regulatory research or counter it with lots of quack science, but we the people know what the truth is.

    If there were an honest, open discussion of the true nature of cannabis, it would be legal tomorrow. How the empire would try to hold the rest of its other, related scams together is less certain. I suppose they could just engineer more wars, their oldest trick, but they might find their new recruits somehow less bloodthirsty and more laid back in general, I’m guessing.

  4. RickB Says:

    Hey iridescent cuttlefish, thanks for that great comment (short essay even). I do remember something about the laws that ended large scale hemp use/production were lobbied for by competing industries. Also a friend of mine was working for the navy and at some point was putting together a load of information about cannabis I presume for some briefing, anyway a lot of the sources used were business magazines who basically were doing a slightly more sophisticated version of ‘Reefer Madness’ but nonetheless it was all highly prejudice from the get go against cannabis use in any context. There simply is a base prejudice that will do nothing but say “NO” to even debating the science. They are rooted in a belief it will damage productivity and reduce aggression I think, they do prefer labour to be little more than machines. And obviously pharma can’t have a drug anyone could grow, there’s no profit to them in that. There is also a very simple bait and switch whereby the criminal activity around drugs is ascribed to drugs not the prohibition laws and addicts are portrayed as typical users, (not that that isn’t a problem with powerful drugs but why add to a person’s problems by criminalising them) whereas if people were free to disclose their drug use and did so…the picture would become very different. It should also be very clear there is a difference between drug use and drug abuse. And also the low level alcoholism that permeates much of society should be acknowledged and faced. I am fairly sick of alcohol abusers being able to occupy ‘moral’ high ground against causal responsible users of illegal drugs. I haven’t met many teetotal cops…

    Then the prison /industrial machine is it’s own reason to exist and laws begin to be created just to feed it’s need for growth and profits. Like healthcare it is another area of human activity for which the profit motive is singularly unfit.

    The situation for ME sufferers (as I don’t have to tell you) is I think just plain immoral, it is denying a medicine that would ease suffering for no good reason at all. Afghanistan is a shocking illustration (although with a different drug), there is a need for opiates in medicine, most of the developing nations are starved of them so rich countries can get their (profitable) pick, but to keep the prices profitable what could be bought and used legally is called illegal and destroyed, another false excuse for imperialism- we must eradicate the poppy growers! And as most suspect the illegal trade is indulged in by secretive govt. agencies for geopolitical and economic reasons.
    Yes it would be great if there were fewer people willing to volunteer their labour to kill for empire, mind expanding due to many factors would help and also then they may change the country to spend less on war on more on life, why isn’t there a department of peace?

  5. Eco Green Says:

    Politicians are 10 years behind the times when it comes to hemp use. People have been fighting for a long time against marijuana and pot prohibition with some movement going on now. Still too slow for those caught up in the jail system for possessing a little weed. Our freedoms have been trampled on by folks who know nothing about how beautiful cannabis can be for someones life, if one learns how to grow cannabis. Keep up the good work.

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