The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'marijuana'
The Dutch authorities have trained about 200 inspectors to catch people illegally smoking tobacco in marijuana cafes. Smoking tobacco indoors has just been outlawed in the Netherlands, as it has elsewhere, though smoking marijuana in Amsterdam's famous "coffee shops" is allowed, as long as the weed isn't diluted with tobacco.
Research is showing that a compound found in cannabis has antipsychotic effects. The compound, cannabidiol, naturally occurs in cannabis, though it is perhaps no surprise that high-potency varieties of "skunk" now on the market, which have been bred for maximum THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis, which has been linked to psychosis) have less cannabidiol than older varieties.
Which, IMHO, is an argument for legalisation and regulation of cannabis. Alcohol is regulated; relatively safe varieties are easily available, and those selling liquor with ingredients considered unsafe (from poisonous ethanol to excessive amounts of thujone) face prosecution. With cannabis-induced psychosis looming as a public health issue, perhaps a law restricting the ratio of THC to cannabidiol would ameliorate the crisis?
The other solution, and one infinitely more culturally appropriate for the Anglo-Saxon world, is the familiar zero-tolerance Reaganite war-on-drugs approach. Perhaps if we build more prisons, jail more users and dealers (and perhaps execute a few particularly bad apples for good measure to put the fear of God into potheads), and institute a regime of mass surveillance and appropriate abridgements to civil liberties to catch offenders, then maybe, just maybe,
the damned horse can fly we'll eventually achieve a drug-free society.
(via Mind Hacks)
A quote from a Graun interview with Baxter Dury, who, of course, is the son of cockney punk-funker Ian Dury.
"Drugs have never helped music, they've killed music," he says. "People on acid haven't actually made a great deal of music, they've usually gone mad and dug holes in Wales or whatever. People on heroin choke on their own vomit. Cocaine just makes them turn up the high frequencies and ruins everything. Dad was fiercely outspoken about coke, probably did it sometimes, but didn't agree it had any relation to being creative. He smoked a lot of spliff, though."
Teenage stoner robs grave, steals corpse's head for use as a bong. Totally hardcore, dude!
Four years ago, the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, founded as a Buddhist sanctuary and acting as the model for the fictional Shangri-La, became the last nation to introduce television, giving Rupert Murdoch's Star TV the rights to broadcast imported entertainment programming to its citizens. Consequently, the crime rate skyrocketed:
"Until recently, we shied away from killing insects, and yet now we Bhutanese are asked to watch people on TV blowing heads off with shotguns. Will we now be blowing each other's heads off?"
The marijuana that flourishes like a weed in every Bhutanese hedgerow was only ever used to feed pigs before the advent of TV, but police have arrested hundreds for smoking it in recent years. Six employees of the Bank of Bhutan have been sentenced for siphoning off 2.4m ngultrums (£40,000). Six weeks before we arrived, 18 people were jailed after a gang of drunken boys broke into houses to steal foreign currency and a 21-inch television set. During the holy Bishwa Karma Puja celebrations, a man was stabbed in the stomach in a fight over alcohol. A middle-class Thimphu boy is serving a sentence after putting on a bandanna and shooting up the ceiling of a local bar with his dad's new gun. Police can barely control the fights at the new hip-hop night on Saturdays.
U.S. officials complain about Canada's human rights. That's right, not "human rights abuses" (which are only a bad thing if the other party has oil and isn't willing to share), but human rights. Canada has too many civil liberties to effectively pull its weight in the War On Terrorism. The U.S. has also singled out Canada's plan to decriminalise marijuana, as something that will have Serious Consequences if it goes ahead. Clearly the Canadians have abused their sovereignty, and if they continue to do so, their sovereignty may, by the rules of the Rumsfeld Doctrine, be forfeit.
On a similar theme, Little Johnny's loyalty to Washington has paid off, with Uncle George offering him a "free trade deal" between Australia and the U.S., agribusiness lobbyists permitting. Mind you, one aspect of the treaty will involve harmonisation of "intellectual property" laws, which will be bad for both sides. It's not just the matter of Australia's copyright laws being co-written by Jack Valenti and things which inconvenience Big Copyright becoming crimes in Australia; Americans stand to lose when their politicians decide to amend the DMCA and realise that they can't because international treaties prevent them. Closer to home, one effect of the "free trade" treaty's copyright provisions is likely to be a ban on multi-region DVD players and "mod chips", neatly sidestepping Alan Fels' attacks on DVD region coding.
In what could be another poke in the eye for the Washington Consensus, the Belgian parliament has voted to legalise the personal use of cannabis; sale within Belgium will still be illegal (though importation from the Netherlands probably won't be that difficult).
Life imitates Reefer Madness: Man goes on psychotic rampage after smoking 100 bongs a day. It is believed that the staggeringly huge quantities of primo-grade ganja consumed by the man led to a violent psychosis. So remember kids: don't smoke marijuana; it'll make you go mad and kill people.
What would Jesus do? Marijuana, or so new research claims. The research by a professor of classical mythology, published in the scholarly journal High Times, claims that the oils used in the "miracle healings" attributed to Jesus contained a cannabis extract.
Canada's outgoing Prime Minister wants to decriminalise marijuana. Not because he's a pothead or anything (he's not), but for more practical reasons. The US is unhappy with this, and has made threatening noises about trade restrictions and more. Perhaps if it happens, we'll see Whitlam-style "regime change" in Canada?
Conspiracy theory of the day: is the Bush administration drawing up plans to
put Prozac in the water supply to head off the mass protests that are inevitable when Bush
steals wins his second term and continues screwing things up?
(via New World Disorder)
They noted that since the election of George Bush, the use of Prozac has increased by 30% and it was the opinion of this board of Department of Defense psychologists that if Bush has another term in office, it could lead to mass depression in the United States, wherein suicide and homicide rates could continue to rise.
There is also a memorandum from the FBI, expressing concerns about this -- that if Bush is allowed a second term in office, there could be not only an economic depression but also a mass psychological depression in the United States.
And then there's the connection between financial statistics and violent crime:
There's another reason why the Department of Defense wants to put Prozac in the water supply. The Department of Justice has begun to notice a very disquieting correlation - a rapid and tremendous increase in violent crime over the last six months. These include murders, kidnapping, rapes, and assaults, and this has occurred in correspondence with the time when people get their IRA and 4o1(K) statements.
Of course, they could just legalise marijuana and encourage everybody to toke up. It's remarkably useful for making people passive and docile, increasing snack food consumption (thus patriotically boosting the profits of companies like RJ Reynolds and Mars) -- and it has that countercultural cachet of rebellion and underground culture which will make some of those most prone to oppose The Man self-medicate into compliance. (The Netherlands, where cannabis is all but legal, has had surprisingly nonviolent international football matches, some believe due to the effects of all the hooligans taking advantage of the local ganja bars and getting mellow.)
Though, of course, it won't happen; the War On Drugs fundamentalists in the Republican party (and US government as a whole) are too committed to their ideology. Though it could be achieved surreptitiously; for example preventing the police from arresting cannabis growers, or even having the CIA start funneling high-grade skunk to the suburbs (as they allegedly did with crack cocaine in the inner cities). That would have the advantage of not risking diluting marijuana's underground cachet.
At the same time, synthetic cannabinol-based medications without the fundie-scaring image of Marihuana ("The weed with roots in Hell!"), and a milder buzz, could be developed and put on the market, all profits going to Republican-donating drug/food companies. Perhaps a genetically-engineered THC-bearing tobacco strain could be developed to get around the ban, ending up in "extreme cigz" for pierced, wallet-chained mooks.
As the hardline government of the United States redoubles its' crusade against the evil of marijuana, medical marijuana users are seeking asylum in Canada. (While some US states have ruled medical marijuana to be legal, the federal government is zealously prosecuting all involved in its provision. And with all those FBI agents assigned to the War On Drugs and son-of-COINTELPRO, makes you wonder who's actually doing something about boring old-fashioned crimes like murder and robbery.)
Could the Dutch experiment with liberalism be over? After winning power and ending the long reign of the left, the new Christian-right government of the Netherlands has outlined its conservative social agenda, which includes recriminalising marijuana, shutting down drug cafés, and laws against same-sex marriage and prostitution. Mind you, I wonder how much of the "failure of liberalism" spin of the article is due to it being from a paper in Singapore, a city-state that is the epitome of the philosophy of benign authoritarianism. (via rotten.com)
Canada's legislators debate decriminalising or legalising marijuana; in response, U.S. Government threatens to impose trade sanctions, which would devastate the export-oriented Canadian economy, unless Canada toes the line.
"To antagonize government leaders and grass roots leader because you insist on having a radical drug policy that we will not ignore in the long term, then its going to have adverse consequences and I hope we would be able to rectify it before it comes to blows," explains Maginnis.
The youngest of the late Princess Diana's children, Prince Harry, has been committed to a drug rehabilitation clinic, after it emerged that not only had he drunk alcohol on several occasions, but had also smoked the evil weed Marihuana.
It was hoped he would meet heroin addicts and get a glimpse of the dangers of drugs.
Yes, of course. Marijuana is a gateway drug, and those who do it are likely to go on to harder drugs such as heroin. Also, masturbation causes blindness, and the hair of a seventh son cures warts. I'm sorry, but that has been debunked, and nobody other than William Bennett believes that anymore. Though, then again, we're talking about the Royal Family here...
(Then again, if you were in his shoes, wouldn't you be getting smashed regularly?)
The French government sez: wear a pro-marijuana T-shirt, go to jail. The T-shirts apparently violate laws against "portraying in a favourable light and promoting or inciting the consumption of any product classed as a banned substance".
Switzerland prepares to formally legalise marijuana, a substance which is rapidly gaining an aura of safe, middle-class respectability. (BBC News)
Two entrepreneurial stoners from Seattle are starting a marijuana delivery service in Europe.