BBC 3: Cannabis, what’s the harm? – Pt 2; propaganda straight from the government.

Cannabis, what’s the harm part 2 – watch it now on i-player

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BBC 3 has made some pretty awful programmes about cannabis in recent times but the first part of the two part series “Cannabis, what’s the harm?” was unexpectedly fair and objective – not perfect, that would be too much to hope for, but it was pretty good. Last weeks blog carried a review of part 1 and can be seen here

Part 2 of this mini series was very different however and frankly failed utterly to properly represent the situation it described, instead served up a diet of pure propaganda. First of all, let’s be clear what is meant by propaganda and Word IQ gives this explaination:

Propaganda is a specific type of message presentation aimed at serving an agenda. Even if the message conveys true information, it may be partisan and fail to paint a complete and balanced picture. The primary use of the term is in political contexts, and generally refers to efforts sponsored by governments and political parties.

The goal of propaganda is to garner either support or disapproval of a certain position, rather than to simply present the position. The primary target of propaganda is people’s opinions rather than their knowledge. Therefore, the information conveyed is often presented in an emotionally loaded way and with other means of affecting the opinions of people.

That was what “Cannabis, what’s the harm?” did and that is why it was propaganda. What follows is an explanation of how the programme went about misrepresenting the situation in support of the government’s agenda.

The programme starts in typical BBC3 style by telling us what we’re about to see, with James Alexandrou explaining that cannabis is the most widley used illegal drug in the UK, and asking how much harm does cannabis actually cause? He then does a bit to camera where he explains in a street-wise way that like “most young people” he has tried cannabis in the past and like “most young people” he didn’t really think it was doing much harm to himself or anyone else, a subtle wink as he said this sort of implied possibly we were going to be told that simply wasn’t true.

A short recap of last weeks programme showed how common cannabis use is and how some growers are supplying themselves, then we’re told how we’re going to be shown how organised crime supplies the market, who’s buying it and and what’s the cost some people are paying in addiction. James is going to show us the “front line” as the authorities “battle to keep drugs flooding into Britain” and he’ll follow the police trying to topple the drug gangs.

Interestingly at this point we hear a snippet from an ex-grower who makes the point that the police action is putting more power and more money into the hands of the organised dealers, but then it’s back to the script as we told we’ll see the people trafficked into the country to help grow the cannabis and how some cannabis turf wars have even ended in death. “Cannabis is a controversial drug”, we’re told, and James wants to “go behind the headlines to find the truth”. Right from the start then, it’s clear this programme is going to carry a very different message to last weeks.

So to the programme proper and again James tells us that cannabis has been around for 4000 years, that it wasn’t made illegal until 1928 and that many famous people have used it including the American President, although he didn’t mention our Prime Minister, David Cameron, which seems an odd omission. We’re told that in recent years it was reclassified from C to B, but not that it had been moved from B to C only a few years earlier, and we’re told that this could mean a 5 year prison sentence for possession or 14 years for supply. We’re told how the police are making huge numbers of arrests for growing cannabis and how this has increased greatly in recent years. All this, together with the images of police arresting people and battering doors down seems to underline the hard line taken against cannabis. So James tells us he wants to see who’s buying and who’s supplying the most popular illegal drug in the country. This programme isn’t going to be about cannabis so much as the regime it’s supplied under, but the distinction isn’t going to be made.

Fist we go to meet a couple of cannabis users from Stourbridge who explain they enjoy cannabis and use it a fair bit. We go for a walk with them as they skin up and they tell us how they get their weed from someone they know and they know who grows it.

Then it’s to Brixton to meet an ex street dealer called Clive who describes how he got into dealing as  a young kid. He would make a couple of hundred quid a week form his dealing, but the biggest buzz was feeling he was worth something, he became someone people looked up to and this is why so many kids get into it. “It’s all around us, it’s a culture” Clive tells us and it all sounds true, but then we’re told that two years ago Clive found God and is now a born again Christian. He now works as a drug councillor with school kids and he tells how he is now working to “repair the community he once worked to destroy”. Clive’s story may well be true, but there is something a little disturbing about people who suddenly “see the light”, convert to an extreme form of religion and then dedicate their lives to spreading the word of drug prevention.

Clive works for Hope UK, which described itself as

the drug education charity that enables young people to make drug-free choices.

What this shows is the BBC went to non-government organisations dedicated to working against drugs in order to get their input. This fair enough, but they didn’t extend that to organisations which work against drug prohibition, such as Transform, who could have made a valuable contribution to the debate.

Next we go to meet Rob who had been a commercial farmer who made his living growing  cannabis. He describes the sort of set up a typical large scale grow-op may need and that he would make around  £40-50,000 a year, a good wage but not a huge amount and most people he knows who are doing this “aren’t loaded”. Rob had worked for himself and hadn’t been connected with organised crime there are “10’s of thousands” like him, although the police enforcement in recent years is putting many people like him out of business.

It’s Rob who makes the point that because of the police action against growers like him the trade is driven into the hands of organised crime who can “put the frighteners on people”, the only thing the police are doing now is to “put more money, more power, into the hands of organised crime”, he was quite clear where the blame lay and of course he is right. But this important point was not mentioned again, instead James sums this contribution up by saying that

as Rob said, production is now in the hands of organised crime, which is why going after growers is now a high priority for the police.

That was not the point Rob made at all, but we’re now shown how the police go about their business as they raid a grower of the sort Rob described.

What this section shows us is how the police are knocking out the small growers, pushing the trade into the arms of organised criminals just as Rob said, but we’re not told that and instead we’re shown jubilant police having made a big bust.

Just down the road from the recently busted farm is 14 year old Nathan, who is a heavy cannabis smoker. We are told Nathan attends a school for kids with behavioural difficulties  and that he’s been committing crimes to fund his cannabis habit, he’s been smoking cannabis since he was 10 and that was when he behavioural problems started.  This kid clearly has problems  and we’re told  – almost in passing – that Nathan has had a traumatic young life, his dad died when he was 6 and his mother then had two violent relationships which Nathan witnessed. This was the reason he started playing up at school we’re told and his smoking is a way of coping with all that. We’re told his cannabis use is leading him to repeatedly break the law and is causing him to waste his life. Sure, the kid has a big problem with what seems to be escapist drug use, but his complex situation was badly misrepresented in this section of the programme. The point here is the kid has had a traumatic life and that is the root cause of the problem, the cannabis use is a symptom, not the cause.

James didn’t explain how the prohibition of cannabis, which has created the huge uncontrolled illegal trade pushed into the arms of organised crime and supplied by an unregulated network of street dealers has served to protect Nathan, nor how treating him as a criminal would protect him. Of course it doesn’t protect him, it only makes things much worse, so why wasn’t it mentioned?

James does a thoughtful bit to camera where he does conclude that Nathan has a “lot of things to deal with”, but then he makes the amazing leap of logic that Nathan’s heavy and habitual cannabis use is due to his addiction to cannabis, rather than being caused by the trauma of his earlier life. This is at best a serious over simplification of the situation and really should be challenged. James tells us he didn’t think people could get addicted to cannabis like that and so takes us to Ipswich and the Iceni projec. The Iceni project website states

The project was founded on the belief that addiction is based primarily on physiological and psychological motives and that these are closely linked to an individual’s external environment; Iceni believes that these factors need to be assessed holistically.
In practice this means that Iceni deliver a range of interventions and therapies to break the cycle of addiction. Whereas many drug treatment centres use drug substitutes (e.g. methadone) to break the addiction cycle, which often maintains psychological dependence, Iceni breaks down its service into three parts and seeks to provide treatment as follows:
1. Physiological interventions ( eg acupuncture, aromatherapy, reflexology, gym and fitness)
2. Emotional and psychological interventions ( counselling , anger management, addiction awareness etc)
3. Social and Economic Support ( accommodation, employment, aftercare etc)

Some of that is a bit questionable (methadone treatment leading to psychological dependence?) and the role of aromatherapy in treating drug addiction is at best suspect.   But it would have been interesting to have heard their thoughts regarding Nathan and his cannabis use and how his traumatic young life could have caused it, but instead we are shown a room full of cannabis addicts to underline the claim that cannabis can be highly addictive.

James introduced Jo who had started smoking at 15 and had lost her kids to the authorities because, she told us, of her problems with alcohol and cannabis. After she had lost her kids she thought “enough is enough” and hasn’t smoked cannabis since, that was 15 weeks ago, we weren’t told whether she still drinks. The amazing thing about her story is that she claimed to have been smoking nearly half an ounce a day, which is one hell of a lot of cannabis. To be honest, such a high rate of consumption seems somewhat unlikely – especially considering the chances are she was smoking tobacco joints which would have meant a huge amount of tobacco as well. To get through that amount she would have had to be chain smoking from first light to sunset, leaving hardly any time for her drinking, let alone looking after the kids, she would have been a mess, there’s no doubt about that. There’s no doubt she had a problem with her drug use, yet seems to have stopped dead and cold turkied her self off this massive cannabis habit with the support of Iceni.

Her tobacco use wasn’t mentioned, nor whether she quit the tobacco habit at the same time, but one suspects not. More though was the possibility that a heavy tobacco addiction could have been driving the high level of cannabis use. Again, it would seem a complex issue was presented in an overly simplistic way and unsubstantiated claims presented as fact.

We are told by James that there is debate as to whether cannabis is addictive and that scientists don’t agree, but that a “government report” three years ago did confirm that heavy cannabis users do experience psychological cravings (which is not physical addiction) and some withdrawal symptoms when they stop (which might be). This is probably true, but anyone using anything to the extent described by Jo is going to have problems when they stop, half an ounce a day isn’t heavy use, it’s off the scale, yet she seems to have stopped with little more than really quite mild withdrawal symptoms. This section is rounded off by an Iceni worker – Susie – describing how “a lot” of people are addicted to cannabis, she gets “lots and lots” or people contacting her “weekly”.

To the accompaniment of a soulful guitar, James tells us he now

has a clearer understanding of the harm cannabis can cause to individuals, some people need help with addiction, the Iceni project has an 86% success rate helping users give up, but its one of only a few schemes in the country, that’s because cannabis addiction isn’t given the same funding as addiction to class A drugs or alcohol

Actually could it be because the addiction to cannabis is far less severe or widespread as the addictions to those other drugs. It’s odd how the BBC went to the Iceni project and broadcast their claims with no critical examination rather than one of the major drugs advice agencies like Lifeline or Release, which have many more years of experience.  But it allowed the programme to establish as an apparent “fact” that cannabis is a dangerously addictive and destructive drug. Having done that it’s back to the supply side to see how cannabis is supplied to “people like” the two “cannabis addicts” shown.

We go to Dover to meet the Jason, son of a jailed drug smuggler who tells of the scale of the illegal imports and the routes used. This is big league stuff, people earning “7 figure” sums. “Of course it’s organised” we’re told “if it was disorganised it wouldn’t last long”. We are now almost exactly half way through the programme and from now on we are given the police and boarder agency view of the situation entirely without criticism. We’re shown the scale of the problem, but told how the customs officers are working tirelessly to defeat the smuggling.

There is a probably unintended comical moment where a customs officer is seen TALKING VERY SLOWLY AND LOUDLY at a French driver to as she asks him questions, all made much clearer by hand gestures. “We do try to speak to them in their own language”, she explains

We see a customs bust of a massive cannabis import, where James pulls himself up when he starts to say “they’re fighting a losing battle”, instead we are told how the effort by customs is serving to fight organised crime, forgetting to mention the fact that it’s organised crime the enforcement started in the first place.

We’re then introduced to people smuggling by Vietnamese gangs and production of cannabis in “grow houses”. Again, we follow the police as they raid a big grow-op, they explain how a few successful grows can mean a lot of money for the family back in the home country. As the police raid a house they find a gardener in residence who doesn’t speak English, but are then shown a policeman reading him his rights in English.

We are then told about kids being smuggled into the country to work in grow houses. James meets a person who went through this and seems genuinely shocked about this forced labour, and that the kid would have been happy to have had an income of sorts and somewhere to live. James. it seems, has no experience of the grinding poverty that exists in some parts of the world and provides this slave labour. “It shouldn’t of happened” is all he can say, he really needs to do a bit of travelling to understand why it does.

James says that in making this programme he had met British youngsters affected by cannabis, but had never expected to see young people smuggled from half way around the world. The he says that

like most people of his age, he thought “what’s the harm of picking up a spliff… you can smoke it…put it down, if you don’t do it too much you won’t get any harmful effects”

Which of course is true – that’s the nature of cannabis, but he says this in a highly dismissive way and then says

it never occured to me – as I’m sure it never occured to many people out there that when you’re buying that weed, its funding something and more often than not it’s gonig to be funding organised crime…

and then

it makes you look at cannabis in a different light

Well, no it doesn’t. What it dis was make this viewer scream at the TV set that the point the programme should have made was that prohibition has caused this situation, because it clearly has, just as alcohol prohibition in 1920’s America created the mob. The involvement of organised crime is not caused by cannabis itself but by the regime it exists under. To misrepresent the situation like this is to deliver pure propaganda, it’s the government’s message pure and simple.

It’s trange how the BBC was willing to go to organisations founded by born again Christians to underline the point they wanted to make – thus proving they were willing to include non-government groups with a political/social agenda, but didn’t see fit to include organisation which could have made the law reform argument which is clearly central to the whole issue.

Next it’s back to the Bristol police to see another raid on a grow house , so we’re shown more police action, more doors being smashed in and another gardener found. It’s pointed out that the gardener may face retribution from the gang for getting busted, but on the whole this second grow house raid was simple a repeat of the previous example, why were we shown two yet given no law reform argument?

We are then told the story of a vicious attack on a gardener by a gang which resulted in a death. This is the extent of the problem created by prohibition and yet the programme didn’t aks any difficult questions, instead simply allowed the police to give their point of view.

We are told that organised crime is heavily involved in cannabis cultivation and that there’s big money involved. They are the same people involved with other groups and that the mainstay of their business is cannabis cultivation. In a sycophantic  interview with Paul Bunt, the head of drugs strategy at Avon and Somerset police, James agrees with the police that someone who buys a £20 bag of cannabis is funding this organised crime, gun crime, murder and kidnap. The Paul Bunt then says

I know an awful  lot of people look at cannabis and say “its just cannabis”, unfortunately it’s another illegal drug which these sort of people make a lot of money supplying

The question “so who’s fault is that then” wasn’t asked, instead James tells us

I’ve seen the harm cannabis causes with my own eyes, I never thought I’d end up meeting a victim of human trafficking or meet young people who say they’re addicted, but all the time cannabis remains an illegal drug that over 2 million people want to use there will always be violent organised crime groups willing to exploit this demand.

The important and most obvious point which should have been made here is that the problem with the organised crime gangs is not caused by cannabis, but the regime of prohibition. Why did the programme not address this? Not doing so whilst presenting the involvement of organised crime as a problem caused by cannabis  is the reason it was pure propaganda.

As a footnote to this, a question was asked in Parliament recently by Bob Ainsworth (Coventry North East, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether her Department has (a) undertaken or (b) evaluated research on (i) harm caused by drugs and (ii) harm caused by the criminalisation of drugs.

James Brokenshire (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Home Office; Old Bexley and Sidcup, Conservative) answered and gave a detailed response to part (i) of the question, but to part (ii) simple replied

The Home Office has not undertaken or evaluated any research into any harm caused by the criminalisation of drugs.

It seems they simply don’t want to look at the real chaos they’ve caused, instead hoping to try to convince the public that the problem is people not obeying the prohibition law, rather than accepting that the situation is caused by that law. This programme by the BBC was a part of that deception attempt.

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29 comments on “BBC 3: Cannabis, what’s the harm? – Pt 2; propaganda straight from the government.

  1. Jake

    wow.. can’t believe I managed to watch it all! Just wish he would have asked Mr. Bunt ‘If it were legally controlled and regulated, would we have all this crime and violence?’.. but no… they couldn’t make the link…

    Another issue, with the kid who was ‘addicted’, I felt really sorry for him – and some great parenting “If I knew what to do I would do it”.. how about take your son to a counsellor and get him to discuss why he feels the need to smoke to deal with his problems. Also notice, he wasn’t drinking – most likely as Alcohol would have been harder for him to get hold of..

    I wish they would do a ‘documentary’ called ‘Alcohol: Whats the harm’.. just to see the same with people who have problems who are addicted, plus all the other problems its effects bring.. but then show the absence of organised crime etc..

    Ok, going to have to stop talking about this ‘documentary’ before I boil over!

  2. Rodders69

    Well done to james for highlighting the issues with cannabis i suffer anxiety and panic attacks from cannabis and it turned me alcoholic.

  3. UKCIA Post author

    Rodders69 – perhaps you can explain how cannabis being an uncontrolled drug sold by an unregulated trade supplied by organised crime helped you?

    No-one here is claiming cannabis is totally harmless, the whole point being that the regime of prohibition makes any danger cannabis may pose far worse.

  4. heftman

    Cannabis – what’s the harm? Well, just call up FRANK, the government drug information service, they will tell you – though be warned their advice is more damaging to a healthy brain than cannabis. The cannabis laws/policy don’t change, tney just get more the same. Meanwhile, I will keep smoking and smiling until they cut off my hands and sew up my lips. For now, I have inner peace – something people and governments have never been able to give me.

  5. Dale

    Well paid programming job.. check.
    Nice house..check.
    Happy wife…check..
    No health problems…check..

    I consume cannabis at least once a week.
    Cannabis..WHERE IS THE HARM?

  6. Sam

    Man, now I’m really not looking forward to watching this. If it’s as bad as you say it is, I think I’ll put a complaint in to the BBC.

  7. Dragon83uk

    It is about time us people started kicking up more of a fuss with these things. We should be complaining to the Beeb about this sort of disinformation. Afterall why on earth should we be forced to pay for lies. We get enough of that from politicians.

  8. Pingback: BBC 3: Cannabis, what’s the harm? – Pt 2; propaganda straight from the government. «

  9. ravehat

    after watching this i went to bbc3 website where they interview James Alexandrou. in this interview he clearly states that the bigest problem is the law around cannabis.
    why was this not included in the show? were james hands tied or was this edited out of the show last minute.

  10. Jake

    I imagine his hands were tied AND it was edited out.. but not at the last minute.. as that wouldn’t fit their prohibitionist narrative would it now..

    Have you got the link to the interview? I’m wandering around the beeb3 site and can’t seem to find it (hope it hasn’t been removed)..

  11. Jake

    thanks ravehat. I think when anyone of sound mind looks into the issue in as much depth as James did they can see the futility and stupidity of Cannabis’s prohibition..

  12. wokshy

    utter garbage,and whats worse is i was forced to pay for the making of it.im a decent member of society who wishes no harm to anyone.yet the police still arrested me just before xmas for growing my own cannabis.now i dont know how much the police operation cost or the cost of taking me to court will be but i guess it will be in the thousands,and for that the tax payer gets nothing their no better off now than they were before i was arrested.also the article didnt mention the lies about how much money growers get per plant,the police regularly quoted £1000 per plant,again nonsense,im not saying cannabis cant produce that amount but i didnt see 1 single plant in the whole 2 shows anywhere near that size.

  13. Sam

    They said a grand per plant per harvest, that is an 8 ounce yielding plant. Impressive if you can grow that in a small scale grow!

    As always, the police use the most extreme figures they can to try and justify their activities.

  14. Nik Morris

    Here’s a reply I recieved from Avon and Somerset police concerning their “pricing” of cannabis.
    Dear Mr Morris

    I write in connection with your request for information dated 5th January concerning Operation Viscount.

    Specifically you asked:

    Q1. The operation (viscount) was executed over a four week period and warrants were issued between November 22 and December 17. I’ll have the costs for that period (advertised quite clearly for all the public to see) if that’s possible and you are willing.

    Q2. How do you price cannabis?
    Q3. Do you weigh it wet or dry?
    Q4. Do you weigh the whole plant or just the buds?
    Q5. What price do you “give” per gram, ounce, kilo?

    Your request for information has now been considered and the information asked for is below.

    Q1 – Due to the success of Operation Viscount, this Operation will be carrying on for several more months. As such, the costs of the Operation will be calculated at its conclusion. I have provided a link to our news pages on our website which gives details on when the Operation was extended.

    http://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/LocalPages/NewsDetails.aspx?nsid=22121&t=4

    Q2 – Cannabis is prepared to a state ready for street supply by our Forensic providers. Weighing is also conducted to determine the amount of street cannabis that could be supplied by that plant.

    Q3 – Our Forensic providers weigh the cannabis dry.

    Q4 – The flowering buds and the leaf material are weighed once stripped from the plant.

    Q5 – There is no set price as such. Drug prices consistently change and our drug prices are based on various sources of intelligence, which are analysed frequently.

    In addition, the valuation given to plants seized as part of this Operation are deliberately under valued and is based on the evidence supplied from the Forensic examination at the time.

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in Avon and Somerset Constabulary and advise that once this Operation has been concluded, we will then hopefully be able to provide you with the costing of this Operation.

    Yours sincerely

    Freedom of Information Officer

  15. UKCIA Post author

    Thanks for that Welshstoner. What this says then is the figures the police give are what they estimate the cannabis would have fetched “on the street” – ie in small deals, although as they have quoted prices it does seem odd they couldn’t give a straight answer to Q5.

    What it isn’t is the wholesale price the growers would have got of course, so it’s dubious to argue their figure is the value of the plants.

    In addition, the aim of their action is to raise the street price, therefore inflating the apparent worth of the plants.

  16. Ray

    I smoked cannabis for years and it is definetely addictive. I was angry, irritated and had trouble sleeping for about 2 weeks. I know people as well who have really degenerated mentally on the stuff. The biggest obstacle, in my view, to the legalisation of cannabis and other drugs is the naive users and activists who claim it’s a harmless plant (the mental health effects have been known for centuries). Why not argue that cannabis is harmful and addictive, and that’s why it should be taken out of a free-for-all market for kids to deal in the playground.
    I’m not singling out the author here. I’ve just read too many legalise cannabis threads that seem to downplay the dangers and end up making them look out of touch with reality.

  17. UKCIA Post author

    Hi Ray

    “Addiction” is a complex issue, but can be basically divided into two distinct forms – psychological and physical. Physical addiction, where you need the drug in order to function normally – is what is doubted with cannabis. Few people show physical addiction from cannabis use.

    However, cannabis can be very strongly psychologically addictive, which means you think and believe you need it. That sounds like a simple thing to break but in fact can be very difficult. Many things other than drugs can be psychologically addictive, often destructively so – gambling is perhaps the most obvious.

    It is also true that people who develop mental illness seem to take to cannabis rather too well, but it’s important to understand the difference between association and cause.

    All that said UKCIA has never claimed cannabis is harmless. Nothing on earth is harmless and cannabis is no exception to that.

    Indeed, the strongest reason to legalise cannabis is to properly control and regulate the trade as you say and I agree that people who have argued that cannabis is “the harmless herb” have not helped the law reform case.

    Of course any potential for harm is magnified greatly by prohibition and, as you’ve discovered because you’ve ignored the law and used cannabis, it doesn’t work.

    It is reasonable to compare the risks posed by different drugs though and if we treated alcohol in the same way we treat cannabis legally you would be walking over dead bodies in the street, even with much reduced use from present levels.

    If you read this blog and the site that hosts it you will discover the case you make is the very case UKCIA promotes. If cannabis is dangerous, that’s a reason to legalise it.

  18. flippiesa

    To me the message after watching the whole thing is that the endless loop of demand which will fund the criminal organizations have to stop immediately. The only way to stop it is legalizing cannabis. At the very beginning of this document there are several examples and also educated people who refer cannabis much less dangerous than already legal drugs like alcohol, tobacco and (pills?)

  19. Dragon83uk

    @ Ray
    Your missing the point entirely. The governments stance on drugs is not only dangerous to those initial users who it can harm, it’s also blatantly hypocritical. There are many perfectly legal things that can cause harm. In some cases to a much higher percentage of users or practitioners. Yet for some reason we allow people to get their endorphin hits from these things, but not this drug. Why? I don’t wish to downplay your situation or in any way disregard your experience but the facts show that what you experienced is not the norm for the majority of cannabis users. Essentially it is the lesser frequency of these comparitive harms that really stands as beacon to whats wrong with the current situation.

    And, @ Derek,
    I have to question whether it helps calling cannabis the cause of the pschological addiction. Afterall, in other cases (ie. gambling) it’s a problem within the individual (addicted to the presumption of a win, etc) not a problem with the actual physical activity of gambling. Again I’m not downplaying such things as easy to contend with, I just think it’s important to make the clear distinction.

  20. UKCIA Post author

    @Dragon83uk – yes, I think it does help as long as it’s understood and in context. Thing is psychological addiction isn’t a drug thing as such, it’s more an association of activities.

    It is the act of actually gambling that causes the addiction to it though to be fair, isn’t it?

    @flippiesa – that should have been the message, I don’t think it was though.

  21. Dragon83uk

    Not really. Gambling isn’t physically addictive in and of itself, it’s an activity that invokes an emotion which, in turn, feeds the addiction with the brains happy drugs. Essentially the activity is inert in itself, it’s the emotional link that’s the iissue. It could just as easily be anything else that triggers the emotion, even things that one would usually considered safe. That fact that it is gambling quite often is more a testament to the greed of people than it is to the “inherent dangers” of a basic test of chance. And of course the brilliant powers of delusion that the human mind can achieve. Check out My Strange Addictions on imdb, not concluse proof but a decent enough illustration of my point.

  22. Sam

    Cannabis isn’t physically addictive in and of itself either? It does act physically though, I’ll grant you that.

  23. maxwood

    Thank you for excellent coverage and discussion. (Again, I am relieved to be able to skip watching the drivel video.)

    I tried doing the mnath based on GBP100 per ounce, Jo’s alleged 1/2 ounce per day use is GBP18,261 a year– where’d she get the money?

    If, as Derek suggests, she probably was mixing it with tobacckgo– half-and-half would mean the equivalent of 40 x 700-mg. commercial squeah’s a day. Point well taken– if above is true BBC owes listeners an update on whether she was mixing with tobacckgo, and whether she succeeded in quitting the tobacckgo. (Remember, Jared Louchner told someone two years ago he was quitting “pot and cigarettes”-=- and someone the UK Daily Mail interviewed related seeing Louchner outside the house “smoking cigarettes” a week before the shootings. Yet commentators played up the fact he was a “pothead”. Huh?)

    From Derek’s report I gather they managed to get through the hour without once bringing up the issue of whether any of the “addicts” were co-using tobacckgo. Just as cannabis is being blamed for the effects of prohibition, it is also conveniently blamed for the effects of tobacckgo– and for the effects of combining cannabuis and tobacckgo.

    The “psychological addiction” may turn out to be mostly addiction to the “suckological” ritual of puffing on a hot burning $igarette (alias “joint”)– an Oral Fixation which tobacckgo hatefearteasers oops sorry advertisers have spent $1trillion pushing since 1853. Well, I doubt this documentary or any of its kind have ever yet mentioned the modern-day option of confining one’s cannabis use to vapouriser or 25-mg. one-hitter, i.e. BREAKING the link to hard puffing $uckerhot format and to tobacckgo.

    This doc is pro-tobacckgo propaganda through the further fact that by avoiding the direct herb-on-herb comparison to tobacckgo it helps push the myths that “modern cannabis is too strong (dangerous)” and therefore one must “cut it with something safer, i.e. tobacckgo”. This gets children hooked on the tobacckgo and wealthifies the corporations while at the same time shielding them from the deserved blame.

    * “skin up”– quaint euphemism for rolling a $igarette? Shows how little I know.

    * “Aromatherapy”– isn’ty that just another name for using a vapouriser?”

  24. PeskyPete

    May be worth noting that the Iceni place is being shut down… Well in a sence, as their contract is not being renewed…. So surely this means its all a load of sh*t

  25. Sam

    “This doc is pro-tobacckgo propaganda through the further fact that by avoiding the direct herb-on-herb comparison to tobacckgo it helps push the myths that “modern cannabis is too strong (dangerous)” and therefore one must “cut it with something safer, i.e. tobacckgo”. ”

    Was this actually said? Sorry mate but you come off as a raving loony most of the time! Like a moon landing denier, or Nick Clegg.

  26. tokerdesigner

    One on-line story quoted Nick Clegg, an admitted hot burning overdose addict, as saying the job made him crave more $igarettes than ever.

  27. Vyne

    Thankfully, I didn’t see this program, I’ve never wasted my time watching these “documentaries” on drugs etc. I’d rather see for myself. You could get 10000000000 “scientists” telling me it’s harmful, I will prove them wrong by, quite simply, not being harmed on a daily basis..

    This whole banning a plant from the masses crap is getting old.. it’s a plant, it’s never killed anyone.. not directly, or indirectly, ever! (Not going into it as i cba, but Alcohol REALLY does)

    Cannabis is not physically addictive.. you don’t get shakes or physical withdrawal symptoms like alcoholics/heroin/coke dealers do.

    Yes there are adverse effects, and I do not personally agree with people using it at ages where their brain is still developing.

    However, from what I have witnessed in my 4 years of daily use, cannabis that isn’t grown/harvested correctly (because it’s illegal)can make you feel pretty “bleh”, and 9 times out of ten, IF I feel paranoid, it’s due to the fear of getting caught with cannabis (because it’s stupidly illegal).

    I could talk all day about it, but seriously, it’s a joke, don’t be offended by it, “they” know what “they’re” doing and “they” don’t care.

    Just from looking at the binge-drinking/crime/rape/cannabis use,etc levels of the UK compared to that of the Netherlands, you’ll get the proof that making everything illegal accomplishes nothing.. it’s like putting a bucket under an infinite leak, instead of fixing the pipe 😉

  28. tokedesigner

    “… I do not personally agree with people using it at ages where their brain is still developing.”

    Admitting to anything but a total zero tolerance on this underage point is truly the “third rail of politics” for virtually all cannabis commentators.

    I’m not an expert on religion but we are told that youngsters in a Jewish family (besides all males being required to learn to read by age 12 since BCE 1300) are exposed to very moderate “ritual” drinking since very early age– and adult alcoholism in Jewish populations is far below gentiles.

    Yes, the Daily Mail reports horrible murders by “young heavy cannabis users” which doubtless means hot burning overdose joints
    (abject imitation of heavily advertised tobacco industry standard $igarette format) and/or mixed with toxic genocidal tobacco.

    What if all children learned Vapourisation Literacy (versus “smoking” = combustion = THC waste and toxicity), including how to use a 25-mg. serving-size one-hitter instead of 500-mg. joint? Would reports of “memory loss” decline?

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