Sunday, 25 May 2014

Cannabis at Marks and Sparks

Former Marks & Spencer chief executive Sir Stuart Rose has admitted smoking cannabis while he was at the helm of the store.
Sir Stuart, one of the UK’s most well-known business leaders and current chairman of online retailer Ocado, said he tried  the drug while on holiday five years ago.
Speaking to The Times magazine, Sir Stuart, 64, said his first experience with smoking marijuana was on his school leaving day.
‘I smoked a joint when I was 18 on the day I left school. I was sick as a pig,’ he said.
‘I never had a joint again until I went to a friend’s house for lunch, in a foreign country, about five years ago, and we had a very nice lunch on a very hot day looking over the sparkling sea.
‘This box of cigars went round, cigarettes, and I was fumbling around, and I found this thing and said, “What’s that?” And my host said, “Shut up and smoke it”.
‘So I did, and I giggled a lot, and he gave me two to go  away with, and I smoked the other one the following day, and the following one about two months later, and I have to say, it was great!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

The politics of cannabis

Today's Guardian reports that the US is likely,  increasingly, to ignore the international convention on drug policy rather than do the straightforward thing and revise it.  Even right wing politicians are unlikely to try to reverse the trend in America towards increasing tolerance and eventual complete legalisation across all states.

Uruguay has totally legalised production and consumption; Switzerland has legalised consumption as has Spain and of course The Netherlands.  These countries continue to keep production on the statute books as being illegal mainly to appease the US and avoid sanctions from the nation that is danger of becoming the world's biggest bully, though in practice they simply dodge the issue.  Even in Britain cannabis clubs are springing up in which members grow and supply to the group.

And yet, the lawyers and the crusty old judges (less so the police) continue to hand down unjustifiable sentences while quoting the same old mantra about criminality, terrorism and tax evasion.  Knowing what they know, you would think these people would have the common decency to reign in their propensity for imposing outrageous punishments.  As they seem unwilling to do so, you have to conclude that they simply enjoy hurting people.

There is plenty of evidence that the voting public has had enough of these sadistic bastards.  Voting for the mainstream parties continues to fall as does voter turn-out.  If Nigel Farage lit up a joint while he smoked his trademark pint of beer he could be in with a serious chance of becoming Britain's favourite politician.

Cannabis Man

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Marijuana and music

Those clever and resourceful guys at have tracked me down to ask that I place a proper link to their valuable and insightful research work on the prevalence of drug slang in rap music. I came across the graph but did not know its origin.

I freely confess I don't know what half the words mean.  For instance I have no idea what "schnizzle" means though I am reliably informed it means the same as "druthers".  So I trust that is all clear to everyone!

Anyhow, here's the graph of their research again.  For more graphs and pictures of people I don't recognise go to

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Corruption from the very top down

This week’s stories in my local paper:

On page 13.
A Kinmel Bay man who grew cannabis in his bedroom was told by Judge Parry “Some people never learn”. The judge accepted that Jackson began to grow cannabis because of illness but still jailed him for 14 months.

On page 17.
A Kinmel Bay man who admitted possessing cannabis was told by Judge Parry “you were clearly bang at it”.  He had cannabis on him valued by the police at £1,800.  Judge Parry told him “the aggravating features are the high value of the cannabis and the fact that he was driving around at night selling it.”  The man was sentenced to 250 hours community service and fined £300.

Every week, almost without exception, there are the same cannabis stories and the same judge gives the local paper the same sound bites.

Not many weeks ago a man was murdered in a local pub.  Stories reported by the local paper involving alcohol always involve violence of some kind.  I have never read a story that links violence to a cannabis grower unless some other piece of low-life is trying to steal it (but that is theft not cannabis growing).

Elsewhere in the papers: a respectable couple tried to commit suicide rather than let the British government put them on a plane to America where they have been accused of fraud and where the US government will hold them in a maximum security prison and threaten them with a 300 year sentence in order to brow-beat them into admitting guilt in return for a plea bargain.  The allegation is that they overstated their expenses while employed by an American company.

When I manufactured furniture in the 1980s I loaned a kitchen display to a man who wanted to be my London distributor.  He sold it to a customer while at an exhibition and decided to dismantle and take it for himself to pay the costs of exhibiting it.  I never transferred ownership of the items; they were on loan for display purposes only.  On seeing them being removed and loaded into a van I called the police.  Two constables showed up and pronounced it was a civil dispute and they would not become involved.

Some years later, I installed £20,000 worth of camera equipment for a client.  He refused to pay.  As the argument dragged through the (civil) courts he sold off in excess of £900,000 of company assets until his limited company was a mere shell.  I knew he was doing it but my solicitor advised that the court would not intervene.  How different would have been the court’s decision if it were Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs involved or a Proceeds of Crime investigation.  Accounts would have been frozen and money seized in an instant.  I finally won the case but received no payment because all the company assets had been removed.  If this had been a local authority attempting to charge an old lady for her carehome fees the law would have called this 'intentional dissipation of assets' and it would have not been allowed.

As a punishment for invading The Ukraine the European Union has blocked a few accounts of businessmen linked to President Putin.  Neither the EU nor the British government will, however, attempt to restrain the billions that Mr Putin has transferred to Switzerland for his private pension scheme.  As far as our politicians are concerned Mr Putin is “one of us”.

It is not the case that ‘there is one law for the rich and another for the poor’ rather it is now that there is one law for government and another – largely ineffectual – law for the so-called citizens.  Laws are written now to protect the state and state employees and to disadvantage, deliberately, the rest of us.

In Spain over the last few years, thousand of British retirees have had their homes confiscated because local government officials in the 1970s and 1980s illegally sold them land.  The Spanish government has not moved to punish the local government officials; instead it has impoverished the ordinary people.

The laws now being written by the western governing classes represent the end of fairness and freedom and are a real danger to us all.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

A patriotic duty to do what is right, not what is legal.

On the whole I am receiving very positive reviews from readers of my eBooks, though one reader posted a comment "moan, moan whinge, whinge".

But when you see what new Britain is becoming under our present rulers I take the view that it is a person's patriotic responsibility to speak up at some of the more despicable goings on.  Take the latest piece of government legislation, for instance:

The British Home Secretary is introducing a bill into parliament that will allow her department to strip British citizens of their citizenship.

The powers, which have been attacked by human rights groups as more suitable to a tinpot dictatorship than an advanced democracy, were rejected by the Lords last month when they voted to send the clause to a parliamentary committee.  That move effectively neutered the policy, but the government seems prepared to fight the Lords amendment today.

The UN expresses "very significant concern" about the policy. While former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald of River Glavenn called it "a policy beloved of the world's worst regimes during the 20th century".

Leading barrister Helena Kennedy said the plans were "a source of shame" to the UK.

Campaigners fear the ability to strip Brits of their passport has already been used to rid the UK of legal responsibility for citizens before allowing the US to target them in drone strikes.

Bilal al Berjawi and Mohamed Sakr, two British citizens, had their nationality revoked last year just before they were killed in drone strikes in Somalia.  Another man, Mahdi Hashi, was sent to the US where he is still in solitary confinement.

"Is the purpose of this change of law, that we might be able to do things that make people vulnerable and deny them their rights, creating yet more black holes where no law pertains, but where we cannot be accused of complicity?" Kennedy asked.

Unlike most anti-terror policies, such as Terrorism Investigation and Prevention Measures (TPIMs), there is no independent or judicial scrutiny of the citizenship power, except through retrospective appeal, which can take years.

Powers to strip people of their citizenship prompt emotive reactions from human rights campaigners because of their overtones of Hitler's Germany. The 1935 Nuremberg laws divided the country into those with and without political rights through citizenship, leaving millions stateless

Similar moves were undertaken by Saddam Hussein, who stripped Faili Kurds of Iraqi nationality in 1980.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Taking the RAP for cannabis consumption

Prime Minister David Cameron is fond of saying that drug use is declining.  He is mis-quoting the figures for drug arrests and cautions which are indeed declining.  But this decline in reporting simply represents the consensus among the police that consumption for personal use no longer rates as a 'crime'.  After all, how can a user be both a "perp" and a "victim".  The authorities can't have it both ways.

The following graph, however, gives true insight into the way in which cannabis is becoming as much a part of daily life as was a pint of beer to our fathers. It records the increasing number of casual mentions of the weed in rap music since 1988.

"Cannabis consumption is declining."  I don't think so, Dave.

On average a 300% increase in main stream youth music.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Schizophrenic America

Gore Vidal famously referred to the USA as the United States of Amnesia.  These days, the US is not so much forgetful, as in two minds.

While cannabis has been legalised properly in two states, and has legalised consumption for medical purposes in 20 more with another 12 seriously debating legalisation it remains the case that the US locks up more people for drug possession and dealing than any other country in the world.

Quote from Richard Branson, Commissioner, The Global Commission on Drug Policy:

"In 2012, there were some 1,570,000 inmates in state and federal prisons in the U.S., according to data from the Justice Department.

Governments who continue to support the failed war on drugs seem more interested in making the job of sitting in a prison cell more common than ever.

There are nearly five times as many people in prison as there were in 1980, when the war on drugs was getting underway with a vengeance. Almost half of those imprisoned are locked up for drug offences. As the evidence gathered by the Global Commission on Drug Policy and others has shown, the war on drugs is not working."