Was Reclassifying Cannabis to Class B a Dumb Move?

jacqui smithIt’s emerged recently that Jacqui Smith, a former Home Secretary under the Labour Government, has admitted that her decision to upgrade cannabis to a Class B drug in 2008, was wrong.

Despite evidence from the Government’s panel of scientific experts at the time stating that this change in classification would not stop people from smoking the drug, Mrs Smith and the Labour Goverment forced through a hardline move to upgrade cannabis from a Class C drug to a Class B.

In the Radio Times interview she stated “Knowing what I know now, I would resist the temptation to resort to the law to tackle the harm from cannabis. Education, treatment and information, if we can get the message through, are perhaps a lot more effective.”

Also of note is that during 2008, Professor David Nutt was her most senior scientific advisor at that time…but they never met! This has changed now though, as the pair met when making a programme called Stoned Again‘ for BBC Radio 5 Live, which is due to be broadcast this Thursday at 10pm. Professor Nutt admitted he remained unimpressed with the former MP.

This should be an interesting debate and I’ll definitely be tuning in.

Are the Cannabis Prohibition Dominoes Finally Falling?

legalise marijuanaWhat happens in the United States usually crosses the pond to the UK. So will we also see the beginning of the end of cannabis / marijuana prohibition in our fair land any time soon?

Stateside, the dominoes have been falling rapidly over the last couple of weeks. Washington and Colorado have recently legalised the recreational use of cannabis, and right now five other states are also considering similar laws. This is already on top of the 18 states that already have legalised medical marijuana. Pressure is certainly on President Obama to act, and hopefully he will do the right thing and end this senseless ‘war on drugs’ that has cost a fortune in money and lives.

A month ago, I doubt that any pro-cannabis advocate would have dreamed of such a thing, but here we are in the middle of November 2012 and the situation is real! America, and, it would seem, most of the Western Hemisphere, are under increased pressure to review their thinking on cannabis prohibition.

The leaders of Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras and Belize have all publicly gone on the record in recent days imploring the United Nations to hold a special session on drug prohibition by no later than 2015.

So what does this mean for the UK? For now, not a lot I’m afraid. I’m sure the Daily Mail readers will be up in arms at any mention of decriminalising, let alone legalising, this wonderful plant. However, this crazy and stupid prohibition must end, and end soon. We should legalise it for over 18s, tax it, and pay off a huge proportion of the national debt with the proceeds. The added bonus of legalising it will also mean better quality bud and (hopefully) an end to the dodgy drug dealers who plow the money into the black market. If the US truly embraces the end of prohibition then Canada will follow soon after, and then the Euro countries and the UK will follow suit.

Am I dreaming?!

Is This a Genuine Experiment or the World’s Most Unsubtle Honeytrap? | Gizmodo UK

Is This a Genuine Experiment or the World’s Most Unsubtle Honeytrap? | Gizmodo UK.
I think only the criminally insane need apply for this ‘scientific’ experiment!

Growing cannabis in your own home should not be a criminal offence | Mail Online

Growing cannabis in your own home should not be a criminal offence | Mail Online.

New Kid on the Block?

I’ve mentioned and reviewed some established seedbanks on this blog before, and I’ve been meaning to do some more reviews but time has been against me lately!

I had time over the weekend, so I was browsing the usual seedbank suspects out there, such as the absolutely enormous Attitude Seedbank, Herbies and one of my personal favourites: Rhino Seeds. These are all established and seem to be doing very well, especially in these austere times.

I was also looking for any new UK seedbanks that have started up and I came across this peach of a new website called Freedom Seeds. They are based in the UK and it looks like they have just launched. The site works really well and it was easy for me to find what I was looking for. Along with most other seedbanks they also offer free seeds with every order. They stock an impressive line of quality seeds from the respected seed breeders out there; such as Dutch Passion, Barneys Farm, Dinafem, Big Buddha, plus lots more. What’s more, when I started following their Twitter feed they are offering a special discount of 5% off any seed order – just type in ‘tweetseed’ in the coupon code redemption box when you get to the checkout and it automatically takes the 5% off your order. Although I got email confirmation that my order had been placed, I still called them up soon after placing my order to make sure everything had gone through ok, and the people there were friendly and efficient.

Who knows whether freedomseeds.com will keep up with all these offers once their site is more established, but for now I would take advantage of this offer before they pull it!

It’s drugs politics, not drugs policy, that needs an inquiry | Simon Jenkins | Comment is free | The Guardian

A rare site indeed from The Guardian – a clear, concise, and accurate view on the state of the “war on drugs” here in the UK. Well worth a read…

It’s drugs politics, not drugs policy, that needs an inquiry | Simon Jenkins | Comment is free | The Guardian.

Cannabis as a Treatment for Autism and Cancer?

Two great stories came through on my newsfeed this morning; both medical-related, and both claiming that cannabis could be of potential medical benefit for Autism and Cancer.

medical cannabis baggyCancer and Cannabis

I’ve written about the medical applications of cannabis as a treatment for Cancer in previous posts on this blog. However this story, which has been republished from The Huffington Post, claims that scientists in San Francisco have discovered a cannabis-derived compound that could halt metastasis in many kinds of aggresive cancer. There’s an aggresive cancer-causing gene called ID-1 which CBD, apparently, turns off. The full story can be read by clicking here.

autism and cannabisAutism and Cannabis

The other story about Autism and cannabis is also very interesting. It comes straight from Nature.com and the story is here for you to read the full version. It’s a bit long-winded and techy so you have been warned!

Anyway, the crux of the story is that there is a genetic condition called ‘Fragile X syndrome‘, which is the most common gentic cause of autism. Males are more prone to this syndrome as we only carry one X chromosone (females obviously have two of these, so if one is damaged the other X chromosone compensates). Scientists have been testing on mice and they’ve found that by linking the pathways dependent on these 2-AG endocannabinoid transmitters, it corrects the Fragile X fault. This apparently led to a dramatic improvement in behaviour in the mice that had the condition.

Testing on mice is one thing, testing on humans is something altogether different, but it’s all good steps in the right direction, and yet another reason to continue the research into what else cannabis can offer us in terms of medical breakthroughs.