Probe in Levenshulme launched following huge blaze at house triggered by cannabis farm equipment – Manchester Evening News

In other news, not a single Mars bar can be found between Longsight and Stockport.

An investigation is underway after a massive house blaze was triggered by a suspected cannabis farm in Levenshulme.

Fire and police were called to the semi-detached house on Grange Avenue at around 7.45pm yesterday as the fire spread through the first and second floors of the property.

Probe in Levenshulme launched following huge blaze at house triggered by cannabis farm equipment – Manchester Evening News.

Reefer Madness

Three long essays, and an extensive notes and bibliography section, make up this book that looks at the US’ illegal and semi-legal economy. Eric Schlosser studies the politics and economics of marijuana, the growing illegal immigrant worker army and one man’s domination of the porn industry.

For over a century American politicians and moralisers have demonised cannabis and all who smoke it. The emphasis has always been on the harmful effects of the demon weed could have on middle class white kids. Senences for handling, or aiding the handling of, marijuana have escalated to the point where you can get a smaller sentence for murdering someone than for dealing a little dope. Meanwhile the system of paying informants and seizing assets has encouraged massive corruption.
As with any ill thought out, reactionary policy it’s the poor who suffer the mostwhilst the wealthy get away with their crimes and the powerful demonise those least able to fight back. The US prison system is underfunded and incapable of coping and the whole war on drugs is failing.

Per acre, strawberries are second only to marijuana. It is also one of the few cash crops that still cannot be effectively mechanically picked. So the strawberry farms of California rely on Mexican workers, many illegal, to harvest the berries and keep the costs down.

Conditions today are almost worse than thosefor the Okies in Grapes of Wrath. Unions have been broken up and pickers and sharecroppers exploited by unscrupulous farmers and combines.

The last essay traces the career of Reuben Sturman, a Cleveland comic salesman turned smut peddler who, at his peak, was the most powerful individual in the US porn industry. Consistently the obscenity cases brought against Sturman collapsed. In one ruling the jury produced a multi-page response berating the government for wasting time and money.

Such high profile embarrassments made Sturman a target for the authorities and in the end they got him for tax evasion. Not wanting to give money to the system that was trying to put him out of business, Sturman operated through increasingly complex series of shell companies and off shore accounts. Only by alleging, based on evidence it still won’t release, that Sturman had connections to the Mafia could the IRS get access to his Swiss accounts and make their case.

Throughout the essays it is clear that Schlosser is exasperated by successive governments’ inability to set the right priorities and hypocrisy in ignoring the behaviour of Enron et al. He seems to have warmed less to Sturman than his other subjects, but it is harder to feel for a tax cheat who resorted to strong arm tactics at the end than a man who could die in prison because he tried to supply somne medical marijuana.

Like Fast Food Nation, Schlosser’s look at junk food culture, this book makes you despair for the state of the US. However, unlike the expanding waistline, it looks like some of the problems aren’t going to exported, as other countries, including Britain, adopt more civilised drugs laws and others can manage to be grown up about sex.

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Where were you when….

I was in a car near Cambridge at about two in the morning when I heard about Kurt Cobain’s death on the radio. I swear it was snowing (in April?) but that may be an implanted memory or the effects of the dope (I don’t smoke the stuff very often, so I’d amused everyone by giggling a lot and occasionally sliding under the table.)

(Nevermind, Nirvana)

Reefer Madness

Oh no! Someone has finally died from cannabis poisoning! And it only took him 11 years of smoking six blunts a day! This means that cannabis is nearly almost a tiny fraction as dangerous as alcohol or tobacco! Ban it! Ban it now! None of this hippy re-classification nonsense! It’s evil! I mean, we don’t even collect tax on it!

PS Can someone send around samples of the experimental stronger strains so we can test them please?

PPS I’m probably so square that no-one has ever referred to them as blunts in the whole history of toking have they.

High Times

This looks like an interesting read- Cannabis Britannica, which argues that most nineteenth century decisions on dope were grounded in imperial politics. I heard the author on the Today programme this morning, arguing the point with Ann Widdecombe. She’d go ‘Well, what about this….’ and he’d come back with ‘Yes, but….’ and give the proper historical context.

Jesus WAS a hippy

Careful reading of scripture, which has, like, totally cool patterns in the grain of the paper, has proved that Jesus used medicinal cannabis in annointing oils whilst performing miracles. It’s obvious really, I mean, the hair, the beard, those sandals, and now this. They also found some tie dyed fragments of cloth with the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Drugs might work

1. A date for your diaries. August 16-17 2003 sees the next Seattle Hempfest, where 175,000 plus (based upon this year’s figures) people campaign for liberalisation of dope laws.

2. Tomorrow I’m going to start taking St. John’s Wort, supposedly good for seasonal depression and with the knock on effect of clearing up thought processes and helping memory. I’d have started taking it today, but I forgot