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Cannabis MythBusters : Challenging myths and stereo-types

Today on ISMOKE we’ll be taking a look at how the mainstream media’s negative stereotyping and far too often derogatory portrayal of Cannabis consumers is causing far more harm than good.

In some ways, we have come a long way from Reefer Madness and the days of “One puff and your hooked” propaganda. However, misinformation and Cannabis demonetisation continue with the proliferation of these negative stereotypes that do nothing but continue to perpetuate the stigma around Cannabis consumption and of those who enjoy it.

Barcelona, Amsterdam, Durham?

When thinking of 420 friendly cities and hotspots for Cannabis activism around the world where comes to mind?

Denver, Seattle, Barcelona, Amsterdam… Durham? Could the land of Prince Bishops really become the UK’s Amsterdam?

This week on ISMOKE we take a closer look at how this northern county is leading the UK with its progressive drugs policies and focus on harm reduction and maximisation of the potential benefits that drugs can have on the consumer and the wider society.

Cannabis prohibition and terrorism

“The illegal sale of Cannabis in the UK contributes to global terrorism”. That's a sentence I’ve heard many times in my life, spoken with no to little real evidence ever being provided to back it up.

But how true is this statement?

If you happen to of followed the rather remarkable life of Dennis Howard Marks (Mr Nice), then you’ll probably be aware of the term Nordle. Nordle was the code word Howard used to use when smuggling Hashish from Afghanistan to Shannon Airport in Ireland then routeing it on to Milford, Wales with the help of James (Jim) McCann of the IRA back in the 1970’s.

“Green Crack” and Cannabis Strain Names

Green Crack is a Sativa-dominant Hybrid. Yet what a rotten name.

I think I get the idea of this imagery, but it isn’t the one I like to hear for a healing plant. “This herb is like crack” is that the right image we need? Why would you want to liken cannabis to crack anyway?

DEA: Cannabis is NOT a gateway drug

  • The US DEA has finally removed inaccurate information about the apparent “dangers” of cannabis from its website this Monday
  • The change comes after cannabis advocacy group Americans for Safe Access successfully filed a legal petition calling for the DEA to remove incorrect claims
In one of the most unlikely U-turns of the year, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has removed false information about the supposed dangers of cannabis from its official government website.

Locked Up For Cannabis : Gary Youds

Gary Youds from Liverpool, was recently sentenced to nine months in prison after his venue The Chillin' Rooms was raided and cannabis seized back in 2015. #FreeGaryYouds

The arbitrary nature of the UK's approach to cannabis is highlighted painfully by the fact that across the pond in the US, and in several European countries their approach to the drug both medicinally and recreationally is improving and an ever increasing rate. Yet here we continue to see people arrested for victimless crimes as they attempt to provide safe access for cannabis users.

Green Europe: Cannabis Laws in Germany And Poland Under Review

Europe is currently experiencing a period of change as more countries, led by Germany and Poland, begin to look at their cannabis laws. 

The European Union has a policy of leaving domestic drug laws up to its members' countries. As a result, they are free to change their cannabis laws without EU intervention. 

Vice Documentary : How Weed Laws Are Failing the UK

High Society is a new VICE documentary series about drugs in the UK. This episode takes a look at how current cannabis laws are failing the UK. The presenter meets figures such as Lee Harris (candidate for Cannabis is safer than Alcohol and owner of London's oldest head shop), Greg de Hoedt (president of the United Kingdom Cannabis Social Clubs) and Black The Ripper (UK Rapper and cannabis advocate). This 20-minute episode on the UK cannabis scene doesn't have enough time to go into much detail, but you get a sense from watching the documentary that UK perception is changing, with the documentary pointing out quite rightly that more than half of both people and MPs want to see legal access to cannabis in one form or another. Several positive topics are covered including the April 20th celebrations in Hyde Park, Medical and recreational cannabis. In one scene the presenter meets Greg who tells him how he quit cannabis whilst at uni only to find it was an effective medicine for his Crohn's Disease. Ital Samson aka Black The Ripper has gained a lot of attention for his various videos featuring cannabis consumption in public places, and he features in the documentary, as does Lee Harris who ran for mayor for Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol to make a statement. I felt this episode could have gone into more detail on all of the topics covered, but being limited to 20 minutes it did a good job to cover several key areas. Some of the negative sections included a scene about a granny growing cannabis in Birmingham, (not itself a bad thing, but it was presented as tied to gangs and with hijacked electricity - not painting a good picture!), and another about some of the gangs who go around stealing cannabis crops. I feel that these scenes, in particular, should have been highlighted to be problems caused by prohibition, but perhaps this shows the disparity in perception of the UK cannabis campaign from the outside. After all, the law puts us all in the same boat, does it not? Watch the documentary How Weed Laws Are Failing the UK and read the youtube description below: