Monday, May 16, 2005

Should we now boycott Boycott

the Mail online | Mail - news, sport, showbiz, health and more | Cannabis: The great debate

This link will connect to an earlier article by journalist Rosie Boycoot. It comes from Britain's Daily Mail newspaper. The paper is not one I normally choose to get it my daily inbox so I missed a new article which the same person apparantly wrote last Saturday. Oddly, a search at the Mail's engine coughed up this link instead of the new one, which may be just as well.

I glanced a hard-copy cutting of Saturday's article yesterday and it is hard to believe what amounts to a double-turn by a seasoned and usually intelliegent campaigner. In particular, she has a bee in her bonnet about the street weed known as "Skunk" in relation to which she seems to accepted a third-hand opinion that it proves a worse threat than the drug Heroin. Rot. Like all such issues, the threat is a lack of quality control which only exists because the British establishment throws the whole debate into a law enforcement issue rather than the social/medical territory in which it belongs.

Like many, I have some grave concerns about genetically-modified foods, but not enough to stop me eating (I'm vegetarian) products like soya when I know the source. My concern more is with the effect GM crops may have by infecting the natural eco-system. The herb from which the offending substance is derived is a known all-round natural medicine, praised by homeopaths and generally preferred by a historic breed of royalty, politicions and aristocrats. The fact that the empire of earlier times relied on opium trade and associated wars was simply a means to provide the masses with a cheap, less-effective substitute.

When the female hemp plant derivatives accidently found themselves included in a treaty to stop this trade, the rising breed of modern pharmaceutical companies had a field day extracting and modifying components from every natural medicine they could find in order to produce new mass-market chemicals to individually satisfy myriad ailments. Since these did not present an all-round cure, more and more products have been devised to add to the current mix we now obediantly consume. Commercial interest has paid little attention to the side effects of these laboratory products, less still to the interaction between them. Worse still, those that still preferred to inhale their chosen medicine were seduced by the equally prolific tobacco packaging trade - themselves a dab hand with chemical additives and plant modification.

Today's empire is driven by oil and other energy sources and the global economy relies on the promotion of consumer products we rarely need. Corporations don't want to see or acknowledge products that would in themselves reduce the demand for their other products and medicine is no exception. Governments too are complicit - despite evidence to the contrary, they are unwilling to take action against the smooth flow of taxation through which they function. Idealogy only gets noticed if it indicates a new source of monetary flow.

Street drugs only represent a threat when their very criminalisation has been rise to an underground economy will little or no regard for ethical conduct, a situation the universal de-criminalisation of recreational drugs would start to eliminate. The problem is that those who would meddle with and poison otherwise natural resources illegally are taking their cue from the supposedly "legal" practices of a greater society. Small changes in the mechanics will mean nothing until there is a serious change in attitude.

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