Skunk and psychosis again

Young people who use high potency ‘skunk’ cannabis daily ‘have psychotic episodes earlier’


It focused only on people who already had mental illnesses. It did not try to establish whether cannabis causes psychosis on its own.

So we’re still open to what is generally believed: that those becoming psychotic self-medicate. Rather than the impression the Mail is deperately trying to pass on, that cannabis causes psychosis.

Err, yes, poppies are where we get opium from

A DJ died after drinking home made poppy tea using a recipe he found online, an inquest heard.

Paul Dalling, 27, brewed the deadly concoction using poppy seeds, thinking he would produce a “pleasant” drowsy effect.

But Mr Dalling drank a pint of the tea causing his central nervous system to shut down, killing him.

It was, to all intents and purposes, an opium overdose.

It’s the same damn thing that happens when a terminal cancer patient is given that just a bit too much morphine or heroin to ease the pain.

Coroner Mark Layton said: “Drinking poppy tea is potentially fatal. “It is impossible to gauge the dosage as the strength varies from plant to plant.”

Yup, rather the reason that we’d like to have all this stuff legal and dose controlled.

Fairly high maintenance here

Charles Saatchi paid annual credit card bills of £1.2 million run up by his ex-wife Nigella Lawson and five aides for “personal spending” on his family, a court was told on Thursday.

He paid the bills in full by direct debit each month without scrutinising where the money was going, even though employees were sometimes spending more than £5,000 on designer clothes in single transactions, it was disclosed.

One assumes the Charlie was being paid for in cash.

And one can also see why the bloke might have got just a little ticked off about all of this too….

Nigella? Coke?


But yesterday Isleworth Crown Court heard details of a witness statement given by Mr Saatchi on Monday.

‘During our marriage I was unaware that Nigella took drugs,’ the statement said.

‘It is only during the break-up that I became aware she had been taking drugs whilst we were married – although I was not aware of the scale of the problem.

‘I believe it was in about June 2013, at the time of the well-publicised incident at Scotts restaurant – around the same time I was told about her drug use by my daughter Phoebe.

‘It was confirmed by other people in the household.’

Great beauty, domestic goddess, single and a coke fiend? Anyone got her number?

Silk Road gets taken down

The FBI announced that Ross Ulbricht, also known as Dread Pirate Roberts, was captured “without incident” by agents at a public library in San Francisco on Tuesday and charged with narcotics trafficking, computer hacking and money laundering.

Mr Ulbricht, 29, is accused by US prosecutors in New York of using the site as a marketplace for large quantities of drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and LSD since 2011 to customers paying with Bitcoin, the digital currency.

In an extraordinary 39-page criminal complaint, he is also accused of soliciting a user of the site to carry out a “murder-for-hire of another Silk Road user”, who was threatening to unmask thousands of vendors and customers unless his $500,000 drug debt was cleared.

So Tor
n’stuff aren’t quite as secret as all that then.

Always did rather surprise me that the site stayed up. I rather assumed it was because the authorities didn’t care enough to take it out, rather than that they could not.

On terrorist plots

A man has been arrested in Germany over an alleged far-Right plot to use explosives mounted on a model plane against his political opponents.

Not sure why anyone would use a model plane.

In June, German authorities staged raids after uncovering an alleged Islamist plot to carry out bomb attacks against state targets using model aeroplanes.

Those little quadricopter things seem to do all that is necessary. And they’re already set up so you can drive them off your mobile phone.

Weirdly, this is something I’ve been thinking about. No, not because I have a target in mind. Just that with my work over at Forbes I’m obviously keeping an eye on technological advances. And it does appear to me that computing leading to these mini-drones is rather changing the things that can be done. Entirely a piece of piss to get drugs into a prison yard for example. Or over a border….

Naughty Daily Mail subs

Drug users could escape ANY criminal penalties: MPs consider legalising heroine and crack as they plan Portugal visit to see soft-touch regime in action


Why should Lara Croft have to be legalised?

Let\’s just legalise drugs shall we?

Three consecutive stories spotted on the Telegraph\’s world news pages.

17 bodies found dumped along road in Mexico
Nine men found hanging from bridge in Mexico
Mexico parades captured Gulf drug cartel boss

It really is about time that we gave up on this war on drugs thing.

Sure, perhaps the entire population shooting up on heroin wouldn\’t be a very good idea. Not that that would happen, just about everyone who wants to take drugs can currently get them. But with Mexico suffering a casualty rate akin to a major war perhaps this is a war that is too expensive to be fighting?

Plod can be stupid

Penalties for growing and selling cannabis must be toughened because a surge in the trade is driving up shootings and gang-related violence, a senior police officer has warned.


Violence and gang w3arfare are driven by the illegality of the product. In the absence of a possible appeal to the law of the land then might makes right.

Plod therefore says that in order to reduce the violence caused by illegality we must increase the illegality. For that is what increasing penalties means, an increase in how illegal the stuff is along that spectrum from a parking ticket to crucifixion for recommending the wrong flavour of God.

Doesn\’t sound all that sensible, does it?

On Eva Rausing

Harry Mount says that it\’s all about lots of money leading to boredom and thus drugs.

I say tosh.

That someone has been ingesting industrial quantities of drugs for decades and then dies in middle age shows quite how non-dangerous drugs are.

Idiots on drugs

A new report warns that the commercial cultivation of cannabis poses a “significant risk” to Britain linked to burglary, violence and the use of guns.

The number of farms detected has more than doubled in recent years to reach almost 8,000, with many now set up in homes or flats rather than factories in order to spread the risk.

More people are also growing their own drugs as a result of the economic downturn, according to the Association of Chief Police Officers study.

The ACPO lead on cannabis cultivation, Met commander Allan Gibson, said: “Commercial cannabis cultivation continues to pose a significant risk to the UK. Increasing numbers of organised crime groups are diverting into this area of criminality but we are determined to continue to disrupt such networks and reduce the harm caused by drugs.

The risks are caused by the damn stuff being illegal.

There are vast areas of agricutural (and even forest) land in the UK where you could grow the stuff without problem. Plus plenty of factories oop north that could be used for hydroponics.

The only reason there is any danger at all is that Plod will be chasing you if you do so. Stop Plod chasing and the \”risk\” goes away.

That sleeping pill killing everyone thing

Given the success of my last foray into this story I fihnd this interesting:

The consensus among health professionals yesterday was that there is something about people who take sleeping pills that makes them likely to die earlier – but it’s almost certainly a complex combination of factors. If they need pills to sleep, that might indicate an underlying anxiety caused by physical ill health. Alternatively, the anxiety itself could be eroding the body’s defences, causing any number of symptoms that can shorten your lifespan in subtle ways. But that’s guesswork.

And we\’ve even a method of testing it:

Other benzos act faster than diazepam and do induce greater drowsiness; they’re more likely to be used only at night. But in the course of my research I don’t think I came across one sleeping pill that wasn’t also being used recreationally.

“Valium and zopiclone are very popular at rock festivals,” says Alice, 23, who works in publishing. “People want to come down and chill out after taking uppers. It’s absolutely normal.” And where do the pills come from? “Oh, somebody’s GP. Or through the internet from Thailand.”

The rise of internet pharmacies has helped to popularise tranquillisers among young drug-takers from all social classes. On the streets of the north-east of England, Z-drug pills circulate in strengths that are unavailable in the UK – evidence that they have been ordered online.

Given the massive effect claimed, as much as smoking, we should therefore be able to observe that effect among recreational takers of the same drugs.

Yes, obviously, it\’s a difficult thing to measure, who has been taking it recreationally. But it is through that that we would be able to unscramble the effects. If it\’s the drugs causing the deaths then we should be finding an elevated death rate among those who go to such festivals and take the drugs.

And if that elevated death rate isn\’t there then we\’d rather swing towards it being the underlying condition(s) which produce the prescriptions causing it rather than the drugs themselves.

Of course, I\’m not going to do such a study and nor are you. But I have a feeling that someone is. Quite possibly the drug manufacturers. For I have a feeling that there\’s going to be a lot of pressure from the plantiff\’s bar in coming years off the back of that original paper. Pressure that the pharma companies would rather like to have some defence against.

Numbers about drugs

Mexico seizes $4 billion in methamphetamine


The sheer scale of the bust announced late Wednesday drew expressions of amazement from meth experts. The 15 tonne haul could have supplied 13 million doses on the streets of the United States.

Umm, what?

$4 billion divided by 13 million is $307 a dose. That sounds a bit high for meth, given that the whole point of meth is that it is a relatively cheap drug. And they\’re positing that the dose would be a little over a gramme (1 million grammes to a tonne).

Actual prices seem to be around $80 a gramme.

Or if we say that it\’s 15 million 1 grammes doses then that\’s 15 million x $80 or $1.2 billion.

Ah, but that\’s US retail pricing. And this gear was in bulk in Mexico. Add in the smuggling value (yes, of course drugs are worth more inside the US than outside) and the wholesale discount and we\’re probably looking at something in the $120 million to $500 million range.

Yes, sure, it\’s still a big number. But just goes to show: don\’t ever trust law enforcement numbers about drugs. They\’re as crooked as the anti-counterfiters numbers about what is lost to counter-fiting.

Drugs Shock Horror!

Clubbers don\’t care whether a drugs is legal or not, just how it makes them feel, research shows

My word, that is a surprise, isn\’t it?

We would just never have guessed this from the existence of vibrant markets in, easy supply of, high demand for, heroin, ecstasy, cocaine, pot, hash, crack, LSD, \’rooms and all the rest.

Comes as an entire and total surprise that people will buy things they like even if they are illegal.


Next week, an investigation into the slippery nature of dihydrogen monoxide.

You what?

But this is not just a war between narco-cartels. Juarez has imploded into a state of criminal anarchy – the cartels, acting like any corporation, have outsourced violence to gangs affiliated or unaffiliated with them, who compete for tenders with corrupt police officers. The army plays its own mercurial role. \”Cartel war\” does not explain the story my friend, and Juarez journalist, Sandra Rodriguez told me over dinner last month: about two children who killed their parents \”because\”, they explained to her, \”they could\”. The culture of impunity, she said, \”goes from boys like that right to the top – the whole city is a criminal enterprise\”.

Not by coincidence, Juarez is also a model for the capitalist economy. Recruits for the drug war come from the vast, sprawling maquiladora – bonded assembly plants where, for rock-bottom wages, workers make the goods that fill America\’s supermarket shelves or become America\’s automobiles, imported duty-free. Now, the corporations can do it cheaper in Asia, casually shedding their Mexican workers, and Juarez has become a teeming recruitment pool for the cartels and killers. It is a city that follows religiously the philosophy of a free market.


Governments are spending hundreds of billions to prevent the drugs market being a free market.

And therefore the violence and murder of the drugs market is a result of it being a free market?