Where I live the nine o'clock news this morning on Sky had an unusual piece on cannabis, and cannabis "factories" in S.London. But the one o'clock news which I watched eagerly, hoping to check up on some details, had lost the item completely, going instead for traditional issues like car bombs in Iraq, elections in Egypt involving a number of deaths, oh! and of course, the matter of bonuses for bankers in the recently bankrupt Royal Bank of Scotland which the PM has bravely put a ceiling on!
Sky was given special secret access to London's cannabis factory. As the manager said, we need to keep it a secret for obvious reasons. I wondered about the possible thousands of viewers glued to their screens and what the impact of this might be on "secrecy".
The manager was filmed wearing what looked like a World War 2 gas mask - more secrecy! or was he "high" himself? - so his words were not as clear as they might be, but he was insistent on the secrecy involved though was very forthcoming on the money being made, which is about a quarter million pounds every three months. Not such a lot. You can buy packets of freshly hewn cannabis for £100 or as little as £20 for a not insubstantial plastic bag full.
We were then given a tour of the secret factory by somebody wearing a less spectacular mask and shown cannabis plants being grown as if they were tomatoes. It all looked very nice, and clean and green too. The guide pointed out that if cannabis was legal in England, as it is in for example in Colorado, the price would go down.
This was followed by advocates of cannabis use explaining its helpful medicinal properties. A woman who suffers a lot of back pain explained how NHS medicines were no good for her, but that since she'd taken to smoking 6 joints a day her life was much improved. This was impressive. Nothing was said however about what might be called the "creative" side of cannabis use, which has been much lauded over the years by a number of musicians, performers mainly, though people have also reported heightened responses when smoking and listening to music, or just looking at things.
As to the downside. A university lecture pooh- poohed the suggestion that cannabis use could cause psychological illnesses like schizophrenia and paranoia, but said that while it might be dangerous for a few people, the dangers were nothing like those produced by alcohol abuse which society seemed not to take very seriously or care about. She pointed out that cannabis smokers included a wide spectrum of society from doctors and teachers down to taxi-drivers. Bankers weren't mentioned. Is this their problem?
Then suddenly we were shown film of our police force hammering down somebody's front door and then savagely bursting through some inner door in search of the forbidden weed. But nobody was at home, and no drugs were found! But I think the message was the violence of the police in rooting out law breakers, and it was a warning. And of course if you possess cannabis you are breaking the law. The violence of the breaking down of doors was a reminder of similar violence 18 months ago when the police went after young hoodies who had stolen stuff from shops during the Tottenham rebellion. Was this when Mr. Duggan was shot? And was a timely reproach for those who think they can break the law with impunity. It was suggested that prison sentences of ten years could be awaiting the proprietors of the cannabis factory should they be caught red-handed and apprehended, as presumably they soon will be given the generous tv coverage kindly afforded them by Sky. Courtesy of the well-meaning and socially aware Murdoch family.
But what was this all really about and why was the tv coverage dropped some hours later? Was it not after all "a scoop" for Sky TV : given free access to a secret cannabis factory! Is it yet another sign of how deranged decomposing capitalism and its news channels are becoming? How "bourgeois morality", "good taste" and plain "common sense" have all sort of lost their way as society degenerates. Or is it supposed to be a sign of an encroaching "liberalism", like the legitimization of homosexuality and gay marriages, wherein we're allowed to discuss cannabis as a fairly harmless, even medicinally useful pursuit, with an aim perhaps to its forthcoming legalization?
Are there legal profits to be made in this area? After all, why should a gang of filthy crims get all the spoils from cannabis; it isn't fair. What's in it for the bourgeoisie and its camp followers? And when the law abiding bourgeoisie do finally get their hands on the profitable weed you can be sure they won't let primary school children smoke it, which seemed to be the main argument used against the S. London growers who said they did. And this is bad of course. But then everyone knows that one of the main and all-absorbing concerns of the bourgeoisie is for the welfare of society's children, their health, education and preservation from all kinds of evil, including alcohol, cannabis and all kinds of sexual abuse.