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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. 



aint with being broke

What's in it for the bourgeoisie? Money. Crims are capiatlists too. Especially ones raking in a quarter of a mil every three months.

I'm not so pro-illegal drugs though, I think the side effects are often over looked and they still need lots of research etc. Also sometimes it's overlooked why a lot of people take em, cos life in this society is so fucking miserable and boring a lot of the time. We need to turn our society upside down not our minds as some kind of palliative or suppressant.

Hi comrade radical chains.

Hi comrade radical chains. How are you?  I agree that we need to "turn our society upside down"  but we may have to turn a lot of minds upside down in order to do it.  After all doesn't bourgeois society stand on its head most of the time, substituting outworn ideology for clear and rational thoughts about the actual state of capitalist society?  which, as you say " is so fucking  miserable and boring a lot of the time." This is true even if you have a job.  So what is it like if you don't? Despite this terrible state of affairs lots of people don't realize yet that we're going to have to turn society upside down and their minds need changing about this.  However, I think you're right that "mind-changing drugs" probably won't have much to contribute to the process of proletarian initiation  into proletarian politics and generally have only ever been used as an escape from the misery of everyday life. In fact, escape from this awful reality can only truly be achieved through proletarian politics. 

But we should also note in passing that poets like Coleridge (I think?) and writers like Aldous Huxley did appear to get creative benefits and even pain relief from the use of opium and LSD which can, if not alleviate, draw the mind's focus away from painful diseases like arthiritis and cancer  and point it in the direction of  more blissful states. 

I'm alright Fred, thanks for

I'm alright Fred, thanks for asking. Apart from being completely fed up with capitalism how are you? I've also heard artists, music specifically say drugs don't make you creative at all and are a hindrance. However, I agree about the painkilling aspects. I don't have any direct experience though, until better circumstances exist they might be an answer.

Interesting discussion here,

Interesting discussion here, always interesting in my view to hear the differences of opinion across the generational, cultural and national lines.

There is so much misinformation regarding cannabis. It's the same with mycelium. The science behind both are extremely interesting, and if you really take a close look at them, along with their underlying histories, you can find many examples of why they might be a threat to the status quo.

For example, many people don't know much about the endocannabinoid system. In a nutshell, every human is born with a form of cannabis already in them, these are called endocannabinoids. They help different cells in your body communicate. We didn't know about this whole aspect of our own bodies until we started studying cannabis with serious science.

We all have nerve cells which carry electrical signals to and from the brain. Where two cells meet, signals are passed from one cell to the next by chemical receptors. These tiny bridges are called neurotransmitters. Some other well known neurotransmitters are dopamine and seratonin.

As it turns out all animals have inherited this structure, going back to ocean life found hundreds of millions of years ago, long before the arrival of flowering plants like cannabis. Both the human brain and the cannabis flower evovled mimicing these same structures. No matter your opinions on the plant, each and every one of us is fundamentally wired to respond to cannabis.

One aspect that comrade Fred touched on was the use of cannabis for pain relief. Many folks are not aware that cannabis' medical usage goes way beyond that. Peer reviewed academic studies (some notable ones coming from public universities in Colorado) coming out in the past 5 years have shown that cannabis preferentially seeks out and destroys cancer cells over others, and speeds up the rate at which these abnormal cells die. It doesn't stop there. Cannabis has also been shown to have antiangiogenic effects, restricting the supply of new cells needed for tumor growth. Cannabis has also been shown, again very recently, to prevent the ability of cancer cells spreading from one area to another.

There was a study done by scientists in Spain in the past 10 years, led by a man named Manuel Guzman, where they injected pure THC (the main cannabinoid of cannabis) directly into the brain tumors of a population of lab rats and found that those injected consistently and reproducably had a higher rate of survival. Keep in mind, all we are doing is stimulating a system that has been in place for essentially hundreds of millions of years.

Hopefully I don't have to get into the whole rant about hemp, as I'm pretty sure industrial hemp is still legal in most places in the world, unlike in the US and a few other places. But hemp is a super-crop, high in protein with many, many other industrial uses--- many of which would help greatly with the current ecological crises. Keep in mind, hemp is a by-product of the cannabis plant!

Also we can't forget cannabis is one of the biggest cash crops in the world, especially in countries like Swaziland, Malawi, India, Jamaica. Colombia, etc. Many of millions of poor people around the world depend on it for susbsitence.

That all sounds very

That all sounds very exciting. I must say when I came across this topic of cancer and cannabis before it all seemed very conspiracy theory and quackery. I've tried looking at some scientific research but some of the terminology I find a bit difficult. For a quick and easy overview of this subject you can try this: