cannabisnews.com: Skunk Cannabis May Be Reclassified 










††Skunk Cannabis May Be Reclassified 

Posted by CN Staff on May 18, 2005 at 19:34:28 PT
By Alan Travis, Home Affairs Editor†
Source: Guardian Unlimited UK†

United Kingdom -- Drug experts will begin debating today whether stronger "skunk" varieties of cannabis should carry higher penalties for possession. The Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs, which meets in London, has been asked by the home secretary, Charles Clarke, for its advice on varieties of cannabis containing high levels of THC, the active ingredient.
In his letter to the committee, Mr Clarke pointed it to these forms of the plant, known as skunk, which are often grown in nutrient-rich water. "I am aware the Dutch government are taking a particular interest in very high strength strains and are considering whether cannabis above a certain strength should be a higher classification," the home secretary said. The council is reviewing whether the recent relaxation of the penalties for cannabis possession should be reversed. Tony Blair told the Commons on Tuesday that he hoped the experts would produce their report within weeks, but those hopes are likely to be dashed. The council, which is chaired by a clinical pharmacologist, Sir Michael Rawlins, is expected to agree a timetable and terms of reference today for its review of the cannabis laws, which means that a final report is unlikely to be produced before December. The review was announced just before the general election campaign got under way following fresh claims of mental health problems caused by regular cannabis use and by the growing use in Britain of skunk. Mr Blair hinted strongly in the Commons that he could reverse the relaxation in the laws on cannabis: "If it advises us to change that decision, we will do so. If it does not, we will obviously have to consider that," he told MPs. The drug experts are likely to set up a committee to examine evidence from a New Zealand study which claims that regular use of cannabis can increase the risk of mental health problems later in life for those with a family history of mental illness. The council recommended the decision taken by the former home secretary, David Blunkett, to downgrade cannabis possession from class B to class C in January last year. In making that recommendation the experts took into account claims that regular cannabis smoking could exacerbate existing mental health problems but not the more recent academic evidence that it could trigger new problems. The reclassification meant that most adults caught in possession face a police policy of "confiscate and warn," while those under 18 are arrested and taken to a police station and given a formal reprimand. The proposal to introduce different penalties for different strengths of cannabis could cause practical problems for the police, who would have to distinguish between cannabis that they could arrest adults for possessing and weaker strains for which they could only issue an informal warning. Martin Barnes, the chief executive of DrugScope, a drugs information charity, said: "We are seeing stronger cannabis generally but the bigger problem is that cannabis is being used regularly by a younger age group, rather than it being stronger than in the past." Research in the US has reported that cannabis 10 times more potent than traditional strains has been appearing there. The average potency of cannabis consumed in Holland, where there has been an explosion in the homegrown market, has doubled, to about 16% THC. Research by the EU's drug agency last year suggested that the effective strength of cannabis consumed in Britain has remained unchanged at about 6% THC for 30 years. The study acknowledged that there has been an unknown increase in home-grown cannabis, which can be two to three times more potent, but more than 70% of the British market was taken by imported Moroccan hashish. Source: Guardian Unlimited, The (UK)Author: Alan Travis, Home Affairs EditorPublished: Thursday, May 19, 2005Copyright: 2005 Guardian Newspapers LimitedContact: letters guardian.co.ukWebsite: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Related Articles & Web Site:Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs http://freedomtoexhale.com/reschedule.pdfCannabis Advisers Donít Want Rethinkhttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread20679.shtmlHow Blair Stayed Cool at Spliff Time http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread18768.shtmlBiggest Shake-Up of Britains Laws in 30 Yearshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread18261.shtml

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Comment #10 posted by mayan on May 19, 2005 at 17:23:12 PT

Good Riddance
Mr Blair hinted strongly in the Commons that he could reverse the relaxation in the laws on cannabis: "If it advises us to change that decision, we will do so. If it does not, we will obviously have to consider that," he told MPs.Better hurry, Tony. You will be out on the street real quick. 
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Comment #9 posted by dongenero on May 19, 2005 at 11:39:59 PT

this highlights their lack of knowledge
This shows how little these people know about the issue.
Skunk? There are many varieties and hybrids of so called skunk. 
 
It is only in these articles, by people who apparantly know next to nothing, where I read of this hyper-strong skunk strain. Skunk sure did not win the Cannabis Cup this year.
I'm not sure when it might have, probably like 15 years ago.What about AK-47, Love Potion#1, Cinderalla99, Blueberry, Bubblegum, Orange Bud, Black Domina, Mango, Mindbender, Kush, and the hundreds upon hundreds of other named F1 varieties. Too many to name in this post.
What about the then exponential number of hybridized versions of each of those named strains. Oh and then they talk about growing in nutrient rich water...which I think is "Bush speak" for hydroponics...yes there is a name for it.So we'll have a sliding penalty scale for the hundreds upon hundreds of varieties plus their thousands of hybridized combinations and then.......slide a scale on whether it is grown in "nutrient rich water" or a matrix of organic material (soil).These Brits need to spend about a week at the cannabis web sites just educating themselves. Their cannabis ignorance is painfully obvious but, that is nothing compared to the ignorance of the US government on the issue.
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on May 19, 2005 at 11:30:16 PT

Jose
I wonder if THC alone is a sturdy solid. If it's not, how in the world could these, obviously imaginary, high THC cannabis strains the prohibs get so hysterical about be solid enough to hold together or even grow in the first place?
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on May 19, 2005 at 11:25:13 PT

Cannabis should not be upgraded
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/05/19/ucannabis.xml&sSheet=/portal/2005/05/19/ixportaltop.html
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Comment #6 posted by jose melendez on May 19, 2005 at 09:35:58 PT

lies of ommision
I'm still amazed at how consistently newspapers and TV refuse to acknowledge that hash is around 50 percent THC or so . . .As if they did not know. The paper is called the "Guardian". It's more like "Guard", as in "Guard against disclosure of facts that disprove our fraudulent mantras."
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Comment #4 posted by cloud7 on May 19, 2005 at 06:32:54 PT

...
"The proposal to introduce different penalties for different strengths of cannabis could cause practical problems for the police, who would have to distinguish between cannabis that they could arrest adults for possessing and weaker strains for which they could only issue an informal warning."This is just a way to make it easier for the police to arrest people and then later apologize by issuing an "informal warning." They don't care one bit about the difference between 6% cannabis and 15% cannabis, it just bothers them that they are required to just give these herb junkies a warning and not arrest them.
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Comment #3 posted by stoner spirit on May 18, 2005 at 21:56:52 PT:

Lies about good bud
If it has more thc, you would have to use less, but they prefer that you harm yourself. Why smoke a bunch of shwag and have a head ache, when you could smoke the powerfull stuff and be all right. No offence, but just because the US. says abunch of bullshit doesn't mean that everyone else has to follow. Why follow the impire, when you could take the synic root?
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Comment #2 posted by jfrolang on May 18, 2005 at 20:33:38 PT

quality vs. quantity
The propaganda that swirls around good bud is like a hurricane-force wind that seems impossible to stop. It's like they've never heard of a substance with different proofs.The same affects of quality cannabis can be achieved using ditchweed, you just need to smoke a lot more of it. And get this, in that case the lower quality stuff is more harmful!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 18, 2005 at 19:36:07 PT

How Will They Know?
I guess it could be done by the nose police. 
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