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February 2008
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Reefer madness across the pond

Via Paul Armentano at the NORML blog
This has it all: Sensationalism, scare tactics, irrelevancy, and… just plain… bizarre. Bad journalism, bad science, bad government and more.

The BBC is to break one of the last broadcasting taboos by screening footage of a woman injecting drugs.
Nicky Taylor, a journalist, is filmed smoking cannabis in cafes in Amsterdam before injecting the main ingredient of the stronger “skunk” variety of the drug in a laboratory. […]
Miss Taylor was then filmed as the effects of the drug took hold. Dr Paul Morrison, one of the scientists in charge of the programme, told The Daily Telegraph: “I can’t talk about the experiences of any of our participants without their say-so.”
The BBC also declined to provide a detailed account of what happened.
However, one source who has seen the effects on Miss Taylor said: “The effect was dramatic. It was unpleasant.”
The BBC is understood to be keen to show the film on the eve of a decision by Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, to recriminalise cannabis by upgrading it from C to B status. Her decision is expected in the spring.

That’s right. A “journalist” is going to show the dangers of drugs by injecting herself with “the main ingredient of the stronger ‘skunk’ variety of” cannabis.
Yes, that’s a very convoluted way of saying THC.
This is to give “a strong anti-drugs message that will stop people experimenting rather than glamourising drugs use” — apparently by convincing people that shooting up cannabis isn’t a good idea — something that, until this moment, hadn’t been an idea at all.
My prediction: The British Government, fueled in part by stupidity like this, increases the penalties for marijuana. The black market, inspired by this “documentary” responds by developing a more compact, easier to smuggle, pure THC. A year later, the Daily Mail does a sensational report on an alarming new trend — intravenous skunk use.
“bullet” Update: See also this at the Washington Post — with comments (thanks Cannabis).

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