It’s OK; don’t worry. People hardly ever go to prison for cannabis.

Teenage sports star hanged himself over 50p worth of cannabis

Edward Thornber, 17, played lacrosse for England and planned to teach it in the US, an inquest heard.

But he feared a court appearance would ruin his American dream after he was caught smoking cannabis on holiday in Newquay, Cornwall.
He originally accepted a warning, which would not mean a criminal record.

But his case was put in the wrong file by cops. They sent him a court summons, which should have gone to his parents because of his age.
Edward’s body was found at a park near his home in Didsbury, Manchester. The summons was found nearby.

Coroner Nigel Meadows said: “Young people are particularly vulnerable.” Verdict: Suicide

Now this tragedy is merely a single anecdotal item and it can’t be fully laid at the feet of prohibition — the police screwed up, and young people are often susceptible to feeling things are hopeless when they are not.

However, this is an example, a data point, of millions of people whose lives have been ruined, or dramatically damaged, by the criminal prohibition of cannabis, even though they did not go to prison.

So when someone says to you “Why are you so concerned? Hardly anyone goes to prison for pot,” you should tell them about the people who lost their financial aid, their careers, their children, their possessions, or their lives due to criminal prohibition.

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21 Responses to It’s OK; don’t worry. People hardly ever go to prison for cannabis.

  1. Peter says:

    I posted this as OT on the previous item, before I read this. I am reposting here as in my opinion it is completely on topic as an example of how the US drug war ripples out to destroy lives around the world. This young man’s family deserve reparations for their loss:

    Remember that crazy DEA hack who suggested that “reparations” should be paid to drug warriors like himself for “damage” to their careers (and no doubt hurt feelings)when cannabis is re-legalized? It was 2-3 months ago and at first reading some of us thought he meant reparations to those whose lives had been damaged or destroyed by the drug war… needless to say he was thinking of his own interests…
    well the Independent has a report on the massive reparations paid to former slave owners by the British government following emancipation in the 1830s, to cover the financial losses of forfeiting their slaves. Needless to say not a penny was paid to any of the slaves while some of Britain’s richest families, including that of prime minister David Cameron, received the equivalent of many millions of pounds.
    I suspect history will repeat itself as usual. I wonder how much Barbara and the rest of the Bush family will be due for when their Geo Corp investments are hit by re-legalization.

    if you have a problem with the pay wall, the story is available for free on Iphone

    • Peter says:

      By the way, the Edward Thornber story has got some of the facts wrong… a police caution has to be disclosed when applying for a US visa and, if it is for a drug offence, automatically triggers a life-time inadmissability to the US.

  2. claygooding says:

    When you add the numbers of innocents on Pete’s list,,where I am sure this will end up,,there are way too many people killed just to keep the rich people in the drug trafficking business,,it ain’t any of the people we witness filling our prisons,,except some cartel members/bosses..buying and selling those submarines full of cocaine and truckloads of marijuana.

    • claygooding says:

      OT: Marijuana: The truth about growing your own pot

      So you want to grow pot. Or you’re worried the neighbors will.

      Marijuana is the botanical conversation piece that just won’t go away. Reactions to it run a wild gamut: It’s the evil weed or a source of future state tax revenue and entrepreneurial ingenuity. Or it’s the only path left to freedom from pain for some people, and journalists should write about it with the same seriousness that they accord blood-pressure medicine.

      If you’re 21 or older, Amendment 64 allows you to cultivate up to six marijuana plants in an “enclosed, locked space” in Colorado. (This is still illegal under federal law.)

      Sounds simple. But growing marijuana isn’t easy, those who do it professionally say.

      Until 2014, it’s illegal to sell plants to those without a medical-marijuana card. “snipped”

      Dark can critique this because he grows medical,,my equipment/nutrient costs growing for recreational/medical and my electrical bill is 1/3 their costs and my lighting is with no heat signature or having to compensate for it. :<)

    • War Vet says:

      Had Texas allowed Medical MJ, would Chris Kyle still be alive? Because we know that Medical states have fewer suicides, one can say that the prohibitionist were responsible for his murder when they neglected the Marine to have access to education and medicine that could have helped him cope with a horrible reality. Had marijuana been entrenched as a legal recreational substance like alcohol, we probably wouldn’t have so many suicides or crimes coming from vets with PTSD (and civilians alike). I’m to understand that the huge funeral precession was miles and miles and miles and miles long, this would have logically hindered peoples’ access to businesses, stores or being on time for whatever they needed to be, which would have resulted in less money being generated for the local economy near and on the lengthy funeral rout, thus we can properly blame a decrease in business on the prohibs for that funeral day (outside of the gas and food being consumed by the tens of thousands who showed up), just like we can 100% blame Chris’ death on the prohibs as well (had drugs never been illegal, said soldier wouldn’t have ever been forced to fight a losing war against drug money –therefore said soldier would have never had PTSD and killed Chris).

  3. Servetus says:

    Reminds me of high school when a friend and fellow student got busted for selling acid. At his sentencing, he was determined to off himself if he was sent to jail. So he hid what he regarded as a lethal dose of LSD on himself and went before the judge. He was given probation, so he didn’t take the acid, at least not in that amount, or in that location.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      Good luck overdosing on LSD. I had the occasion to trip once while incarcerated. I had a religious fantasy, me as christ on the cross type of trip. Jail is no place to trip on acid. Never again.

      • darkcycle says:

        Uh, yeah. Surroundings and emotional state are kinda important. They can make a difference, between, say, having an experience of walking through the forest with the Buddha, or being set upon by vengeful Gargoyles. The Gargoyles suck, if you ask me.

        • allan says:

          for me it’s walking w/ Buddha channelling the Firesign Theater, like profoundly, smiley face, jaw-hurting funny… except that time I met dog and he laughed… and then I saw him/her thru my eyes looking at me thru her/his eyes… and a later experience w/ LSD fueled a major epiphany and turned me forevermore into a peacenik. I of course am not advocating that anyone consume such a dangerous substance… but damn that was fun.

        • War Vet says:

          The best part is when you become an elf or Peter Pan . . . Halloween in the cemetery isn’t bad because it goes with the occasion. Though I don’t advise going to the hot metal foundry with a bunch of friends just to destroy some gold ring.

      • claygooding says:

        Done it in jail,,single hit and played Monopoly ALLL day long and laughed at the other people’s antics because they knew I was high.
        Best was at a motorcycle run,,unknown amount taken cause a guy had cocaine and acid mixed in water inside an Afrin bottle,,called it Sideways,,,

        • Irie says:

          Claygooding, sounds like some stuff an old friend of mine gave me once, (he was the president of the ‘Gypsy Jokers’, chapter of Grants Pass at the time) he called it ‘white lighting’. This was the most unique acid I ever did (all I had ever done was blotter/sheet LSD, you know the one with the Chinese dragon on it), rumor was it was made in china town by an old Chinese medicine lady.
          Anyway, this ‘white lighting’was administered through the nose (snorted it). A couple of friends of mine did some, went to a Foghat concert (dating my self!). After the show, we couldn’t drive out of the parking lot, seriously, could not drive due to the uncontrollable most awesome high we were having! We sat there and watch a squad car WATCH us for an eternity, seemed like,but in reality time, must have been only for about an hour or so. We finally found a break in all the laughter to drive, carefully and cautiously out of the venue parking lot, don’t know if the cops were sleeping or just figured since we were the last to leave, and about an hour behind everyone else,so we were safe to allow on the road! Have to conclude this was the best trip I ever took! White Lighting, not just for boot leggers!

  4. darkcycle says:

    Back on topic…Nothing is more emotionally wrenching to me than a teenager who commits suicide. Mortality as a personal concept isn’t even there yet. To kill yourself before you have any understanding of death…
    That’s a difficult story for me to read, Pete. Really.

  5. primus says:

    Youth suicide is very sad, especially to those of us to whom it is or has been seen as an option.

  6. I did not go to prison for my two drug busts (1971 and 72). In fact, both cases were ultimately dismissed, one with prejudice. But they ended my college career, disqualified me from my goal of being an Air Force fighter pilot (for which I had qualified), and exacted significant financial and emotional tolls on my family. And back then, especially in small-town America, being busted for drugs carried nearly the same social stigma placed on the first AIDS patients. It was not fun.

    Through sheer will and good luck, I managed to do OK. But I knew others back then, and know many in recent times, that did not. And I have often used my personal experience and the anecdotal evidence of others to refute the “hardly anyone goes to prison” tripe. It is usually effective, but it shouldn’t be necessary.

  7. Opiophiliac says:

    A friend once told me about someone he knew who loves opiates. This young man quickly became a daily user and true believer. As usual his luck eventually ran out and he was arrested for possession of heroin. After getting bailed out he knew he would be faced with possibly going to prison, certainly probation or some sort of drug court. Prison didn’t bother him too much, but he came to the realization that he wanted to take opiates every day for the rest of his life. Knowing that society would persecute him mercilessly for that choice, that choosing such an alternative lifestyle meant a lifetime of being hassled by cops, coerced rehab and all the rest that comes with being a junkie in modern America, he decided to end his life. He hung himself two days later.

  8. Jose79845 says:

    I wish the DEA would hang themself.

  9. frank says:

    In addition to the Dad’s jail time and felony conviction (goodbye meaningful employment)
    both parents also have their licences suspended for 6 months (mandatory for any drug case even though neither was driving under the influence) if you get a dui you can get a bread and butter licence to get back and forth to work but not on drug charges.

    The son has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and since the dad lost his job it will be hard for them to do anything about it. The birth mom wants to put him in foster care because she is afraid that he will ruin her life next.

    Amerikan Justice!

    • Duncan20903 says:


      Good riddance to employment, meaningful or otherwise. Why is it people are so intent on making other people rich? Being excluded from “meaningful” employment was the best thing that ever happened to me financially.

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