Victimless Crime File: “Skunk” Weed Blamed for English Youth Ultra-Violence

From an article called Hippie Dream, Modern Nightmare:

They are not hard to find. Every few days brings a fresh tale of feral youths meting out random acts of violence with unfathomable intensity. Apart from the shocking brutality, the speed with which a seemingly trivial argument or confrontation can assume murderous proportions, the stories have a common theme: the perpetrators of the violence, often in their very young teens, were high on ‘skunk’ at the time.

The teenagers who killed Garry Newlove, the 47-year-old father of three in Cheshire? The attack came after they had binged on alcohol and skunk.

Last month three youths were found guilty of kicking to death Mark Witherall, 47, after he found them burgling his house in Whitstable, Kent. The three were intoxicated by a ferocious cocktail of alcopops and cannabis. The judge said the three had ‘acted as hyenas’.

And last week the mother of Sophie Lancaster, the 20-year-old goth murdered by two binge-drinking teenagers, claimed the rise of skunk was now one of the biggest causes of problems among young people. ‘It’s so much stronger now than normal cannabis and young people are smoking it from 9am and thinking it’s OK,’ said Sylvia Lancaster. ‘I have worked with young people over a number of years and I believe that one of the biggest issues facing us is skunk.’

Suddenly, skunk – a high-strength herbal strain of cannabis – is showing the darker side of a drug that was once considered to be relatively benign. Concerns about its links with mental illness and its ability to act as a ‘gateway drug’, leading users into addiction, have prompted a sea change in popular opinion about cannabis.

Uh oh. Sounds like smoking pot isn’t so harmless. I’ve blogged about the surreal brutality of the Sophie Lancaster murder before but a glimpse through an English paper’s website will show you that gangs of teens stomping women to death is hardly uncommon in the United Kingdom these days.

While it’s fair to say that the crime culture there is a product of the dehumanizing welfare state, multiculturalism and Fabian social policies the fact is that drug use in England is tied to violent crime in the most undeniable way.

Getting high may seem harmless in a country where civil order is still maintained but in England were decades of neo-Marxist social engineering has destroyed the fabric of society we can see the effects of recreational pot smoking on those whose upbringing has already created in them a distorted sense of personal and moral boundaries. As the article says, think Clockwork Orange:

But now the hippie dream of peace and love has turned into the nightmare of A Clockwork Orange, in which drug-fueled youths go on a violent rampage.

‘The caricature of cannabis has for years equated it with herbal tea and hippies,’ says Ben Lynam, of the UK Drug Policy Commission. ‘Some people still believe that, but they are now very much among the minority.’

Prime Minister Gordon Brown is not one of that minority. This week he is expected to reject the opinion of the government’s own Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), and signal that cannabis should be reclassified from a class C to a class B drug, a spectacular U-turn from just two years ago and the first time ministers have ignored their experts since 1971.

It means those caught in possession of cannabis could face prison sentences of up to five years, compared with two now. But the change, for the majority of users, is likely to be cosmetic. The police have signaled that they will still continue a policy of ‘confiscate and warn’, although persistent offenders will face tougher penalties which experts believe will see more ending up in prison. Last year police warnings on cannabis rose 20 per cent to 120,000, suggesting the new approach is proving popular with officers on the streets, as it frees them from the bureaucracy associated with making arrests.

Sounds like good policing. Gangs of drug fueled violence junkies turned loose on a country where cops couldn’t be bothered making arrests. Good stuff.

Oh. But pot dealers are still just good natured hippies who aren’t hurting anyone right? And those guys who grow their own are O.K. right?

Cannabis is now a big black-market business in Britain. While heroin is imported from the east, cocaine from South America and ecstasy from the Netherlands, much of the cannabis crop is homegrown. Sir Stephen Lander, the head of the Serious and Organized Crime Agency warned earlier this year that large-scale cannabis factories – producing high-strength strains of the drug and run by Vietnamese and Chinese criminals – are appearing across the country.

Charities working with immigrant communities claim that in many cases the factories rely on smuggled child labour to maintain the plants. What was a cottage industry has become an industrialized cultivation. Growers now use state-of-the art hydroponic systems to ensure bumper crops.

‘There are wide areas of the country where this is being grown commercially,’ Lander said. ‘It’s not as though people are growing it in a couple of pots on their window sills.’

Hey, c’mon. What’s a little child slavery if it gets you your weed? Right?

And it’s not like the same thing happens here, is it? Besides, there’s no evidence that pot causes violence so this is all just a scare tactic by we squares. Or is it:

A study published in the British Medical Journal found those using cannabis before the age of 15 are four times as likely to develop psychotic illness by 26. A Lancet study in 2007 estimated that 14 per cent of 15- to 34-year-olds affected by schizophrenia are ill because of heavy cannabis use. And recent analysis of 35 major studies concluded that cannabis use increased the risk of psychotic illness later in life by approximately 40 per cent and by up to 200 per cent among heavy users.

Many experts in mental health say they now have more than enough evidence to understand that cannabis is not the safe drug of popular myth.

‘We have been campaigning for many years about the links between cannabis and psychiatric illness, and highlighting evidence that the drug may not only precipitate psychotic breakdown but cause long-term mental damage,‘ says Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity Sane.

‘The front-line experience of organizations such as ours is that use of the drug can cause harm, not only to young people but to their families, making the outcomes worse for those with mental illness and robbing young people of their motivation and future.’

Read the rest and share it with your friends who claim pot smoking is a victimless crime.

2 thoughts on “Victimless Crime File: “Skunk” Weed Blamed for English Youth Ultra-Violence

  1. what an absolute load of nonsense, people are either violent or not and should stop laying the blame on something they drink or smoke. they blame these things in the hope of sympathy and a lighter sentence. time to take responsibility for ones actions i say.

  2. So people on PCP are acting exactly as they would sans dust? Drunk drivers would kill just as many people if they stayed sober? The heroin addicts sucking off dudes in alleys to get their fix would have prostituted themselves without drug addiction?

    Why is it so hard to believe that substances people take to alter their perceptions and behavior actually do alter their perceptions and behavior?

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