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Prohibition & Dancing With The Devil

The last time I was shopping in town I came across a sign for a new bar called “Prohibition”. It is apparently styled after a ’20s speakeasy and at first I thought that sounds fun and then I recalled they’d probably taser you for even looking at a pack of ciggies.

Oh, well that’s progress then!

It got me thinking on the train back (diesel, so I guess I have to plant a shrubbery for that indulgence other wise Al Gore will ass-rape a polar bear cub or something) about why I don’t do drugs and the current “Talk to Frank” ads on the TV by the government against cannabis.

The simple truth is that when I was younger the standard stuff was resin or weed. As Governmentus draconiensess has gained yet more power it’s now all skunk. As far as I can tell this is essentially because there is no point running resin when you can run skunk. It’s bang-for-buck really. It’s exactly the same reason US prohibition-era bootleggers were running whiskey and not lager shandies.

It’s why I don’t touch cannabis anymore. When I was younger a spliff would be fun, make me mellow, and maybe a little randy if shared with a girl who was ready and willing and no, you’re not getting me any more frank than that on that score! Though it was fun. Skunk is way more psychoactive and yes it can easily induce paranoia and stuff that you don’t want to pay good money to a dodgy geezer round the back of the pub for.

So that’s one of Nick’s simple pleasures nixxed. But it’s more than that. The relentless “war on drugs” is self-fulfilling. That “Frank” advert is essentially about and specifically mentions paranoic symptoms from cannabis. This is true but it is true because the repression of cannabis has essentially forced the sort of stuff I used to toke out of the market in the same way alcohol prohibition turned the USA from a nation of beer drinkers into a nation of spirits drinkers. And therein lies the horrendous brilliance of it. For the entirely parasitic bansturbatory industry this is pay-dirt. They make a situation worse with their campaigns and that of course justifies more campaigns and therefore more jobs for the boys and girls.

“Wider still and wider shall thy bounds be set” – Land of Dope And Gory.

I used to think government “Don’t do that!” advertising was the work of the moronic. It isn’t because it is evil rather than stupid. The current anti-cannabis ads are only really possible because of existing government policy having been responsible for skunk displacing good old weed and the current pro-contraception ads put the tin lid on it as far as I’m concerned. This is the set-up. Boy and girl in caff. She: “I’m thinking of getting one of those contraceptive implants”. He: “Urghh!!! Do you really want to do that!”. She: “Do you want to be a dad?”. Stuff like Implanon is not the great sacrifice that the ad implies it to be but a very short procedure involving the upper arm, a nurse and about five minutes. So why do they advertise it like that? Oddly enough the segment singing the praises of the IUD has a very different flavour despite it being a vastly more invasive procedure with potentially a lot more side-effects.

Um? Why?

Because government (in it’s widest sense of fake-charities, quangos and of course Sir Humphreys by the score) has no desire whatsoever to solve problems related to drug abuse or unwanted pregnancy or anything else.

In fact they actually want to create them for it is their primary justification.

And their final salary pension.

Paid for by you.

All of it is dancing with the devil. All of it is an unholy pact. Because unlike a private-sector contractor who does a job and hands over an invoice and goes home to watch the telly the job of government is and can never be completed.


  1. RAB says:

    Ok let me kick this “Skunk is a thousand times stronger than the old stuff” shit into touch straight away. No it fuckin isn’t!
    What it is, is consistently higher in quality. Something that every market aims for.

    My generation were great affectionados of the weed, and there were huge varieties of it. Paki Black (reasonably strong) Red and Blonde Lebanese (light and giggly) then you got to the specialist stuff like Nepalese Temple Balls and Thai sticks or Jamacan and Columbian that would knock you on your ass. I (just about) remember travelling in a car from Cardiff to London to see Bruce Springsteen’s first gig in London in 1974, with friend that had a bag of Thai grass, and no one but the driver, who wasn’t a smoker, could manage to put a sentence together before Reading.

    But mostly what you got was bog standard Morroccan, which barely got you high at all.
    None of the above are readily available now, apart from the Morroccan, well why run the risk of importing when you can grow it in a basement at home?

    I dont smoke now, but if someone passed me a spliff, I would accept it without a qualm.
    Just use a little sense, those of you worried about it’s strength these days, and put less in with the tobacco.

    Now as to America and Prohibition, who knew that the lovely caring Govt were doing this? Elliot Ness never mentioned this did he?!!

  2. NickM says:

    I’m not saying stronger RAB as much as different. Though to be fair in this context I’m the sort of bloke to order the house red and you would appear to be the sort to demand a specific year from a specific vineyard! I said an ’82 you oik, this is an ’83!

    When my wife lived in Moscow they attempted to cut down vodka consumption through tax – talk about a governmental challenge! – end result was people drinking anything up to and including toilet duck, sugar supplies running out and people going blind from the cottage industry this created of bizinezz men (if you know what I mean) knocking “stuff” up and putting it in old Smirnoff bottles. Apparently you had to be very careful.

    What was Springsteen like BTW? I saw his recent performance on the telly at Glastonbury and say what ya like about his politics etc he’s one hell of a performer.

  3. JuliaM says:

    “Ok let me kick this “Skunk is a thousand times stronger than the old stuff” shit into touch straight away. No it fuckin isn’t!

    What it is, is consistently higher in quality.”

    And in smell. I can remember 15 years ago, if you went into certain pubs, you’d get a discreet whiff or two of waccy baccy. Nothing really unpleasant.

    Now, you can smell it on people’s clothes as they pass you in the street. Presumably (since they don’t seem to be smoking at the time) from the night before.

    Now, that’s certainly a change!

  4. NickM says:

    You’re getting third-hand monged Julia? Sue!!!

  5. jameshigham says:

    There even getting into innocent pleasures now, so it seems.

  6. RAB says:

    I thought he was great Nick.
    Unfortunately he had had a review in Rolling Stone not long before which said…

    I have seen the future of rock n roll, and it’s name is Bruce Springsteen.

    So the whole audience, and especially the critics ( I wasn’t one yet) were sat there with arms folded sucking on the proverbial hollow tooth, going, comon then impress us! What’s so different about this?
    The initial reviews were not good.

  7. Stonyground says:

    At work we escape from Jeremy Vine for two hours each day into the arms of independent radio. I have always understood that the adverts are a necessary evil and that at some point there is a danger that the constant repetition of inane jingles will destroy your brain. Now though, the situation is far worse owing to the fact that one third of the ads are government sponsored harrangueing about your diet and lifestyle. Salt, fat, smoking, drinking Galcohol, not wearing your seatbelt, get more excersise, oh and how wonderful your local police service is. On Friday the latter were targetting their resources most effectively by pointing a speed camera at a line of traffic that had been reduced a to snails pace by a set of temporary traffic lights.

  8. Forget the Skunk argument, Hel Haze was good enough, but what I have asked many times, and never got an answer to, is WHY, since Victorian times, have the “Governments” of the West got a downer on all things cannabis?

    You can get ANY other drug on perscription (Except your crack type stuff), IF you can prove a need. From L.S.D, to Heroin, Morphine, speed, all that. But cannabis??


    They treat it like the devil incarnate. Something that I will NEVER understand….unless someone can give me the reason?

  9. RAB says:

    Here you go FT.

    As I vagely remembered it from Law School, Britain signed up to an International Treaty in the 20s, probably the Opium one, basically on the grounds that cannabis was practically unheard of at the time, so what the hell! eh?

    Course the swivel eyed bansturbators were already in full flight back then against alcohol, so smoking weed was definately added to the list of evil things the public should not be allowed to do.

    Queen Victoria liked Cannabis. She took it to relieve her period pains. She adored sex too, but all we get from leftie histories is that she was not amused.

    Not amused? she was laughing her ass off and having a ball up to the time Albert died.

    You could still get Tincture of Cannabis on prescription up to the late 60s apparently, to treat corns warts and verruccas.

    And the medical use lobby today is still pushing for the right to use it for relieving Multiple sclerosis symptoms, and for increasing the appetite of those undergoing chemo therapy for cancer.

    Keeping it illegal really is insane isn’t it? But that’s what we have come to expect from Politicians.

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