Europe: British Marijuana Smokers Grow Their Own 7/1/05

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!


http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/393/ukgrowing.shtml

The trend toward marijuana smokers growing their own pot in Great Britain has reached critical mass, the British newspaper the Independent reported this week. "Most of the cannabis consumed in Britain is now produced domestically," the newspaper concluded while conceding that because of the clandestine nature of marijuana grows no one really knows for sure.

The "unprecedented boom" in home grows is attributable to a number of factors, including the relaxation of marijuana's classification to the less serious Class-C category, the easy availability of seeds and equipment over the Internet, and continuing demand from an aging population of middle-class consumers who have lost connections or simply wish to avoid the street-level drug-dealing scene, the newspaper explained. And some people are just in it for the money.

According to the Independent, British police are busting at least a dozen grows every week. In London alone, the number of grow busts has risen from 230 in 2003 to 420 last year and, if bust trends this year continue, should hit 600 by year's end. In Merseyside, a similar trend was evident, with grow busts rising from 18 in 2002 to 91 last year. Some 750 people with small grows were issued cautions in 2003, the last year for which figures are available, while the number of people convicted of operating grows was nearly 1,900 that same year. British police typically issue cautions for small, personal grows and prosecute larger commercial operations, they told the Independent.

A little more than two years ago, Mike Hough, professor of criminal policy at King's College London, authored a report on cannabis that predicted home-grown smoke would soon account for half the market. "I think these figures suggest it is truer now than when we wrote the report," he told the Independent.

But arrests and cautions only tell part of the story. The Independent got indirect confirmation of its thesis by reviewing the expansion of the Sceptered Isle's seed and grow-store industry. "There has been a rapid rise in small-scale cultivation," Brian Biggs of Hempstead Hydroponics in Waterford told the newspaper. "Although we cannot advertise our equipment for illegal purposes, we are aware than 90% of our customers probably use it for growing cannabis, which of course we do not condone." As Monty Python's Eric Idle used to say, "Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink."

It's often a family affair, said Biggs. Many of his new customers are middle-aged people with families who would rather grow their own than risk going to the street. "We get a lot of people coming in with their kids and they tell us that it is the kids have the know-how to grow it for their parents."

While police are officially aghast at the growth of do-it-yourself marijuana production, they may be missing the larger implication, Professor Hough suggested. "If the easy availability of growing equipment makes it possible to isolate people from criminal supply networks, that has to be a good thing," he said.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail drcnet@drcnet.org. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #393 -- 7/1/05

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!

Editorial: Star Wars and the Drug War | Feature: Rhode Island Governor Vetoes Medical Marijuana Bill Wednesday -- Senate Overrides Thursday | Feature: Coca on the March in Peru | Feature: Most Marijuana Users in Drug Treatment Sent There By Criminal Justice System | Weekly: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Global: World Drug Trade Worth $320 Billion Annually, UN Says | AIDS/HIV: Harm Reduction Wins Battle in UN AIDS Session | Asia: China Celebrates International Anti-Drugs Day with Executions, Bonfires | Hemp: Rep. Ron Paul Introduces Federal Bill for Industrial Hemp | Medical Marijuana: US Patient Seeks Access to British Marijuana Extract Spray Through Investigational New Drug Program | Africa: Cannabis Cultivation Feeds a Hundred Thousand Families in Morocco | Europe: British Marijuana Smokers Grow Their Own | Web Scan: Cato on Pain, MPP PSAs | Weekly: This Week in History | Job Opportunity: Harm Reduction Coalition, NYC | Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar

Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 drcnet@drcnet.org