Skunk Weed Causing Outbreaks of Mad Brit Disease

With British Prime Minister Gordon Brown poised to reclassify marijuana as a more serious drug subject to stiffer penalties, the United Kingdom appears to be in the grip of an outbreak of Reefer Madness that would make Harry Anslinger blush. Bizarrely, much of the British concern about marijuana is centered on the dreaded "skunk." The Daily Mail, which makes the New York Post look like the New York Times, has been a leading proponent of skunk mania. In an article headlined Cannabis: A deadly habit as easy for children to pick up as a bag of crisps, after blaming marijuana for the problems of British youth culture and prohibition-related violence, the Mail breathlessly reports that skunk isn't your father's marijuana. (Haven't we heard this one before?)
The other problem for the Government and others who urged the then Home Secretary David Blunkett to downgrade cannabis in the run-up to 2004, is that the drug on sale to young people on the streets today is very different from the one ministers thought they were downgrading. Doctors believe that this new strain has the potential to induce paranoia and even psychosis. Some of those we met who work with young criminals link the advent of the new drug with the growth and intensity of street violence. Uanu Seshmi runs a small charity in Peckham, where gun crime is rife, which aims to help boys excluded from school escape becoming involved in criminal gangs. He has seen boys come through his doors who are "unreachable" and he blames the new higher strength cannabis sold on the streets as "skunk" or "super skunk" for warping young minds. "It isn't the cannabis of our youth, 20 or 30 years ago," he told me. "This stuff damages the brain, its effects are irreversible and once the damage is done there is nothing you can do.
This new strain of marijuana? Skunk? Odd, since it's been around since the 1970s (read the description of Skunk #1) and is just another of the countless indica-sativa hybrids. Thankfully, we have "drug experts" like Mr. Seshmi to raise the alarm about its irreversible effects. There's more from the Mail, which apparently has made reclassifying cannabis its moral crusade of the day. In another article, How my perfect son became crazed after smoking cannabis, the Mail consults an unhappy mum whose child ran into problems smoking weed. Last fall, the Mail was warning of--I kid you not--"deadly skunk". Here are some more skunk headlines from the Mail in recent months: "Son twisted by skunk knifed father 23 times," "How cannabis made me a monster," "Escaped prisoner killed man while high on skunk cannabis," "Boys on skunk butchered a grandmother," and "Teen who butchered two friends was addicted to skunk cannabis." While one expects such yellow journalism from the likes of the tabloid press, even the venerable Times of London is feeling the effects of skunk fever. Under the headline Cannabis: 'just three drags on a skunk joint will induce paranoia', the Times managed to find and highlight some guy named Gerard who doesn't like that particularly variety of pot:
I smoke around six joints of regular cannabis every week, mostly at the weekends. What I like about smoking hash or weed is that it keeps me calm and gives me a more amusing outlook on life. With skunk, it’s a completely different story. Just three drags on a skunk joint will induce paranoia on a massive scale. I’m not talking about the difference between a beer and a vodka shot. I’m talking about being unable to get out of bed in the morning because you feel paralyzed, about being incapable of holding a conversation. I would like to think I’m a pretty lucid guy, but after smoking skunk I find myself struggling to string a sentence together. In the skunk haze of my student days, I would sometimes find myself unable to leave the house at all. It’s like a mild form of dementia. Once, a friend passed me a skunk joint before going to a birthday party. After just a few drags, I went into a room full of people, barely able to talk. I headed straight for the bar and drank as much alcohol as possible to counteract the effects. It helped, but using one vice to neutralize another is not exactly ideal.
My advice to Gerard (and it's something he apparently still has the brain cells left to figure out by himself despite smoking the evil skunk): If you don't like it, don't smoke it. But more broadly, what does the Times piece tell us? Nothing except this guy doesn't like skunk. Honestly, I don't understand this British mania over skunk. Something similar is going on in Australia, only down under, it's not skunk but the dreaded "hydro" that is causing murder, mayhem, and madness. Blaming a particular cultivation technique is about as stupid as blaming one variety of cannabis. I think this is something I'm going to have to write about in a feature article this week. I'll consult cannabis cultivation experts, media critics, and the latest science to try to get a handle on this.
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This drug is my anti-drug?

"With skunk, it’s a completely different story. Just three drags on a skunk joint will induce paranoia on a massive scale. "

Yep, that's why many people around the world use marijuana time and time again...for the paranoia. If most marijuana were like this, the "problem" would solve itself. I think John P. Walters and other prohibitionists are missing out on a golden opportunity to flood our streets with skunk to reduce marijuana use (maybe sprinkle a little salvia in each baggie).

Drug Hysteria and Sasquatch

Progress appears to have been made in drug reform.

These drug menace fairy tales have been relegated to the supermarket tabloids, or their equivalent, where they belong.  Pieces about anal probes conducted by aliens from outer space now compete with actual anal (and vaginal) probes performed by drug warriors  (Tabloid pitch:  could there be a connection…?).

Not long ago, bogus stories about skunk might have appeared in the London Times or the New York Times.  Fortunately, there are now many more hip people at these newspaper desks than some might think.

Giordano

The connection is What you don't try to Imagine

It's more about time travel then space aliens. Although it might be better in the long run to be at the top of the game. A game that goes intergalactic (inter-racial)....

life and death and alcohol vs marijuana

If the Brits were really concerned about violence their laws wouldn't push young people and everyone else into using alcohol as their recreational drug or be called a criminal. Think it thru: alcohol supremacism over cannabis promotes alcohol use which promotes violence. That's in addition to the prohibition caused black market related violence.
How do they know cannabis related paranoia isn't related to the (bogus) criminal status of cannabis users? If you never had to worry about being treated as a criminal for a bizarre reason (preferring weed to booze), how would you know how it feels?

Look at the Netherlands

They have more people that drink alcohol than over here and yet marijuana is legally safe to use. People use alcohol because it helps cope with the reality of their lives and emboldens them ("liquid courage" they call it) to deal with mainstream capitalist "go-getter" society -- Miller Lite "the champagne of beers" (personally, my aggressive personality prefers alcohol over marijuana, not that I don't try the latter on occasion). Because of that, alcohol has for thousands of years has been entrenched in western civilization and we have a huge well-funded marketing machine that glamorizes the use of booze. So it's no wonder that alcohol is more widely used than marijuana. It has nothing to do really with law enforcement as a so-called deterrent, whatever that may be. What do we have to market marijuana: MPP, NORML, "hemp fests" and the 70's Show?

We don't hear much of that here in Canada anymore

...probably because the journalists have been thoroughly educated, some of them firsthand. Canadian law frowns on workplace drug testing outside obvious "safety" positions. I know the US has drug testing in their media - does the UK and Australia?

The Daily Mail - always good for a chuckle.

Just had to comment on the Mail article - I'm happy to see there were a number of anti-prohibitonist comments already there.

Regarding the psychosis effects, I believe certain people are naturally predisposed to mental illness (genetics - for example schizophrenia has a strong genetic element) - marijuana isn't right for some people, just as alcohol isn't right for others. A few puffs on a spliff isn't going to cause psychosis (and if it does, you're probably seriously in need of help before you even started to smoke it). However, alcohol isn't illegal despite the fact some people become aggressive, irrational and even violent after drinking.

Still, getting drunk out of your skull is OK, according to the government. At least, I think they're saying it's alright - by Gordon's logic, anything that's legal is 'sending out a message' that it's OK to do, right? ;)

and I agree with the first comment - if marijuana were such a horrible experience, I don't think the millions of people who currently smoke it would be doing so.

- 'Hey, fancy a joint? You'll be sobbing in the corner in your own personal paranoid hell after 3 tokes, it'll be wild! You might even STAB someone, dude!'

- 'AWESOME!'.

It's not the gutter press's fault!

Surprisingly enough, it's NOT the fault of rags like the Mail!
The Mail has always been anti-cannabis, but even a few months ago it's attitude was that there's no such thing as a special "killer skunk", ALL weed is bad.

The real trouble started with "The Independent" (the Sunday edition), a supposedly liberal newspaper, which had campaigned for a long time for cannabis legalisation. Just over a year ago they ran a full front-page special, with a big cannabis leaf image and a title along the lines of "We're Sorry" or "An Apology" or something like that. In this special they "explained" how they had got it it so, so wrong, that the weed they campaigned for legalising was "their parent's", nice, cuddly 60s weed and nothing, absolutely NOTHING like today's killer skunks. After whipping themselves publically in a suitable show of penance, they stated that they are henceforth against legalisation. Go figure. And if you do, let me know.

I still do not have a clue why the "Independent" chose such a moronic, brain-dead approach. Some rumours say that a previous (female) editor, who'd been pro-pot had some middle-class friends whose kids were getting a bit out of hand, but your guess is as good as mine. The horror stories about the killer skunk that have since filled the press, however, abound with tales of good middle-class boys from good (read dysfunctional) families that went mad after a few tokes.

The really frightening thing, though, is not the laughable stories, but the willingness of the public to believe them. Suddenly we're in the Middle Ages again and anyone using a herb is clearly in cahoots with the Devil. The UK government has as good as admitted that there is no such thing as a "new killer skunk" strain, and that it started the rumour with its misguided "Talk to Frank" anti-cannabis campaign as a WHITE LIE to protect youngsters, because - presumably - they were too stupid to understand anything about strains; however that information was too little, too late, and now a significant part of the population is under the impression that there is some mythical (usually genetically modified) killer skunk out there, ready to pounce on your children and drive them mad!

Those wondering about the term "skunk", should realise that until recently there was not much herbal cannabis in sensimilla form in the UK. The main sources were either Moroccan hashish, almost always terribly adulterated, with minimal cannabis content, and maximal rubbish to bulk it up, and imported brickweed. Once indoor-grown weed started appearing it was almost universally called "skunk" by its consumers, who were not very knowledgeable. To this day, any indoor-grown in the UK is still referred to as "skunk", regardless of the variety. Even the govt. definition of skunk, as explained to the Parliament, is "any potent indoor grown sinsemilla" - absolutely nothing to do with genetic composition! Basically the government agencies, presumably in an attempt to look hip, used the street slang of the clueless average stoner as a technical term... and the Myth of the Killer Skunk was born.

weed

weed is good it should be legil.

it SHOULD be legal

yep

[img]http://www.ocnorml.org/images/hb_3_07/marijuana_legalization.jpg[/img]

the legalisation of the natural hemp plant

in my experience, i have never seen any person throw a punch, start a fight, toss a glass etc. after smoking a few j's!!! where as with alcohol you are likely to see any of the above and in freqent occurance iin any city on any given day or weekend!!! with alcohol related street violence on the rise everywhere, it is clear to see that when the goverments choose to indorse alcohol rather than hemp oh so many years ago, they obivously backed the losing horse!!!! now is the time to set things right and give hemp the chance and legalise it!!! as well as releaving stress, the cultivation of the hemp plant can also be a hobby/pass time!! in turn installing the mind set of carer into people! as there is a down side to everything and people constantly point out the paranoia affects of weed, i personnally would rather the paranoia to liver disease, ulser's of the stomach, alcoholism etc. etc

An Inconvenient Truth

In today's evil and corrupt world, I am not surprised that society continues to drink the blood of the devil--alcohol/booze--at the same time carrying on further to criminalize marijuana and all of the horrible "paranoid," "dillusional," "criminals" that use it. As a college student, I am appalled at many people's actions when they are under the influence of alcohol. These same people get drunk, go out "party," get in bar fights (at my school a male was so intoxicated after getting in a bar fight that the police tazered him and he died of a heart attack), not to mention all of the unprotected sex and spread of sexually transmitted diseases, DUI's (innocent people killed by drunk drivers (driving under the influence of marijuana probably actually makes you a more cautious driver), the list goes on....

Maybe, I just never liked all of the hangovers--drinking too much and throwing up--like my body was ridding itself of poison. Or perhaps, I was disgusted by the way my friend's father, an alcoholic, treated/beated his own family when he was under the influence. Or, maybe, when you stop to realize:

How can alcohol be blamed for 100,000 deaths each year?

5% of all deaths from diseases of the circulatory system are attributed to alcohol.
15% of all deaths from diseases of the respiratory system are attributed to alcohol.
30% of all deaths from accidents caused by fire and flames are attributed to alcohol.
30% of all accidental drownings are attributed to alcohol.
30% of all suicides are attributed to alcohol.
40% of all deaths due to accidental falls are attributed to alcohol.
45% of all deaths in automobile accidents are attributed to alcohol.

***** 60% of all homicides are attributed to alcohol ****

(Sources: NIDA Report, the Scientific American and Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario.) Also see Alcohol Consumption and Mortality, Alcohol poisoning deaths, CDC report,

Wow, 60% of all homicides attributed to alcohol--Alcohol is a much more violent drug than marijuana is. Alcohol is known to cause anger issues within some people, yet marijuana takes all the blame for creating violence and ruining people's lives. Yes, when you smoke marijuana you may not be very social. Yes, when you smoke marijuana you may not want to finish typing your english paper. But the feelings and emotions achieved while in this mindset and vividly experienced by the user are far more important than the fake masks people front when trying to look good in front of others in a soical situation--you shouldn't need a drug, alcohol, to "socialize" with others.

In today's rapidly changing world, People get waaayyyy too caught up in reality--one that is only created in your mind (many people will never realize this because they are too caught up in their own warped and confused reality)
Our minds are what make us human. Our minds are what ensure that we remain at the top of the food chain. Our minds created the printing press, how to use electricity, the ingenuity of the steam-engine, new agricultural techniques, the assembly line, the internet, the iPod----what's next?

Without the mind, we couldn't REALLY feel the electricity behind the words, " I Love You", express gratitude towards others, or experience the world as we know it today. Marijuana is a mind drug. It allows a responsible person to look deep within themselves and analyze their life from a perspective that is impossible to attain in reality or under the influence of alcohol. It fosters creativity--ideas and inventions--that will someday improve someone else's standard of living. It allows friends to go into deep conversations and realize things about themselves, the world, their families, eachother, that they never could have discovered. Some may argue that if one can't think of something sober, they shouldn't think it at all. But I would argue that humans should do everything in their power to improve the lives of others. Marijuana has the power to do this--it's just too many anti-drug protestors have completely brainwashed society into believing in false claims against a plant that peacefully grows in the fertile life-giving soil of mother earth.

Of course, there's the argument that if marijuana was legalized the inhabitants of that country would become lazy, stop working, and hurt the country's GDP, which would inturn lower the standard of living, and thus, have a negative impact on society (they probably forget also that the 100,000 people killed from direct or indirect alcohol abuse also lowers GDP becasue these people can no longer work since they are dead). Yet, still, they have failed to realize that the actual REAL facts behind the issue:

Mr. Wastler, from CNNmoney.com, points out that legalization of greens would save the government $14 billion—money that could help close budget gaps. He goes on to articulate that this does not include “ancillary economic effects, like jobs created or the growth of related industries (you know, bong makers).” By legalizing weed, Jeffrey Miron, an economics professor at Harvard University, argues, “the government would save $7.7 billion a year if it didn't have to spend money policing and prosecuting marijuana activity. Then, if the feds taxed marijuana at a rate comparable to cigarettes and booze, another $6.2 billion would come rolling in.”

To alleviate problems like violence and gang activity, the government should actually legalize drugs (and prostitution). In poor areas of inner cities, the PROBLEMS are EDUCATION and ECONOMICS. Any person who has taken a basic economics class understands the issue: supply and demand, as well as blackmarket activity. You will never be able to cut the demand of drugs off--as long as there is demand there will be a supply--especially if making $10,000 a week selling weed is more profitable than working for minimum wage at McDonald's (this is why the government wastes taxpayer money fighting a war that can never be won). Government regulation creates a black market and leaves its people WORSE OFF. Give the poor people better education. Give the poor people a worthwhile job--INCENTIVES to not slang drugs. Think about it. How do gangs make their money? Hustling drugs. Why is there violence in the poorer demographics? Because of gang activity and a means of survival. Gangs are like terrorist organizations. Why join a terrorist group? Because they give you a place to sleep, a hot meal, they help you survive. If you give the youth of America and of the world a better education, a better place to grow up, and most importantly, jobs that provide a stable income, violence and gang activity will drop. Moreover, by eliminating the major source of income for gangs in these poorer areas--that is legalize drugs--they no longer have any means of making a living. They will have to go out and search for a job like the rest of society. Once more poor people are able to receive an education and a good job, they won't have to sell drugs (of course its better if the drugs are already legal so they can't sell them in the first place). Instead of giving money to drug dealers who buy guns and kill people, give the money to government, tax the product, and increase GDP. In short, drugs have the negative connotation of destroying people's lives and creating violence on the streets. If they were legalized and regulated, the money would go to the government and out of the hands of the true street criminals, gangs, and terrorist organizations.

Have you ever stopped and wondered if the government was to blame for teen violence? If drugs were legal, how in the world would gangs and criminals with AK-47s fund their enterprises? If all people could get a good job and decent education--a true shot at the American Dream, we wouldn't have this problem of violence and gang activity.

Marijuana makes you hungry, happy, and sleepy--not to mention opening your mind to the infinite possibilities of life...the true beauty of music, a closer step to opening up your real consciousness, and of course stomach aches from laughing so hard while eating a stack of Krispy Kreme donuts. There are many things in this world that are not right--marjuana being illegal is one of them. Hopefully, some day our society can grow up and recognize the beneficial use of marijuana and other substances that are currently illegal.

I also believe that much more research should be done on certain pyschedelics to gain a better understanding of just how the brain works and operates. Additionally, I would not be surprised if in the future, pyschedelics help cure mental issues in a therapuetic environment.

Always question authoriy when you feel like there is an injustice thrown upon you. Without rebelling, we never would have had the American Revolution, and a democracy to live in like the one in America today. Times are changing and drug reform needs to take place.

Life

How long has cannabis been on this planet- thousands of years longer than the law prohibiting people from using it. If it wasnt humans who invented this plant who put on this plant on the planet -God, Aliens or the Science of time(millions of years of earths development). I guess it must of been put on the planet for a reason, probably to use regarding its properties and effects.

Why is it that a certain minority group of people in positions of high power wish to suppress the many of people who wish to use it for medicinal or recreational use, is it because they like to control the masses and feed everyone the lies and propaganda(probably for financial gain due to corruption in high places).
They accept that smoking tobacco kills people,it says so on every packet of cigs but its ok to sell them as its taxed heavily. They accept drinking is responsible for thousands of deaths each year but its still ok to advertise it on television and collect billions of pounds from its revenue. Sure its fine to have a massive industry based on alcohol because its a nice sociable taxable drug.

But allow people to smoke cannabis in their on homes, on the street or in a coffee shop thats crazy because a very small percentage of them of them may get psychosis(maybe) and it can lead on to harder drugs or so they used to tell us before they latched onto the psychosis scare of recent years. Having a one in ten thousand chance of getting paranoid psychosis which was possibly but cant guarantee was caused by cannabis use is somehow is alot worse(so they say) than dying of numerous diseases or accidents caused by drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco. I think ill stick to smoking cannabis it sounds alot safer even if it is illegal in some peoples head.

If we made everything illegal due to the associated danger surely private motor cars would be illegal due to the amount of deaths and accidents not too mention the enviromental catastrophy thats just around the corner.(why isnt there a picture of a road accident or antarctic ice melting on every new car sold or the petrol pumps). McDonalds wouldnt stand a chance(didnt see that picture of that 33 stone bloke on my big mac yesterday).

As for the skunk strong debate- its a product of illegality. Its forced to be grown behind closed doors. Usualy indoors under artificial lamps in artificial environents, force fed various nutrients for optimum growth. Cross bred(another term for genetically modified crops) to get stronger strains. If it was legaly grown it would be grown slowly under the sun it would be nicer and more pleasant for the smoker(and milder). Your older smoker who remember proper weed and hash will tell you this. But unfortunately todays young smoker just wants to get smashed and all they want is skunk because thats the strongest, thats what they get used to and nothing else works after that. If its grown right skunk can be nice but the homegrown market is full of gowers who are impatient, they rush the grow, crop early and dont dry it properly, sometimes due to inexperience, law enforcement scares or just plain greed. The greedy ones are fools who think they are making more money because they sell it damp/wet increasing the weight, when really long term dissatisfied customers go elsewhere to find better weed.

Still even the home grown damp skunk is better than the imported contaminated skunk that the government would rather its population smoke. Yes thats what the criminal gangs of Eastern Europe or wherever are doing, spraying the skunk with all types of pollutants sometimes very hazardous just to increase the weight in some sad way to make more money(If you happen to be reading this mr sad greedy grower- heres a tip to make more money- leave out the spray, youll sell more weed and your customers will live alot longer, heres another one mr importer dont buy it sprayed- your business will blossom). The sad thing is some people mainly our younger generation dont know the difference so they smoke it anyway because it gets them stoned. Maybe the government dont care about the future generation. I think if they are going to smoke it best smoke the real thing.

There will always be people who wish to smoke cannabis. Why do we have to go through this charade of being the persecuted just because someone makes up some rumours about very small possible dangers which have not been scientifically verified when even if there is a small risk there are already plenty of bigger dangers which are supposedly morally an taxably acceptable.

When are ganga smokers going to get off their arses and stand up for themselves. And when any politicians going to be brave enough and stand up for this percentage of people who do no harm to anyone, their right to choose their lifestyle and live it with a degree of dignity without the need to think im a criminal when i aint done no wrong. Why do the lawlords neglect this important issue of peoples rights and the waste of public resources
that is spent on police time and resources when they could be catching real criminals not busting someones door down because they grew a few plants or chasing some small time dealer because they happen to be fullfilling a demand. They could make every dealer redundant tomorrow by legalization. They could make millions but i guess they dont need the money they make enough out of us already with taxes on everything else.

Who cares about us anyway we are only tokers trying to get through life without too many hassles. Im off to bed

SKUNK

ok i have been smokin the indoor lemon skunk for 5 years straight about10 times a day because it is my favorite type off weed and there are many types of skunks so there are many different highs i smoke many different kinds of weed to but i stick with the skunk i still get high after smokin 5 years "and these headlines about teens killing people because of skunk that is the biggest load of bullshit i have seen lol ok if any of theses people were killed by teens then its because the teen was Fucked in the head" not the weed plus it grows monster plants with monster buds

What's sad is that the

What's sad is that the quality of marijuana has really gone down in the past 2 decades. The weed was alot stronger and much cheaper too in the old days. I could buy an ounce of potent skunk buds for $60. Today they would try to sell it for $500 and it's not even as good because it's grown for quantity not quality. Seriously I wonder who these people are we were all smoking it back then it didn't turn us all into axe wielding psycho killers. It's the cocaine and speed which I've seen personally rot people's brains and make them insane, but those people aren't stoners they only smoke pot to deal with the come down of the hard drugs. But if you are smart and just stick to weed you will be very happy.

God bless and be Smart.

Amsterdam local

I recognize the paranoia stuff, i ran in to it when i got some widow at the wrong kind of shops. The whole experience is so unnatural and crappy that i suspect they did something nasty with it like spraying hairspray on top. I have heard this kind of "preparation" happens to bad quality stuff to make it sellable. Never had it since, so: *beware where you buy* and enjoy life.

This is part of a greater battle for freedom

skunk, although it's sort of a breed (i am a personal have of super skunk and skunk #1) it's actually mostly (in most peoples usage on the streets, not online) an urban term for cannabis grown properly, that is with just females, "weed" usually has seeds. So skunk just means strong smelly bud, most of us stopped saying that anyway and now say stuff like herb or green in order to get away from obvious terms that you shouldn't really text people.

 

however about the paranoia... yes it can make you paranoid... really paranoid,  cannabis can give you a panic attack, but it won't kill you... however if you get to that point you have to sit down take a look at it an accept you're smoking too much.. yes cut it down a bit.. you're not the first..... it's similar to alcohol but without the stomach pump.

 

so what idiot argues that something has to be 100% totally perfectly as safe as carrots before it is legal? Alcohol, driving a car, playing a contact sport, eating too many saturated fats... these are all high risk activities.. but we do them because we are us and we have the right to spend ourselves how we wish. What sort of a life is a life where you have 100% eliminated all risk???? It's staying indoors watching TV, even then you might get thrombosis, you might have a natural illness, you WILL die of old aging.. eventually

 

The argument about cannabis legalization seemed almost a little pointless to me a few years back when the economy was churning around, the war in iraq.. it started to seem self indulgent, i felt somewhat embarrassed to be concerned about it next to those other things

but now I realize this is part of a greater fundamental battle...I say this because you may get to a point in your life when you've stopped smoking bud and just don't really care as much anymore.. but actually this fight, it's the same fight as gay rights, as religious rights, as women's rights, as any rights, it is simply us saying to the government "we are the people and this is what we do, you will change your legislation accordingly, because that is your responsibility".. that is the role of government.. not to pen us in like a herded animal but to provide the legal framework for us to enjoy ourselves

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