British Prime Minister Claims Marijuana Can Kill You

As British PM Gordon Browne prepares to ignore the recommendation of his own Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and increase penalties for marijuana, he reveals once again how little he actually knows about the subject:
"I don't think that the previous studies took into account that so much of the cannabis on the streets is now of a lethal quality and we really have got to send out a message to young people -- this is not acceptable," Brown said. [Reuters]
Any way you look at it, this is just a total lie. The word "lethal" as defined by means the following:
1. of, pertaining to, or causing death; deadly; fatal: a lethal weapon; a lethal dose.
2. made to cause death: a lethal chamber; a lethal attack.
3. causing great harm or destruction: The disclosures were lethal to his candidacy.

Even the 3rd definition, which may be the one Browne intends, is essentially figurative and is only used to describe non-living things, in this case a political campaign. The word is derived from the latin letalis, meaning death. It's just an incredibly poor adjective to describe a substance that has never killed anyone in human history. He says he wants to "send out a message to young people," but his message is just a big lie.

Thus, Browne is now expected to move forward with a plan to upgrade the criminal status of marijuana based on his own ignorant and wrong understanding of what the drug does, while disregarding the contrary advice of a whole council of experts who might actually know something about this.

This, my friends, is precisely how bad public policy gets made.

United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

quite the demagogue Mr. Brown is

He is a bad boy.

Lets outlaw mountain climbing

Drug dealers can be lethal. Brown has no problem with a system that fosters them, which truly affects my quality of life versus someone smoking the most toxic joint on the market. How are we safer with drug dealers invading our residential areas and schools? We are going to have a marijuana market regardless of how many laws we put on paper. The question is purely an issue of control: Who do we allow to control it to bring about the most public safety?

the subject of lethal!

Lethal is the effect the new drugs laws will have on mature consenting adults lives for smoking a joint. Oh yeah Brown political career for siding with the neo-cons. That will be lethal.

Dude's an idiot

Ciggarettes kill hundreds of thousands of people everyday around the world... and they are still legal??? WTF We all need to do something about this! Mairjuana isin't even a "drug" its a plant,, A PLANT!!!!!

tobacco is a plant, too

Tobacco is a plant, too.

Tobacco itself is a plant

but cigarettes have billions of dangerous chemicals mixed into them


No it doesn't it has about the same amount of chemicals as any burning organic material, just the nicotine allows them to easily cause cancer.

yes it does

sure it's organic matter and will share some elements with tobacco, but tobacco usually includes any number of chemical additives not found in marijuana.

see this wikipedia entry for a list of this additives.


That was about the most worthless wrong statement I've ever heard, next to pot reaching that "lethal" level


The definition of a drug is any chemical that alters living processes.
Marijuana's a plant. THC is a drug. The drug is in the plant. Capisci?

Not that I'm disagreeing with you, but cigarettes are being dealt with by being highly taxed. Hey, if people are gonna die, the government may as well make some money off it.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown—Asinine Avenger?

More from Reuters:  “Brown said he was particularly worried about the growing use of skunk cannabis, which he described as "more lethal".

It would be fascinating to know how PM Gordon Brown acquires his ideas about marijuana.  How does someone remain that insulated from reality?  It can’t be from smoking anything—which would no doubt improve his reality radar.

Searching the web about the PM reveals that Mr. Brown, a minister’s son (Church of Scotland), was kicked in the head in a school rugby match with a force that resulted in detached retinas, later corrected in one eye by surgery.  Child abuse and brain damage may explain Mr. Brown’s later misgivings about marijuana.

Brown, a Scotsman, obtained a PhD in History (not chemistry nor biology nor neurology) from the University of Edinburgh.  His thesis subject was The Labour Party and Political Change in Scotland, 1918-1929.

Scotland…and Edinburgh no less.  Think Train Spotting and Acid House and ponder why the Roman Emperor Hadrian built his wall….

With no other apparent job experience, Brown went directly from his alma mater into the British Labour Party, where he became the number-two-guy behind Britain’s former PM, Tony Blair.  Mr. Blair, as you’ll recall, was popular when he brown-nosed for Bill Clinton, and unpopular when he brown-nosed for George W. Bush.  Strange how situations change.  Stranger still that Brown didn’t notice any change in American politics in the last few years.  Again, an indication of brain damage.

Brown’s brown-nosing for the Neocon ONDCP/DEA agenda has potential consequences in 2009 when, if things go well, subpoenas, indictments and warrants rain from the sky onto Bush and his co-conspirators.  Gordon Brown will end his career as a political fart.


Stoners turn Inquisitioners

"It would be fascinating to know how PM Gordon Brown acquires his ideas about marijuana. How does someone remain that insulated from reality? It can’t be from smoking anything—which would no doubt improve his reality radar. "

Actually, some of the most ardent anti-marijuana activists were some of the biggest stoners in their college days. They act like they were molested by this plant. Drug policy reformers should start a private investigator unit to dig up past stories on these people.


the only thing 'pot'entially lethal about cannabis is that it remains illegal attracting criminals vis a vis violence. Medicinal Marijuana has developed in effectiveness with various strains for various ailments. BigPharma drugs and legal narcotics are what kill.


The only message he's sending to young people, is that the system continues to lie about drugs. Young people learn that pot is not dangerous long before their first toke. If the system continues to lie about pot, then what's the scoop on other drugs? Why should people believe the system if they lie ? Who believes that pot kills, it's like saying asprin kills.

Aspirin does kill

It kills more people than ecstasy.


peanuts kill more people than aspirin

screw peanuts...

...eating 10 raw potatoes can be lethal. Outlaw potatoes!

Public Relations Needed

"This, my friends, is precisely how bad public policy gets made."

And a very strong public reaction against that policy is how bad policy gets removed.

Are there not very wealthy people supporting the legalization movement?

If there are, I don't know where their millions of dollars supporting the legalization movement is being allocated, but based on the results, it's not into a professional public relations campaign to allow the movement to immediately debunk the Prime Minister's statement via the mainstream media.

A high-quality public relations firm has established regular connections to the mainstream media, allowing us to promptly, properly, concisely, and very publicly tear into the lies.

What was he smoking?

I repeat ...

Argue Smartly

It's funny that you reference the latin root of a word in an argument completely derived of logos. That means logic, by the way. While I agree that pot should be legal and, even better, decriminalized, you're grasping at straws, dude. Even here in America, I know what the fuck he's talking about. In one example, an entire population of campus smokers were sold pot with tiny glass balls in it, invisible to the naked eye, just to bulk it up. Dozens of people were either hospitalized, or coughed up blood for days.
In another example, pot was and IS being sold dusted with clear silicone to achieve the same result as above, a bulkier product of which you can sell less and make more. There have been, to date, 7 deaths related to that particular brilliant scam.
What I suggest you do, instead of poke around his words with your electronic dictionary grasping for an argument like you were flailing to grab soap dropped in the bathtub, is help him recognize that pot, like alcohol, when sold, taxed and regulated, is no more a gateway drug than it's legal partner in DUI crime. And it certainly would diminish the need to chemically fucking analyze you're everyday ditchwitch before you know it's safe to smoke it. Argue, but argue smartly. Why disagree with him that unregulated pot is forced to be sold from the hands of the same heartless dickholes that push coke, meth, crack, and all the other favorites, and if they will lace meth to stretch it like crack, they do the same with their pot.
Now, take a moment to apply your chosen point of argument, the word LETHAL, to the context in which he is actually speaking. Pot sold by heartless fucks who have chosen to bulk it up with deadly(and/or lethal, buddy) substances, is killing people. And those are not "non-living" things.

i've never had 'poison' pot

i felt the need to point out that i have used cannabis in the US for 10 years and have never had an adverse effect or unpleasantness. i have also never known any of my 'dealers' to be heartless dickholes. maybe it is different in europe, but in my experience there is a major difference between coke/meth/whatever dealers and pot 'dealers.' coke/meth/whatever dealers tend not to dabble with pot as there isn't much money to be made unless you are very close to the growing end of it. so to everyone who uses the 'drug dealer' argument for regulation, i'm not so sure that argument is truly clear. there are plenty of stronger arguments to use in this debate. besides, pot 'dealers' are just trying to get their smoke for free. the majority of them are not businessmen; they are connoisseur. (these statements are not to be considered ultimate, they are quite generalized. i'm not denying that there are shitty pot dealers, there are shitty everyone out there, and yes regulation would 'weed' a few of them out, but we can also argue that regulation might just allow unjustified legislation/regulation, which can be worse)



Dealers would rather keep there people alive not dead, they don't bulk pot with glass.


Ok, so by your analysis pot did not harm those people but glass balls and silicone did. HAHA. Associativity with a "lethal" adulterant does not make cannibis lethal.

Also, those anecdotes, if they have any basis in fact, only support decriminalization and a controlled legal market. Without the black market, the "facts" your reference would have not have happened.

Also, how about some links to support your stories?

You're right

in repeating what he just said, tard. He was wrong for assuming us stupid and thinking we couldn't put two and two together (smoking glass/silicon = bad). Just thought you should realize we're all on the same page; that pot should be decriminalized (first)

Labour Party Election Results Update

Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Conservative Labour Party has been seriously hammered in Friday’s, May 2, 2008, elections.

BBC is reporting that the Conservative Labour Party will win 24% of the votes cast in England and Wales, falling behind the Tories who are expected to get 44%, and the Liberal Dems who it is expected will increase their share of the council seats from 13% to 25%.  For Labour, it’s their worst defeat in 40-years.

The General Secretary of the party has announced his resignation, saying that Labour had lost touch with ordinary people and that Mr. Brown had lost his ability to lead.

If Brown expected his BS about killer skunk marijuana to help his party’s election results, he has seriously miscalculated.  Good job, Brownie.


silicone dusted pot has killed 7 people?

cmiers08: Can you provide a source for this information? I have not heard anything about this before now.

Jimi Devine's picture

Nobody died

I remember the story but not anyone being killed from it, I think it was around 6 months ago.

About that "message" to youth

Stating an official position that cannabis is "lethal" or harmful in the way that hard drugs are harmful when used to excess sends the message to youth, who already know it's not true, that any similar claims for other drugs are suspect and probably not true.

Ooops, wrong message, dude. Unlike other drugs, which can be very harmful, cannabis is essentially harmless. Saying cannabis is "lethal" only undermines any vestige of credibility. Is it any wonder that youjng people mock the government?

Brown's cannabis disinformation is harmful to youth and a danger to society. He should be stopped!

It's not too late!

We've only just begun

Peacenics are People too... and we all have to Live Together

I can't believe that this website has gone to pot! There should be moderation. No one should be allowed to post threats! Many here might disagree with the police that marijuana should be legal. But everyone has a right to a healthy life, and nothing get accomplished with hate, except more hate. People need to respect the law and universal right for all to create, rather than destroy.

No one is holding a gun to your head to do drugs. There is no dealth sentence in the free world for non-violent drug criminals. There is no self defence in this case to shoot out. The police just try (who make mistakes like everybody else) to secure the alleged criminal.

Laws are meant to be reviewed and changed when truth permits. Science is a means to discover truth, and in order to be effective can't fudge the numbers. So science can prove that uncontrolled substances, with a (black market only) source for consumers, is more dangerous than regulating a supply out of the hands of minors and into responsible adults, by a medically endorsed policy of cannabis legalization.... and eventual peace for all involved.

Tell it.

Tell it.

Not hating

Many of us are just angry, because people like you think that the gov't will do the right thing when appropriate. The research has already been done; the scholarly world already knows what marijuana does. It's corrupt politicians with power and horror stories over drugs that keep pot from the people. If they can't realize the financial and political ramifications from legalization, then frankly, they don't need to be in office. I don't want power-hungry, self-serving morons for leaders.

And police just follow orders; don't presume to know what they all want, jackass.

Brown was"skunked"...

by the other parties,friday .But will his inevitable replacement be much different when it comes to re-criminalization? I personally remember ,the variety known as "skunk", from 25 years back. What is so new or dangerous about it, I wonder? No doubt, prohibitionists will come up with another lie in the re-criminalize movement. Maybe it will be about the dreaded "Acapulco Gold". God ,prohibitionists are desperate idiots .


Mr. Brown’s statements are political pandering to his base of support among conservative voters.

Many conservatives are shocked by cultural changes that threaten their view of their country. Instead of tolerance for individual freedom, conservatives rally to someone that might treat their concerns as a crisis to which the state must respond. Conservatives are willing to use the coercive forces of the government to push their moral agenda on the general population.

Hopefully, the defeat in the elections will signal an acceptance of greater personal freedoms to the citizens of the UK. We in the USA should be so lucky.

Brown & cannabis policy

Brown is not a conservative, he is a socialist politician. He has no "base of support among conservative voters"His stance on cannabis is because 80% of the marijuana on sale in the UK now has a high THC level & almost no CBD. He is being advised by his own mental health professionals to re-classify. The UK has just about the worst drug problem in Europe. Downgrading cannabis has proven to be a great mistake. Mental health problems associated with cannabis use, particularly early cannabis use is a real problem. The bulk of politicians in the UK now are of the view that downgrading wasa massive mistake. the conservative leader David Cameron has said so, he was on the committee that reccommended it originally. The US should learn from the UKs mistakes.

Maybe the UK should learn from the UKs mistakes?

How do you cure "the worst drug problem in Europe" by making the victims bigger criminals? These people can't be helped by stripping their lives and sending them to criminal boot camp (read: prison). These people need honest drug education, and the government can't hide this problem under a rug.

If the UK really wanted to solve the drug problem they would learn from more of the same, or even harsher more of the same. They would try something totally different; one that takes into account that human beings naturally intoxicate (as seen with alcohol and tobacco); so an improvement would be to create a system that maps the effects of different strains of cannabis, rather then unscientifically calling everything "Skunk."

Medical marijuana growers have produced rather specific strains with unique effects. Specific effects that medical science can use.

If Brown really wanted to be smart in his stupidity, he would outlaw lethal THC level strains (if they even exist), and legalize lower potency strains. He would look like a leader who had told a half truth at least. But really only wanted his people to be safe.

Re: Brown

There are conservatives within all parties, including Labour.

Brown publicly committed Labour to following the Conservatives' spending plans for the first two years after taking power as the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Brown's ten years and two months as Chancellor of the Exchequer made him the longest-serving Chancellor in modern history, presiding over the longest ever period of growth. This does not qualify him as a socialist unless you are Conservative or somewhere to the right of the Labour Party. (A socialist seems to have a different political connotation in the USA than it does in Europe)

If mental health professionals are concerned about early cannabis use, legalizing cannabis use and imposing a system of regulations and taxation for the commercial marketing of cannabis to responsible adults might be a better alternative to reclassification. With regulation of a legal market there can be better control of access to the drug. I do not know any person who currently sells illegal drugs that checks identification to make sure that their customers are not a minor (under aged).

Reclassifying cannabis will not stop the proliferation of the more potent cannabis – that cat is already out of the bag.

By exchanging ideas and potential solutions we can learn from our collective mistakes. We know that prohibition does not work and no matter how many resources we pour into prohibition we only make organized crime richer and make otherwise responsible citizens into criminals.


"Mental Health Problems"? Good God, man, do you type then think? What possible MHP could result from pot? Laziness? Guaranteed: A lazy potsmoker would just be a lazy human being without it. Pot, for the unmotivated, is an excuse. It's what they do in all the free time they have. Free time they have because they are just lazy. But don't go Reefer Madness on everybody. Noone's ever had to hide their daughter from a guy whacked out on POT.

Unmotivated because of Economics not hydroponics

The 'MHP' that is striking the UK is what is happening to people because of a failing economy, unemployment and racial tension. The poor and the middle class are taking it on the shin, and have nothing better to do, for lack of a real job and opportunity, but to get high and/or deal drugs.

Brown seems to use "skunk" as a excuse to dealing with the growing masses of unemployed, lazy pot smokers that 'won't get a life.' Yet the UK needs to create better jobs, not lock away the blacksheep. And the innocent wonder plant is yet demonized once again for making a stoner, the highest at whatever he's doing, including being lazy.

amen to both of you!

on the notion that lazy is lazy with or without weed, as well as that it's social, financial, and living conditions that cause the real distress!

How about some sources?

Regardless of the UK and Brown's stance, what makes you think CBD is near gone from pot? I find that statement completely ludicrous, considering the cannabinoids in marijuana are what influence the THC into getting you those higher levels of high. Pot connoisseurs will tell you that the reason the drug Merinol isn't an effective "weed" treatment is because you need the other chemicals (like CBD) to be present. And there are NO MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS associated with marijuana use.

Sucks being called on on BULLSHIT! (like Brown)

so good pot is being

so good pot is being what? it is much healthier for the user to consume concentrated pot instead of ditchweed, don't you think? practically would you rather just take one or two good hits and achieve the same result smoking a low grade thc content so that you have to suck more and more of it to get any effect?..I think not. the fact that the cannabis is high quality is a point in its favor as the user does not need to take as much to achieve the desired effect. Why would he be advised to reclassify because of this? Cannabis is the only drug from which no one has ever died and from which one cannot overdose. Unlike the "legally" sold narcotics by the BigPharma Corporations, which DO KILL every single day. If they want to re-classify it should be to downgrade it based on this information that Mr. Brown is so concerned, as
it is now healthier to consume than before, if it is more concentrated. You comment that mental health is a concern with young users? This is a concern and this is why tobacco, alcohol are regulated also. It has been suggested the same must be done with cannabis. This is so important that you get this. You see, if we the people directed our government to take control of cannabis, through the legislative process, making it a regulated product we could protect the children. People would no longer need to turn to the street but could count on going to the store and buying their cannbis just as they do now for their beer and alcohold and wine. Our Goverment could use the revenus generated to fund education, recreation for young and old, and encourage a healthy lifestyle by providiing real incentives like free sumer camps, recreational facilities, etc...and among all to reduce harm. By regulating we keep it away from minors, and simultaneously remove the criminal element which breeds violence. I have spent some time researching the history of cannabis and if you take a look at this
I'm sure you'll come to the same realisation that it's 'high' time
things started changing...and I mean like yesterday. END PROHIBITION NOW This world was meant for all Men. Peace.

"Brown and cannabis policy" post forgets something

I'll leave the craziness of calling Brown a socialist aside except to note that the gap between the rich and everyone else has been widening in Britain just as in the US. But this post forgets that alcohol is far more dangerous to life and limb than cannabis. I bet the guy who wrote it doesn't even think that alcohol is a drug. It's as immoral (liberty and justice for all is supposed to be the deal) as it is stupid (promoting violence) to treat alcohol as superior to cannabis. People who think cannabis is more of a problem than alcohol should take a long visit to a graveyard and listen to what it tells them about how people die in America. Then they can go to a rehabilitation ward for people who have been maimed and do some more listening to all the folks maimed by their own or someone else's alcohol use. Then they can study up on fetal alcohol syndrome (no similar danger from weed), and on what the drug of choice is for child molesters. Alcohol supremacism over weed is a bigoted pile of crap.



Mental health problems?

The " mental health problems associated with cannabis use" arguement lacks scientific basis. Use can exacerbate a previously existing symptom, but create psychosis?, NO! Plenty of evidence available to prove no correlation. Of course, the whole drugwar itself ,lacks scientific evidence of providing anything of social value. Whatever Brown is, he's a goner. As for ,"more potent" vs less potent,...whisky is stronger than what? It's a non-valid issue.

On top of that

marijuana can be (and has been) used to treat mental ailments (for example, skitzophrenia). I know it keeps me level when trippin' out

Is marijuana healthy or unhealthy debate? Depends on the user.

Healthy or not, many people enjoy it but most do not. They prefer alcohol.

The debate should be whether we should allow organized crime, street gangs, and heartless drug dealers to control the marijuana market and funnel money back into high powered guns and meth labs.

Now there are many decent marijuana growers and sellers out there, but there are quite a few scum-of-earth dumbass types that are plaguing the market and wouldn't have a chance in hell to enter the market if it were regulated properly.

The same conditions impacting the marijuana market also impact other markets like diamonds, a product which for all practical purposes is useless to your average citizen. Nobody needs a diamond, it's just a rock, but people will not stop buying diamonds just because they watch "Blood Diamond" and the human race shouldn't have to cease enjoying these beautiful works of nature because of a small group of tyrannical people exploiting the market. No we regulate these assholes out of the market. It's that simple.

Restate your statement

I'm pretty sure over half of the population likes marijuana, even if they don't do it.

Obviously it does more than that, otherwise....

marijuana use wouldn't drop sharply for people over 30. If you don't acknowledge the good and the bad of using marijuana, then you lose credibility with all except with the most ardent drug policy reformers.

i've never actually HAD

i've never actually HAD anything bad happen as a result of using cannabis. seriously, not once. it pretty much saved my life.

wait, i forgot: one time, i was stoned and my FRIDGE was empty! :-O

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <i> <blockquote> <p> <address> <pre> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <br> <b>

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, Vaping, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safer Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School