Anyone who has followed the news over the last 18 months ago, will be aware of the furore which surrounded the launch and subsequent success of the popular incense smoking blends known as "Spice", "Spice Gold", "Spice Platinum", Spice Synergie". Yada yada..
For those unaware, Spice is a herbal incense which one is supposed to burn, to receive feelings of being on a 'higher plain'. Well thats what the marketing men would have us believe anyway.
The truth is spice is a herbal blend which a goodly number of people were smoking either in a traditional hand-rolled 'joint', or mixed with tobacco, (some even smoke it on its own) in a bong or some other type of pipe. I should know because I did it too. But only as a result of the government's publicity campaign.
Indeed it would not take a hugely talented script-writer to come with a story about a government minister mounting his white charger over a dangerous substance, only to be later exposed as the man who was responsible for first bringing it in to the country from China. "And I would have got away with it too, if it wasn't for you pesky kids".
The Labour Party made such a hoo-haa over Splice that in the end I figured I must be missing out on something, and just had to buy a pouch of Spice Gold (or seven ..~
But thats another story entirely.
After a German scientist claimed to have found a substance romantically named 'JWH-018' in a pouch of Spice (was he working for the government minister above?), the writing was on the wall, and the easy-to-anticipate 'world wide bans' started to rack up against the brand, with Holland, Germany and France at the head of the European queue to ban Spice.
Public Health, or Public Relations?
It was a public relations master-class and pretty soon Spice was in every newspaper in the world.
Up until this stage it was still available on Ebay, and perhaps more remarkably, you could still pay for it using the notoriously draconian PayPal.
But that all changed once the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), the British governments drugs advisory board, took a long hard look at Spice, and 'found against the defence'.
Spice would be banned. Eventually ..(the British political machine is an antiquated, slow and laborious steam driven thing).
If Jacqui Smith (remember her?) had still been Home secretary chances are her ego would have forced her to ignore the ACMD's advice again, as was the case over cannabis when they categorically stated cannabis should remain a Class C controlled substance.
Some thing I agree with whole-heartidly by the way, just so long as tobacco and alcohol quickly follow suit.
Memorably, then Home Secretary Smith ignored the advice out of hand and almost unilaterally, changed the law anyway, upping the sentences for possession of and dealing in cannabis to 5 years and 14 years respectively.
Not this time though.
This time the government lapped up every column-inch of ACMD advice, who say the active element, JWH-018, could be more dangerous than the cannabis its meant to be replacing.
Which is drugs prohibition in a nutshell, right?
So Spice has gone, destined never to be seen again apart from when the drug war archives are raked over and laughed at 100 years from now.
But Spice was of course, just a brand name. And whilst Spice may be gone, JWH-018 is still very much alive & kicking, and I've got some of the scary looking white powder to try out.
Why not right? Its legal, so it won't harm me!
Bookmark the Cannazine to make sure you don't miss the full, blow by blow taste test, plus the web-address I got it from.
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