Spice artificial cannabis ban comes into force December 23rd 2009

By chillinwill · Dec 2, 2009 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    Ever since the Labour leadership changed in the summer of 2007 the writing has been on the wall for those British citizens who like to have their cannabinoid receptors tickled by smoking a joint.

    First of all we were told the laws regarding cannabis were going to be 're-opened' with a view to seeing if cannabis caused more harm than it did the last time the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) were asked for their learned opinions.

    On this occasion, Professor Sir Michael Rawlins FMedSci, who was the then chair of the ACMD, wrote to then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, saying;

    In July 2007 you asked the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to review the classification of cannabis in the light of real public concern about the potential mental health effects of cannabis use and, in particular, the use of stronger strains of the drug. I have pleasure in enclosing the Council’s report.

    You will note that, after a most careful scrutiny of the totality of the available evidence, the majority of the Council’s members consider – based on its harmfulness to individuals and society – that cannabis should remain a Class C substance. It is judged that the harmfulness of cannabis more closely equates with other Class C substances than with those currently classified as Class B.

    Thats not to say the ACMD actually believes cannabis should ACTUALLY be illegal. But under the carefully worded conditions of the task in hand, the ACMD didn't see any reason to change the legal status of cannabis.

    Indeed one former member of the ACMD went even further when he said;

    ‘There is no way that the ACMD would support any reclassification of cannabis, unless there were some political shenanigans going on."

    Rev Blakeborough, a former member of the ACMD who runs the Kaleidoscope drug abuse charity , said: ‘There is no significantly new evidence to suggest that cannabis is any more harmful than in the last review we did 18 months ago.’

    So it would appear, to paraphrase the Rev Blakeborough, there are some 'political shenanigans' going on because regardless of the advice given by the hugely respected members of the ACMD, the government decided to over-rule their advice and go ahead with the reclassification of cannabis, throwing doubt over the very existence of an advisory council which doesn't have their advice taken by those it was created for. Namely, the politicians who run the country.

    So when, in August 2009, the ACMD was again asked for its advice concerning a legal high which goes by the name of 'Spice', the UK held its breath as it awaited the answer to the government's questions as to whether Spice should become a controlled substance like cannabis, the illicit drug its said to mimic.

    Out with the old, in with the new
    After a change at the helm of the ACMD, new 'chair' Professor David Nutt, (he who would later be sacked by the government for crossing the boundaries between 'advice and policy', said;

    The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) has recommended that a legal herbal ‘high’ product sold on the high street and internet should be banned.

    The Council warned that Spice Gold, which is advertised as an 'aromatic potpourri', contains a synthetic cannabinoid (JWH-018).

    Spice Gold first arrived in the UK in 2006 from China, and costs about £20 for 3 grams. Its properties were only fully understood last December by the 'THC Pharm' laboratory in Germany, (a laboratory with a financial interest in the control of cannabis and cannabinoid technology), which develops medicinal cannabis.

    The product has as a result, since been banned in Germany, Austria, Holland and France.

    The chair of the ACMD also said “spice and other synthetic cannabinoid products are being sold legally as harmless 'herbal legal highs'. However, the herbal content is coated in one or more dangerous chemical compounds that mimic the effects of cannabis.”

    So it would appear Spice contains 'dangerous compounds', although no one is actually saying why they are dangerous, nor indeed how. It appears no one has been killed by Spice, (nor even hospitalised - as is the case with those who choose alcohol - over 1200 of whom are hospitalised every single day in the UK).

    So much like the cannabis debacle, the laws against Spice-like products are set to be changed, and regardless of any actual 'evidence' which shows alcohol to be far more dangerous than Spice, or indeed cannabis.

    December 23rd 2009 is the actual day anything which contains a man-made cannabinoid analogue such as JWH-018 becomes a controlled substance, and if you would like to read the entire document, which lists a large amount of different chemical compounds, you can do so here .

    In the meantime, if you can still find Spice on the shelves, you can still legally buy it, although to be fair ever since the ACMD gave their advice to government the product has been harder to come by.

    There are of course many other products which do the same thing still available to buy. You need only look to eBay for your sources .

    But remember December 23rd, as this is the day Police will set about cracking down on sales, so if it floats your boat, now would be a good time to think about stocking up.

    December 2, 2009
    CannaZine Cannabis News

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  1. mbarnes0
    I was just curious as to what is actually scientifically referenced to any JWH or any synthetic cannabinoid being dangerous, aside from problems associated with inhaling smoke?
  2. Coconut
    Nothing, I'd say. It's not as though politicians pay attention to science or reason when formulating policy. Rabid megalomaniacs who care only about themselves and the status quo.
  3. Bite_Me
    The problem with Spice and other similar "herbals" is that nobody has a f***ing clue what the chemicals do to the human body and brain. Maybe it's safe or maybe it's nasty stuff, nobody can say for sure.

    Cannabis has been thoroughly researched and documented and there is tons of anecdotal information to go on but with the "artificial cannabis" substances there is next to nothing, and the manufacturers are going to change the formula over and over again.

    Weed is undoubtedly the safer (and more pleasant) option compared to Spice.
  4. enquirewithin
    What can you say about the useless Brown? Blair has admitted that there was no evidence for going to war with Iraq, but he did it anyway, regardless of the enormous loss of life (he has become a Catholic, so I suppose mass murder is OK for him now). Brown bankrolled the war, so why expect a shred of honesty or common sense from him, a man devoid of morals?
  5. thepieman1
    I guess the question remains, then, how much should SWIM purchase before the 23rd?
  6. fire_walk_with_us!
    SWIM recently purchursed products that will come under the ban on the 23rd December (piperazines) to be precise. 9 different products were bought, each with 2 pills in. Would SWIM have to worry about being traced via credit card details etc by police for buying these products, even though it was when they were still legal?
    Reading information on what happened with "operation ismene" has got SWIM worried...lol. Any info would be much appreciated!
  7. Reaver
    Technically yes, Swim sees it as entirely plausible if highly improbable that police could trace customers details if they happened to raid a shop that Swiy had previously purchased now controlled substances from, and in an effort get some good media coverage that portrays the police and government coming down hard on drugs, they may decide to make an example of some recreational consumers of these products for purely political reasons, because that's how terrorists and bullies like our government behave.

    The chances of Police themselves actually wanting to expend time and resources busting people for a couple packets of spice or pills bought before the ban are slim to none but as Swiy mentioned with operation "ismene" it doesn't pay to be complacent about these things, however Swim wouldn't lose any sleep over it :p
  8. fire_walk_with_us!
    SWIM would assume that this would be reserved for those who bought more than a handful of single items?

    Furthermore, BZP is only being classed as a Class C drug - which makes it even less likely, right?
  9. Mona Lisa
    SWIM's understanding of ISMENE is that they only went after people who'd ordered Class A substances such as 2ci. SWIM wouldn't have thought that bzp party pills would be a police priority, especially only being Class C. Even the smoking blends, which will be Class B, will probably be overlooked if ordered only for personal amounts. SWIM is more uncertain about people who've ordered JWH-018 directly. But she is still of the impression that if someone has ordered something that was perfectly legal when the purchase was made, especially if in a small amount would almost certainly be OK because the police would more likely focus on anyone who'd placed an order or was caught in possession after the ban took effect.

    Of course, law enforcement in Britain can be as grey as the legality of many so called legal highs. A well-known vendor on the scene was raided several months ago with a huge courtcase hanging over him but it was postponed with a later date set. Nothing has been heard since so it's looking more likely that they can't press charges since what he was selling was technically legal at the time. They wanted to do him for 'endangering the public' but it looks like he may be let off, though he lost thousands of pounds worth of mechandize that will almost certainly never be returned to him.

    SWIM thus thinks that anyone who place a small order when whatever in question was still technically legal should probably be OK, but of course if subsequently caught in possession would be charged accordingly.

    Thousands have ordered party pills and smoking incense blends whereas Ismene only involved about fifty UK addresses whereby the defendents had ordered Class A phens and/or trypts from a couple of USA vendors who'd been raided with their customer records relayed by the DEA to the British police, hence the raids. As there are so many more people who've ordered what will soon be banned, SWIM would have thought they'd only really be interested in anyone's who ordered in bulk right before the ban.
  10. fire_walk_with_us!
    Yeah, this is what SWIM thought, but sometimes SWIM can get a little paranoid, especially when reading about things such as Ismene.
    Thanks for your info!
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