The Great Hash Debate

 Posted by on February 26, 2012  Add comments
Feb 262012
 

Do you smoke dope?

Cool.  Why wouldn’t you?  I’m not going to judge you for getting smashed am I?  It’s completely up to you.  Whatever you do with your body is your business, and Christ knows, I did enough things to myself over the years, so I’m hardly in a position to point fingers.

No indeed.  All I’m going to ask is who you buy your shit from.

Now, if it’s grass, you might well be growing it yourself, in which case I’ll trouble you no further.  Good luck and peace to you.   This is your business and none other.  But if you didn’t grow it yourself, well that’s a different matter.  And likewise, if you happen to smoke hash, I can tell you now, you didn’t produce it yourself.

You didn’t grow it yourself, did you?  The chances are, you bought it from a scumbag, and if not from a scumbag, you bought it from someone who got it from a scumbag, so don’t be all chilled and relaxed there. Just remember that the people you bought your stash from are the same people who murder innocent citizens in your town, and every spliff you roll goes to pay for yet another scumbag driving past you in his pimped VW Passat with the blacked-out windows even though the ignorant, uneducated lowlife never worked a day in his wasted fucking life.

But don’t take my word for it.  Instead, have a look at the Captain’s rage-induced rant about this kind of shit, and tell him exactly where he’s wrong.  He isn’t.

Support your local scumbag.

  99 Responses to “The Great Hash Debate”

Comments (99)
  1.  

    Prohibition makes a section of society, ( the section of society who care least about the rules or social responsibility, ‘scumbags’ if you will ) a ton of money.

    This is bad.
    How is it to be stopped?
    Legalisation would be more effective than on-on-one guilt-trippery methinks. Go back in time to Chicago and try bringing Capone down by lecturing and hectoring every rummy you meet staggering out of a speakeasy.
    Would that be effective, d’you think?

    This post of the Cap’n’s isn’t really anything other than one-mans version of an altercation with somebody who doesn’t think much.

    The Captain has thought about the topic more, but not much more : the problem is in the law not the naivety of individual stoners who are unfortunate to meet up with the pious Captain of a night out and be silly enough to offer him a toke.

  2.  

    wow Bock, this is exactly what I’ve always said about it too,I have had more or less the exact same conversation with many folks who either get really pissed off or just miss the point.
    @Darren, if you legalised it tomorrow, do you think Tesco would suddenly start growing it themselves? Maybe they would simply use good business sense and buy it cheaply from the people who already have it. That would be the same people who have already demonstrated, in this very town, that they’ll go to any length to ensure that they control the import and supply of the drugs.
    It’s like saying that legalising murder would reduce our crime rates…

  3.  

    A smoker myself, I used to enjoy telling uber-vegetarians that animal fat is used as an emulsifying agent in the processing of cannabis resin. I have no idea what an emulsifying agent is, but I used to enjoy watching their faces crash.

  4.  

    Steve, what exactly are you suggesting with that whole Tesco thing there? I’m not sure I understand what you mean by it:

    Then again if you’re going to seriously equate cannabis consumption with murder, as opposed to something like gambling, or drinking alcohol– that destroys some people, but despite that, on the whole, is something that people prefer the choice to continue doing, (and if denied that choice will simply continue to pursue it illegally ) If you honestly see it as the same as ‘moidah’ then we probably don’t have much to talk about, you and I.

    Ricepaddy: I can imagine the discomfort that your information would give to many’s the vegan stoner ( no doubt they either continue with some personal excuse or move on to grass ) . It’s quite funny in it’s absolute cruelty, and it illustrates my problem with the Captain’s story: that being that it reduces a genuine soluable problem, ( i.e. the enormous revenue generated and placed in the hands of under-educated monkey men, who could never in a million years command the same sums and power that they do on a level and legal playing field of a free market ):
    It reduces a genuine soluable problem down to a ‘them’ and ‘us’ story about
    ” the time I knocked a stoner off his ‘peace & love’ perch”
    and I have to admit that that breaks my heart a little… because the Captain’s right and Bock is right, the money from recreational drug use is the money that buys the guns and the money that the gun-owners shoot each other over.

    I cant help wishing that, instead of crowing about how somebody he met was ill-informed, he would come to the the other conclusion: i.e. this this will not end until the bloody stuff is as available as alcohol.

  5.  

    Went for a few pints tonight, at the end of the evening as we wended our way home, who did we espy? but a member of one of our leading “Pharmaceutical Distribution Families” getting an escort from an unmarked squad car, to make sure he gets home to his beddy byes safe and sound.
    Nice to see our hard pressed tax euro’s at work

  6.  

    This is where I depart from the conversation. Goodnight good people.

  7.  

    @Darren, where am I equating this with murder?How did you even reach this conclusion, wtf?

    I though my point was pretty clear: making something legal makes the crime rate go down because you’re not counting it any more but you have not solved the *underlying problem*

    You said: “i.e. the enormous revenue generated and placed in the hands of under-educated monkey men, who could never in a million years command the same sums and power that they do on a level and legal playing field of a free market” and I’m not being smart but this really is naieve – the people controlling the trade in this country are anything but under educated monkeys, in fact they’re pretty fucking smart to have gotten away with it for so long.
    And the people who supply THEM are on another level altogether. It’s not about the knuckle draggers who actually sell the stuff on the street, and it never was…..oh by the way these organisations we’re talking about, have no problems taking on legitimate enterprise and even governments in open warfare – look at Mexico!
    Do you really think that the cartels behind the supply of narcotics into this country would sit idly by (whether they were legitimised or not by it being “legalised”) and let someone else take a cut of their market? Did those headshops just happen to burn down, do you think?Haven’t you ever seen Casino?

  8.  

    Is that the one with Robert Deniro or Ray Liotta?
    I think I’ve seen it!
    I’m like that too.. all the answers to any problem can be found at the movies.

    Here’s my honest opinion. I think the interaction with the purple captain and the peace loving pot head had nothing to do with pot, but about the captain looking clever. In saying that he’s right of course and the dope head was a bit dopey not to do a legger earlier.

    I wouldn’t like to see it legalised, but it’s probably the lesser of two evils.
    They eventually got rid of the bootleggers. Did ye see that movie Scarface?! Say hello to my lil friend? no?

  9.  

    ” Probably 20 odd years, man ” as quoted in Captains exchange with ” smoker man ” that says it all for me. Its basic, its supply and demand and the modes of behaviour generated by a person to furnish and indulge their own personal habit over a 20 year period, regardless of the arguement that generates Alcohol v Cannabis or Addiction v Habit or Legalise v Illegal, the continued demand for a product which has blatently and obviously become the biggest revenue generator of organised crime is down to the personal choice and personal responsibility of the person as to how they want to contribute to the continued growth of such ” Enterprise ”

    FFI. I disagree with your thoughts on ” Captain looking clever ” even though you think he is ” Right ” , i would see that as Captain just exercising his personal responsibility verbally as the opportunity presented itself, apart from the tunnel vision and blinkered view of the world experienced by “Dope smokers ” over a period of continued use. Its really irrelevant whether the substance is legal or illegal, to legalise it now, does anyone believe that such an enterprise will be run by people with a moral responsibility to their customer ?

    The supply will continue as long as the demand is devoid of the bigger picture of personal and social responsibility and awareness.

  10.  

    Like gambling or nicotine-supply are run now, social responsibility and awareness are simply not factors- profit is the factor : a profit is mercilessly made- who do you want to make it? Tax-paying businesses or criminal gangs?

    And speaking of ‘Casino’ can you imagine a Casino run by “people with a moral responsibility to their customers” ?

    To be in favour of legalisation is not the same as to be in favour of hash.

  11.  

    Darren. Are you saying that you think its possible to change ” Criminal gangs ” into ” Tax paying businesses ” ?

  12.  

    No, take the business away from one and make it accessible to the other: like when the mob’s bath-tub hooch suddenly had to compete with the real McCoy with the repeal of prohibition..

    Also Steve, you asked WTF? and how did I conclude that you were equating
    hash-smoking with murder… and then restated your position as making something legal makes the crime rate go down
    because you’re not counting it any more but you have not solved the *underlying problem*
    Am I wrong to conclude that the asterisk=bound ” underlying problem ” is to mean either murder or cannabis consumption? and if so: then you are equating them surely? and if so, unlikely to be the source of much illumination on this topic.

  13.  

    There is no point in trying to make viable comparisons to what happened during ” Prohibition ” , this is an entirely different environment with access and connections on a scale that would have been fantasy in that time.
    What legitimate business, even with the back up of legislation would willingly compete in a market with organised crime ? surely thats the whole point ? its now less even about the product and more about the accompanying global threat to life.

    Can i just point out here that Prohibition did’nt get rid of ” The mob “

  14.  

    There is every point, this is a prohibition situation: an unecessarily criminalised population, turf wars, shoot-outs, what’s the difference?

    Apart from that in Chicago in the twenties they dressed better.

  15.  

    Yes, they did dress better, but even that is relative.
    I’m not going to get into a protracted debate with you Darren, I agree with the basic point in this thread, if people want to spend their time, money and life blitzed off their heads, thats their choice, none of my business and i make no judgements.
    Do you think that the guns, violence, intimidation and misery would be taken out of the equation if the trade was legalised ? the people who have profited from this trade are completly entrenced in a way of life, how will legislation change a way of life, do you really see gun toting criminals filling out VAT returns or accepting their way of life is being turned over to legitimate business, its about the crime, the drugs are a means to an end.

  16.  

    Darren: “Am I wrong to conclude that the asterisk=bound ” underlying problem ” is to mean either murder or cannabis consumption? and if so: then you are equating them surely? and if so, unlikely to be the source of much illumination on this topic.”
    Correct, you are wrong (?)
    I am simply pointing out that legalising something, the act of making it un-criminal as it were, does not remove the problem which the law was made to address in the first place…I might just have easily have used littering, or drunk driving, or not paying tax, or whatever, it was an analogy, not an equation.So, just to clarify: smoking hash isn’t murder, ok? (and fuck it, just for the flame, I will put out here that (albeit indirectly) *buying* hash is an acessory to murder. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, pun intended, etc.

    The reason I reference ‘Casino’ is because it’s a good example of what happens when you let criminals call themselves legitimate – they run legal businesses, using laundered money which is ill-gained and often has blood on it. The businesses are all clean and legal; the people running them are not. It will be the same thing if you legalise hash or indeed any other narcotic here. The drugs trade was one of the first truly global enterprises and the people who control this trade will, and have done, go to war to maintain their control of it; do you really think that it’s OK to just say “ah,well, you’re all legit now,sure it’s not a crime any more.”? As a citizen of this fine island who, like many of use, is currently “enjoying” the fruits of some seriously rotten labours that the other major criminal enterprise (you know who) cooked up for us, I certainly don’t think it’s OK.

    I’ll leave you with the statistic (and you can google it it you like because I couldn’t be arsed) that upwards of 60% of the hash consumed in the Netherlands, where it is “legal” to do so, is actually illegally imported by criminal enterprises because a)the resellers really do not give a fuck where they get it from and b)the existing network of supply continues to maintain a strangle-hold on the import. So I’m afraid it is simply untrue to state that legalising it will solve the problem. People will still die; criminals will still flourish, but hey, it’s all right because no laws are being broken. Yay!

  17.  

    The discussion has gone well off track. I think we’d all agree that cannabis should be legalised to remove the illegality and criminality associated with it, but that wasn’t what the Captain was talking about.

    The issue is today, where criminals control the drugs trade. Today, anyone buying dope is enriching the people who murdered Shane Geoghegan. That’s simply a fact, whether we like it or not.

  18.  

    Hello All, I find I’m with you Darren, The Captain is right, Bock is right, and I believe you are too. Prohibition of this sort, doesn’t work and never did.

  19.  

    Jesus Bock, you framed it as ‘a great debate’ if I’d have known you were going to be this twee about it, i wouldn’t have bothered.

  20.  

    Ok, let me just reiterate that there’s nothing wrong with hash. Let me also reiterate – (it’s ridiculously stupid that I have to use the word “reiterate” when the point should be quite clear) – that the point of this is that 90% of hash sales is putting guns in the hands of heartless fucking wankers and it’s absolutely and utterly pathetic that the thread should be detoured into some defence of a drug that’s, effectively harmless. The point is not about whether or not hash is great; it’s about where it comes from. It’s about who is selling and making a profit from it. Can there not, at least, be agreement on that. Of course it should be legal but, if it’s so fucking harmless and non-addictive, then why not stop doing in until such time as you can legally buy it? Why help a scumbag buy a gun, simply so you can tell everybody that they know nothing about life? Why defend a market that is controlled by murderers? Darren, can you actually address the point? Is it possible for you? This is something that alters your consciousness, albeit temporarily. It’s not the answer to everything. It’s lovely. It’s fun. It does NOT make you better than anyone else. It does NOT make you suddenly understand life. It DOES put guns in the hands of mindless morons. THAT is the point.

  21.  

    And just to clarify, in case I was getting off topi: I am not arguing about the physical/mental effects of hash either. Certainly can’t be any worse than regular smokes….

  22.  

    Darren — Fair point. I suppose really I should have called the post “Support Your Local Murdering Scumbag”.

  23.  

    Captain, I think you are missing the point as you seem a bit preoccupied with pontificating there.
    I don’t think anyone is defending a market controlled by murderers.
    I think it’s understood who is in control of the hash market currently.
    The point is, people are defending what they feel is their right to smoke it. And also that if legalised, it may be possible to have the market be in the ownership of non murdering scumbags.
    Are you saying you think people don’t realise that?
    If not, once people are enlightened,, is it ok to mention the possibility of legalising it?

  24.  

    I’m not lecturing anyone, FF1. I am simply saying that the point of the post has been completely missed. Of course people have a right to smoke hash and, yes, it should be legalised. If you are currently excercising your right to smoke hash and grow your own, then fair play. If you buying hash from scumbags in order to excercise your right to smoke hash, you are complicit in their crimes because you are facilitating them with your cash. That is the point of the post. If you think that that is pontificating, you’re sadly mistaken. I am merely pointing out a fact.

  25.  

    Captain Purplehad ( may I call you ‘Captain’ ) , I agree with you more than you know – but your post, to me, depicted an incident of oneupmanship that I felt wasn’t ( as Bock had claimed ) “a rant and a rage ” but instead, a self-congratulatory anecdote that for me, was avoiding the pertinent issue.

    What you point out is indeed a fact, but there are other facts. I guess what troubled me so much about this whole discourse was the assumption that a society-wide problem can be tackled one stoner’s conscience at a time.

  26.  

    If it was about oneupmanship, Darren, I would have initiated the conversation. I didn’t initiate it and I wasn’t the one judging this guy’s chosen method of getting wasted. He was judging mine but it brought up a very pertinent issue. How many people would be man enough to stop smoking dope because they don’t want to contribute to the wealth and arsenals of the scumbags who are ruining society? That is the question. I completely agree that hash should be legal. In fact, if it did, I doubt that it would completely irradicate the problem. People would still buy it illegally if it was cheaper. If I came across as aloof or arrogant, it wasn’t meant but I can’t legislate for what someone will take from what I write. My only hope was that people would take the most saliant fact.

  27.  

    Well thanks for initiating this whole conversation anyway, I got some stuff off my chest and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t enjoyed doing it. To me, you came across as a bit pious and unfair to the chap in your story but I can well understand that a person can be simply taken up wrong: and if that’s what happened in my reading of your tale I do apologise. All the best.

  28.  

    No need for apologies, Darren. When I am presented with someone who is judging me and looking down his nose at me because of some perceived moral high ground, I tend to get pious and aloof to counter theirs. I too would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy disassembling the guys argument but I genuinely mean it when I say that all hash smokers should stop giving money to scumbags. It’ll never happen because people care more about pleasing themselves than helping society.

  29.  

    Hence my advocation of another approach.

  30.  

    However, pending the introduction of another approach, people are right now putting money into the pockets of the criminals.

  31.  

    How does one have a right to partake in an action or consume a substance that is illegal?

  32.  

    There is no such right, but that doesn’t mean people can’t press to have the law changed. Meanwhile, though, most smokers are enriching the scumbags.

  33.  

    So let’s hurry it up.

    (EDIT: this is a reply to comment 30)

  34.  

    @ Cap’n P # 24 “Of course people have a right to smoke hash and, yes, it should be legalised. If you are currently excercising your right to smoke hash and grow your own, then fair play.”

    I don’t partake myself so whether it’s legal or not doesn’t bother me. Until it is made legal then we have no right to consume it. I agree about buying it from scumbags.

  35.  

    I don’t partake myself so whether it’s legal or not doesn’t bother me

    Well it should, for the exact reasons that Bock and the good Captain have outlined.

  36.  

    Darren, perhaps you might read the last sentence of my post @ # 34.

  37.  

    Why? Because Cap’n P in post 24 paraphrased FF1 in post 23 about ‘feeling’ it’s their right, and that’s the one point you want to make?

    Why would I distract myself with such pedantry when everybody else here has been talking about an issue?

  38.  

    You are so right Darren, as ever.

  39.  

    Tell me Darren when you exercise your illegal drug habit do you produce your own or do you en rich the scum? Have you the blood of Brian Fitz, Shane Geoghegan et al on your hands? As long as your rights are protected then who gives a fuck, eh?

  40.  

    Alcohol happens to be my personal ‘brain-quietener’ of choice, but lets not get Ad Hominum: I think we’re better than that.

  41.  

    Ok, I did paraphrase FF1 because I thought it illustrated my point quite clearly. I’ve been painted here as an arrogant buffoon who should basically just mind his own snot. My paraphrasing and agreement with the point in no way meant that I believe people have a legal right to smoke dope, they don’t. The point I have been trying to make since I related the original story is that I have absolutely no problem, gripe or issue with the act of smoking hash. I have a problem with the scum who sell it. I believe most hash smokers would agree with me but they still refuse to do anything about it. The entire point of the post was that this guy assumed he had the moral high ground, simply because he has unlocked the secrets of the universe and become a better person since discovering hash. I simply pointed out to him that, as it currently stands, he is helping to murder innocent people. He is assisting scumbags in the very comission of their crimes. That is the point. I knew that it would stir up some debate and that’s great but please address the point. I believe that legalising cannabis would reduce but not eradicate the market for the scumbags. The only real way to seriously hurt their income is to stop giving them money. Everyone’s blue in the face from telling me that it’s non addictive and that’s all fair enough. If it is, then just stop doing it and focus your energy on getting it legalised. Make a personal sacrifice for the good of your hometown. Simple as that. If that makes me a bollox, then I’m happy to be a bollox.

  42.  

    Well I think you’re neither a buffoon ( though the persona of ‘Captain Purplehead’ does lend you a touch of whimsy,- you must admit) nor a bollix, and I reckon your call for responsible action is absolutely laudable, but, I personally don’t see it as any more a workable solution than temperance movements were a solution to Capone-era bootlegging and its accompanying violence and corruption.

    and that’s me own tuppence-worth.

  43.  

    So is your answer then to continue with the status quo and ignore the fact that people are willingly giving scumbags money to put bullets in their guns?

  44.  

    Don’t wait for the stoner to stop smoking and become politically active: you yourself accept your own responsibility as a voter- you yourself campaign for legalisation now: it wont stop all crime, it wont stop all violence: all it will mean is a serious wage-cut for scumbag elements and increased revenue for the exchequor.

    Oh, and teenagers would probably find it less cool.

  45.  

    Here’s me tuppence-worth.

    Next time you’re at a party and they are passing the doobie, do remember to enquire as to whether it was home grown stuff or from a scumbag.. if not home grown and the Captain is in the vicinity, do a legger.. also just put it down until it’s legal. Doobies are bad.

    Just teasing.

    I don’t think it’s realistic that your regular Joe soap, occasional smoker is going to stop smoking until it’s legal.

    Saying that the market is currently in the hands of criminals is not much of a great debate in my opinion. We know. Next point.

  46.  

    @FF1: I’m glad you’re happy with the status quo. I used the term “Great Debate” in a purely ironic way as it is impossible to defend the indefensible. If I thought I was contributing to criminals who are killing innocent people, I would just stop doing whatever that was. Clearly those of us who would are in a minority. Sad ol’ world really.

  47.  

    Captain..”I’m glad you’re happy with the status quo”
    Tell me where I said that? Where? Out with it.

    I’m not happy with the status quo, but I think I’m a realist.
    I’m not into the doobies at all myself, but I don’t people others will stop until it’s legal. That’s all.

    That’s grand that you can say no to it. You prefer a pint.
    It’s not your thing, but it is for a lot of others.

    By the way, can you not get in more trouble for growing it, than buying it off someone else? Where would the seeds originate? Who controls that market? Not trying to disassemble any argument here.. nor would I give a fiddlers about taking enjoyment from it, just wondering.

  48.  

    “I don’t think it’s realistic that your regular Joe soap, occasional smoker is going to stop smoking until it’s legal.”
    Why isn’t it realistic. What you’re basically saying is that your average Joe Soap doesn’t give a flying fuck about our crumbling society and, far from wanting to contribute to it, would prefer to help further its destruction.
    Look, I know that’s not what you were getting at but you seem to be jumping on every point I’ve made. In fact, I’ve been kind of vilified for making a point that, by your own admission, you agree with. You closed your penultimate reply by saying, “Saying that the market is currently in the hands of criminals is not much of a great debate in my opinion. We know. Next point.” It’s a little dismissive and kind of an indictment of where we are as a society. “Yeah yeah, we know all that but I’m not a hash smoker so let’s move on”. Why move on? Why not make a concerted effort to bring this argument to people who chose to buy dope of scumbags? Our current government are afraid to legalise it because the moronic right wing Christian fundementalists would be out on the streets in their masses, decrying the decision. It’s not going to happen any time soon so why not try another approach?

  49.  

    “It’s not going to happen any time soon so why not try another approach?”

    As it’s not going to happen Cap’n.

    I’d say the Gardai doesn’t give a flying fuck.
    There was a prime time investigation a few weeks back on prostitution and if the people involved with that programme can find out who’s trafficing women into the country from Eastern Europe, then surely the Guards can.
    But they don’t want to be out tackling the hard criminals.
    I think it’s the Gardai who should be out tackling any “crumbling society”.

    In the meantime, I just don’t think it’s realistic that anyone would abstain with smoking weed if that’s their thing.

    I’m trying to think of a similar analogy.
    It’d be like saying to a patron at a speakeasy back in the time of prohibition..”hold off having a drink until it’s legal someday, as you’re supporting the likes of Al Capone”.
    They don’t give a fiddlers, you’re right. They just want a bloody drink.
    Are they responsible for the actions of the criminals. No. Not in my opinion.

  50.  

    Whatever about being responsible, are they funding the criminals?

  51.  

    Yeah, they are.
    And that’s not right.
    I think we’re agreed on that.

    What alternatives are there besides stopping for people who are into it?
    None.

  52.  

    There are two that I can think of. One involves stopping and the other involves effort.

  53.  

    “I think it’s the Gardai who should be out tackling any “crumbling society”.
    Believe it or not, they are – just open the limerick post on a tuesday on the courts section, it’s a sure thing that at least 2 of the cases there are for drug dealing/importing
    But there are so many of them, because the ordinary joe soaps keep buying the stuff, that as fast as the dealers can be caught, someone else is waiting in the wings to take over. So Bock and Cap’n are 100% on the money in this case; none of the straws on the camel’s back though they could possibly be part of the problem, either….
    The legalisation issue, I’d love to debate another time because as I previously mentioned, with the status quo you simply can’t make it legal any time soon. So for now I will remain resolutely un-PC on this and say, no way will it ,nor should it, get legalised for reasons which have nothing to do with the effects of the drug
    Capn’ P, you are right when you say “Our current government are afraid to legalise it because the moronic right wing Christian fundementalists would be out on the streets in their masses, decrying the decision” and that’s a damned shame because it would preclude any real human debate on the matter, since by and large the undecided will just go with the opposite of what said morons are touting, and who could blame them these days!!

    And you know, suppose by some magical means, we did manage to make it legal and at the same time completely put the current dealers out of business – they’ll find something else illegal to do and we’ll be back here talking about the moralilty of buying black market shoelaces or somesuch.

    Best debate on this site for a long time, by the way!

  54.  

    I said stopping Bock –
    “What alternatives are there besides stopping for people who are into it?”

  55.  

    I didn’t read your comment properly. Sorry. There’s one alternative, but it involves effort.

  56.  

    haha. No worries.

    I recall you had a post on this before, by the way Bock.
    Maybe a year or so ago.
    I wasn’t in favour of legalising it and did mention back then that people buying it were supporting criminals and that it seemed to be psychologically addictive. (with a shoddy link for that).
    My opinions were dissenting on that thread to most others it seemed!

    Maybe people should just stop, but that’s not going to happen in my opinion, so I think legalising it should be looked at.. so as criminals are not going to be supported.

    Interesting debate alright.

  57.  

    Captains comment @ 48 is far clearer to me at any rate, than the transcribed conversation.

    Bocks comment @ 52 ” Stopping and Effort ” would require an enormous injection of in your face awareness, shortly after the murder of Shane Geoghegan, i saw a poster which read something like ” Every toke you take contributed to the bullet that killed Shane ” i felt then that poster should have put in every available space.

    FFI. I dont believe there is any such thing as an average ” Joe Soap ” and most especially when it comes to smoking hash, that particular indulgence crosses every strata of age, intellect, gender, the whole kit and caboodle of humanity, raising the level of awareness across the entire spectrum would be onerous, even if a campaign reached 10% of people it would have a financial effect.
    I do think the Guards are doing what they can in the face of an overwhelming demand and the demoralisation of hauling people into Court only to see them walk, time and time again.

    I used to think that decriminalising hash would be a constructive move, now i dont think that, and anyway unless the levels of awareness and effort had an effect, i can’t see how it would have enough impact.

  58.  

    I agree that legalising Cannabis in this wee nanny state is just a pipe dream (har har), but what about just decriminalising home-growing for ones personal use. I just cant see any problem with that. Seed shops licensed by the state (Netherlands style) and an official policy of ‘what you do in your own gaff is your own business’. Then there would be no excuse for anyone to put money into the hands of murdering scumbags in order to purchase soap-bar made from pollen and old tyres.
    Of course a personal investment of a certain amount of effort would be required on the part of the average punter.
    …A good plan otherwise.

  59.  

    Do the Gardai currently have a massive campaign raiding houses to track down people who grow their own for personal use?

  60.  

    True enough Bock, there doesn’t seem to be any major detection campaign, and sentencing appears to be light enough. You read the odd court report of someone being fined and receiving a suspended sentence on account of a couple of weedy plants in the window. Maybe decriminalising home-growing wouldn’t divert that many customers away from their normal ‘easy’ route of supply. I don’t know.
    But at least it would mean that there was a safe legal alternative.
    If you think about it in terms of the ‘fear of detection'; buying a wee baggy off the guy down the road just doesn’t feel as dangerous as having a row of pungent plants under grow lights in the attic. The grow-setup is certainly a lot harder to hide, not just from the Gardai, but from the neighbours, the kids, the TV inspector, etc. Imagine the panic if you were broken into and the cops had to come in and dust for prints -its easy to empty the ashtray of evidence but what do you do with the strange aroma coming from the spare room ? that’s the fear that puts most people off.
    So instead of taking what seems to be a big risk you go down the estate and buy a baggy. Maybe by legalising it (home-growing) and removing this fear it would become more preferable to funding drug gangs. A better product and a clear conscience. I know that would work for me anyway.

  61.  

    This discussion is a a bit tngled up in blue as the great man would say.
    Many components, some rights, some wrongs, some half rights, some half wrongs.

    A few points to make

    1. Scumbags do sell hashish (almost impossible to grow at home apparently) and grass, very easy to grow,apparently.

    2. What did Americans selling illegal drink during prohibition and Americans selling pot during prohibiton have in common? Answer: They were all criminal gangs.

    3. What’s the difference between Americans selling alcohol now and Americans selling pot now?
    Answer Americans selling alcohol now are big business’s who employ people to process the alcohol for sale to us and pay their tax’s. And the people selling pot? Yes their still criminal gangs.

    4. Legalise Pot.

    5. Also for those of you who drink coca cola eat McDonalds etc, maybe you might want to consider giving these indulgences up. Have you looked recently at these company’s human rights/human exploitation records. It wouldn’t be too extreme, in my opinion, to show a photo of a can of Coca Cola with blood dripping down the side of the can.

    6. If I smoked pot would I do my best to try and ensure its not gangster hash ? of course I would. The only way I can be sure though is if its legalised.

  62.  

    I just wanted to pop on again and say thanks to the good Captain and Bock for raising this old chestnut and framing it in an interesting way: the holier-than-thou face-off ( between those who feel entitled to partake and those who feel that it is morally reprehensible to do so) seems to be a fertile source of opinions and attitudes.

    Reading back over it, I find myself mellowing to the Captain’s attitude and moral stance, ( in a filmed adaptation of his post I would give the role of the captain to someone like…Jimmy Stuart now and not someone like John Malkovich as I’d first imagined ).
    I still find his stance impractical and idealistic,- but oh to live in a world as devoid of solipsism as the Captain seems to be.
    I find people look at me the exact same way for believing, regardless of it’s merits or demerits, that decriminalisation could ever be a reality.

    I reckon it’s fair to say that the argument started here is, at its core, one of personal culpability. I’d agree with the Captain that we all are responsible for our actions to some degree and that where you spend your money you are also in a sense ‘voting’ in the case of hash-consumption: either for criminality or against. The stoner is complicit in the whole rotten carnival, this is true.

    The degree to which the stoner is complicit is debatable. Personally I think Steve‘s claim that *buying* hash is an acessory to murder [post 16] is a bit strong, but if we take it at face value and say ” Yes: Hash has blood on it. – You buy it, you are involved ” I’m asking: why stop there?

    If we are going to ameliorate the responsibility of the chap who actually pulls the trigger and extend it out to the business he’s involved in and each individual customer then why not extend it further and encompass the whole system?

    In other words, if you believe that Cannabis business supplies money to killers: and you believe that Cannabis as a substance is more or less as benign as say, alcohol or tobacco and you are not asking every politician on your doorstep for an immediate and workable solution to the problem, then aren’t you also, albeit to a lesser degree, complicit?

    If you know all these facts but decide not to act on them out of apathy, disillusion or lack of interest, – then could it not be said that you are?

    Just a teeny bit?

    As I said, I just want to applaud the Captain for raising the whole issue, maybe he’s naive, maybe I’m naive, maybe to presume that the system we have is unchangable is also naive in it’s own way.

    But a bit of oul’ debate is great.

  63.  

    Thank you for your kind (ish) words there, Darren but I still think that saying the solution of sacrifice on the hash smokers behalf is idealistic is a little bit of a cop-out, in my ever so humble opinion. Most of thee hash smokers I’ve met are very vociferously against the criminal element in Ireland and anywhere else. That being the case, is it so wrong to point out to them that they should stop buying their hash from scumbags? Is that really such an idealistic idea? I certainly don’t see how it is impractical. In fact, the most practical approach would be to encourage people to stop because Ireland will NEVER legalise cannabis. You can rob the very money from their pockets and tell them that you’ll be back for more, if you need it. You can tell them that, because you promised a few gamblers that you’d cover their stake – win or lose, it will now be unlikely that their kids can go to college and they will just say, “ah shur, what can I do about it”. Tell them you plan to legalise cannabis and you will see the biggest mobilisation of crusties since the Pope’s visit! Just look at the uproar caused by the correct abolition of hunting!
    The idea that you prefer the prospect of legalisation over just telling these people to stop and work at getting a less destructive source of their chosen drug, frankly makes your argument idealistic but I wouldn’t call it impractical. Legalisation is the best solution. It’s just never going to happen in our backward little island.
    As for Jimmy Stewart playing me in any kind of dramatic representation, I couldn’t disagree more. Oliver Reed would be closer to a like for like casting.

  64.  

    *Chortle*
    Well thanks for the compliment of rational opposition.

  65.  

    I have a question, if you don’t consider it digression. By your leave Bock, I’ll ask it. Why is the Cannabis plant illegal? What specifically sets it apart from other herbs and shrubs? I find it was added to the statute book under the Dangerous Drugs act of 1934. But why Cannabis and not the seriously toxic? Yew for sake of example, a small quantity of which can kill you in under 60 mins’.
    @ Long John Silver, post 61. Hashish isn’t grown as such, it’s the name given to the product pressed from the sieved glandular trichomes of the cannabis flower.

  66.  

    @ Bob. Thanks for the Hashish update, I have to honest, Im not an expert when it comes to glandular trichomes.
    Is it still hard to produce in Ireland though?
    Never heard of Kerry Gold (unless it was in reference to butter). Or Atlacca black for that matter.

  67.  

    Really enjoyed the thread. Fair play captain for instigating it and for Darren for eloquently making shit of most of the concerned citizens who outrageously suggest that ‘The hash smoker is complicit with the murderers of Shane Geoghan’ cop out and he/she [the toker] should therefore feel personal guilt and shame as a result of what the Cap’n himself alludes to being a flawed legal system. And this on the same site that came down so hard on Tony Humphries for his game of ‘Complicit by tenuous connection’ Can we all join in cos I have some.

    Ok… Doctors and prescription drug addiction which implicates the cleaner in the doctors surgery and her mother of course for giving birth to her, Paddy power and the gambling addict who dies by suicide when the company finds out he s been embezzling funds..and of course the IT guy in Paddy Power s who sorts out the online gaming when the site crashes..he s guilty also…The Mac Donalds one mentioned above is wonderful..fast food is responsible for more deaths than the drugs trade [and I mean all aspects of it] so I guess that lovely woman and her kind husband with their 2 kiddies… one of whom is grinning and humming happily in a Ronald MacDonald chair with the remains of a Kiddie Mac on her little telly tubbies bib are in fact complicit in the deaths of Mr and Mrs Brad and Jennifer Stonewater of Number 2 Just Beside Macdonalds and Across The Road From Pizza Hut Richmond OHIO who died of obesity at the ages of 42 and 43 respectively both weighing over 34 stone [the last 4 years of their life being confined to wheelchairs and downstairs bedrooms] Bit of effort now people..make your own burgers at home don t rely on these corporate scumbags to supply you with burgers…It s not just your health at stake but you are also in a very real and quite indefensible way responsible for the deaths of countless fellow human beings… If they won t criminalise fast food joints well then surely the only other option is a bit of effort..

  68.  

    Tommy — Thanks. I haven’t seen such a magnificent example of straw men in a long time.

    For those unfamiliar with the idea, setting up straw men involves challenging people on things they never said. It’s an old and deep[y dishonest debating technique.

  69.  

    ‘Straw man going straight to the devil, straw man going straight to hell…’ for those unfamiliar with these lines they are written by Lou Reed and can be found on his song Straw Man on his wonderful New York LP [Apologies Any chance I get to spread the word of this magnificent piece of journo rock I jump at..I ve been doing it for years :) ]

    I guess what troubles me here Bock is where are all my straw men I can t see any…the devil is often in the detail as you well know..be a devil Bock and give us some :)

  70.  

    Sorry Bock but I have to disagree with you there: from my reading of Tommy‘s comment, he was not setting up Straw men, he wasn’t putting words in your mouth and then dismissing those words as illogical or poor argument, so far as I can see.

    Tommy was simply extrapolating on the point ( that I think is the central one) of exactly how much personal culpability we are going to assign to each individual consumer and Tommy used a variety other services/products, apart from the one that we’ve been discussing,- to highlight what he felt was ridiculous about your stated position on this, by applying the same high moral standard, that you’ve been advocating, to a variety of other situations.

  71.  

    The difference between the scenarios set out by Tommy, which imo are legit, and the hash scenario is that as appalling as Tommys scenarios are they are not illegal. McDs to the best of my knowledge have never murdered anyone, whether consuming their product caused death is another point. The scum controlling the supply of many illegal drugs in ths city and country have murdered other people. Consuming drugs puts money in their pockets.

  72.  

    Hence the desirability of moving Cannabis consumption into the category of ‘legal’. Steve at 53 suggested they would then move on to black-market shoelace distribution: a lot less lucrative, I’d imagine.

  73.  

    No 8. I m not having a pop as I can clearly see that we are ALMOST on the same page on this one. But All laws are social constructs and tend to be designed by the ruling class to ensure that they remain the ruling class. Change the ruling class these laws change with them. Some poor fucker at the end of the food chain [the toker] should not be responsible for the fact that the nicotine/drinks/fast food chains/gambling and bio chemical lobbys have the ruling class by the bollix after years of favours back handers and brown envelopes to such a point that legal and social policy is determined by profit and cronyism. There are people in prisons all over the world denied access to children children denied access to them for smoking a substance that you can find in a field now to me that s the real great hash debate worth entering into.

    @Darren Thank you Darren of course there were no straw men in my original comment.

  74.  

    Well cheers, but while I might not agree with Bock or the Captain‘s emphasis on requiring stringent moral responsibility from each individual, I’m loathe to pass complete responsibility onto a distant ‘ruling class’ either.

  75.  

    Nor I, but someone who doesnt factor in the sociological, political and cultural factors when it comes to most anything, including the plight of the scum bag and his inherited socioeconomic/political status for that matter, would be, in my opinion, misinformed at the very least. Not so sure I agree that they are a ‘distant ruling class’ tho…Those that are out of work and still expected to pay for the bankers folly through excessive VAT, household charges, and other stealth taxes that rip into their hard earned savings which they now use to put food on the table would disagree [laws of which are built by said ruling class to allow the banking crisis to happen without censure] In fact some would argue that the ruling class are very near indeed and usually arrive in the guise of a friendly postman with another warning to pay up or get cut off….. Apologies Bock I know that it could be argued that Ive strayed from the thread a tad mind you Kurt Lewin might argue differently. And I wouldn’t cross swords with Kurt :)

  76.  

    Darren » Here are two straw men. “The hash smoker is complicit with the murderers of Shane Geoghan’ cop out and he/she [the toker] should therefore feel personal guilt and shame as a result”

    Firstly, I did not say that smokers are complicit in the murder of Shane Geoghegan.

    Secondly, I did not say that anyone should feel personal shame or guilt.

    I can’t be bothered listing the rest of them.

  77.  

    Bock post 17

    Today, anyone buying dope is enriching the people who murdered Shane Geoghegan.

    Bock post 76

    Firstly, I did not say that smokers are complicit in the murder of Shane Geoghegan.

    Secondly, I did not say that anyone should feel personal shame or guilt.

    Perhaps not baldly stated but a forgivable mistake on Tommy‘s part to presume that this was what you were implying.

    Surely it’s more likely that he was simply misreading what was a clear implication as a stated fact rather than resorting to “an old and deep[y dishonest debating technique

    I don’t think you were being fair to the man.

  78.  

    @ Long John Silver: In theory I suppose you could make it anywhere. Apparently the hash is made by lightly threshing the plant, sieving the dislodged trichomes, or resin glands, pressing the resulting powder into a block, or any number of shapes if pressed by hand. How do I know this? Well, I was lent a book entitled, Hashish, written by one, Robert Connell Clarke. ISBN 0-929349-05-9. Cannabis history, trade and cultures are covered. I found it a fascinating read.

  79.  

    Tommy, could I point out to you some of the things this post is not about?

    They are

    Nicotine
    Drinks
    Fast food
    Gambling
    Bio-chemicals (apart from hash)
    Bankers

    Can you confine the discussion to what the post is about, please — cannabis?

    Otherwise we’ll end up talking a load of irrelevant shit.

  80.  

    Well to that end, why not do your bit to keep things on track by addressing any of the salient cannabis/ culpability related points, that have emerged here?

  81.  

    Darren. Please.

    I have only so much time in my day.

    To repeat. I did not say smokers are complicit in crime, so please don’t put those words in my mouth.

    As regards doing my bit, I think I go well beyond that. It doesn’t mean that I have to push myself on every comment.

  82.  

    Fairy nuff, but I just felt it was right to defend Tommy there, I reckon he had a fair point in comment 67 and the words you felt he’d put in your mouth he’d actually attributed to ‘concerned citizens’.

  83.  

    I may well decide to disable the comment-editing function.

  84.  

    Um.. well thanks for that contribution Bock, I may well decide to hoover the sitting room tomorrow:

    Sheesh!

    Way to partake in a debate and eschew all ‘irrelevant shite’.

    Goodnight.

  85.  

    @ Darren It s his party Darren and he ll etc etc etc

    I still feel you put forward a damn fine argument perhaps too fine … I’m surprised you hung around after the good Cap’n was allowed to lob the following bunch of straw men [c 20] your way to be honest

    ‘Darren, can you actually address the point? Is it possible for you? This is something that alters your consciousness, albeit temporarily. It’s not the answer to everything. It’s lovely. It’s fun. It does NOT make you better than anyone else. It does NOT make you suddenly understand life.’

    I took a good old scan there and can t find anything you said that might have remotely implied that you thought for a second that smoking hash made you better or understand life.

    @Bock Like Darren said I referred to concerned citizens not you when I spoke of it being mentioned that hash smokers being complicit in their crimes by buying hash from them.

    [C 24] ‘If youre buying hash from scumbags in order to exercise your right to smoke hash, you are complicit in their crimes because you are facilitating them with your cash. That is the point of the post.’

    And I agree of course they are [hash smokers that is] indirectly for the reasons given. However, my argument was that cause and effect are a lot more complicated than that and I believe I made some very fine arguments by giving some very fine examples made relevant to the post through association. I imagine it gets tiring on here as moderator when the likes of me can just drop in and out, and you re debating on a few fronts at the one time, But that’s the monster you built for yourself and irritation doesn’t always come from the outside in. But I don’t think you should get rid of the comment edit feature… paper trails are an important aspect of rigour that’s why politicians and bankers don’t like them.

  86.  

    tommy » If you have any concerns with the way comments are handled on this site, the appropriate place to express those concerns is in a private message to me.

    Refer to the comments policy here

  87.  

    Thanks Bock It was more akin to a suggestion than a concern to be honest, but were I to find myself concerned by anything to do with your comments I will in the future ensure that I PM you.

  88.  

    Tommy — That’s not my point. Some time back we had quite a lot of trouble with two commenters discussing site policy in the public forum. I’m not aware of any site where that’s acceptable.

  89.  

    Cool I didn’t know that.

  90.  

    It’s like discussing somebody’s taste in wallpaper while you’re visiting his house. Basic manners.

  91.  

    Something to One man may be manners to another they may be rules… they are not not universal truths…you can slag my wall paper choice any time you want Kid ;)

  92.  

    Tommy — Because this is relevant to all posts on the site, I’ll have to elaborate. After that we’ll leave it alone.

    I’m aware of no website that puts its management policies up for public discussion on the open forum. I understand the song- reference behind “It’s his party”. It’s a snide sort of comment, hinting that decisions are based on petulant outbursts and I would like people to understand that the site policy here has evolved from a great deal of thought. It will continue to evolve and I’m open to any suggestions people might have.

    Maintaining the site fresh requires considerable effort, which costs you nothing, and therefore I take great exception to people saying things like “It’s his party” and “It’s his ball” when they don’t have to put in any work to keep the site alive.

  93.  

    Fair enough Bock my intention was not to underestimate or discredit your work nor do I think I have done …I stand over every comment I have made on this thread as being reasonable and fair based on my interpretation of what is being discussed at any given time. And I will leave it that also. keep up the good work.

  94.  

    As a debate, I have to say that this was far from satisfactory: Bock initiated it, but never hardly participated except to say that I think we’d all agree that cannabis should be legalised to remove the illegality and criminality associated with it. comment 17 (when nobody clearly had ‘agreed’ with that notion up to that point).

    And then popped in and out, like the busy man he is, without time to either refute or clarify properly ( except mainly on points of internetiquette) what his stand actually was, if it was not the exact same as Cp’n Purplehead.

    I felt, and maybe I’m wrong, but I felt that from all the subsequent input (and maybe I missed it), I never got a full and clear picture of where you stand and what the post was about for you Bock.

    Any’hoo… what has most intrigued me, reading back over it- is this comment by Steve:
    The legalisation issue, I’d love to debate another time because as I previously mentioned, with the status quo you simply can’t make it legal any time soon.

    Frankly, I know nothing about the ‘status quo’ and would genuinely appreciate Steve coming back and elaborating on this: I know the history of why its illegal in america, ( Anslinger’s self-promotion, Nixon’s ‘law and order’ ticket and the Carter administration scandal), but I have no idea why it’s a political impossibility in this country.
    I’m honestly bewildered by this.
    If you ever do have the time Steve: please put your thoughts down here. You may find only one reader of what you have to say: but I assure you , he will be an avid one.

  95.  

    I’m on a loser here no matter what I do. If I jump in on every comment, people will say I’m trying to dominate the discussion. If I stand back they’ll accuse me of not participating.

  96.  

    “I’m on a loser here”.. many a time I’ve thought that.

    “As a debate, I have to say that this was far from satisfactory”
    You seem a bit displeased all right Darren.

  97.  

    Erah, just a bit dissatisfied.

  98.  

    Darren. Is that not the meaning of the process of “debate” the result being ” dissatisfaction ” ? In that is, what makes us think…..

  99.  

    Indeed, and it did make me think, about piety, prejudice, responsibility, the point of argument in the first place.

    This conversation pointed me towards information I otherwise would not know: ( Young Fine Gael have apparently adopted decriminalistion as policy, and ‘ Europe against drugs’ is an organisation based in Dublin, for example).
    Me own beef, if I have a beef, is that at the end of the whole thing, it’s hard to distinguish the salient points.

    Is it cool to get ‘holier-than-thou’ with some random who offers to share with you their particular vice, or not?

    Fundamentally, I guess, whole thing smelt of a ‘my back yard’ thing to me: Blood diamonds, or sugar, coffee, pharmaceuticals,-it’s a sad fact that nowadays it’s difficult to consume anything and evade the accusation of funding some utter shit-bag somewhere.

    Having read over the debate I ended up concluding that the real reason, and perhaps the only reason, that hash consumption excited the original moral outrage it did is because some of it’s scumbag warlord benefactors live among us and around us.

    And,if true, that makes the whole point kinda provincial, and sadly myopic.

    To me.

    I hoped there was another reason.

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