Show but don’t Tell

By DeusExMacintosh

Four nine-year-old boys have been suspended from their Lancashire primary school after being found with cannabis.

The children were found with a small amount of the class B drug at Cherry Fold Community Primary School in Burnley on Friday.

Police spoke to the boys and their parents and issued them with youth referral orders. Deanne Marsh, acting head, said the pupils were “currently not at school while investigations are carried out”…

There is no evidence pupils were dealing the drug, which was in plant form, a Lancashire County Council spokesman said.

BBC News

“And this is one of my Daddy’s SPECIAL plants…”

15 Comments

  1. PAUL WALTER
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    It’s down to me.
    The thread has received so little support compered to its contemporary; the rape (no pun intended) thread, that someone is forced to redress the imbalance/
    It would have been better if there could have been a joint approach, but I should pipe down, I suppose, or something like that. Too much a case of “pot calling kettle black”.
    Dammit now, am making a real hash of this post. Do you think I should use my head more?
    What about the nasty forces corrupting those innocent little boys. Could have been a head master?
    Beyond all rhyme or resin, this one..the tragedy is encapsulated in the old Rod Stewart song and the immortal line,
    “The glad bags and the zip bags,
    that your poor ol grandad had to sweat
    to buy you”?
    But as to the four lads, I must save up to go to Britain to speak with these, have always wondered how drug lords feel. Altho this might might require a little stalking, tho the seed is obviously there.
    Darling buds of Maym ahem(p).

  2. Posted October 15, 2010 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    I have a mental image of four small boys turning up at school with four ‘pot plants’ and a very interesting show and tell topic!

  3. Posted October 15, 2010 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    I’m wondering whether they were still in pots, ripped-out chunks of plant, or prepared for smoking.

    If they were plant bits ripped from a garden, there are many more dangerous and interesting-looking plants to bring to school that little kids might put into their mouths. (foxglove for example, chockers with digitalis), let alone bits that might be covered in pesticides.

    Ditto the dangers from almost every other controlled substance. A bag of “lollies” that were uppers could lead to tragedy.

    The possibility of actual harm, apart from a little disorientation was nil.

    Suspension, for four yo kids did, with no possibility harm to anyone, with near zero probability there was guilty intent? Dumb. Punishing the victim.

  4. Patrick
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I have fluctuated between a lot of different positions on this in my life. I tend now to think that it should be unconditionally decriminalised at the least. However, I am increasingly conscious that even alcohol is grossly abused by far too many and is a significant contributor to sedentary death syndrome (which is what most people we know will die from, be it called cancer, alzheimer’s, diabetes or what have you).

    So now whilst I tend to parrot my earlier convictions on decriminalisation there is not much conviction actually there.

  5. Henry2
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Hi All,

    LE and Patrick. Having worked with and housed moderate to heavy users of dope, I have come away against it. When habitual drugs become something that is more important than food and rent to the user, they will never be able to get themselves out of the poverty cycle.
    Regards,

    Frank

  6. Posted October 15, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    [email protected],5,6

    It’s worth noting that recent research makes a lot of sense of the difference between the psychologically benign strains of the 60s and the dangers of overuse now. It’s not that people are smoking stronger stuff now, it’s the way newer strains have not increased the strength of all the cannabinoids, but metabolic pathways have been diverted away from cannabidiol to cannabinol – the ratio of the two is important, with cannabidiol seeming to be psychologically protective of a number of problems, including the problems chronic high doses cannabinol causes.

    I’m in favor of proper regulation (with tax) that takes into account the concentration of the different forms, with strains and product having high cannabidiol lightly regulated, but heavy control over low cannabidiol strains. (There might be another excerpt about this from SL’s novel, perhaps).

    But, back to the boys. They were punished by the school when there was no risk to anyone at the school, and at ages unlikely to understand what they’d done. The only chance of any harm from their actions was if they’d taken the last of granny’s medicinal use stuff for any of the range of conditions granny would be allowed it in more civilized countries. (I’m just coming out of a week of hell from side effects of drugs that would be at lower doses if cannabinoids were available as an adjunct therapy – the sort of side effects that can turn lethal relatively quickly).

    I must wonder why the boys were punished so harshly given that (a) there was no chance of harm to anyone and (b) at that age, the boys wouldn’t know the difference between one smelly herb and another.

    Was there some form of moral panic?

  7. Posted October 15, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Frank, exactly the same is true of alcohol which is a lot more freely available and therefore likely to be causing more damage to wider society.

    In the UK we’ve had the interesting decision by the government that scientists are apparently the WRONG people to ask about the risks from drugs after the sacking of Professor David Nutt from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs which is designed to guide government policy. The grounds for his sacking was that his advice “went beyond scientific facts and into the realms of attempting to change policy” (which I rather thought was his JOB…)

    Nutt had the temerity to point out that horseriding kills more people but no one would dream of banning IT and asking what exactly is the basis for our decision-making if it’s not risk?

  8. Posted October 15, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    [email protected]: The Nutt episode was more than a sacking, a lot on that board resigned in protest (More links on that and related cases here).

    In this case of a failure of evidence-based policy, and just with a focus on toxicology rather than support for Nutt from sociologists and economists, there is an outdated, but useful still metric called the LD50, roughly the amount that will kill you divided by the amount you need to get the effect you want. Alcohol=10 (0.5 you are dead, 0.05 merry), paracetamol=25, aspirin=50, cannabis=1000. It’s physically impossible to kill yourself with cannabis unless you have a condom full of hash oil rupture in your gut, or you whip yourself to do death with a large stalk.

    I remember cops in Warrnambool saying they hated doing a cannabis bust, because it meant the heavier smokers would turn to alcohol, and in a few days they’d be knocking on a door in the middle of the night to tell a parent their child was dead or seriously injured.

    The failure to have consistent policy, regulation proportional to risk, on psychoactives means the regulations cannot adapt to a newly invented compound, and cannot deal easily with combinations of legal drugs with behavioural effects when it comes to driving.

    The Nutt episode means that policy has no guiding principle – is guaranteed to screw up on stated aims, which means one must question what the real aims of the regulations are: it’s another domain where I suspect to sole /real/ aim is to allow politicians to appear hairy chested, just like mandatory sentencing, those UK rules meaning you can get jail without trial for being too vocal when bonking in your bedroom, or the stuff going on with DEM’s recent threads on demonizing the disabled.

    If politicians won’t follow evidence, won’t state their real objectives, then the entire political system is fundamentally flawed, and intelligent good hearted folk of left and right have no reason to bother making their case.

    Liberal democracies are supposed to avoid arbitrary ex cathedra dictates, aren’t they?

  9. Posted October 15, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    t’s worth noting that recent research makes a lot of sense of the difference between the psychologically benign strains of the 60s and the dangers of overuse now. It’s not that people are smoking stronger stuff now, it’s the way newer strains have not increased the strength of all the cannabinoids, but metabolic pathways have been diverted away from cannabidiol to cannabinol – the ratio of the two is important, with cannabidiol seeming to be psychologically protective of a number of problems, including the problems chronic high doses cannabinol causes.

    The strength of pot has increased, mainly through increased THC and decreased CBD. I have a fascinating article in my archives highlighting how THC may promote schizotypal symptoms but CBD can ameliorate it. CBD is mainly working on the CB2 receptor, which exists on immune cells not neurons. So it is fascinating to consider that CBD may have anti-psychotic properties because given the association of inflammation with psychosis, and that CBD is a potent antioxidant(better than Vits C or E, as is THC) and because CB2 receptor occupation reduces inflammatory immune mediators(and, incidentally, plays a cardinal role in limiting autoimmunity). Additionally, given that cannabinoids demonstrate remarkable neuroprotective qualities, and 3 research pieces I found 3 days ago showing how schizophrenics who smoked pot scored better on various cognitive measures, and that schizophrenia often involves tissue loss, and some other research showing that pot smoking can increase some forms of cognition, one has to consider the possibility that very moderate consumption of pot, say once or twice a week, may well be one of the best ways to keep the aging brain healthy; particularly given other research in my archives showing that cannabinoids are quite good at limiting the inflammation and toxicity arising from beta amyloid.

  10. Posted October 15, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] Re brains, oldies and cannabinoids… Saw that… It’s been bubbling away for quite a few years, but no advances for patients because the compounds that work still have the “side effect” of being too much fun for oldies. Like they can’t use a giggle and something for their arthritis (and possibly even asthma!)

    I note that the cannabinoid/anandamide guru, Raphael Mechoulam, is eighty, and was still publishing last year, still getting authorship of papers in Nature a couple of years ago. So there is some evidence long-term constant exposure to cannabis (or at least thinking about it) can keep a mind world-class decades after most people retire. I must wonder if he just /thought/ about it, or whether he was an experimental subject at least once.

  11. PAUL WALTER
    Posted October 16, 2010 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    Just reading between the lines, am tempted to take it up seriously. More the merrier should promote genius within me, ascending from the current nadir to the point of font of wisdom, for the rest of my life?
    Hey wow, man!

  12. Posted October 16, 2010 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    Onya Paul!

    There are worse ways to have fun 😉

  13. PAUL WALTER
    Posted October 16, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    And better…

  14. Posted October 16, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    [email protected]: but some ways of having fun that are considered better might require, in geriatrics, bit hits of viagra… far more problematic for dicky hearts, arthritic backs and incompatible with bedpans in nursing homes…. Anyway with the beta amyloid clogging the memory, you’d be left with the pain of a slipped disc but forget whatever fun made it slip.

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