Drug Policy

Smoke Pot, Go Crazy, Sell Children


Wonkette mocks Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) for responding to an inquiry about the federal ban on the medical use of marijuana with a form letter (originally noted by NORML) that mentions "the small child whose parents are so addicted to illegal drugs that they sell everything including perhaps their own children to obtain a fix":

Harkin knows the routine: smoke up, eat gyro, play Legend of Zelda, sell children to pirates for more pot, repeat.  

Yet Harkin's carelessly worded letter is truer than he realizes (italics added):

The victims of the drug war are many—the small child whose parents are so addicted to illegal drugs that they sell everything including perhaps their own children to obtain a fix; the police officer's family which must now learn to cope with the loss of their loved one as a result of a violent drug bust gone awry.

Without giving too much credence to a story that Harkin's ghostwriter almost certainly invented out of whole cloth, let it be noted that, if a couple of drug addicts were driven to sell their own children out of economic desperation, "the drug war" would indeed share the blame, since it makes drugs much more expensive than they otherwise would be. And it's certainly true that police officers would not be dying while trying to enforce the drug laws if there were no drug laws to enforce. But that's probably not what Harkin meant to say.

Lest you think that Americans have a monopoly on anti-pot idiocy, NORML also notes the ongoing British propaganda war against "skunk," the scare term that drug warriors and their journalistic enablers in the U.K. use for especially potent marijuana. "British police and news reporters have blamed everything from psychosis and suicide to criminal acts like rape and murder on the after-effects of smoking 'skunk,'" writes NORML's Paul Armentano. In the latest example of the stink over skunk, BBC3 plans to run a documentary in which submersive journalist Nicky Taylor has herself injected with THC, which the Telegraph describes as "the main component of 'skunk' cannabis," at a laboratory where "scientists are running tests to analyse claims that skunk cannabis, which accounts for 80 per cent of the drug sold on the street, causes psychosis."

Since THC is the main psychoactive chemical in all marijuana, such tests will demonstrate nothing peculiar to the "skunk" variety (which, pace the Telegraph, seems to account for a small share of the total market) and are hardly a good measure of the average recreational pot smoker's experience. At best, they will demonstrate what can happen when you inject pure THC in a laboratory while trying to demonstrate how bad marijuana is. For Taylor, an anonymous source tells the Telegraph, the exerience was "dramatic" and "unpleasant." The BBC promises that "the film unequivocally highlights the risks of consuming the drug."

Examples of skunk hysteria here, here, and here.

NEXT: Reason Comes to Al Jazeera

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  1. I’m embarrassed he is from Iowa.

  2. The only “unpleasant” time I ever had due to weed was the time I ate 7 or 8 special cookies and found myself some time later lying in bed, shaking and staring at the ceiling. Someone needs to give this Taylor a high dose of DXM or something, so she can see what unpleasant really is.

  3. Tom “Ethanol Whore” Harkin ties in my book with Ted Stevens for worst Senator.

  4. I’ve got an 18 month old for sale. Cheap. $200 or best offer.

  5. The good news is that Tom Harkin (one of the most liberal senators) generally cancels out Chuck Grassely (one of the most conservative).

    The bad new is that Tom Harkin is Tom Harkin.

  6. For Taylor, an anonymous source tells the Telegraph, the exerience was “dramatic” and “unpleasant.”

    Maybe if she’d consumed it through some other means other than direct injection. This might also explain why she does not currently smoke pot.

  7. “skunk,” the scare term that drug warriors and their journalistic enablers in the U.K. use for especially potent marijuana

    Doesn’t ‘skunk’ mean especially *weak* weed over here? or am i thinking of ‘shwag’

  8. not a smoker hence my ignorance

  9. What would happen if you were injected with pure alcohol,or orange juice for that matter?How can this be deemed credible by anyone?

  10. Michael Pack –
    It doesn’t have to be credible, just scary

  11. I propose that we do a study on the dangers of comsuming apples by shoving them, whole, in large quantities, up a journalist’s rectum.

  12. I think it’s plain stupid.Why not inject a stout in you veins and see what happens.Almost all FOODS have ingredients that are toxic in pure form.

  13. Some people apparently enjoy this, but I found it to be a dramatic and unpleasant experience. Because of my experience, you should conclude that your fears are jusified, and treat your children with contempt if you think they’d even consider trying an apple.

    Next week I’ll try the variation on apples they call “cider” by letting it ferment and pouring it in my eye

  14. Michael, absolutely every chemical that exists is toxic at some dose.

  15. Warty,Don’t you know chemicals are only man made or in drugs.There put there for profit or to get high.Nature knows better.[wink wink]

  16. Michael Peck,

    What would happen if you were injected with pure alcohol,or orange juice for that matter? How can this be deemed credible by anyone?

    Anything that doesn’t closely match the Ph and ionic balance of the body tares things up when injected and hurts like hell. Distilled water can provoke painful muscle cramps and destroys red blood cells.

    Enough THC would provoke psychosis but I strongly doubt anyone could smoke enough to reach that level. All the reports to THC related psychosis that I have seen examined in detail turn out to be related to other drugs either taken or withdrawn or a preexisting mental disorder.

    Claiming that the “new” majiuana on the street represents an unprecedented danger is a long tradition dating back to the 1920’s. It’s never judged true in hindsight.

  17. Marijuana is responsible for the rise of jazz music, and will make an honest negro lust after white women and step on a white man’s shadow

    I think we have heard these arguments before.

    Fucking douches. Same rascist/control freak overlords, new scare tactics

  18. So they sell their children to asians to be eaten. Are you serious? And white women who smoke dope sleep with black jazz musicians, and black men smoke “pot” (code word for n*gger weed) think they are as good as white men, and cannabis is refered to as marijuana because it sounds like the heathen brown race from south of the border.

    Are you kidding me? When is this racist “drug war on people” going to end?

    In Jesus name, when?

  19. “Do your children enjoy jazz music? For I am here to tell you that Cab Calloway, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, and the whole weed-blowing ginger-colored lot are merely masquerading as musicians and are, in fact, agents of evil. Reefer slows down the smoker’s sense of time, allowing him to squeeze in unnecessary grace notes, giving this voodoo music the power to hypnotize white women into indulging in acts of unspeakable degradation”

    – Only the greatest musical on earth
    Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical

  20. Ramsey-

    “Remember, the reefer makes beaners and spics think their as good as white men!”–Roosevelt’s Drug Czar

  21. I don’t smoke the devil’s weed, but maybe if I did I wouldn’t get so pissed off at the rationals for making it illegal. Sort of a chicken and egg thing I guess. Stupid chemical engineering preventing me from smoking myself retarded. My blood pressure would sure benefit.

    If they just came out an said “We don’t want people to have fun injesting plants” I would actually respect them more than I do now, but that does not sell nearly as well as “OH NOES! Think of the children!”

  22. My favorite example of drug hysteria is the old NYT story about Negro cocaine fiends. I think I love it so much for its old timey feel.

  23. If they just need to ban a plant, may I suggest the cucumber. Filthy green cock of Satan. Ruiner of countless Middle Eastern dishes. Defiler of gazpacho. Vile corrupter of sushi rolls.

    No recipe is improved with the taste of freshly mowed ass.

  24. SugarFree,

    Without the cucumber, where would pickles come from?

  25. I’m sorry robc, but SugarFree is right. The cucumber must go and for precisely the reasons mentioned.

  26. I’ve got a 4 yr old I’ll sell cheap…then you can pay me a lot to take her back.

  27. Also, without the cucumber, you couldnt make a Screaming Viking (I prefer my cucumber bruised).

  28. Red Foreman got high and sold Eric’s Vista Cruiser.

  29. Warty,

    That NYT story is hilarious! Why doesn’t the Times have more stories by Edward Huntington Williams, M.D.? Fire Maureen Dowd and Paul Krugman, and give us more Doc Williams. I’d even subscribe.

  30. I have no problem with the pickle. The cucumber, while evil, transforms into wonderfulness under the influence of brine. As do whores.

    And, if you put pickles in my Fatoush salad, I would have no complaints.

  31. Also, without the cucumber, you couldnt make a Screaming Viking (I prefer my cucumber bruised).


    (I thought I was the only one who remembered that episode.)

  32. How much weed can you get for a kid these days, anyway? Is there a sliding scale based on ethnicity (of the child, not the weed)?

    I think “skunk” is a British catch-all for good indoor-grown weed. And “fag” apparently means cigarette, whereas here smoking a fag would be a hate crime. They really to learn English over there.

  33. Any children who are sold for drug money are clearly undervalued in that particular household; any buyer will be more likely to get better use out of them.
    The market works.

  34. Ever heard of Salvia? Its sage.

    Some kids smoke it, have a short bad trip, and never do hallucinogens again. So why does the government want to make it illegal?

    Because its Mexican. As in Mexican sage.

    I’m not kidding.

  35. There’s just no truth to the claim that marijuana is expensive because it is illegal. Clearly, this is not something that can be grown in a dormroom closet or someone’s backyard. In fact, it is sometimes called “weed” as an ironic twist in reference to just how difficult it is to grow the stuff. It takes hundreds of dollars worth of pesticides, special soil, and carefully-filtered water to make marijuana. And that’s not to mention the fact that extreme caution must be taken in the transportation of such a delicate drug. I’m aware that some refer to it as “hippie lettuce” which is apt, considering the fact that transporting such a thing involves multimillion-dollar agricultural businesses using refrigerated trucks. A small shipment of that stuff is probably equal in value to an entire elementary classroom full of children.

    Can I be the new Drug Czar spokesman?

  36. Leave it to a former reason intern to answer this question:

    “Skunk” is a term for a particular type of potent cannabis buds. Skunk, strictly-speaking, is an Indica (more body high, shorter, bushier plant) strain with an average THC content of 15-20% (very good).

    Moreover, there are now many variations of the original “Skunk” strain of canabis indica. See: Skunk #1 (the so-called “Cheese” strain).

    Check out http://www.barneysfarm.com for more info.

    The earlier poster who asked if “Skunk” is, in fact, a term for poor quality buds did have “Skunk” confused with “schwag,” which nobody in their right mind should touch.

    Salvia divinorum is THE WORST substance of this Earth! If you want ids to stay off of drugs, give them some Salvia and tell them this is what cannabis, hash, and LSD are all like – but worse.

  37. “The BBC promises that “the film unequivocally highlights the risks lengths busybodies are willing to lie about of consuming responsible use of the drug.”

    There, fixed it for everyone.

  38. Well, in Bushwick, skunk is code for “shitty weed to sell to white kids.”

    No, sorry, that’s “chocolate.”

  39. Yeah salvia sucks… I tried it and it was terrible. I felt a little disembodied (most likely oxygen deprivation) and had a feeling of extreme irritation for two hours.

  40. Salvia divinorum is THE WORST substance of this Earth!

    it’s definitely the weirdest.

    10x extract for the wtf.

  41. stop it! stop it!

    You all think it’s FUNNY!! How many of YOU were raised by Weed Pirates??

    It’s not easy growing up when your self worth is measured by the 1/4 OZ!

    WHY MOMMY WHY!!! And dont give me that “start dark side of the moon on at the same time as wht wizard of oz, and…” bullshit!!

  42. Salvia is horrific while at the same time pretty much harmless. I loaded a bong with 10x extract and took one big hit. For about five minutes I was sucked into a black hole and felt like I no longer had a body or sense of self. They don’t need to ban it, all they need to do is make every kid smoke it once and they will never touch it again.

  43. I’m going to prove to everyone how bad oxygen is by injecting it directly into my arm.

  44. javier | March 5, 2008, 2:19pm | #
    I’m embarrassed he is from Iowa.

    Fred Grandy?

  45. “the small child whose parents are so addicted to illegal drugs that they sell everything including perhaps their own children to obtain a fix”

    The simple market solution, of course, would be to purchase said children, thus removing them from the damaging environment, and put them up for adoption. If you think that sounds weird, consider that the WoD solution is to incarcerate their parents and let the kids languish in state care for the years it takes to sever the parental relationship.

    I’ve got an 18 month old for sale. Cheap. $200 or best offer.

    Hang in there. It gets better when they turn 26.

  46. To those with kids on offer:

    Do they come with the seasoning packets?

  47. Our government are run by pandering morons!

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