When I say ‘justice system’ what is the first word that springs to mind?
I suppose it depends which side of the fence you conduct your business and whether or not you have been let down by the legal system. It depends on whether you read the news, the ‘real’ news not the biased propaganda regurgitated by our usual tabloids.
I can’t say that I have had a good relationship with authority figures; part of my condition is an antisocial disorder that makes it difficult for me to be coerced into doing something, like listening to the police or the lawyers when they try to make you admit to something you know you haven’t done.
I’ve broken the law plenty of times. Technically, I break it every day by smoking marijuana but this is a law that I don’t even recognise. Consequently. I will never listen to the authorities when they try to force me to stop as I know the drug is providing respite and relief from intrusive thoughts and compulsions. It is a medicine and they can fuck off if they think I’m giving up for the sake of political conformity. It’s a no-brainer as marijuana is the only drug that I have found that subdues tics and compulsive thoughts immediately; no waiting period, no passing Go and collecting two-hundred. You smoke and you feel instant relief. It truly is a marvellous medicine and you don’t need to be George to figure that one out.
I’m not hurting anybody and if they let me grow it myself, then it’s a self-contained enterprise that benefits me and nobody else. No dealers get rich off me and I save money in the long-term as the doctor’s refuse to give me the standardised THC medication readily available on the NHS (you need to be terminally ill and have an expiry date for them to let you get high on this particularly effective medication).
I am open and honest about my use of marijuana, trying to make others see the benefit that it has on me. Not only does it calm explosive moods but it enables the thoughts to be ‘filed’ in a standardised and easier-to-handle way. My brain doesn’t feel like eighty conversations are happening at once, it doesn’t feel like something is trying to burst out from inside the meat of my mind. I still twitch and say the odd word, make gestures and have irrational thoughts but with the use of marijuana, I become self-aware and find myself analysing my behaviour and trying to proactively understand myself better. I want to investigate my psyche and often study or write about things to help me learn more about my thinking.
Pick a drug or a solvent that induces euphoria and the likelihood is that I’ve abused it.
Glue, Tipex thinner, petrol, aerosols, methylated spirits, green fire extinguisher and those were just the things I could find in the house.
I disproved every myth by smoking nutmeg, banana skins and so-called ‘legal highs'(nothing like today’s versions that do actually work), in fact anything that peers told me I could get high off, I tried.
Alcohol, crack Cocaine, Methamphetamine, LSD, Heroin, MDMA….
The list is extensive. I drank perfume and aftershave, even shook up fizzy-pop and breathed in the CO2 to give myself a knockout boost. I kept a lot of my abuse hidden for fear of being ridiculed by my peers but indulged freely with them in other drugs and toxins, the more ‘acceptable’ ones (certainly not the aerosols which made people laugh at me at school when I started hitting the Lynx).
I home-brewed, I experimented and it was all to find a socially and personally accepted chemical that would alter my personality for the better, take away the negativity and imbue me with good characteristics. Eventually, I settled on alcohol for its availability and instant effect and whilst I was on this self-destructive course, I did actually manage to limp through life undetected as an addict, my skills at deceit already honed through years of lying to myself and others.
I wish I could give a masterclass in lying but it’s not a positive aspect of personality, there is no pride to be taken from such duplicity. I might try to discuss how to spot a liar instead as the old adage is true: you can’t bullshit a bullshitter. Liars are good at spotting other liars just as thieves can identify another thief just by mannerisms alone. I’ll discuss this in a later blog. The psychology of lying is fascinating.
Ultimately, drinking alcohol was killing me but after I stopped all drugs completely, I found the madness unbearable.
There was a period of calm after I quit alcohol where I felt almost loosely untethered, as if I was floating through life. I obsessed about cycling and pushed myself so far that I made myself chronically dehydrated to the point of hospitalization. You see, one the Tourette’s-mind finds an outlet for its frenetic energy, it seizes it and obsesses.
My sister, also a sufferer of full-blown Tourette’s goes to the gym for at least three hours a day, every day without fail and has done for the last few years. If she carries on, she’ll look like a walking haemorrhage, veins popping out everywhere like an angry muscle. Her outlet is weightlifting and training (although she has no idea what she’s ‘training’ for) and she has grasped it as it provides her with a temporary release from disorganised thought.
Through her obsessive training, she has made herself repeatedly ill yet will not lower her session times or attempt to break the routine for the sake of her health.
I can’t say a fucking thing; I smoke weed religiously just so that I don’t have to deal with my personality disorders. We both have our different outlets although mine might be a speedier ticket to the grave than hers (but I doubt it, given my body’s resilience to toxins). I’ll discuss my hypothesis on ‘genetic alcoholics’ later and how some of them defy the laws of biology by continuing to exist well into their eighties on a diet of alcohol and tobacco. Imagine how long they’d last without the toxins?!
A friend of mine is in court soon on charges of cultivating marijuana for distribution. Fair enough, they found cash and young seedlings growing in the property along with plastic-bags, scales and a quantity of herb. He isn’t denying the fact that he was hoarding marijuana for his own personal benefit. In fact, due to his magnanimous nature he freely shares the weed with others and the house is somewhat of a counselling clinic where troubled neighbours can drop by, have a smoke and a coffee (no alcohol, of course) and discuss their worries. A problem shared is a problem halved and I can say that he has given me invaluable advice in the past as well as enabling me to enjoy the mental release associated with marijuana at no cost.
I don’t see this as a breach of moral and social law yet it is obviously condemned by the justice system as marijuana is a controlled substance (probably still at Class B) that is prohibited under UK law. European law says different but as we are now moving from the European mindset, we can expect this archaic veto to remain in place forever despite the US and most of Europe allowing the measured cultivation and recreational use of marijuana.
This gentleman may lose his home under the guidelines of the tenancy agreement if he is found guilty of possession with intent to distribute (for tax-exempt financial gain). He has two children and their family model is one of child-focus. The kids are exemplary, well-disciplined and happy despite the housing estate being disreputable and the family being on a low-income. If anything reflects the character of a person, it’s the way their children behave and think.
The courts have my name and details and frequent messages asking if I can ‘come round for a chat’ or if he ‘had anything’. It made me laugh how they photocopied sheets of text messages then systematically annotated them like a GSCE English report, drawing lines under the words and stating that these were a metaphor or code for drugs. they went into quite a lot of detail and I imagine it musty have taken some man-hours for that pointless reference to be written
Well, fuck me, Sherlock! Give yourself a promotion for that cracking detective work. Of course I asked for drugs but I’m hardly going to wave a fucking flag and erect a neon sign pointing directly at the house. The police think that they have busted some kind of ‘drugs ring’, no doubt but as their evidence shows, the amount of alleged ‘customers’ is few, limited to people like myself and others.
Drug dealers don’t rely on limited customers, they expand as much as possible to get rid of the weed and transform it into cash. Their houses are revolving doors of hoods and baseball caps, of twenty-second visits and youths lingering on the street outside. Trainers hang from telegraph wires, debris and button-bags waft up and down the pavement. These are the elements missing from this case.
If marijuana were legally accepted by British society, this man would not be a criminal. To many, he is by virtue of the greenery.
I can say with authority that, had this man not extended his gratitude then I may have suffered a financial and emotional breakdown. Weed is by far one of the most expensive drugs to use. The base product is at least ten pounds per gram and that does not include cigarettes and rolling papers. ‘When you add it up, to have a decent smoke costs over fifteen pounds. If you smoke a gram per day and spread out the paraphernalia across the week, it equates to about a hundred pounds. Still, its cheaper than most non-effective antidepressants and mood suppressants by gram and if it were legal, the costs would reduce significantly as the marijuana-growing and distribution enterprise became subject to taxation.
He saved me thousands over the years and I am grateful for this as I consider it a vital public service. The waiting lists for therapies, psychiatrists and even help with finances and housing are atrocious at the moment. The more high priority cases that come in, the more those at the back of the queue are shunted further down the list. Not everybody that visited this man partook of marijuana, some just dropped in for a general chat, such is the socially welcoming nature of the family.
How is this a crime, might I ask?
Let me tell you what the real crime is here. It’s the waste of police time in arresting and processing this man’s charge, in them confiscating his phone and making him miss appointments and important calls for a good month or two. It’s the costs of legal aid on the already strained Home Office budgets or maybe charitable trusts are involved in funding these agencies when they represent a client? It’s certainly not free; someone picks up the tab and it’s usually the taxpayer. The case had ground on for over a year so the costs must be staggering and that’s not even counting the added expense of judge and jury for a trial. Barrister fees are staggering, I know from personal experience but luckily, all you hard-working Joe’s and Moe’s out there are paying for this man’s kangaroo-court charade so that’s okay.
If he is found guilty, he will go to prison and this will have an untold negative effect oin his children and partner. Not only that, they stand to lose the house in the event of a conviction.
Those without a heart or understanding of how poverty-affected housing microcosms work may well judge this man and say ‘he knew the consequences, he shouldn’t have done it if he valued his freedoms’ and to those people I say, next time you inadvertently break the law by no alleged fault of your own, remember how you judged those in a similar situation and how you perceive your own ordeal to be ‘unjust’.
Once the wheels of prosecution grind, they cannot be stopped. Even if this was a different case, let’s say an assault and the victim suddenly retracted all blame, stating that the defendant (his own brother) had wilfully retrained him after he lost emotional control.
Even if a victim exonerates their antagonist, the CPS will prosecute regardless as a covenant of British law has been breached. The wishes of the victim become immaterial to the success of a conviction. It’s a ridiculous concept and we can apply it to a number of situations.
My friend and I robbed a house in our youth, the house of a known thief. I didn’t do it gain anything, all he lost was alcohol in cans; I did it to teach him a lesson about how it feels to be a victim of theft, to be robbed by your so-called ‘friends’ as he had done to others in our clique.
The victim was incensed, I was indifferent and actually couldn’t see the error of my ways apart from the pilfered alcohol. A point had been made, he felt violated and betrayed. It affected him quite deeply, I imagine as he was a proud and strong man. I was glad that I had made this happen but he would never understand the reasoning behind my actions so I just claimed alcoholism and apologised.
To cut a long story short, it went to Crown Court as a dwelling-burglary, a serious offence with a hefty custodial attached. Although the victim never forgave me (he was far too offended that a scrawny alcoholic Paki had dared to rob him), he forgave my co-defendant out of fear and respect. He approached the matter differently, my co-defendant. Instead of apologizing to the victim, he intimidated him with violence until he retracted the charges against him. although I shook my head in despair, it was quite a successful campaign and dragged the case out for nearly two years.
The victim couldn’t exonerate the co-defendant without exonerating me but he tried, nonetheless to separate us as two entities, levying guilt onto me and insisting that my co-defendant was ‘led astray’. It failed and he just agreed to retract everything. After all, it was only a few cans of Carling, not exactly the Crown Jewels and there had been no vandalism or forced entry.
The CPS refused this request immediately, to my surprise. Apparently, once the initial process of prosecution has started, there is no stopping it. Even if the affected parties, the plaintiffs decide that no crime has actually taken place, the CPS disagree and say it has.
It seems ludicrous and makes me think that if I stopped a man from killing himself by knocking him unconscious and received nothing but his gratitude, the police and the courts would still convict me of ABH and I would pay a fine to the man when in fact, he owes me his life, by his own admission.
European law is much more relaxed and subjective based in individual circumstances. There is a flexibility with apportioning guilt unlike the rigid, anal persistence of the British justice system. One costs have been incurred, then they won’t stop until they have been at least balanced. Legal officials get greedy, see an opportunity to exploit the system and make a quick buck. Everybody gets paid for convictions except the offender, of course.
My co-defendant and I were convicted of dwelling-burglary and not once was the victim asked to give any form of evidence. In fact, he was completely cut out of the proceedings despite his wishes for the case to be overturned. Even if he had legitimately wanted to halt the proceedings pout of genuine empathy, they would not have listened. They didn’t know he was being intimidated and it wouldn’t matter either way. The ball was rolling and it needed to drop into a slot in the game that had the highest payout for the CPS.
As it went, the case was a farce and a waste of everybody time. I got a menial non-custodial sentence because the judge couldn’t be bothered to read the long and complicated pre-sentence report justifying my actions and my ‘not guilty’ plea. My co-defendant got the same and eventually had his conviction squashed completely after partial serving. Mine dragged on for years as I failed to turn up for Community Service and not pay my fine, costing thousands more in Magistrate’s fees.
Nobody learned any lessons from it apart from that it’s better to resolve differences between yourselves rather than involving the courts. It didn’t teach me a lesson; I’ll continue to mete out justice to those that exploit the weak and vulnerable. The only justice applicable is for the offender to feel the victim’s pain and should be a mandatory part of rehabilitation.
In the case of my friend, there is no victim, only the sensibilities of the Justice System. They are behaving in the manner of a bullish gang, putting out the word in the street that anybody who dares to disagree with their principles will suffer harshly. They remind me of the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini and their over-inflated ego is not atypical of British humility.
I hope this gets read out at my friend’s hearing. I wish I could represent him but I lack legal qualifications. Pah, who needs those when you can explain everything from the perspective of the beneficiary? Mt friend has done no wrong, only perhaps to his own body through inhaling the smoke. The children are never around when these open-house debates are happening and if they are, marijuana is smoked outdoors. They live in a blissful ignorance and why shouldn’t they? I don’t know happier kids, to be honest and their routines and mannerisms speak volumes about proactive modern parenting.
Is it fair for this man to a./ lose the respect of society and his home and b./ be labelled as a criminal therefore affecting employment and possibly involving the Children’s Services?
I’m confused here. Let me tell you guys one important thing before I carry on; I am the epitome of British values. Skinheads and bigots everywhere will shit a brick in disgust at my claim but I’ll tell you this much; my values identify more with Britishness than any narrow-minded Nazi who thinks that racial integration is a curse.
It is an inevitability given the dynamic civilisation of societies. Do the bigots think that their enclaves of social structure are like closed bubbles, impervious to outside influences? You want to see where fascism gets you then take a read of the North Korean news (if you can access it given the strict censors). Mankind was meant to evolve and become diversified. It is part of the process of growing and remodelling. If this wasn’t the case, we’d all still be fucking slanty-foreheaded hominids with little intelligence. Think of racial diversity as refinement of the human race rather than saturation. From its mixed cultures, new ethics will grow with the next generations and maybe old grievances and rules can be reshaped to fit an evolving world.
British values encompass change and although we grumble, we see the benefits and adapt accordingly. We need to change because the world is changing. We cannot be left behind with an archaic set of beliefs and morals, hence why the Christian church has moved to change some of its ancient rhetoric.
Britishness is not religion-specific but it should take precedent over God. Britishness is taking charge of one’s opinions as the Empire did and Britishness is learning from one’s mistakes, as the Empire struggled to do and ultimately, the Government refuses to do.
It is the ethic that makes us politely respectful enough to say sorry even if it wasn’t our fault (which it usually is). Britishness is dignified humility, good sportsmanship and the ability to not recognize defeat but celebrate the success of others. It is the coda that makes us bid ‘good morning’ to a stranger and interject with a seemingly valued opinion when the conversation is private. It makes us want to help others, seeing not a race or religion but a human being in distress. Address the physiological needs first and the spiritual second, that should be the British ethic because Britishness is about self-awareness of one’s righteous self. Call it pride but I call it hypersensitivity. Words offend the British because Britishness is respect for language, for the building blocks of our unique form of expression. It is self-sufficiency (a nation of shopkeepers, they used to say) and recognition that the strong are not always from the strongest stock, that talent and greatness exists in the most surprising places.
Britshness is open-mindedness and consideration, it is evaluation and theory. Our Language, English is the most spoken language in the World. Our words are powerful and full of expression. We are not a nation of shopkeepers, we are a nation of philosophers and engineers. We craft our own futures with the (supposed) help of the British state that should recognize the diversity of its fold. We care for our own and others without compunction and it strains our Health and Welfare services. Because we embrace humanity and we are in touch with our own selves; we can empathise and project ourselves into the suffering of others.
We are innovators and creators, architects of mashed potaters’,
Instigators, mass debaters, say it right or see ya laters’,
Above all, we recognise those who support others and this is where the Justice System seems to fail in the example of my friend. He has not made a profit from marijuana or in any way furnished himself with luxury. The concepts of socialism are lost on this Government and it’s an unattainable target anyway due to human nature. The closest we will get is Communism and that’s just another form of autocracy as China and the former USSR can testify.
We don’t want that, we want a form of democracy that is fair and unbiased towards such factors as poverty and mental illness. My friend is not Howard Marks, he is an average family man wanting to share the love and I disagree heartily with the law on this one.
If they want to stop distribution level marijuana operations then legalize the drug therefore negating the need for a ‘black market’. Legitimise the growers and give them some economic standing, enable them to forge businesses and above all, tax that industry generating much-needed revenues for our shitty economy. Brexit is looming, what will we produce to keep our economy ticking over? We can’t just pass the same old money around else the damn thing won’t grow. It needs investment and export and foreign investors would be keen to get a piece of a growing national market, especially in its boom period before the inevitable staleness sets in as with any new venture.
If I had my own business, it would be an informal coffee shop with a restaurant attached next door on one side and a counselling service on the other for those who feel they need to discuss their use of the drug or maybe just get some general worries off their chest.
Unlike a pub, I would encourage the recreational but not excessive use of marijuana and would feel well placed to spot people who may be addicted and refer them to the counselling services next door. Like alcohol, marijuana is a mood enhancing drug yet unlike its fiery counterpart, it facilitates more introspect and awareness. The user is much more likely to want to talk and laugh rather than get fueled on aggression. Marijuana encourages openness and this is always a good thing but unlike beer (which also reduces inhibitions), one is more apt to discuss reasonably their feelings rather than rant them out in a drunken rage.
I don’t know any violent smokers. I can’t say whether they are paranoid or suffer delusions. They all seem to operate normally to me, keep their nose clean and their morals in check. I can only speak from my own personal experiences and to me, marijuana is a vital medicine that not only keeps me sane but enables me to be a functioning member of society.
I hope the law sees sense and exonerates my friend; I’m sure he would be reluctantly happy with a fine and a reminder about the abysmal state of the marijuana laws from a judge who probably agrees with my opinion, if he or she possesses any real strength of character. Remember, judges and magistrates believe that they walk a higher plane and if this is so, if they are truly gods then we all know that God is merciful and forgiving so let’s see a little bit of that divine forgiveness in court.
Family comes first then the material things.