Europe Flooded with Contaminated Cannabis

United Kingdom: England and Wales Flooded with Pot with tiny glass bits! Nationwide health hazard from contaminated cannabis. Prohibition directly responsible.

After putting all the major importers and producers of cannabis out of business last summer of 2006, the United Kingdon government and its ultra-secret drug war have caused a flood of hazardous pot to hit the Welsh and English cannabis markets.

FOR DISCUSSION & INFORMATION:
Please visit The CC Forums "Grit Weed" thread and the the UK Cannabis Internet Activists website.

The Legalise Cannabis Alliance has an excellent video about the contaminated "Grit Weed":

The timing clearly implicates the British or Welsh government authorities, by design or by prohibitionist policy, with the responsibility for the dangerous micro-glass contaminated pot, probably sprayed on the confiscated marijuana by government/police agencies and then flooding Britain -like the 1985 crack epidemic by the CIA in inner city Los Angeles and throughout USA- to create terror in the cannabis consuming community.

The UK government, no doubt responsible for the cause & effect of this terror, further refused to acknowledge the dangerous health impact on hundreds of thousands of British and Welsh working people, poor people, students, the medically ill, young people, all, no doubt, as part of the plan of terror.

These two videos (part 1, part 2) are from ITV [Independent Televisio]n in Wales, Great Britain. This well researched news piece shows the tragedy of prohibition.

Part One

Part Two

Go to the UK Cannabis Internet Activitists website for more information.

Here is what the UKCIA say:
It used to be assumed that herbal cannabis was unlikely to suffer from contamination but this is no longer true, the workings of prohibition have managed to create the economic circumstances which have lead to the mass contamination of supplies.
How did this happen? Before summer 2006 cannabis was readily available due to a number of large scale cannabis farms. Operation Keymer, which was widely trumpeted in the press, either busted them, or more likely sent most to ground, creating a shortage virtually over night. It wasn't long before this shortage was filled from another source, only this time the cannabis was contaminated.
How dangerous is this contamination? The answer to that is no-one knows, it's a totally unmeasurable unknown. The only sensible advice is really very simple:
Don't sell grit weed?Don't buy grit weed?Don't smoke grit weed
The only way to ensure you have pure cannabis is to grow it yourself or to know someone who does.
The government's warning is welcome, but of course it doesn't highlight the cause of the problem (their own policy) and tries to use the danger as an argument against cannabis use. Contamination isn't a problem caused by cannabis, it's a problem caused by the law.
As contaminated supplies are used as an indication of "success" for the war on drugs, it's clear that the government is happy to deliberately create extra unmeasuarable dangers in its effort to deter use - no other government policy sets out to do that. Yet the health warning was issued because the government accepts it has a duty of care to warn people about the danger it caused. Joined up policy making this isn't!
The contamination is a combination of crap,glass, sand, sugar, silicon spray, to add weight. The infidels that do this are criminals who have no interest in producing decent herbs, but making immoral profits. Or worse. Terror in the community.

The worrying thing is that this is a ticking bomb. Silicosis is something that will become prevelant in the future. Inhaling small microscopic silica causes it to lodge into lung tissue, and there ain't no way to get it out.

This is another reason for legalisation or at the very least decriminalisation. Not everyone can grow and not everyone wants to grow.

Legalisation would lead to proper regulation, without which, people are faced with dangers.

The situation in the UK is pretty dire. Cannabis production is mainly in the hands of criminal gangs. Whilst in places like Canada, the production is in the hands of people wanting to produce brilliant buds, competing with and trying to out do other farmers.

From the UK Guardian of Friday, January 12:

Drug campaigners have warned that a batch of cannabis adulterated with tiny glass beads which they say could pose a risk to health has flooded the UK market. Anecdotal reports suggest it is being sold in almost every part of the country.

The charity Drugscope is issuing a warning. "We want to make people aware of it from a public health point of view. If you are smoking this stuff and taking it into your lungs it's not good news."

.. This site/section combo is not set up to show MPU's -->The fact that "grit weed", as it is being called, is so widespread suggests that contamination is happening at an early stage in the production process. "It seems to be being done on an industrial scale," said Harry Shapiro of Drugscope.

The dealers' motivation seems to be to bump up the weight of their product. They appear to be doing this by spraying plants with the reflective element from the paint used on road lines. The tiny reflective glass beads become imbedded in the leaves.

"It looks perfectly normal. In fact it looks good quality," said Derek Williams of UK Cannabis Internet Activists, which campaigns against cannabis prohibition.

Contributors to its internet forum have said the contaminated leaves can be identified by rubbing them between wetted fingers. The residue will feel gritty if chewed.

The first reports of grit weed circulated in late summer, but the groups have only recently received pictures of the beads taken with an electron microscope by an anonymous scientist. There have been rumours of users experiencing a tight chest for days after smoking grit weed, but a spokesperson for the British Thoracic Society said that the contamination was unlikely to be dangerous because the particles are too big to be inhaled into the lungs.

An analysis carried out by the French Observatory of Drugs and Drug Addiction found that the glass particles are between 0.02 and 0.3 millimetres across. But Richard Russell, a consultant at Imperial College London, said few particles above 0.015 millimetres would be able to pass into the lungs because they are too big.

"It is likely that they will deposit in the mouth or the throat," said Dr Russell. Here they would most likely pass harmlessly through the system. Using a filter would stop them entering the mouth.

Dr Russell said that smokers should be aware that cannabis smoke causes emphysema, lung inflammation and cancer. "You are likely to do more damage from the marijuana than these particles."

Mr Williams said that the widespread contamination highlighted the problems which stem from cannabis prohibition. "Cannabis is called a controlled drug, but there is no control over the supply side. It's a completely underground product," he said.

This is the health warning given by the UK government:

"To:
NHS Trusts - Medical Directors (England)
NHST/FT/007 - NHS FOUNDATION TRUSTS (ENGLAND) - MEDICAL DIRECTOR
Primary Care Trusts - Directors of Public Health
Primary Care Trusts - Medical Directors

Cc (Groups):
Chairman - Professional Executive Committee of PCT
MHRA Drug Alerts
NHS Trust Chief Executives
NHST/FT/001 - NHS FOUNDATION TRUSTS (ENGLAND) - CHIEF EXECUTIVE
PCT Chief Executives
SHA Chief Executives
Strategic Health Authorities (England) - Directors of Public Health
Territorial CMOs

From:
Department of Health
Date: 16 January 2007

Reference
CEM/CMO/2007/02

Category:
URGENT (cascade within 24 hours)

Title:
CONTAMINATION OF HERBAL OR 'SKUNK-TYPE' CANNABIS WITH GLASS BEADS

Broadcast Content:

To: Directors of Public Health of PCTs to forward to:

All GENERAL PRACTITIONERS - please ensure this message is seen by all practice nurses and non-principals working in your practice
- Deputising services
- Project manager/Nurse lead in Walk in Centres
- Lead nurses in PCTs
- PCT Pharmaceutical Advisers to forward to community pharmacists

Alert - contamination of herbal or 'skunk-type' cannabis with glass beads

1. The Department of Health has recently received information suggesting that batches of herbal and 'skunk-type' cannabis have been contaminated with microscopic glass-like beads (or possibly ground glass). Laboratory testing has since confirmed a number of cases from a number of different parts of the country, in which cannabis appears to contain microscopic particles of glass. We have no information on other types of cannabis such as resin.

2. Reports, unconfirmed, suggest that smoking this contaminated cannabis, has been linked with complaints by users of sore mouth, mouth ulcers, chesty persistent coughs, and a tight chest lasting a few days after use.

3. Government advice already makes clear that cannabis is a substance harmful to health. The risk of glass contamination adds an additional layer of risk of harm. Whilst the exact potential health harm from this contamination is not yet fully determined, inhaling hot glass into the mouth, throat, or into the lungs should clearly be avoided.

4. In the current circumstances, the Department of Health advises that smokers of herbal and 'skunk-type' cannabis, in particular, should exercise caution.

5. For any patients presenting with concerns about their health after having smoked cannabis which may have been contaminated, or who may benefit from opportunistic health advice due to an identified high risk of cannabis use, the following advice may be useful:

a) Whilst there are no reported serious health effects to date from this contamination, we are not yet able to determine fully what are the possible or likely risks to the health of cannabis smokers.

b) There are anecdotal reports of some cases of the development of sore mouth, mouth ulcers, chesty persistent coughs and a tight chest lasting a few days, after smoking cannabis.

c) To avoid the risk of contaminated cannabis completely, patients should be advised to stop smoking cannabis.

d) If patients feel unable to stop, they should limit use as much as possible.

e) If patients continue to use, they should be warned, if any particular supply of cannabis that they have access to appears to have caused irritation to their mouth or airways, or if they suspect it is contaminated (e.g. due to grittiness when rubbed between moistened fingers), they should stop using that supply, or trading it, immediately; and they should not use any more cannabis from the same source.

f) Patients can be advised that self-help assistance with quitting cannabis can be located at the following website: www.talktofrank.com

6. The Department of Health will be making similar information directly available to the public, and to drug user networks, through a range of communication channels shortly after this alert has been sent to the NHS.

7. In addition, as part of the advice made directly available to the public, cannabis smokers will be advised that if they have particular symptoms and concerns about their health after smoking potentially contaminated cannabis, they may wish to discuss symptoms with their general practitioner. If exceptionally they believe they have an urgent problem and cannot access their general practitioner, they may consider they require assessment at an accident & emergency department.

8. As any further relevant information becomes available, the Department of Health will update this advice to practitioners.

This document has been authorised by the Department of Health: Gateway reference no: 7708 "

Comment

Advice for smoking it? I

Advice for smoking it? I understand a lot of impurities will devolve into water. Would a bong protect us from those found in grit: Glass, fiberglass, silica, etc.... or are these harmful particles still going to bubble there way to the top?

Other thoughts are: Carbon filters, vaporizers, or Butane extractions.

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