THE POISON GARDEN website      Arum maculatum berries on a Cannabis leaf 

Search thepoisongarden.co.uk:

This free script provided by JavaScript Kit

Pontifications on Poison

Being some ramblings on events associated with poisonous plants.

January 2013

Current Entries

2016

Previous Entries

2015
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011

Monday 28th January 2013

I think most people have their hobby horses; topics they return to time and again because they seem to be important but no-one seems to see that importance. For me, this would be a condition I describe as intellectual incest.

The best way to illustrate what I mean by that term is to look at the infamous affair of the British Airways tailfins. The BBC faux obituary is a good way to understand the issue if you are not familiar with it. BA decided to remove the Union Flag from its aircraft and, at a time when it was cutting staff to save money, decided to make a big fuss about the cost of the change...more

Saturday 26th January 2013

OMG!

I’ve always resisted the adoption of online and text message abbreviated communication feeling that if something was worth saying it was worth saying clearly so that misunderstandings could be minimised.

But, today, I’ve realised the value of ‘OMG!’ as a means of expressing the near speechlessness induced by a piece of the most dreadful reporting in a major national newspaper. This won’t be the first piece I’ve written after something outrageous appeared in the press but it is the first time such a piece provoked that immediate cry of horror...more

Thursday 24th January 2013

To those who think I’m becoming obsessed with Catha edulis, khat, I’d like to point out that this piece is not about that plant. It is about maths and reporting standards, especially about how reporting involving ‘drugs’ is always overblown. It does, though, use khat as the ideal example of what I mean.

It begins with a Channel 4 report1, ahead of the release of the ACMD report, that included the statement that the khat market in the UK is worth over £400m per annum. I did a quick calculation and couldn’t get anywhere near that figure. I tweeted that Channel 4 was playing ‘think of a number’ and heard back from the reporter that he had taken the figure from a report published by the London Borough of Hillingdon2...more

Wednesday 23rd January 2013

Hooray for the ACMD!

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has published its latest report on Catha edulis, khat and in the covering letter to Theresa May, Home Secretary, the Chair, Professor Les Iversen, says;

‘On the basis of the available evidence, the overwhelming majority of Council members consider that khat should not be controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.’...more

Tuesday 22nd January 2013

Spending a ninth day watching the snow falling and having to think carefully about even short journeys, it is easy to forget that there are parts of the world where summer is at its peak and plants are blooming and starting to set seed. A news report, and its follow-up, was a useful reminder.

The Christchurch Mail reported on a father and son who suffered burns from contact with Heracleum mantegazzianum, giant hogweed. The plant was in the man’s garden, having invaded from an adjacent vacant plot, and he thought his 12-year old son would enjoy working with him to remove it. He had no idea what the plant was...more

Friday 18th January 2013

Yesterday, I wrote about the issues, specific to Catha edulis, khat, that are of concern if the UK government announces, next week, that the plant is to be scheduled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

The decision will not, however, be based solely on khat itself but will be taken in the context of the wider situation concerning psychoactive substances both legal and illegal. It is impossible, of course, for me to be able to measure the weight that will be given to the various aspects of the decision but, overall, I fear the government will favour prohibition...more

Thursday 17th January 2013

Though I’m not aware of any official announcement, it seems to be generally accepted that the latest report on Catha edulis, khat, from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) will be published next week along with the government’s response to that report.

It seems to be a given that there has been no major change in the pattern of khat use or its effects since the last time the ACMD looked into it. It is possible, if anything, that there has been a decline in use in recent years seeming to imply that, if khat wasn’t worth scheduling in 2006, there is less reason now to include it in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971...more

Wednesday 16th January 2013

I have a degree of hearing loss. I was going to write ‘I suffer from…’ but the truth is I don’t find it so affecting as to cause any real suffering. What I have is some high frequency loss in my left ear.

When I was working at the Alnwick Garden I did find it a bit of a nuisance so, in 2007, I paid for a hearing aid. In 2008, my name, finally, reached the top of the NHS waiting list and I received an NHS aid...more

13th January 2012

Two events occurring on consecutive days in two countries on opposite sides of the world suggested to me the complexity of dealing with the traditional use of psychoactive substances.

On Friday 11th January, the Plurinational State of Bolivia completed the process of getting official UN recognition of the rights of its people to grow Erythroxylum coca, the coca bush, in order to chew the leaves themselves. This marked the completion of a long and complex process and, as so often happens, ended up being more about international politics than drug policy..more

Friday 4th January 2013

I've set myself a task that, I think, will take me into the spring to complete. I'm updating/editing all the pages in the A to Z section of this site.

The idea for this website goes back to, probably, 2006 or 2007 but I did not start work on it until after I had finished working for the Alnwick Garden in May 2008. The intention was to get more information about poisonous plants online as quickly as possible and the site was up and running quite quickly based on the research I had done for myself in the previous five years..more

Submit a Comment

You can send comments via the contact page but please be sure to say what blog entry you are commenting on.

Follow @thepoisongarden on Twitter

Full Entries

2016

Tuesday 25th October 2016 Saturday 20th August 2016 Sunday 6th March 2016 Wednesday 3rd February 2016

2015

Saturday 28th November 2015 Friday 27th November 2015 Monday 17th August 2015 Wednesday 15th July 2015 Friday 26th June 2015 Thursday 25th June 2015 Thursday 30th April 2015 Wednesday 29th April 2015 Wednesday 11th March 2015 Tuesday 3rd March 2015 Saturday 28th February 2015 Sunday 22nd February 2015

November 2014

 

Monday 24th November 2014 Saturday 8th November 2014

October 2014

September 2014

Wednesday 24th September 2014 Monday 1st September 2014

August 2014

Tuesday 26th August 2014 Saturday 16th August 2014 Tuesday 5th August 2014 Friday 1st August 2014

July 2014

Sunday 27th July 2014 Wednesday 23rd July 2014 Sunday 13th July 2014 Sunday 6th July 2014 Tuesday 1st July 2014

June 2014

Wednesday 25th June 2014 Tuesday 24th June 2014 Sunday 22nd June 2014 Monday 9th June 2014 Wednesday 4th June 2014

May 2014

Monday 26th May 2014 Sunday 18th May 2014 Wednesday 14th May 2014

April 2014

Sunday 13th April 2014 Saturday 5th April 2014 Thursday 3rd April 2014 Tuesday 1st April 2014

March 2014

Monday 31st March 2014 Tuesday 25th March 2014 Friday 21st March 2014 Monday 17th March 2014 Sunday 16th March 2014 Tuesday 11th March 2014 Thursday 6th March 2014 Wednesday 5th March 2014 Saturday 1st March 2014

February 2014

Thursday 27th February 2014 Monday 24th February 2014 Wednesday 19th February 2014 Monday 17th February 2014 Thursday 13th February 2014 Monday 4th February 2014 Monday 3rd February 2014 Saturday 1st February 2014

January 2014

Thursday 28th January 2014 Thursday 23rd January 2014 Friday 17th January 2014 Wednesday 15th January 2014 Monday 13th January 2014 Thursday 9th January 2014 Tuesday 7th January 2014 Wednesday 1st January 2014

December 2013

Monday 23rd December 2013 Friday 20th December 2013 Tuesday 17th December 2013 Friday 14th December 2013 Thursday 12th December 2013 Sunday 8th December 2013 Wednesday 4th December 2013 Sunday 1st December 2013

November 2013

Friday 29th November 2013 Wednesday 27th November 2013 Tuesday 26th November 2013 Friday 22nd November 2013 Monday 18th November 2013 Friday 15th November 2013 Thursday 14th November 2013 Sunday 10th November 2013 Thursday 7th November 2013 Wednesday 6th November 2013 Friday 1st November 2013

October 2013

Thursday 31st October 2013 Sunday 27th October 2013 Wednesday 23rd October 2013 Monday 21st October 2013 Friday 18th October 2013 Friday 11th October 2013 Wednesday 9th October 2013 Tuesday 8th October 2013 Monday 7th October 2013 Tuesday 1st October 2013

September 2013

Monday 30th September 2013 Saturday 28th September 2013 Friday 27th September 2013 Monday 23rd September 2013 Sunday 15th September 2013 Monday 9th September 2013 Sunday 8th September 2013 Tuesday 3rd September 2013 Sunday 1st September 2013

August 2013

Tuesday 27th August 2013 Sunday 25th August 2013 Monday 19th August 2013 Friday 16th August 2013 Tuesday 13th August 2013 Friday 9th August 2013 Friday 2nd August 2013 Thursday 1st August 2013

July 2013

Saturday 27th July 2013 Sunday 21st July 2013 Wednesday 17th July 2013 Monday 15th July 2013 Saturday 13th July 2013 Friday 12th July 2013 Thursday 11th July 2013 Wednesday 10th July 2013 Tuesday 9th July 2013 Saturday 6th July 2013

June 2013

Friday 28th June 2013 Tuesday 25th June 2013 Friday 21st June 2013 Thursday 20th June 2013 Wednesday 19th June 2013 Saturday 15th June 2013 Sunday 9th June 2013 Saturday 8th June 2013 Saturday 1st June 2013

May 2013April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 blog June 2012 blog May 2012 blog April 2012 blog March 2012 blog February 2012 blog January 2012 blog December 2011 blog November 2011 blog October 2011 blog September 2011 blog August 2011 blog July 2011 blog June 2011 blog


IMPORTANT NOTE

The POISON GARDEN website is not connected with Alnwick Garden Enterprises Ltd and/or The Alnwick Garden Trust.