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Children as young as 10 "smoking drugs" in Hardwicke youth shelter

By The Citizen  |  Posted: November 12, 2012

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IT is feared children as young as 10 are smoking marijuana in a drug-fuelled youth den which is 'blighting' a village community.

Drug dealing and taking have become the norm at a youth shelter at Hardwicke's playing fields, it has been claimed.

A gang of around 10 youths are now being monitored by police in a crackdown on the anti-social behaviour.

Dog walker Tim Jones, from Elmgrove Road East, said: "We have got 10-year-old kids smoking marijuana.

"When I walk past there you can see hundreds of wraps thrown around."

Parish council chairman councillor Ian Butler said: "We need to catch them early before they end up doing crack cocaine. It is going to lead onto something worse if we are not careful.

"We don't like this sort of activity because it blights the village. We will not accept it."

Mr Butler told a parish council meeting last week that he wanted to avoid having a police dispersal order placed on the area to move the youngsters on.

He added: "I don't think we want this sort of thing here in Hardwicke because it creates the wrong image for what is otherwise a decent community."

Questions remain over whether the parish council will keep the shelter which it installed four years ago.

Councillor David Moss, vice chairman, said: "Removing the shelter is going to take the problem elsewhere.

"We have got to get to the root of the problem rather than just move it around."

CCTV with night vision is monitoring the shelter 24 hours a day and police are pouring over the images.

PC Lucy Kay, area officer, told the parish council: "We have not yet had any positive drug searches but that doesn't mean to say that it is not going on. We need to get these individuals for the offences they are committing."

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  • kaanster  |  November 14 2012, 10:34AM

    I began laughing hysterically from the moment I read the first line of this article. This 'drug den' you describe it as has been exaggerated massively out of proportion. I myself are one of the teenagers spending my time at the shelter and the majority of the comments made are illegitimate. A dog walker from Elmgrove Road East making comments on marijuana? You mean the Tim Jones, the owner of the house that hosted a underage house party during the summer break? In my opinion, these comments made are simply a quick attempt to move teenagers from there area due to assumptions that if they're of a younger age, they are commiting crimes. I have been at the shelter numerous times when police have arrived to search everyone and not one thing has been found to even give the idea that cannabis use is taking place in this area. Until anything is proven, My opinion stands that the shelter at the hardwicke playing fields is not a issue and has neither created any issues around the area. This is coming from a 16 year old living in the same area as all you others. I hope to see replys from you all to share your opinions with me now the truth has been given.

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  • Supersticky  |  November 13 2012, 6:50PM

    IsitJimKerr said "Do what you like in the privacy of your own home, but I REALLY don't want the person flying my plane, or even driving towards me on a country lane, to be off his/her face." Well, you will be very pleased to hear that in States where cannabis use, for medicinal reasons, has been legalised in America (for some years now) they have seen a reduction in road traffic accidents. I am sure you will want to get some of those good effects here as well.

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  • Supersticky  |  November 13 2012, 6:46PM

    To jayne80 No, I said they were tricked, I merely started my sentence with the same words you used, but ended it with the real reason. I have seen it happen so many times. My best friend at school died from heroin, and the route I described is EXACTLY the way he was introduced: tricked by unscrupulous dealers who have no morals. It is in his memory that I campaign to legalise cannabis and split it right away from the trade in hard, truly harmful, drugs.

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  • SourAlienOG  |  November 13 2012, 5:32PM

    @GlosAnarchy '' lad who started taking cannabis this lead to mental health problems and his eventual death'' No doubt young teens and kids should stay away from cannabis, but more importantly alcohol and tobacco. But Cannabis and the effect on ones mental health have been exaggerated to the point people think that its a fact. When, its not. ''Although cannabis use increased 10-20 fold over the last 40 years, the number of people with psychosis didn't, indeed, it looks like there might be a downward trend in schizophrenia admissions. If there was a direct link, you might expect to see levels in both either rise or fall together. If there is a link between cannabis use and psychosis it is likely to be complicated, and it is still not clear in which direction an effect occurs. It may be that the link is seen because people who already have psychosis find that smoking cannabis alleviates symptoms like social anxiety, so they smoke to self medicate'' - The British Association for Psychopharmacology If you want to talk about cannabis and THC, we cant ignore the CBD which is a safe non psychoactive cannabinoid which has anti psychotic properties along with much more medicinal value. In countries that legally regulate cannabis, people with said mental illnesses are prescribed cannabis rich in CBD. It works with the THC to produce a calming effect and combats the effects of said mental illnesses allowing sufferer to cope and reduce symptoms. In the UK, cannabis is fully prohibited. Yet the golden rule of any dealer is to sell the strongest stuff for more profits. If cannabis users have no choice of different strains, and only High THC no CBD strains available, it may cause problems in certain susceptible individuals and young people when abused heavily. However, psychosis and schizophrenia will never ever be a side effect. To put things in perspective, alcohol users are 6times more likely to develop psychotic symptoms and psychological problems than cannabis users. I am in no way saying alcohol is guaranteed to cause said psychological problems, but it puts cannabis in perspective. Also, GWpharma who grow thousands of cannabis plants in Kent, sell the worlds most expensive cannabis. Its not cannabis 'based' medicine, its pure cannabis oil in tinctures. Its super concentrated. Street weed is 12-18% THC, GWpharma's Sativex (liquid cannabis) is around 50% THC. MUCH stronger than any herbal cannabis in Holland, let alone the UK. If cannabis caused said mental health problems, wouldnt that be stated in the List of Side effects?

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  • SourAlienOG  |  November 13 2012, 4:47PM

    foamcow LOL its funny to think, some people assume if legally regulated, people like pilots and train drivers will be forced to get high on the job. Such an out dated argument. Back to the story PROHIBITION has gifted the market to criminals. They dont care what age they sell to. There is NO control over the cannabis market, and children find it easier to obtain than alcohol and tobacco even with those legal drugs so poorly regulated. When a country legally regulates cannabis, and has some control over it, associated crime reduces dramatically, as do the amount of people using cannabis. What rises is age of first use. We see this happening in certain parts of the world, but ignored by deluded prohibitionists who prefer the current corrupt dangerous drugs policy, over any harm reduction plan. I dislike drug dealers and children using drugs or becoming enticed by gangsterism, so i say NO to prohibition and NOW to legal regulation

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  • IsitJimKerr  |  November 13 2012, 2:24PM

    Saying I think taking drugs is very sad, is not a 'generic' statement. Bad choice of word, in our beautiful language.....that most of us have access to. 'happy, sad, scared, etc' are not senses. Senses are sight, hearing, smell, taste, or touch, all of which can be altered by outside stimuli. Watching a film uses my senses, it doesn't alter them. And your statement, showing absolutely no knowledge of me is just typical of people that on feeling they are losing the arguement resort to personal attacks. And no ;) I wouldn't be surprised. I've been around the block enough times to know what goes on. I really don't want to wish ill fate on anyone, but these situations only hit home when it is one of their own that are killed or injured by such a person.

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  • foamcow  |  November 13 2012, 2:08PM

    @IsitJimKerr "Do what you like in the privacy of your own home, but I REALLY don't want the person flying my plane, or even driving towards me on a country lane, to be off his/her face." Rest assured that if any change is ever made to drug policy in this country it's fairly certain that said changes won't go as far as to make drug use *compulsory*. You'll be ok.

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  • gcmercier  |  November 13 2012, 1:09PM

    I can't justify why a ten-year old would want to get intoxicated, but I can say that if a ten-year old went looking to buy alcohol or tobacco, it would be very difficult for him because the shops selling it would ask for ID. The reason kids find it easy to buy cannabis is because it is illegal. Dealers don't ask for ID. It would be much safer for all if cannabis were legalised and regulated the way alcohol and tobacco are. Not only would it prevent kids from accessing cannabis due to needing proof of age, but it would also generate lots of tax revenue and save police time, court time and prison costs.

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  • happychappy69  |  November 13 2012, 11:15AM

    @"IsitJimKerr" lol....you'd be surprised ;) best not to ask, ignorance is bliss...in some cases anyway.

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  • IsitJimKerr  |  November 13 2012, 11:13AM

    Loving the reds. Do what you like in the privacy of your own home, but I REALLY don't want the person flying my plane, or even driving towards me on a country lane, to be off his/her face.

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