Leaves on the line

There is a push by Gubblement to give their friends in Big Tobacco a monopoly on possession of tobacco leaves. This is serious – our leaves are on the line here.

They aren’t going to make posession of tobacco illegal – no, that would mean the big tobacco companies couldn’t have it either. What they plan is much more devious. They plan to force anyone in possession of leaf to be registered, and to comply with all kinds of regulations.

This will not affect the big companies at all. They are already registered and already comply with all sorts of regulations.

It will destroy small leaf-sellers and before you antismoking types among the vapers smile too broadly – where do you think your e-juice is extracted from? Juice makers will all be taken over by Big Tobacco or they will die.

You cannot extract your own juice if you have to register and comply with all the regulations. You cannot even grow your own tobacco because you would then be in possession of leaf without a licence.

You cannot make your own snuff without registering and complying and if you want to make cigarettes you will have to register as a cigarette factory. With all the red tape that implies.

Oh, but if it’s for snuff and e-juice it’s okay. Nope. You still have to register and the onus is on you to prove you aren’t smoking it. Quite how you’d prove that is a mystery but it won’t be up to the taxman to prove your guilt. It’ll be up to you to prove your innocence.

If (when, really) this comes into force you might as well grow pot and start a meth lab. Tobacco possession will probably be a worse crime than either of them.

You can have a say on the public consultation now although I suspect the decision is already made.

I have just received a donation of leaves (many thanks) which I plan to vacuum-pack and freeze in small amounts. I’ll take some out at long intervals to see how it’s surviving. If it works I can stock up – but not in one big batch. That would draw too much attention. Any reputable leaf seller would question a big order anyway. It looks suspicious.

I’d order 1 kg and freeze half, then use the other half until it’s time to order another 1 kg. I’d be buying more frequently but still in small amounts.

As for the planting, that will continue after a ban. I’ll just plant them on the waste ground nearby. Then they aren’t in my possession and my attempts to produce a wild-growing variant will continue.

In the interests of keeping it cheap, I intend using sturdy zip-lock plastic bags instead of real vacuum bags – rolling out the air with a rolling pin should be enough. The plastic should be the thickest available so the leaves don’t freeze-dry in storage. Might be best to enclose the bags in a plastic container too. Poundland has all these things.

If the gubblement succeed in giving the monopoly to their pals, I’d have to stop buying leaf. I am not going to register and we will no longer be able to buy or sell without the mark of the Beast. We won’t be able to get it anyway – none of the small businesses selling leaf now could possibly afford to comply.

They hate smokers and they hate small businesses. Vote Tory? Fuck off. They are as bad as the others.

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29 thoughts on “Leaves on the line

  1. does this mean I won’t be able to grow my normal flowering Nicotiana sylvestris in my garden without fear of prosecution because it’s a garden plant iv’e grown for years, and I am truly so dim I didn’t realise that it was anything other than a garden plant, it never occurred to me I could smoke it because I thought it would not be the right kind of plant for that purpose. For everyone laughing at me yes I am aware how pathetic that sounds.

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    • The argument is well tried and tested by hash growers.

      The loop holes have also been closed.

      “Ignorance of the law is no defence!”

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      • Well that’s all those coming out when I weed next then.
        I have always brought my tobacco legally at my local supermarket and paid the going rate with tax to the government.
        So I am very p’d off that I can’t grow a garden plant that is purely something I grow because it looks pretty and smells nice.

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    • Well they did ban Nicotiana Sylvestris in Australia in 2009.

      Tobacco confiscated during tax office raid
      Nov. 19, 2009,

      “TAX officers yesterday raided a Eurobin farm seizing and destroying “ornamental” tobacco plants.”

      “The tobacco strain, grown last year under an Excise Act loophole, was this week added to the banned list of tobacco that requires tax office approval”

      “Yesterday the tax office spokeswoman confirmed the definition of banned tobacco had been expanded to include Nicotiana sylvestris, also known as night scented tobacco.”
      http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/47614/tobacco-confiscated-during-tax-office-raid/

      But the Australians have gone nuts, they’d have the Royal Horticultural Society on their tail if they tried it here.
      Who sell Nicotiana sylvestris seeds online by the way.

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        • I don’t know I have grown mine from my own seeds for over 20 years and I only grow them as a boarder plant, the flowers are huge and aromatic the leaves are small, I don’t know if you can smoke them, because I never have and never would, as I said above I always buy my tobacco at the supermarket, paying the requisite price plus ALL the tax to the government.
          I grow my plants for the flowers and their place in my garden scheme but looks like this years plants will be binned because I won’t risk growing them and then being arrested for being a gardener, if I put them in and they ban them I am screwed If I wait and they don’t ban them the seeds are useless, and won’t germinate that’s 20 years of cultivation down the crapper for a ridiculous law.

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    • In a discussion on Twitter, someone mentioned bagging them and burying them for storage.

      It could work – as long as all the air is gone, moulds can’t grow. Then there’s no worry about freeze-drying the leaves… well, maybe at this time of year.

      I’ll try that too.

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  2. Actually l don’t think HMRC have decided yet. They prefer Option 1 (Registration) but imho were not expecting any responses to the Consultation so with a little luck we’ll get Option 2 (more seizure powers at border). l believe the leaf companies can handle that.

    So your response IS NEEDED.

    Incidentally, the registration of being a tobacco factory is far far easier than the registration HMRC propose. I shall get a tobacco plant and apply just to see what happens.

    That would be very funny if everyone applied (after we see what happens to my application). The news would be “Massive increase in Tobacco Factorys in UK”. That would be a good headline!

    Respond to the Consultation please!

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    • I can just picture the HMRC facing thousands of duty returns with everyone reporting a production rate of around 20 cigarettes per day.

      I’ll have to read that thing more thoroughly. The first paragraph of the introduction was enough to bring on the red mist. ‘Smokers are paying for everything and we hate them’.

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  3. HMRC will shoot themselves in the foot if they go ahead with this registration crap. N2D hear from lots of people/businesses. A couple are internet companies abroad that sell EU duty paid tobacco and cigarettes to the UK. Both assure me that very very few parcels get intercepted by HMRC. One owner said he hadn’t had any intercepted in 2 years!

    HMRC simply don’t have the resources to do it and never will.

    HMRC’s only deterrent was that if your parcel did get seized they would try and claim the Excise Tobacco Duty too. They can’t do that with raw tobacco leaves … it is non-dutiable and that’s enshrined in EU regs!

    Expect the UK leaf companies to move abroad and it will be business as usual … except HMRC will no longer get UK taxes from these companies. 🙂

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  4. You can buy (big) plastic bags with vacuum ports on them, so the air may be sucked out after closure.

    I read somewhere that the original wild tobacco in the New World was more like cannabis in its effects and the native Americans used it for ceremonial highs. Could this be true?

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    • Ceremonial highs is true. And some Russian tobaccos are still like that. Mahorkha (sp?) for example.

      That is why I am against the legalisation of hash. Then the dictatorship control the content, and before you know it, you get a better “high” from a jar of Heinz baby pudding than you do from a joint.

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      • When I was about ten I decided to make a cigar out of a kitchen roll tube stuffed with ripped up newspaper and toilet roll. It wasn’t very nice.

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  5. I’ve been reading “Yes Prime Minister – the diaries of the Hon. James Hacker” from 1986. As part of the plot it describes in about six stages how an anti-smoking strategy would be carried out. It was said at the time that the blessed Margaret was a keen viewer of the series; I think someone more recently has been plagiarising it. The six stages are exactly what has happened since – plain packaging, tax hikes, no advertising, they’re all there. Did someone say you couldn’t write this stuff?

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  6. Oh bloody hell. I knew they love banning stuff, and I have a mental list of things which they’d like to ban and what they’ll move onto next, but it never occurred to me that they’d go this far.

    Why not just ban matches and cigarette lighters as well, unless the purchaser can prove they are for “non-smoking purposes”???

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    • I already struggle to find a shop that sells lighter flints I have to go 4 miles to get them. So clearly refillable lighters and re flint able lighters are soon to be phased out. So much for the green directive and recycling.

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      • I bought a supply of Zippo flints and wicks from an eBay seller – and get lighter fuel in Poundland. I’ve noticed that the local supermarkets have stopped selling these things though.

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        • I had a zippo once.

          Used to make a wire hook and dip it in the petrol tank of my motorbike, to fill it.

          Bit smokey, tasted strange, but it worked.

          Probably got lead poisoning now. With that, and melting lead in the kitchen to mold bullets for my guns.

          Hmm. Symptoms of lead poisoning, “Being a grumpy old git.”

          YUP! That covers it. 😀

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  7. If we are lucky the Islamongs will kill a bunch of smokers next, and the day after all the worlds leaders will be marching in unity for our freedom to smoke. It might sound unlikely but a fortnight ago did any of you think you’d see them all marching for the right to take the piss out of the Prophet Mohammed?

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  8. Pingback: Embracing Inevitability | Frank Davis

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