Friday, April 15, 2005

Grandma's cooking pot

Marrakesh Chicken (Recipe Below)

Patricia Tabram last week became a convicted drug dealer for serving casseroles and cakes laced with cannabis to her friends. But, as she tells Laura Barton, she's unrepentant - the drug has solved her health problems.

UK: 'There is a new strain of very strong cannabis called organic skunk," Patricia Tabram explains of the crucial ingredient in her controversial cookery range. "Before I had the privilege of being able to obtain the organic skunk, I used one quarter of a level teaspoon of powdered fresh cannabis bud. Now I only use five-eighths of a level teaspoon of the organic skunk - that's half of what you'd put in a cannabis cigarette, so I have no way of getting high and it keeps me pain-free for 24 hours."

On Friday, the 66-year-old from Hunshaugh, Northumberland, was given a six-month suspended prison sentence for cooking an array of cannabis-laced culinary delights for her friends, four elderly MS sufferers.

She was rumbled, she says, by a police informer on her street and remains utterly unrepentant.

"Cannabis lifts depression! Queen Victoria used it for her period pains!" Now she is hoping to tackle the secretary of state for Wales, Peter Hain, on the electoral battleground of his Neath constituency, on a platform denouncing most mainstream medicine. (She is standing in Wales for the Legalise Cannabis Alliance, which is targeting the principality as a key battleground.)

"Since I started medicating with cannabis I don't use my walking stick any more, I don't wear my neck collar, I don't wear my hearing aid."

Tabram recalls quite vividly the first time she tried cannabis. "Originally, I suffered terrible depression after the death of my son when he was 14," she says. "And my husband had died and I had nursed my mother till she died, and I was placed on medication for the depression. Then I started to develop arthritis in my knees, and was placed on another kind of medication for that. And I developed - from the combination of medication - a lumpy red rash around my face, tinnitus, lost the hair from the top of my head and had very bad bruising on my arms and legs, blood in my stools and bleeding from my waterworks area. When you get up close to my face I look like an ugly old fossil.

"A year gone February, I was lying in bed and I was very depressed. And I said, how can I kill myself easy and quick? And I thought about alcohol and I thought about pills. But then I remembered a film called Thelma and Louise and I thought, that's what I'll do: I'll drive to South Shields where I was born; I'll drive along the coast road and I'll rev my car up and I'll drive off the cliff, and no one will get hurt because it's February and there'll be no one on the beach."

Before she could do so, however, a neighbour called round, concerned that she hadn't seen Tabram for a while. Worried by the physical and mental state in which she found her, the neighbour sought out a cannabis cigarette to calm her down. "I took one puff," she says, "and you know Tweety Pie? How her head is bigger than her body? I felt like that, and I started giggling and singing." Though she didn't enjoy smoking or being high, she did note that it improved her sleep, lifted the fug of her depression and significantly reduced her physical pain. She asked her friend whether there was any other way of taking it and was told that she might try cooking with it. Soon afterwards she found two cannabis recipe books in a shop in Newcastle. The problem was that they were recipes for people who wanted to get stoned.

"I started with scrambled egg, and I put in one teaspoon of cannabis and of course I threw it all up straight away. I never made that mistake again."

She has made other mistakes, too, in what she describes as her "voyage" of cannabis investigation.

In October, she spent two days in London, the first time in months that she had been without her "medicated" meals. and without her pain relief, Tabram noticed she had something of a toothache. The cannabis had so successfully masked the extent of her dental problem, that she had to have all of her bottom teeth removed. Consequently, she now uses cannabis only five days a week, "because I think if I have an appendix that wants to go off it will tell me on a weekend, won't it?"

And yet Tabram's habit has the unfortunate complication of being very explicitly illegal. Doesn't she worry about the fact that she now has a criminal record for supply? Tabram prefers not to engage herself with all that, repeating instead her assurance that conventional medicine has countless ghastly side- effects, and citing eye-popping figures of the many thousands it supposedly kills each year. "The government are so silly about cannabis - I believe it's because the pharmaceutical companies would go bankrupt if they legalised it."

As for her recipes, her best one, she says, is chocolate-chip cake, but her culinary repertoire extends to starters, main courses, biscuits, cakes and desserts. Meanwhile, her new-found fame has meant she has not had to actually buy any cannabis for two and a half months."You know," she insists, "that NHS medication has up to 85 side-effects? That is why Grandma eats cannabis."

Cannabis cuisine ... Tabram's recipes

Leek & potato soup with cannabis

4 medium-sized leeks
2oz butter
4 small potatoes
1 pint of water
1 pint of chicken stock
Salt & pepper
1 pint of double cream to which add 1 level tsp of powdered cannabis

1. Wash and trim the leeks and chop into small pieces using both white and green parts.

2. Melt the butter in a pan and add the leeks. Cover the pan and reduce heat so that the leeks cook slowly without browning, for about five minutes. Shake the pan occasionally.

3. At the same time, peel the potatoes and cut into small cubes, then add to the leeks with the water and stock. Add salt and pepper.

4. Bring the soup to the boil, cover the pan and simmer for 25 minutes.

5. Liquidise the soup and return it to the pan.

6. Add cream and heat, but do not allow the soup to boil.

Serves 4

Chicken Maryland with cannabis

2lb of roasting chicken in portions Salt & pepper
Plain flour
1 egg
2-3oz fresh breadcrumbs
2-3oz butter to which add half a level tsp of powdered cannabis
Oil for frying

2-3 bananas
1oz butter
1tin of creamed sweetcorn

1. Place the cannabis butter between the flesh and skin of each portion of chicken, then carefully replace skin.

2. Season the outside of the chicken with salt and pepper, then dust with flour.

3. Beat the egg, and dip in the chicken portions, followed by dusting with the flour.

4. Fry in the just-hot oil, until golden brown.

5. Peel and quarter the bananas and fry in butter.

6. Heat creamed sweetcorn and serve as sauce.

Serves 4

Picture: Marrakesh Chicken

3 tbsp butter 45 ml
1 tbsp oil 15 ml
2 chicken breasts 2
2 onions, sliced 2
1 can (19 oz/540 ml) chickpeas 1
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock 1L
2 tbsp browned cannabis 30 ml
1/2 tsp pepper 2 ml
1/2 tsp turmeric 2 ml
1/4 tsp ground ginger 1 ml
1/8 tsp saffron .5 ml
3 cups peeled turnips, in 1 1/2 inch chunks 750 ml
2 cups chopped turnip greens (or spinach) 500 ml
1/4 cup lemon juice 60 ml
1/4 cup chopped parsley 60 ml

By Medicinal Herb posted 15 April 05


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ACLU Report: U.S. Drug Laws Harm Women
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But obviously Danny has a mental problem most likely paranoid schizophrenia a problem that insidiously had been there long before he took up smoking?

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People who are addicted to heroin usually take the drug because it relieves them of problems such as low self-esteem, distrust and fear of abandonment. They may have poor communication skills & poor relationship skills.

CWA wants pot legalised
PERCEIVED as the height of conservatism, the Country Women's Association has had a reputation for baking and handicrafts until now. The organisation yesterday confirmed it is seeking to have cannabis legalised for health reasons. A recommendation to be put forward to the annual meeting in May calls for the legalisation of the drug for the treatment of terminally ill patients.

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ALMOST one in six deaths amongst young Australians can be attributed to the irresponsible consumption of alcohol, research by the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) has revealed.

You're one of my kind?
Over 80% of the population consumed alcohol in the previous 12 months, with 11% of males and 6% of females drinking daily. In terms of risk of harm in the long term, 10% of males and 9% of females drank alcohol in a pattern that was risky or high risk. In terms of short-term risk, 24% of males and 17% of females drank at least once a month in a manner that was risky or high risk for short-term harm.

Canadian PM pledges to decriminalise marijuana
Prime Minister Paul Martin has pledged to reintroduce legislation this year to decriminalise the possession and use of small amounts of marijuana.

UK: This absolutely preposterous idea/theory of allowing a person/s to be possibly charged with 'possession', if found to have a drug substance within their bloodstream, just goes to prove such hypocrisies which certain hierarchies feel justifies passing legislation, is another blow for democracy!