The great cannibis drought of old Dundalk town…

That’s what’s dominating the headlines in this week’s Dundalk Democrat. Sheena Brothers reports that ‘for well over a month now smokers of the popular yet illegal drug have been unable to score anything but the lowest quality hash and even that has now dried up”. Head of the local drugs unit explains:”It is not something that is specific to Dundalk. It’s a national situation. It could be a combination of any number of factors from the conflict in the Middle East and many of the hash producing countries to efforts by dealers to change the usual drugs of choice to more expensive options”.

One local user described the situation as ‘awful’. “Even if you’re willing to travel to get it there’s still nothing available anywhere and whatever anyone gets they are keeping to themselves and their regulars.” Another said “there is loads of grass around. The town is flooded with it but no one can afford to buy it. They’re doing �50 bags which equates to an evening’s smoke for a regular smoker”.

The question arises, is this the free market in action reacting nibbly to an international shortage or are ‘customers’ being taken to the cleaners by a local/national cartel? There is also the question of the economic relation between local consumers and the marginalised producers living in areas currently in conflict with ‘the west’.

, ,

  • Moochin photoman

    Grass has been available at inflated prices for some time now. Most of this seems to be home grown hydroponically and is of varying degrees of strength allegedly. This home grown grass is a growth industry (sorry) as the growers see themselves as purer than the paramilitaries and an antidote to the international cartels behind the supply of resin. Certianly the hydroponic industry seems to be on the rise, there are at least 2 shops in Belfast selling all the neccessary goods and products, allegedly for home grown tomatoes and the like! And of course they can tag it as organic!

    Certainly there seems to be a drought in UDA controlled areas here where the dealers have been keeping their heads down whilst the feud sorts itself out and they find out who is top dog.

  • Fanny

    I can’t believe they’re still using “score.” Isn’t this 60s speak, forty-year-old slang?

  • Rory


    Isn’t this 60s speak, forty-year-old slang?

    Yeah! So what man? Ain’t you hip with that? Chill out, bro’!

  • How amazing the things that are happening in my home-town. I wonder if Father Des Campbell is still around to get in the pulpit Sunday morning and berate these “purveyors of filth”? Anyone recall the sermon the day after the beach party at the “Fairways Hotel”. That was class and a difficult one to follow.

    Oh how times have changed, theres a shortage of weed and people are loudly complaining about it, what next?

  • micheal
  • I’m not exactly sure, ‘marginalised producers’ quite hits the spot. Agri-cultivators [or, ‘peasants’, as we call them here in the demense] are, like factory production line peons the world over, hardly getting City salaries. But the outfits (and people) that actually run, and profit from, the production of the weed every bore in the country uses are – seriously bad, seriously rich, seriously unmarginalised dudes. But God knows, someone who just ‘has’ to have a toke this weekend, while he may use organic duckweed for loo paper, swim the Irish sea to go on holiday, and wear only clothes hand knitted by free Tibetan monks, well, the idea that he might think for one second where his 20 quid ultimately goes . . .

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    Did I miss out on the news that Hash is now legal in Dundalk or something?

  • Moochin photoman

    Theres a hemp farm in Co Down too grown for clothes and the like.

  • smirkyspice

    free the weed!

  • Moochin photoman

    needs to be freed at the price of it!

  • inuit_goddess

    Well up here in Belfast supply situation seems fairly healthy as always – as anyone taking an evening stroll through Botanic gardens should be able to testify.

    With the de facto decriminalisation of da weed a couple of years ago, we’re starting to see the rise of a grow-our-own culture here in the UK – long-term this is the best solution to any supply shortage from war-ravaged lands.

    Quality home-grown weed beats the usual low-quality rubbish hashish any day of the week in my book…

    It’ll be a while before we reach the heights achieved by growers in British Columbia, where marijuana has, almost unbelievably, displaced lumber as the main industry.

    But we’re gettin’ there…

    On a slightly more serious note, I do find it interesting the way cannabis smoking circles here in Belfast are far more cross-community and tolerant in nature than alcohol drinkers. Most pubs here are pretty much exclusive to one side or the other.

    Whereas tokers seem better able to stick the sectarain shite in perspective. Only thing that comes close is the gay community – I’m str8 but I find the Kremlin and other mostly gay clubs a real breath of fresh air for cross-community tolerance.

    More of this sorta thing… 🙂

  • spirit-level

    inuit good post
    in my experience once you’ve tried pollen there’s nothing else, its 100% pure and collected from shaking the mature “cannibas sativa” plant and collecting and compacting what falls from the flower heads- hence pollen.
    £100 an ounze seems reasonable too 😉

  • inuit_goddess

    Aye, there’s been some awesome pollen around Belfast recently, such a huge difference between it and the regular shite.

    I just love the way it crumbles, and that oh-so-perfect crystalline structure… 🙂

  • spirit-level

    inuit… plus due to its crumbliness, you get less of
    “the inevitable pinhole burns, all down the front of your favorite satin shirt” .. [grins]
    Pink Floyd {The Wall} ( Nobody Home )

  • harpo


    Who controls the drugs trade in Dundalk?

    Provos? Reals? INLA?

    Given the reputation of the place as an IR hotbed, I can’t believe that privateers would be allowed to control anything by the IR groups, unless of course those IR groups get a cut of the action.

    So what’s the deal?

    For years various IR folks have denied that IR groups were involved in drugs, but how the heck do nationalists get drugs then? Are people still going with the myth that the evil loyalists supply all the drugs? Or is the truth that the IR groups always did supply drugs, or allowed them to be supplied in return for a royalty?

    And as Droch_Bhuachaill said in his post, when did cannibis become legal, or so mainstream that the Dundalk Democrat sees a cannabis shortage as something worth reporting?

    What’s next? An expose of how there is a shortage of kiddie porn in Dundalk?

  • Dualta


    I grew up on the Falls Road. My mates and I smoked regularly and the local Provos either hadn’t a notion or the odd individual would pop by for a toke.

    To claim that the PIRA were in any way involved in the drugs trade is an absolute nonsense.

  • smirkyspice

    shortage of weed to shortage of kiddie porn? *rolls eyes*

  • What is it with you people (the citzenry of the Republic of Fantasyland) – “To claim that the PIRA were in any way involved in the drugs trade is an absolute nonsense”? Seriously, do you enjoy making arses out of yourselves? Are you doing it for a bet? Are your family tied up in a hidden location whose details won’t be revealed to you by Community Restorative Justice enhancers until you have finished typing posts of such staggering imbecility and naivete that, their streaming into the heavens will convince aliens billions of year hence never to visit earth because of the danger such staggering stupidity might prove contagious? What? Tell me. I’m still hoping, ‘so-so joke’ is the answer. After all, saying, “to claim that the PIRA were in any way involved in the drugs trade is an absolute nonsense” with a straight face did, and does, make me laugh.

  • Dualta


    Any chance you back up that river of blether with some evidence?

  • Fanny

    “Any chance you back up that river of blether with some evidence?”

    Funny, I was just about to ask the same question.

  • Don’t be silly Fanny, old trout, Dualta doesn’t need anything as vulgar as evidence for his assertions, for he knows them in his heart to be true.

  • Fanny

    That’s good enough for me, Karl.

  • Dualta


    Is that seriously your reply? Mind you, it’s not like you would find any evidence for that nonsense you spewed out.

    The only evidence that I have that the PIRA were never involved in the drugs trade is that I grew up on the Falls Road and was one of the first people I knew of who actually smoked in that area.
    My mates and I smoked for years and some of them still do. I stopped years ago. In all my days as a smoker I never knew anyone who went anywhere near a member of the Provisional Movement looking to score. You would have got your legs broken for that.

    That’s my own empirical evidence, which you’ll probably dismiss regardless. So here’s the real deal, pardon the pun.

    Not one member of the Provisional IRA was ever convicted of selling drugs. There was never a quantity of drugs found with IRA arms. There has never been a statement from HM Government accusing the PIRA of involvement with drugs, nor has there ever been a statement from the RUC or their successors in the PSNI accusing the PIRA of involvement in the drugs trade.

    Now let’s see your evidence to justify your use of the terms [i]staggering imbecility and naivete [/i]. If you fail to produce any, which will be the case, then I will feel perfectly inclined to use your own terms in return, and a few more choice ones besides.

  • Penelope


    Dualta… Karl… chill… ‘ere… *cough* have a puff 😉

  • eranu

    dont waste your money buying from dealers. id definately recommend growing your own if you have a suitable space to do it. all the kit and seeds are available on the good old internet. i lost my good hash contacts a while back so i tried home growing earlier this year.
    i harvested a shoe box worth, which did me for ages. its also great fun to see your creation grow and that first smoke of your own grass is a special moment 🙂

  • Yer Woman

    I think i’ll be giving the guerilla horticulture a miss thanks. Smoking gear, resin to be precise, brought back my Asthma, which I thought had left me for good once I hit puberty! Now I make do with puffing on an inhaler twice a day.

    There’s a moral there somewhere i’m sure……

  • Rory

    How does Harpo know there is a shortage of kiddie porn in Dundalk?

    Perhaps it’s best not to ask. I think I’ll stay content with the spliff for my thrills, thank you.

  • Garibaldy


    Interesting points. I remember the head of PSF’s campaign against drugs in Derry being caught with drugs in his socks by the RUC. He claimed someone else on the bus had given it to him to hide when they saw the cops. Funnily enough, the court didn’t believe him, and he dropped out of front-line politics (he was a councillor) shortly afterwards.

    Having said that, I agree that there is no evidence that the Provos are involved in it in an organised way, the way they were in say fuel smuggling. There are, and have been for a long time, rumours regarding senior Provisionals, but proof is thin on the ground.

    However, that leaves the question of taking a cut from drug dealers. It’s highly unlikely that drug dealers are able to operate in, for the sake of argument, Ardoyne without coming to some arrangement. If I remember right, the police have said this. But again, proof is the issue.

    I think people’s attitudes to drugs have softened a lot over the past decade. After all, it’s not that long since mobiles were banned from many pubs in west Belfast because it was widely believed the only people who had them at that stage were drug dealers. There’s also no chance of the Provos shooting drug dealers any more, the way they did with DAAD. I think that is as much a reflection of the changing attitude to drugs as the changed political situation. The fact that PSF’s youth wing called for the legalisation of cannabis at one of their conferences is I think proof of these softening attitudes.

    I think Karl is absolutely right to raise the broader issues of the impact the drugs trade has on people’s lives, particularly the poor in areas like Afghanistan and Columbia. The police in London have recently launched a propaganda campaign and a crackdown against the dinner-party cocaine set, and I heartily agree. These are people who often bleat about crime, gungs, social problems etc, but who fund it via their recreational habits. Rank hypocrisy. David Cameron and cronies being a prime example.

    From a political point of view, drugs and their attendant problems are a threat to the fabric of society. Anybody who has been in a ghetto area of the US can attest to that. They contribute to the de-politicisation of working people if they get hold of an area. And many of those involved do like to lecture others about social responsibilities while remaining wilfully blind to the effects of their own behaviour.

  • andy

    The real crime associated with drugs is that in the 21st century we’re still criminalising people for their lifestyles.
    I appreciate that hard drug use in some areas causes knock-on crime – but the problem is the knock on crimes not how someone decides to enjoy themselves.

    I have to respectfuly disagree with you Garibaldy about what you accurately describe as the recent Police propaganda campaign against “dinner party” cocaine in London. Some idiot minister even compared it to the boycott of south african wine under apartheid. It escaped his notice there is no “fair trade” alternative to cocaine available under current drug laws.

    While it is true that there is a huge amount of evil perpetrated by individuals and entities associated with the drugs trade, this can be viewed in many ways as being analagous to the violence performed by prohibition-era gangs. It is simply a matter of fact that if governments decide to prohibit recreational substances they create a black market with all that comes with it.

    Banning illegal drugs must surely be alone as an example of a social policy that has failed over a long period of time, and continues to fail, and yet is never fundamentally questioned by mainstream politicians.

  • Garibaldy


    There’s the danger that if you legalise something as addictive as crack or heroin, then you’ll have huge numbers of people addicted to much worse stuff than drink, with possibly larger problems of addiction, crime and health problems, placing extra strain on the NHS etc. I don’t think junkies can be described as indulging in recreational use.

    And, as I said, from my point of view, there are political implications to all this.

  • smirkyspice

    free the WEED! decriminalise, legalise

  • andy

    re the junkies not being recreational, I’m not sure about that. It might not be fun, but I think it is recreational. I base this view upon a number of habitual heroin takers who I have known.

    I hear where you’re coming from. My argument is ultimately that some kind of regulated market (ie not prohibition) is the least worst option. A lot of misery would still be caused by drugs under such circumstances, but it would be less than under the current situation.

  • Rory

    Ssshmoking weed – recreational? Sshertainly not. I take it very ssheriously indeed. ‘Sspeshially when Hersshelf is playing Humphries with the joint.

  • Intelligence Insider

    From the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (The APG provides an autonomous regional body for APG members and observers to work together against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.) :

    “According to the Royal Ulster Constabulary 126 (RUC), the PIRA
    involvement in the drug trade relates to a far more ‘detached’ practice
    than some of their Loyalist counterparts demonstrate:
    They [the PIRA] attempt to adopt a public stance that they abhor the
    use of drugs … that belies the fact that they have in the past, and
    certainly do at present, derive funding from the drugs trade … the
    Loyalist paramilitary organizations are much more directly involved in
    the straightforward drugs dealing. The IRA tend to be two or three
    steps removed.
    This ‘removed state’ is deemed by the RUC to be ‘licensing’ some of the
    Northern Ireland drug gangs to deal in drugs, while the PIRA
    subsequently profits from extortion. Vincent Kearney elaborates on
    what he terms the ‘hidden agenda to IRA hits on drug dealers’: 127
    There is evidence that DAAD is being used not to eliminate the sale of
    drugs, but to enable the IRA to control the lucrative trade. Police and
    dealers say the IRA controls the distribution of drugs to criminals on
    both sides of the border. Narcotics are smuggled into Ireland through
    Dublin and Cork and distributed after prices and quantities are
    agreed at meetings in hotels in Dundalk and Drogheda. The IRA does
    not handle the drugs, but oversees the operation and takes a
    percentage from each deal. In return, it sanctions the dealers’
    activities and moves against their opponents.
    An associate of Brendan Campbell, the drug dealer killed by DAAD,
    points to a police seizure of ecstasy tablets with a street value of over
    £67,000 found in a PIRA stronghold area of west Belfast,
    Ballymurphy, once the home of Gerry Adams. Kearney quotes sources
    as saying:
    He [Campbell] was not killed because the IRA is opposed to drugs but
    because he wouldn’t play the game by their rules … the IRA is up to
    its neck in drugs. Nobody would even think of selling drugs in west
    Belfast unless it [the PIRA] gave the ok. The IRA could wipe out the
    drugs scene in nationalist areas in a very short time, but it doesn’t
    want to. It only wants to wipe out the opposition.”

    Please dont try to kid yourselves that sf/ira are not involved in drug dealing!

  • Fanny

    Is there any truth in the allegation that they were involved in a plot to blow up 9 transAtlantic airliners using liquid explosive?

  • Dualta

    Intelligence Insider,

    There is nothing more there than hearsay and the word of the RUC, which amounts to nothing when it talked of the IRA.

    For the IRA to have involved themselves in any way in the drug-trade would have been political suicide and they knew it.

    I remain convinced that the IRA was never involved in the drugs trade. Of course the allegation has been made and there are many who would love to believe it because it suited their political cause, but I’m afraid there is no evidence to support the claim.

    Think about it. If the IRA had have been involved in drugs the British government would have gotten the evidence necessary to prove it. It would have destroyed the IRA within their own community. It would have been the biggest propaganda victory the British could have scored against them.

  • willowfield

    It’s “cannabis”: not “cannibis”.

  • sevenmagpies

    “For the IRA to have involved themselves in any way in the drug-trade would have been political suicide and they knew it.”

    So, murdering people and destroying lives and livelihoods is okay, but letting adults choose how to enjoy themselves is a no-no? That’s some radical ‘political’ agenda they’re pushing.

  • lib2016

    I’m not involved in smoking now but I certainly was in the 70’s and early 80’s and come from a South Armagh background. There is no question about it – Provvies didn’t do drugs, full stop!

    It was that sort of idiotic claim from unionist sources that created and established republican credibility in the first place so by all means go right ahead with the unproven accusations. They tell us much more about unionism than unionists appear to realise. 😉

  • mzrti

    I grew up on the Falls Rd and I don’t think the IRA are involved in drugs. The INLA are a different story. Being a long time cannabis smoker I have recently found it harder to get, and I think this has something to do with the UDA putting a stop on their members selling drugs. Sometimes if I was stuck I bought cannabis from a UDA run (so I’m told) bar in Sandy Row, but for the last month or so there has been nobody selling anything.

  • Donnacha

    Well, if yez are short….we’re SWIMMING in the stuff out here. Top quality Kiwi bud, $100 (EURO50 or about STG33) an ounce. More than happy to share, where should I send it? The Dundalk Democrat offices? Mind you, I’m not putting a return address on it….

  • Shuggie McSporran

    Intelligence Insider

    “They [the PIRA] attempt to adopt a public stance that they abhor the use of drugs …”

    Once, years back, I was out drinking in an establishment in WB where smoking was also known to be going on, some of the above mentioned came in walked round asking individuals “Do you smoke, or have you ever smoked?”.

    I gave them the Bill Clinton line – “Yes, I smoked once at university but I didn’t inhale”.

  • Shuggie McSporran

    ..possibly they intended to “confiscate” whatever they could find.

  • Danny Dude

    Can anyone here sort me with a bit??

  • GPJ

    Go to Amsterdam mate and enjoy a smoke in peace.

  • mzrti

    Heard today that a certain loyalist paramillitary group in North Belfast have got cannabis but they have more or less doubled the price of it. That a great marketing plan, hold it back then slowly bring it out at twice the price and make a quick killing.

  • mark

    theres benn a distinct lack of weed in north wales for the last month or so too.

    first the rocky went, and now the grass has dried up too.
    have just bought an eighth of black for 20 quid, wow thats scarry!!
    have heard of people selling rocky for 130 an oz?

    time to start planting if you ask me ;o)

  • andy

    I just remebered – we used to call Rocky “Charlie Haughey” (I’m English)
    – possibly appropriate given the general air of roguishness (and more) about him. I doubt he was a toker though.

    Sorry, I know I’m boring…

  • nmc

    I haven’t been able to get a smoke for AGES. Apart from the extortionate 25 quid baggies, and that’s no kind of solution. I’ve actually overcome my addiction now, and am seriously considering not bothering buying any more if the opportunity comes up, simply because I can’t be arsed with the discomfort should another drought occur. Having said that, if I could get a smoke now I’d take the arm off the person offering. Goddammit.

  • nmc

    Oh, and as an afterthought I would like to add that I have never come across any provos selling smoke, or anything else.

    Their only involvement in this trade that I have noticed over the years is punishing those who partake in it.

  • Willy john

    there was talk of POLLEN earlier on in this thread, its actually called POLLOM, we have mostly picked up on this through the sspread of its name by word of mouth an like chinnese whispers it has changed. i have read many a book on hash an they all refer to POLLOM.. hope this is of use to some peps..!!

  • King Amdo

    The Cannabis drought is being caused by global warming>climate change driven crop failure (hypothesis)

  • Armed Atheist

    Grow your own.

    It’s a crime against society to promote gangsterism by contributing to an illegal market.

    It’s a crime against sanity to smoke a boot-polish and diesel adulterated cannabis related industrial product like soapbar.

  • Rory

    If King Amdo’s hypothesis is correct then that should help those of us in northern climes at least to more readily follow Armed Atheist’s good advice.

    I’m off up the allotment.

  • E

    Anyone know the real reason for the shortage which was pretty serious here, the light at the end cas come in a sence but it’s still not as easy as before