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Issue 16 - October 1973
I Was A Teenage Letter Poster
The only proven danger in smoking cannabis is that it's illegal. The following is a true account by a 16 year old boy which illustrates that statement well. It is particularly significant in that it isn't a rare occurrence but something that happens much too often.

I had just washed some clothes in the sink and put them in front of the fire to dry. "They'll be okay for 5 minutes" I thought as I left to post a letter.

But, little did this innocent helpless child realise that today, Monday 24 September was going to be one of the most traumatic of his short, innocent life!

Having posted my letter and being new to Shields I was interested in finding a way home through the back lanes. I looked down one which appeared to be a dead end so I turned round to walk back up the road when an unobtrusive bottle-green mini pulled over and a young guy with black wavy hair did a pretty bad Batman-leaves-the-Batmobile-at-speed imitation.

Thrusting an ID card up my nose, our pseudo 'caped crusader' gabbled "Pleesoficer wosyername?"

"Uy?" asked I, bright as usual.

"Doan mess uz about" added the short 'Pleesmans' somewhat burlier companion. (At this point in the proceedings I feel it is my duty to add that this is a fair example of that well known tactic where you get one 'reasonable' tyke, sorry, type, who observes that "We've all got our jobs to do" etc etc, bullshit bullshit ...) and the other guy (normally what is affectionately known as a 'heavy') is all for hammering you straight away. (Unlike the other sly get, who, in his misinformed state, tries to lull you into a false sense of security!)

The heavy is the type who hovers in the background breathing "Yuh Bugeryuh" and doing a fairly passable imitation of Gary Glitter (on a good night). He also occasionally finds it necessary to yell "Old me back, old me back, al kill im, so elp me."

This ploy of confusing the 'prisoner' was widely used by the Nazis so it must be good(!)

And now back to the story!
Weed: "Wosyer name?"
Heavy: "Yeh, cumon den."
Me: "Duhher ... erm! (?) wasuplike, and I know me rights."
Heavy: "Yer've got no rights. Now. Wots your name?"
Me: "I'm saying nothing. Am I being arrested?"
Heavy: "Wots yer name? Yeh bugeryuh" ... (Weed - calm down now, don't scare the kid, alright alright son. Now come on. Wosyername)
Me: "Gibbergibber, twitchtwitch - you're just tryna scare me. Am I being arrested? I've done nothing so you can't arrest me anyway." (So there!)(?)
Heavy: "Now look ear" ...
Weed: (Cutting in) "all right, we've reason to believe you're in possession of dangerous drugs. Now. Wotsyername??? (Heavy: "Yeah, das rite ... Duh?") (They had reasonable grounds to believe so, after all I have got long hair!)
Me: "Why me? Worav I done?"
Weed: "Aw cum on" (be a sport?)

Young lad walks through a back alley to avoid police offier!

"Cum on Son."
Me: "Ey!" (Duh)(?) (I saw nothing wrong in this, however he seemed outraged!)
Heavy: "Cum on get in the car." (unmarked green mini)
Me: "Come off it. Let's see your ID." (Weed shows ID whilst heavy shoves me into de van)

In the van, heavy drives whilst weed sits leering. Heavy is mad.

Me: "I'm allowed one phone call if I'm arrested."
Heavy: "Yer'll get a phone call when I say so. Wosyername???" (car serves violently)
Me: ... (false name)
Heavy: "Where jalive?"
Me: ... (false address)
Heavy: "Cum on. There's no such place. NOW CUMON!"
Me: (Gulp, Kringe, Kringe)

Heavy looks round for an answer. Car serves violently. Weed kringes and looks uncomfortably like a child with a wet nappy thenceforth.

Meanwhile (back at the ranch) I'm attempting the impossible and trying to get comfortable in the back. The swerve knocks me against the doors. Heavy spins round like he's been goosed with a rattlesnake and rams a somewhat podgy finger into my mouth.

"Trying to jump out!!!" he squeals, outraged.

I cower against doors - "Come off it man."
Heavy: "Never mind that."

(Rest of journey passes. We arrive at crummy back yard of pig pen. Then on to a bare 3rd floor room marked 'Interview Room' (alias Dracula's tomb). I am sat down in a chair.

Heavy: "Now cum on."

(Me thinx "Hello sailor, come out with another 'come on' like that an I'll smash yer face in!)

Me: "I want to make a phone call" (winge, winge)
Heavy: "When ah say. Where do you live?"
Weed: "How old are you?"
Me: (Konfused) "Erm!"
Both: "COME ON"
Me: ... "Okay ... I'm living at ... till I get a flat. An I'm 16."
Weed: "Why d'you lie, uh?"
Me: (Thinx - das right tell de world) "Er ... er ... (!) ... Ah! I was scared(!) ... erm, yeh, I was scared!" (the answer he wanted)
Heavy: (Leering): "Ha!"
Me: (Thinx - asshole)
(Exit heavy)
Weed: (sits on desk) "Now look son, just across the road from the town hall live 2 of the biggest pushers in town so when we saw you in the lane we thought you were holding for them. And you did give a false name and address." (so there).
Me: "I know my rights, I want a phone call."
(Heavy re-enters, I wince in frustration) "When I say so," he squeals.
Me: (Brightly) "Ah, then am I under arrest? Coz if I am I am allowed a phone call."
Heavy: (Tres de la heavily) "you're here aren't you?? and you'll get a phone call when I say so!!"
Me: (Thinx, up yours too, fat ponce)

I had not been told my rights (anything you say etc etc) so legally I was not arrested. They are allowed to search for dope though and I could have been searched in the street if I had not been unco-operative, heavy's reluctance however shows that all was not correct!

Weed: "Empty your pockets."
Heavy: "Aye, dasright. Do im thouroughly, shoes an all." (Exit heavy studying notes made during 'interview')
Pockets - empty, empty.
Weed: (examining contents of my pockets) "You know you could have made it a lot easier on yourself if you hadn't started on about your rights."

(Weed then frisks me and examines a small piece of Kleenexe tissue (used to wipe my occasionally somewhat snotty nose) (true).

Me: "I only asked for my rights coz I'm allowed one phone call."
Heavy: (from another room) "When I say!!! Who'd you call anyroad?"
Me: ... (I named a good friend who would have raised holy hell if I'd been held illegally).

About here I feel it is my duty to inform our younger readers that legal rights, as such, only apply when in the sight of that Great but gullible JoePublic. When you enter a pig pen in the company of 2 or more burly policemen, a wicked fairy (called Heath) casts a spell which automatically removes all your human, and indeed, humane rights. There now, doesn't that thrill yer?

(Enter heavy reading notes). "I've checked, you haven't got a record anyway."
Me: (thinx, geraway! Bright boy! I could have told you that ages ago, if you'd asked, if I had a record it wouldn't be in my name anyway)
Me: (to Weed) "What am I here now for then?"
Weed: (fingers poker dice from my pocket) "These could be loaded, going equipped to cheat?"
Me: (grinning) "dats a laff! (hah!) D'you wanna game to find out?"
Weed: (reddening) "Duhno, no, erm. Yes! (points to door key) going equipped to steal, it might not be yours!"
Weed (getting cocky and frustrating) "you better swot up on your law, you're not allowed a phone call (so there?)" this was only coz I was not legally arrested, however I must stress that in situations like this it is best not to argue coz fighting a case is hard enough but fighting it from a hospital bed is even worse.)
Me: "What a lot of fuss over nowt eh?"
Weed: "Not at all. You might have had some drugs!"
Me: (gasp!) "ME Ah never touch the stuff (a lie) and I still want a phone call."
(enter heavy) "You've no rights here!"
Me: (bravely) "Yes I have."
Heavy: (still more heavily, leering) "Not ear yer aven't (Jim Lad!?) we're all alone."(!) (erk!)
Me: (looking at 6ft odd heavy) "Ye ... ERRRR ... Yeh ... em? ... then again praps not ... duh."
Heavy: "Well just remember that next time you speak to a police officer. Right?"
Me: (who, me?) "Erm? Yuh" (thinx - ah'll remember and have the sense to kik his ass!)
Heavy: (looking at my 2 silver bracelets) "MMMM nice(?) let's have a look at yer bracelets".
Me: ... ? ... ! ... ? ... (gasp) ... (thinx, whoops! Get him! Saucy cat!) ... "Yer, why?"
Heavy: (examining inside rims, for hidden dope?) "nice, where do you get them?"
Me: "I was given one and bought the other, why?"
Heavy: (embarrassed) "Come on an I'll show you the lift ..."
Me: (thinx, be like that then. And you know wot you can do with your lift so there!)
Heavy: (fumbles with lift buttons. Finally fluffs it completely and manages to get hand caught.) "Go straight out when you get to the basement."
Me: (as if I'd wait around) "Tara then see yer around ... I mean er" (damn)

And so as the lift doors close on our hero we bid farewell to Shields Pig Pen.

The moral is obvious. You're eligible for arrest if you've got long hair. But just imagine: every hapless freak in the north-east who goes to post a letter being busted for dope: just be careful with that letter Eugene.