Sunday, June 04, 2006

First Pioneering Dope Bust

Ok enough of this blabla about even more blabla - time for the serious stuff, but condensed a bit. Drugs. Cannabis in particular. My 1st bust was in October 1964 - if that's not pioneering, tell me what is. Mitcham. What a tragic chunk of London (then and probably now as well) for such a crazy thing to happen. I was with 2 friends at a party for someone's birthday or whatever - most of the partygoers were connected with the YCND ( Youth Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament as it was then called) movement, myself included. I'd been Secretary of the local YCND group for some time. But the ol' demon weed was starting to sneak into the mix, and a lot of the more old school Communist Party members had a very hardline anti-drug stance. We'd {weed?} (all 3 of us) already had some problems with them - they actually grassed up (haha!) someone. All very friendly - solidarity with our comrades. So we figured it would be cooler to smoke a couple of spliffs outside rather than in "the room over the pub where the party was held". We found an alley just across the street next to a cemetery. I'd scored an ounce of topwhack grass that same afternoon, crammed into a piece of bulky newspaper like fish and chips. We skinned a couple up, decided to stash the grass in some grass (oh no not again!) rather than carrying it bulging out of my jeans like a banana or maybe a pistol. About to light up when 2 big looking guys appear from the other end of the alley. We freeze. They're coppers, just come off their shift - one of them had come out of his house (the very last house in the alley - classic!) to put a blanket over the engine of his car, as it was pretty cold. He'd heard us talking, heard me saying "Put a lump in here", got suspicious, went back into the house to get his other copper mate, walked up to us "hello-hallo-hello" style. We're nicked - stoned out of our crusts with no strategy or hope of doing a runner - rabbits frozen in the headlights stuff. They take us into the house. It's around 12.30 maybe. The heavy squad arrive - good cop bad cop stuff. More and more police start arriving, out of curiosity rather than anything else I guess - this was their first ever meeting with DRUG ADDICTS - unmissable. We had absolutely not a clue about our rights - nothing. One particularly bad-ass sergeant gives us a hard time of it, especially me. I've owned up to possession of the 2 joints, as they were mine after all. Not even realising that I wasn't legally obliged to say anything at all, I make up a cock 'n' bullshit story about where we bought the spliffs etc. He's just beginning to believe me, when another cop walks in with the ounce wrapped in newspaper - "Just found this outside in the alley sarge". They'd been searching the whole area with dogs. We are now well and truly screwed. I've blatantly lied to a large policeman, and he's not happy. They take us to the station. Even more blue meanies arrive - it's starting to feel like some crazy surrealist film. I'm (illegally) forced to make a written statement, and also forced to lie to protect my friends, let alone our dealer. And of course there was absolutely no way we'd be leaving the nick until we got bail, and our names and addresses have been checked out. Great - the younger guy's father has to come and bail us out. He's another not very happy man. I've just moved into a new flat that very same afternoon - not even unpacked - very sweet Irish landlady - the Drugs Squad hammering on the door at 2.30am - turn the whole flat over. She's not too happy either. We finally get out of the nick around 3.30/4am. By the time we get to court a few weeks later, the youngest of the 3 of us, who was only 15, has become badly freaked out, is on anti-depressants, and because of a previous silly bit of burglary was probably going to end up in Borstal - not a good deal. The only way out was for him to admit he was addicted to cannabis, but willing to undergo a "cure" (imagine this bullshit now!) - a good result the social workers said - minimum 6 months in a psychiatric hospital. I was fined £10, and told to go and spend some time with my parents (in those days you were a minor until 21, not 18 like now). The 3rd member of the crew was given a £5 fine. It was a class thing as much as anything else - the youngest was from a working class family - me and the other guy from middle class ones. My father was actually very cool about the whole affair - after all I'd gone to my 1st ever jazz gig with him and dear ol' mum when I was 12, and he turned me on to Jack Kerouac when I was 14.
More tales of dope busts, brushes with the authorities, confrontations with the police and, last but not least, lots of hassles with CUSTOMS OFFICIALS to follow. This time I will finish the stories.

1 comment:

  1. You need some pictures to liven up your posts a little. Would you like some cartoons for free?

    I draw cartoons, and if you give me a brief - I can do you a few. Have a look at my blog: