Print this Page

£3 million of cannabis

Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you, who are accustomed to do evil, can do good. Jeremiah 13: 23

Jersey’s Royal Court was busy last week. In particular the Court sentenced two men – father and son – to jail terms of over seven years each arising from their single importation of cannabis into Jersey last year. The street value was around £3 million and the number of single doses which would have become available for use in Jersey was 246,000.

Have you done the arithmetic? Dividing the value by the number of doses indicates that one fix might cost around £12. For something which reputedly can make a person euphoric and uninhibited for a couple of hours, this may be cheap at the price – as long as you totally discount its addictive and longer-term effects.

More telling perhaps is another piece of arithmetic. Apparently this one importation fell short of meeting one year’s demand from Jersey customers. Dividing 246,000 by 52 weeks, the answer is that at least 5,000 doses are used every week in Jersey. 5,000+ doses – every week – in Jersey....

Why do so many people want to be euphoric and uninhibited and “high”? The answer is obvious. “It does ME good.” And, having been there once, ME wants more.
‘No true Christian is his own man.’ (John Calvin, French pastor, 1509-1564).

What about the importers? Apparently they imported before – to their advantage, as it were. They could say, “The importation did ME good.” Having been there once, ME wants more - £3 million more.

When Jeremiah (see bold above) wrote his ancient book he was living in Jerusalem. They year was around BC 550. The book, with others, in preserved in the national archives of Israel – and is now reproduced in every Christian Bible.

What did those ancient Jerusalem people want more of? Wine, actually. They could truthfully say, “It does ME good.” The alcohol traders said the same. “This is profitable to ME.” They didn’t add “because folk can’t do without it”.

 What about gambling? A flutter is a real buzz. “It does ME good.” And the bookies? Let’s have more shops, higher stakes, Sunday opening. “This is profitable to ME” (because folk can’t do without it).”

And so it goes on. Does it? In fact, how far does it actually go?

It goes as far as selling folk insurance products which they don’t need but are made to feel they should have in order for a borrowing deal to be “good for ME.” It seems inconceivable but it’s true: British banks have had to repay over £18,000,000,000 to customers because insurance was wrongly sold to them.

When I see the photo of the hotel swimming pool in the holiday brochure I say, “This will do ME good.” But the people in the picture won’t be there – won’t do ME the good suggested even if they are.

And clothing? This addition to my wardrobe – look at how attractive it will make ME – look at how I shall look when wearing it. The retailers “wholeheartedly” agree. It’s good for WE.

Two thousand five hundred years ago, in parallel circumstances, Almighty God asked Jeremiah to set this question in front of his chosen people.  Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots?

‘The Christian has been called upon to lead a supernatural life, and he has been given the power to live that life.’ (Donald Grey Barnhouse, pastor and writer, 1895-1960)

If you can, then also you, who are accustomed to do evil, can do good.

Above the voices of the world around me, /my hopes and dreams, my cares and loves and fears, /the long-awaited call of Christ has found me, the voice of Jesus echoes in my ears: /‘I gave my life to break the cords that bind you,
/I rose from death to set your spirit free;/turn from your sins, and put the past behind you,/take up your cross and come and follow me.’

Lord, I believe; help now my unbelieving; /I come in faith because your promise stands. /Your word of pardon and of peace receiving, all that I am I place within your hands. /Let me become what you shall choose to make me,
freed from the guilt and burden of my sins. /Jesus is mine, who never shall forsake me, /and in his love my new-born life begins.
(Timothy Dudley-Smith © Author / Oxford University Press)

Richard Syvret

Email this newsletter to a friend
*All mandatory fields must be filled in

Friend`s name
Friend`s email address *
Your name
Your email address *

Send comment
*All mandatory fields must be filled in

Your name *
Your email address *
Your comment *