Cannabis lady is being treated shamefully

How utterly appalling that a housing association is going to evict an old lady for privately medicating herself with cannabis.

How utterly appalling that a housing association is going to evict an old lady for privately medicating herself with cannabis.

She is being pursued as relentlessly as the Government scientist Dr David Kelly, but by a housing authority instead of men in suits.

Everyone knows the danger of teenagers using this herb, but they can also use Temazepam and Dihydrocodeine for kicks, too and the authorities haven't banned those drugs.

In any case, an old person's intake of the cannabis herb is measured in small doses to give relief, not to go on a high.

I would suspect a great many people in the Hexham area are horrified at what is happening now to Patricia Tabrum in Humshaugh.

EILEEN SANDS, Briardene, Ashington

Does Tony Blair have anything to celebrate?

SO Tony is celebrating 10 years in office and apparently can't wait to leave. Is he being compared to past "great" leaders. I'm not sure, but one may want to consider the war in Iraq and what happened to education, or did I miss it?

Thatcher will be remembered for two things, miners and the Falklands, but whatever political persuasion you may be, I think she will be remembered with respect as a passionate premier and conviction politician (no doubt many would have liked her convicted).

So, who next? A leader who will be a world figure? No, Gordon Brown, cut and dried (that's very, very dried), who no doubt will promise great things and deliver . . . promises of great things.

Can we have Paul Dixon standing in opposition please?

RICHARD JEMSON, Cramlington, Northumberland

We can help workers to know their rights

AT this May bank holiday time as well as hoping for good weather, we may be remembering that May Day is International Workers Day, born out of the struggle for an eight-hour day in 1886.

Today employees have many rights to protect them at work, but rights are not worth the paper they are written on if we don't know how to enforce them.

The Legal Services Commission (LSC) works in partnership with skilled and dedicated advice providers, helping people, some of whom are the most vulnerable in our society. The LSC commissions services help people to resolve problems early and without resort to the courts.

If you have a problem at work, you can find out more about your legal rights in the leaflet `Employment - know your rights'. It is part of a series published by Community Legal Services Direct. You can download the leaflet at:

If you live on a low income or benefits you can get independent advice by calling 0845 345 4345.

PETER NELSON, Regional Director, Legal Services Commission (North East), 2-8 Fenkle Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5RU (tel: 0191 244 5800; fax 0191 244 5997; website:

The big puzzle wind turbines can't solve

PERHAPS I missed a letter in which Mr G Williams, or some other supporter of wind power, answered this question: since, owing to wind variability, the output of each turbine (according to Government estimates) is somewhat less than a quarter of installed capacity. Conventional power stations must be kept permanently ticking over, ready to spring into action whenever they stand idle (ie three-quarters of the time). How are they going to effect a drastic cut in carbon dioxide emissions, even if they are planted thick from coast to coast?

Other correspondents have repeatedly mentioned this fact, and even specifically requested an answer, but, as far as I know, with no results.

In a spirit of genuine inquiry, I am asking again now.

Your correspondent, Malcolm Scott, clearly believes that we are able to control warming, and says "we must act now to remove the causes of climate change" (Wind turbines look good and do good", Voice of the North, May 3). Yet there is no agreement on what those causes may be. The so-called consensus is merely a majority and just as likely to be wrong as the minority who have serious grounds for disagreement.

If a large number of dissenting scientists are correct and the major cause of global warming is the sun, we would be ill-advised to try and remove it, however disturbing its present vagaries.

GILLIAN SWANSON, Whitley Bay, North Tyneside

Friends of the Earth have got it all wrong

MALCOLM Scott of Friends of the Earth seems to be in euphoric ecstasy as he tiptoes through his turbines ("Wind turbines look good and do good", Voice of the North, May 3).

Again his arguments are totally lacking in substance. He seems to be ignorant of the turbines' technology and also unaware that the scientific fraternity are not in unison as to reasons for climate change: natural climatological evolution, sunspot activity or so-called carbon emissions?

As for carbon emissions, has he stopped to think how much CO2 would be generated by the manufacture, transportation and construction of turbines? And what of the thousands of tons of concrete and the CO2 generated by their production and transportation? Great masses of concrete buried forever in our countryside supporting an ugly, uneconomic and inefficient machine. Whilst his electricity bill will not show a turbine supplement, the cost will be included. And of all the mega-watts intermittingly produced, how many power station generated mega-watts will be reduced? Not a single one.

Friend of the Earth or Rapist of the Countryside?

P BENNISON, Whitley Bay, North Tyneside

Falling punctuation standards at the BBC

ON Wednesday, just before 10pm on BBC1, our national flagship broadcaster, the following written caption appeared: "Over on BBC2: The Apprentice, Your Fired."

I despair.

HUW LEWIS, The Mickleys, Northumberland

How divers can do their bit for Mencap

ARE any Journal readers prepared to take the plunge for charity? Mencap, the learning disability charity, is on the lookout for teams of divers across the North-East to take part in a unique challenge this summer.

The charity's annual Dive Challenge, is supported by world free diving champion Tanya Streeter and the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). The event takes place on the weekend of the June 23 and 24, which is also Learning Disability Week, to raise money to support people with a learning disability.

You can be as creative as you like when designing your dive event and can choose to make your dive at your local pool or on an exotic holiday location. You can design your event to suit your team, experience and chosen dive site; previous teams have hosted themed diving parties and visited famous dive sites.

By taking part in Mencap's Dive Challenge, you can make a real difference to the lives of children with a learning disability.

JAINE BARRY, Mencap Press Office, 123 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0RT (tel: 0207 696 5603; email:


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