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Glastonbury More Stoned Than IOW

12:01 PM Wednesday 5/23/12 | |

The street value of cannabis seized at last year’s Glastonbury Festival was nearly three times higher than that seized at the Isle Of Wight, according to a survey published in The Guardian.

  • Paul Simon

    Glastonbury Festival, Pilton, Somerset, UK
    June 26, 2011

    (AP Photo)

    | 

The results were provided by Request Initiative, a nonprofit organisation that makes Freedom Of Information requests on behalf of charities and NGOs.

The results from such UK festivals as Glastonbury, IOW, V, Bestival, Download, Sonisphere, Leeds, Reading, W.O.M.A.D. and Wireless showed some interesting traits, mainly that the amount of drug-taking has decreased since the all-time high of 2009.

Possibly befitting a festival taking place on farmland, the drug of choice at Glastonbury is rapidly becoming ketamine, the horse tranquiliser that’s been dubbed “the new ecstasy.”

Its use has increased over the last four years, while the use of piperazine and cannabis – although still Glastonbury’s most popular drugs – has declined during that period.

Second to the £44,869 ($70,351) worth of drugs seized at Glastonbury was the £27,410 ($42,981) worth of substances found at IOW, where cocaine looks to be the fans’ favourite.

Police found £11,256 ($17,647) worth of the stuff, more than four times the £2,510 ($3,935) worth of cocaine found at Michael Eavis’s west country festival.

Bestival, which is also on the Isle Of Wight, came third in the narcotics league table. Ecstasy was the most popular, accounting for £8,730 ($13,692) of the £18,479 ($28,983) worth of drugs seized. Police also found £4,488 ($7,039) worth of cocaine.

The V Festivals were responsible for the fourth-largest drug hauls, with a street value of £7,111 ($11,153), mainly cannabis and ecstasy, and less than one-sixth of the total amount found at Glastonbury.

Police found £1062 ($1,665) worth of drugs at Download, mainly cannabis and ketamine with smaller amounts of ecstasy and cocaine.

The other five festivals surveyed had seized drug totals of less than £1,000 ($1,568), headed by Reading with £805 ($1.262) and followed by Leeds (£794) ($1,245), Wireless (£585) ($917), Sonisphere (£413) ($647) and W.O.M.A.D. (£151) ($237). Cannabis was the only drug seized at W.O.M.A.D.

“Festivals have tended to become more expensive, corporate and mainstream with older more middle class crowds that probably attract far less intensive policing”, said Rupert George of the drugs charity Release.

“The policing of drug possession tends to be disproportionately targeted at the young, the poor and people from ethnic minorities. Festival crowds probably no longer fit this profile,” he said.

Although last year's haul of more than £44,000 ($68,989) was a rise of 12 percent on the previous year, Eavis has said drug culture at festivals has “changed beyond belief” and that it was “a cheek to even suggest there's a problem.”

Drug charities cautioned against using the figures as an indicator about general drug use, suggesting that seizures depend on many other variables, ranging from police priorities, the relative size of the festivals and even the weather.


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