Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Article excerpt

IF you find a policeman sniffing around your allotment, the chances are that he is not after your marijuana but your marrow. In the debate over whether or not soft and hard drugs should be legalised, many have overlooked the government's heavy-handed tactics against some extremely soft substances.

Last year, Ferme de Sainte Marthe, a seed supplier in Surrey, tempted customers with some exotic varieties of lettuce. Gardeners were delighted to discover `Devil's Ears', `Drops of Blood' and `Ice Queen' lettuces. The result? A visit to Ferme de Sainte Marthe from Maff's `vegetable-buster' squad. The lettuces, they announced, were not on the national register of plant varieties and it was therefore illegal to sell or distribute them. Was it that they carried some genetic mutation that would lay waste to every market garden should it be allowed to spread? …

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