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Substance Abuse and the Law

Even if you are new to the Berkshire Ursine safe-haven, you will have heard about the rules regarding certain 'restricted' foodstuffs. Some of these - such as honey - may be familiar, others - such as doughnuts - may not, but it pays to understand what is against the law, as officers from the Nursery Crime Division take bear substance abuse very seriously.

If this seems unnecessarily harsh, remember that due to the unique legal position of bears within Berkshire, we have had to accede to certain demands placed upon us by our human hosts. If you think it's all a bit onerous, you may leave the county where you are not bound by the rules, nor any humans bound by any rules to you. Think smart. Live in Berkshire but stay the right side of the law.



Porridge
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Slang: Flake. This mild, euphoria-inducing snack has been designated a 'class III' foodstuff by the Ursine Food and Drink Administration. Buying and selling oats with intent to porridge is an offence unless it is your own quota. Ration books are available at the ILU office at the Bob Southey and are restricted to 500g a week, irrespective of age, sex, or hierarchical ranking. The NCD generally overlook minor porridge infringements, but continued use (or dealing) will result in a hefty fine, loss of porridge privileges, or for the most persistent offenders, removal of whiskers.

Porridge Paraphernalia
By a quirk of the law, uncooked rolled oats are not illegal to own, nor is porridge 'Paraphernalia' such as wooden spoons, bowls, milk and brown sugar. Although this is true, it is not worth your while flaunting bowls or wooden spoons in public as it might make you a 'target' for a possible raid.
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Honey
Slang: Buzz, Sweet. This is a contentious subject as bears have been eating honey for centuries. Nevertheless, medical evidence does tend to support the notion that dominant males can get dangerously aggressive while high on honey, especially in the mating season. For that reason, honey is a class II restricted foodstuff - severely rationed off-season and only available for medicinal purposes and out of bounds to anyone else. We've all seen the sad 'sweeters ' or 'buzzboys' whose lives and careers were ruined by too much honey, so play it safe and lay off.
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Comb is a little less damaging than jar as the wax tends to have a calming effect, and although modern aspartame derivatives are helping to wean the honey-addicts off the hard stuff, we must insist that bears are responsible with their honey use. Ration is one jar per month, July to February. The International League of Ursidae have agreed that a conviction for illegal honey use or possession can be punished by imprisonment and loss of Ursine hierarchal ranking. You have been warned.

Marmalade
Slang: Shred, Chunk or Peel. Three words of advice: DON'T DO MARMALADE. The serious pyschtropic effects of this particular foodstuff cannot be understated. Bears can undertake all sorts of aberrant behaviour while on a 'chunk trip' and with potentially harmful effects not only for the individual concerned but to our continued relationship with our human hosts, who might not like what they see when one of our number gets out of his or her head on a jar or two of Wilkin and Sons 'Old Times'.
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Don't be fooled by innocuous-looking own-brand cheapies or the pathetic thinness of Golden Shred; nor labels claiming that it is mostly gelling agent or 50% lemon. It's all dangerous, and as part of our ongoing anti-marmalade outreach programme, every jar of marmalade handed in gets the lucky recipient an extra 1kg of rolled oats added to their monthly quota.

Buns
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Again, a contentious matter and the rules governing buns are unnecessarily byzantine. A ringed doughnut (without sugar) for instance is unregulated, but make that a jam doughnut with sugar, and it becomes a Class III restricted foodstuff. Iced doughnuts with sprinkles and that yummy caramel filling are a Class II, and 'Krispy Kreme' doughnuts are as illegal as marmalade, so the possibilities of accidentally finding yourself criminalised are very real indeed.
If you want to play it safe in the bun department, you might like to either pick up a 'Buns and You' leaflet from the Bob Southey health centre, or attend one of our monthly forums where bun experts will go through the identification procedures in order that you are fully aware of what you are eating. Remember: a few hundreds and thousands can make the difference between a fine and freedom, so be smart.
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ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES   I    RIGHT TO ARM BEARS   I    THE BOB SOUTHEY   I    ASK VINNIE