Ben Tasker's Blog

Fitwatch: Did the Police Overstep their Authority?

This post was originally published to Freedom4All, you can find a copy of the original here in the archive.

Few will have missed the news that the site Fitwatch was taken offline at the request of the police. The site has called it a “pathetic attempt” and many have criticised the move as censorship. The Police, for their part, claimed that the site was “attempting to pervert the course of Justice”. 

So which argument is correct? Did Fitwatch slip up, or have the Police attempted to suppress a critical voice? 

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What are Cultural and Historical Reasons

This post was originally published to Freedom4All, you can find a copy of the original here in the archive.

The Home Office have been known to justify the wide availability of alcohol as being for ‘Cultural and Historical reasons’. In fact, this seems to be their default response as to why alcohol is legal and cannabis is not. 

But what do they actually mean, is their position tenable? 

The simple translation is that “too many people do it to ban it”. Funnily enough, we saw this same position when the smoking ban was imposed, but when used to argue against the legalisation of Cannabis it’s nothing more than a red herring. 

Ask yourself this: you’re caught doing 36 in a 30MPH speed limit. Would a court accept your argument that it’s OK because so many people do it? Erm No. 

In fact, can you think of a single thing you could effectively defend by saying “well, loads of other people do it?”. Personally, I can’t. The argument seems to be reserved exclusively for the Home Office. 

Lets assume, for a minute, that it is an acceptable argument. So, it follows that if a lot of people smoke cannabis it should be decriminalized. Except, of course, the Government have thought of that. By attempting to enforce strict prohibition, the Government have ensured that not all users will be willing to stand and be counted. Although I’m open about my Cannabis use, I have to remain anonymous to protect my loved ones. I don’t doubt that many others feel the same way. 

So, while Cannabis remains illegal, it is impossible to know how many people actively use cannabis. The Government has deliberately blinded itself from this so that it does not need to reverse it’s prohibitionist stance.

 

What can be done? 

The only way to effect change is to ensure we can stand and be counted another way. Only by educating each individual MP as to the failure of the Governmets prohibition can we show that enough people support the decriminalization of cannabis. This is why I regularly call for you to write to your MP. The more letters they receive, the sooner the Government will recognise that we do not support their ‘war on drugs’ or the harm it has called. 

 

Isn’t it funny how we hear calls for referendums on the smallest thing, yet the Government doesn’t dare to ask the populace if we think their prohibition is working? 

 

My Life Has Improved

This post was originally published to Freedom4All, you can find a copy of the original here in the archive.

Contrary to what the UK Government may tell you, cannabis does not ruin your life. 

In fact, I’m constantly reminded by friends and family how much better and happier I am than I have been for a very long time. Why haven’t I been happy in the past? I was in constant, unbearable pain and lived every second of my life under the influence of multiple prescription medications. 

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Will Anonymity ever be impossible on the Internet?

We all value our privacy, with many seeking to remain anonymous. We're told time and time again that development of interception technologies, with increasing government oversight mean that anonymity on the internet will soon be a thing of the past.

Is this true though? Are we moving towards a day when everything we do online will be monitored and scrutinised by government agencies?

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Inconsistencies in advice

This post was originally published to Freedom4All, you can find a copy of the original here in the archive.

Whilst watching “Desperate Housewives”, of all things, I was made aware of another legitimate medical use for cannabis. The show is set in “The eagle state” – Mississippi – where, amongst other things, cannabis is prescribed to treat depression. 

In reality, I can’t find anything to verify this use in Mississippi, but it is apparently used to treat depression elsewhere. 

Now, depression is no small thing. I’ve both seen and experienced it and it’s dangerous and unpleasant.What I don’t understand, however, is the vast differences in state recognition of the medical value of cannabis. 

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