• A Stark Reminder

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

    I begin with some bad news. The country singer Willie Nelson has been arrested at the age of 77 for possession of Cannabis. Six Ounces of Cannabis were found on his tour bus when it pulled into a police checkpoint in Texas, the singer was bailed for £1500. You can read (a little) more about this at the Telegraph. 

    This, however, is not what this article is about. Readers will note that I have been elated at the effect that Cannabis has had on my life in recent months, so much so in fact, that I believe I began to forget just how difficult life had been prior to my use of this fantastic plant. 

    Unfortunately, earlier this week, I was given a stark reminder of just how difficult life was. 

  • A very belated reply to FeMail

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

    OK, in 2007 the Daily Mails’ Sally Emerson wrote a piece slating a Suffolk mother for ensuring that her children had a clean, safe supply of Cannabis. 

    Now I know 3 years have passed, but the article is so full of lies, damned lies and statistics that I felt it would be a great opportunity to highlight some of the propaganda used by the Government and the sensationalist media. 

  • Aussie Comms Minister Puts Foot In Mouth

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

    Australian communications minister – Stephen Conroy – has made a speech pledging to protect Australians from ’spams’ coming through their ‘portals’. 

    You could forgive the man for his obvious lack of technical literacy if it were not for his pet project – The Great Australian Firewall. 

    That’s right, the same man who publicly displayed a great level of ignorance, is behind the project that threatens Free Speech within Australia. His pet project has repeatedly received criticism, especially when the blacklist was leaked and it became apparant they were blocking perfectly legitimate content. 

    Despite his prior failures, the man soldiers on, today giving us such wonderful words as; 

    There’s a staggering number of Australians being in having their computers infected at the moment, up to 20,000 — uh — can regularly be getting infected by these spams or scams, that come through the portal. 

    Oh dear! We also wonder quite how the Minister plans to stop these ’spams or scams’ or any other malware for that matter. Would he, by any chance, be proposing that the GAF should also process every inbound e-mail? If so, the privacy implications grow ever greater! 

    You can watch the video here

     

  • Cannabis: Social Harm or Social Good?

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

    We are told that the Misuse of Drugs Act exists in order to protect society from the ill effects of certain drugs. In fact, there is reason to believe that the original legislation in 1924 was more motivated by commercial interests than humanitarian ones. Especially given that in 1894 the British and Indian Hemp Commission decided against prohibition stating that social use of cannabis was acceptable. For the purposes of this article, however, we’ll give the Government the benefit of the doubt. 

    The Government often reminds us that drugs are harmful and constitute a real and present danger to society. This is clearly a very bold statement to make, but does it apply to every use case? 

    The Government would certainly like us to believe that it does, but my experience would suggest that the truth is a little different. 

  • Fallacies P3 – The Home Office are Protecting Our Children

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

    This post was part of a series called Fallacies and can now be found under the tag Fallacies

    Earlier in the series, we looked at claims that the Home Office have credibility when debating drugs and also at claims that Cannabis is a dangerous substance

     

    In this instalment we will look at the myth that the current political position on medical cannabis is what’s required to protect our children from harm. 

  • Fallacies: Cannabis is a truly terrible, dangerous nasty drug – Part 2 of Series

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

    This post was part of a series called Fallacies and can now be found under the tag Fallacies

    In my last instalmentwe began disproving some of the myths that prohibitionists use to justify their stance on the medical use of Cannabis. 

    In this article, we’ll examine the fallacy that Cannabis is an abhorrent drug 

  • Fallacies: Pharmaceutical Mistakes of the Past – Part 1 of Series

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

    This post was part of a series called Fallacies and can now be found under the tag Fallacies

     

    The UK Government steadfastly denies the medical benefits of Cannabis, they’ve classified it as a Schedule 1 Drug – “Of no medical benefit” – and resolutely try to ignore scientific evidence to the contrary. 

    Surely, you think, it must be that the Government know something that we do not. After all, the Home Office exists to protect the taxpayer from all the nasties that threaten our lifestyles. In this series of articles, we’ll be debunking the myth that the Home Office have any justification in their stance. 

  • 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? 

  • Freedom4All

    Freedom4All was a small Human Rights focused blog I ran between 2008-2010

    It was a small Wordpress based blog, with a mixture of dedicated content and "news" posts highlighting things of focus/importance on other sites.

    Much of the earlier content was lost following issues with the hosting provider (and the backups they'd been paid to take), but content from 2010 onwards can be located in the Freedom4All Archive

  • Harm is Nothing If Not Relative

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

    I’m afraid tonight’s posts are all short pieces (which no doubt is a relief to many!). 

    The Legalise Cannabis Alliance regularly mentions a very valid point, that I don’t feel is reported nearly enough. What’s reported even less is how the UK Government worsen the situation. 

    As well all know, smoking tobacco is very bad for your health. So bad, in fact, that the Government often report the tobacco related risk of smoking a joint as a ‘danger’ of smoking cannabis! In doing so, they completely overlook the fact that it is their own policies that ensure many smokers of an effective medication have to take the additional (and unnecessary) risk. 

    You see, there are other, safer ways to consume cannabis. 

    The obvious is to eat cannabis. Now firstly don’t – it’s very difficult to measure the dose and judge the effect it has had on you. The problem here is two-fold; 

    1. Because Cannabis suppliers are uncontrolled, it’s very difficult to know how strong your supply is.
    2. It takes far longer to enter your system. You can easily eat too much because you aren’t feeling the effects yet. 

     

    But problem 2 is obviously not related to Government policies. It’s probably wiser to smoke cannabis than to eat it, far wiser than either is to use one of the methods below; 

     

    Safer methods exist

    You see you can utilise ‘tools’ that allow you to smoke Cannabis sans tobacco, methods involving burning cannabis can include; 

    • A bong
    • A Pipe
    • A ‘Lung’ (Plastic bag used to create a vacuum in a plastic bottle)
    • A ‘bucket’
    • A Glass 

    Alternatively, for an even safer method you can avoid burning the cannabis by using what’s called a Vaporiser. You see, when you smoke cannabis, the THC, CBD and CBN (amongst others) don’t burn, they evaporate. A vaporiser works by applying heat to the cannabis so that these active chemicals vaporise. It avoids all the known dangers of inhaling smoke. 

     

    If they’re so safe, why not use them?

    The problem with all these methods is that they are all potentially evidence. Once a joint is gone, it’s gone but having a used bong at the side of your sofa tends to suggest something about the owner! 

    Because the UK Government has a prohibitionist’s stance on Cannabis, it’s a risk to possess ‘tools’ and so many smokers opt to smoke joints. 

    You can read more (and better) information at the LCA’s dedicated page.

  • Home Office Respond to My Email

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

    It’s funny what a little restraint can do, I was all set to submit an angry article about the Home Office last night as they appeared to have overrun their 20 day timescale for responding to queries. Instead I decided to employ a bit of patience, and today I received a response!! 

  • Ignorant Attitudes on Paper

    This post was originally posted to Freedom4All. A copy of the original can be found here in the archive.

    A member of the Coalition – Simon Heffer – has penned a truly ignorant piece in the Times. Quite frankly, some of the tripe he has written is so self-evident that it’s hardly worth countering. So instead, I’ll deal with the crux of his article; 

  • 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. 

  • James Brokenshire re-defines Success

    This post was originally published to Freedom4All, the original can be found here in the archive.

    Firstly, hat-tip to Peter Reynolds for covering this story. 

    James Brokenshire (in typing that I originally used a ‘t’ instead of an ‘r’, freudian slip?) has claimed that the dangerous level of cocaine impurity seen in the UK is a ‘sign of success’. 

    This is quite possibly one of the most dangerous and uninformed statements that I have heard since I began scratching at the thin veneer of the war on drugs. 

  • Judge Rules: Privacy Controls on Facebook Insufficient

    This post was originally published to Freedom4All. A copy of the original can be found here in the archive

    As US court has ruled that a woman who posted content to a restricted part of Facebook had “No reasonable expectation that it would remain private”. 

    Facebook is often criticised for making too much information public, however on this occasion the woman – Kathleen Romano – had set her profile to be private. Despite this, a Judge has ruled that content previously posted to Ms Romano’s profile is admissible as evidence, even though it had never been publicly accessible and Ms Romano had deleted it from her account! 

  • 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. 

  • Professor Nutt Confirms What We Already Knew

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

    We’ve all said it time and time again, in fact the only people in the dark seem to be the UK Government – Alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances available. 

    Professor Nutt of ACMD fame has confirmed it, Alcohol has a serious detrimental effect on both the user and society as a whole. 

    So why is it that alcohol is legal and other substances aren’t? As we’ve discussed in the past there is no provision in the Misuse of Drugs Act to arbitrarily exclude a substance from the controls implemented by the legislation. 

    The Home Office after much dillying and dallying have justified the juxtaposition as being due to “historical and cultural” reasons. This already seemed to be a tacit admission that there’s no science behind the Government’s war on drugs. This latest news pretty much sets it in concrete. 

    Read more here. Be sure to note the huge difference between harm caused (to others and the user) by alcohol and that caused by Cannabis. 

     

  • Release needs your help

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

    On my Call to Arms Page is a button allowing readers to Donate to Release. I put this up in the hope of generating more donations to this important charity. 

    The situation has now changed, Release are in a tight position and one of their most important services is in imminent danger. I felt it was important, therefore, that I highlight some of the work that Release do. 

  • South Africa plans Internet Filter

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

    The South African Government has recently been making a lot of noise about pornography on the Internet. The end result being that the Government is planning to pass an act – Internet and Cell Phone Pornography Bill – forcing Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) to filter pornography both on the Internet and on mobile phones. 

    Most of the hardware required is probably already in place, as the Film and Publication Act bans pornography featuring children. However the South African Government is planning to expand this functionality by using the definition of pornography used in the Sexual Offences Act. 

  • The Link Between Cannabis and Increased Crime Rates

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

    One of the ‘weapons’ wielded against Cannabis is the ‘link’ to crime. Supporters of prohibition argue that Cannabis related crime is increasing, which is often supported by statistics. 

    But there’s a causal link here that is often omitted: the very prohibition that the supporters are attempting to justify. 

    I can quite honestly and accurately state that Cannabis related crime rose dramatically in 1971. Why? was there a sudden outbreak of crime in society? 

    Or could it be that before 1971 cultivation and possession of Cannabis was not a crime per se. So although the statistics would suggest that Cannabis use was more prevalent and damaging in the years following 1971, the reality is quite different.