• 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. 

  • 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. 

  • 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. 

  • 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. 

     

  • 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.

  • UK Government Decides It No Longers Needs Scientific Advice

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

    Remember how we criticised the Government for not following the advice of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs? Well it would seem that they have learnt their lesson: they’ve decided to dispense with the advice completely! 

    The Misuse of Drugs Act specifies that the Government must seek scientific advice when making policy decisions. It doesn’t say that they have to follow the advice, simply that they must listen. The Government have decided that they are going to amend the law to remove this requirement. 

    At the very least, this is an admission that there is no scientific basis for the prohibitionist stance. It’s also another worrying step away from making informed decisions, although the Government made it’s previous decision despite scientific evidence to the contrary, at least they were required to listen to the evidence. 

    So what does this mean? It’s quite hard to tell, could this be the desperate thrashing of a Government which has cornered itself? Especially given that the EU will be holding a review of drug law in 2 days time? Or is it a sign of a continued hardline support in keeping with their blind devotion to the failed war on drugs? 

    Sadly, I don’t have the answer. I’d like to hope it was the former, but it’s quite clear that Cameron and Clegg can’t be trusted. With this in mind, it’s more likely to be the latter. 

     

    Take Action

    I’m doubtful of the effect it will have, but write to your MP today and tell them that you oppose the changes. 

    More details at The Register

     

  • UK Government follows a dangerous path, again!

    This post was originally published on Freedom4All and the original can be found in the archive at this link.

     

    It was reported on Monday that the Government have decided that they no longer need scientific advice on drug law. Presumably this is related to the mountain of scientific evidence contradicting the Government’s prohibitionist stance, but it does at least make it clear that the policies have absolutely nothing to do with health. 

    As if they couldn’t top that, the Government have now announced that they will be promoting abstinence over control of drug addictions. Although, to the casual observer, this may seem like a wise move, it’s a terrible decision and here’s why; 

  • 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? 

     

  • Why does the UK Government refuse to help reduce the suffering of many?

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

    We here at Freedom4All feel that many will agree with us when we say that pain and suffering should be reduced in whatever way possible. Why is it then that our Politicians seem un-willing to explore certain means of reducing this suffering? 

    Our Guest writer has offered to share his story to highlight the impact of this political decision;