Wednesday, 20 June 2018

The law, cannabis, medicines and our Rights -get the debate on track

Almost all the debate I am seeing is about whether cannabis helps people or drives them psychotic or makes them ill, or both, which are medical issues. Little mention of my or your human rights, which I never asked for but was "given". The law is not actually about drugs or plants or medicines, it is about what some people can or cannot do with them - possession, production, supply.

If we have a right to a private life then that must include the right to grow or possess or even share with willing people, unless it threatens PUBLIC health, public order, or the rights of others.

Issues such as whether somebody else is cured of illness or has their pains or tremors eased, or suffers from psychosis or even dies of cancer, has nothing whatsoever to do with possession, production or sharing in PRIVATE. What difference it makes to driving or singing skills, is not the issue when it comes to private life.

Limits or otherwise on strength, claims that childrenmay  use cannabis or that some people later take drugs, is not the issue when it comes to Private Life.

Billy Caldwell, Alfie and other children, in fact, don't get me wrong, but their survival has nothing to do with what we do in our private lives.

I say that because the law targets our private lives; people get busted in their homes even though they pose no threat or do no harm

IT SEEMS TO ME obvious that those that get benefit from the cannabis plant or its products that are otherwise inhumanely suffering or risking life itself, should be protected by the Government, not punished by it, and should have that medication available in a pure and safe form.

But that is a health issue, Of course they have the right to live a healthy life. Yet it is a different issue, and many of the politicians are talking about allowing pharmaceutical grade cannabis or its products including oils, on prescription. Well we know how much is already being grown ready for that profitable situation to become acceptable to the public, after the years of lies, by GW Pharmaceuticals and British Sugar and who owns shared in those?

When somebody says that cannabis use heals or harms, saves lives or ruins them, leads to drug use or not, whether safer than aspirin or alcohol or sugar - I have to ask

WHO SHOULD WE ARREST?

Those that cannabis consumption helps or those that cannabis harms?

Those that later take drugs or those that do not?

Those that eat sugar or those that do not?

Those that harm others, or those that do not?


Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Corrupt UK Government to restrict cannabis production to the elite

Despite recent news that the UK Home Office minister has used his 'extraordinary powers" to allow Bill Caldwell to be given cannabis oil to stop his epileptic fits and possible save his life ...

Despite that many thousands of people are claiming medicinal benefits through their use of cannabis bought or grown illegally ..

Despite the fact that many other countries have made "medicinal" cannabis available ...

Despite the fact that not one person has died from cannabis use per se...

Despite public opinion ..

Despite the fact that cannabis itself is still scheduled as a substance with no medicinal applications and yet THC and CBD have medicinal uses, and that British Sugar Cooporation produces and exports more "medical grade" cannabis than almost every other country ...  NOTE the ex-drug minister Victoria Atkin's husband is a major shreholder)

Despite the fact that GW Pharamceuticals have been granted licence to produce the whole-plant extract Sativex which they sell at grossly inflated prices (even compared with street prices) NOTE Theresa May's husband is a major shareholder)

UK: Theresa May personally promised my epileptic son cannabis oil - and he's still waiting 3 months later
UK: Cannabis debate: I appealed to the prime minister 

 UK: William Hague calls for Theresa May to legalise cannabis 

 UK: Lord Hague says government should 'be bold' and legalise cannabis 

 UK: Government will have blood on its hands if medicinal cannabis is not prescribed, says father of ill child 

 UK: Cannabis war 'comprehensively lost', says William Hague 

 UK: Theresa May REFUSES to back Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt on changing the law on medical cannabis after epileptic boy Billy Caldwell's case 

 UK: Tonia Antoniazzi MP: My constituents need to have access to medicinal cannabis 

 UK: Jeremy Hunt shows support for changing law over medical cannabis oil use 

 UK: Review needed on medicinal cannabis cases, says May 

 UK: Cannabis oil: cabinet appears divided as Hunt calls for review 

 UK: Middlesbrough MP 'wonders if cannabis could have helped son' 

 UK: Cannabis oil row: Billy Caldwell discharged from hospital 

 UK: Cannabis oil row prompts legalisation call 

 UK: Cannabis oil: My daughter could die tomorrow 

 UK: Billy Caldwell: Senior MP urges reform over medical cannabis 

 UK: Home Office grants licence for epileptic boy's medicinal cannabis oil 

 Cannabis oil returned to UK boy Billy Caldwell after hospitalization 

 UK: Home Office returns cannabis oil for boy's epilepsy treatment 

 UK: Billy Caldwell 'will have medical cannabis returned' after being confiscated by Home Office 

 UK: Epileptic boy Billy Caldwell has 'life-threatening' seizures' after cannabis confiscated 

 UK: 'Dying' Billy Caldwell rushed to hospital 

 UK: Medical cannabis and the challenge for regulation of medicines 

 UK: You've signed my boy's death warrant, says cannabis row mother 

 UK: Mum defiant as son's cannabis medication is seized at airport 

 UK: Mother of severely autistic boy has 'life-saving' cannabis oil confiscated at Heathrow 

 UK: Why we must legalise cannabis now for the sake of public health 

 UK: Legalising cannabis could earn Treasury 3.5 billion pounds 

 22 European Countries and Their Cannabis Laws

 New UN report reveals UK is world’s biggest producer of medical cannabis

 Where Is Marijuana Legal? Peru The Latest Country To Legalize

 Britain is largest exporter of legal cannabis in the world despite ban

Alfie Dingley: Mum criticises decision to deny cannabis treatment for son with severe epilepsy


 

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Billy Caldwell, the use of cannabis as a medicine: Letter to Chloe Smith MP Norwich North

Dear Ms Smith,

I am personally disgusted with the way this Government is behaving over the issue of cannabis as a medciine.  In particular the announcement that Bill Caldwell is not to be allowed to be given cannabis oil by his mother, when it is apparent that it is keeping him alive.

Withdrawing life-saving medicine is the same as withdrawing food or water, and if the result is death, it is surely murder.

Cannabis is scheduled under the Misuse of Drugs Act as aplant drug with no medicinal uses.

So it seems strange, especially as Mrs May's husband is an investor in GW Pharmaceuticals, the company that miraculously extracts Sativex, a whole-plant extract in alcohol, from the plant to sell at greatly inflated prices and with limited availabilty.

Even more strange the Victoria Atkins MP's husband is a major investor in British Sugar Corperation, which apparently exports millions of pounds of cannabis 'for medicinal use'.

Whilst these men and others make massive profits from cannabis, individuals in the UK are still subject to arrest for growing even just a few plants at home for own use.

The UK seems very much behind so many countries in the world today that allow various forms of cannabis on prescription?

WHY is that?  Is it in any way connected to the personal investments of those two men and others?

Alun Buffry, Norwich North

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Is cannabis a drug?

IS CANNABIS A DRUG? - A DISCUSSION



WHETHER OR NOT CANNABIS IS A DRUG POSSESSION, CULTIVATION ANS SUPPLY OUGHT BE LEGALISED.
When we talk about cannabis we are not talking about what is not cannabis
Spain: 'Cannabis is not a drug': Spain's anti-drug czar:30 Sept 2013
Under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, the cannabis plant and its derivatives which contain THC are classified as a Class B Drug and prohibited. Some parts of the plant, such as seeds, roots and stalks, do not fall within the Act. On the question of leaves, forensic scientists look for the presence of THC and other active cannabinoids, and if found, the substance falls within the Act. Some argue that cannabis is a drug in any case, as it can be used as a constituent in a medicine. Others argue that parts of the cannabis plant cannot correctly, semantically be called a drug at all, especially as it is neither physically addictive nor toxic in any conceivably consumable amount. The correct meaning of the word 'drug' as applied to cannabis continues to be debated; nevertheless, in British law, cannabis is a drug. 

Safety

Cannabis has been described as one of the safest therapeutic substances known to man, and safer than most common vegetables - DEA Judge Young, 1988. Others describe cannabis as "remakably safe, but not completely harmless" - Prof. Lester Grinspoon MD1997). Some even claim that cannabis is completely harmless and beneficial to man. Yet other scientists have inferred health risks involved the smoking of cannabis, mostly based upon the results of experimentation with THC extracts and synthetic THC carried out on mice, rats and monkeys. It is generally accepted that cannabis is safer than alcohol and tobacco. The question of the risk element attached to the use of cannabis will continue to be a matter for the experts, but irrespective of the answer there exists no just reason to punish cannabis users or those who grow it. 

Campaigners, scientists and doctors cannot agree. Cannabis has been used for centuries, both medicinally and for the high, as well as for rope etc, long before the days of drugs and synthetics. Much of the discussion is based on dictionary definitions which change with time. Tell a Rastafarian that his sacrament is a drug and you will be in trouble! Look at a bale of hemp fibre, hemp seed oil soap, paper, cloth or seedcake - they are all pure cannabis - and then tell me it is a drug.

CANNABIS IS NOT A DRUG.

Drugs are associated with addiction, habit and problems. Cannabis is associated with none of these. "Cannabis is not dope, it's everything from rope to hope!"

The following article is an extract from The Report of the FCDA Europe
Although on average approximately 75 people per annum in the U.S. are revealed by post mortem (autopsy) examination to have cannabis in their system at the time of their death, their deaths were induced by causes not associated with cannabis. In all the long history of its use of which the record dates back approximately 5,000 years, cannabis has never been cause to a single fatality. Medical records and study of worldwide pertinent writings over the millennia show that at no time has any person died from the ingestion of any amount of cannabis, ever.
Cannabis is a NON-TOXIC substance. One hundred per cent of the scores of studies by American universities and research facilities show that toxicity does not exist in cannabis. (U.C.L.A, Harvard, Temple, etc.)
All the in-depth medico-scientific clinical studies conducted (for example, US-Jamaican, US-Costa Rican, LaGuardia, etc) have revealed that cannabis contains no addictive properties in any part of the plant or its smoke, so, unlike and in contrast to tobacco, alcohol, and all the legal or illegal 'recreational' substances cannabis is both non-habit-forming and non-toxic. Therefore cannabis is uniquely safe. In this Report, let it be unequivocal and clearly understood that the use of "safe" in the context of cannabis use, by definition means,: "free of danger, risk or injury".

Cannabis Is Not A Drug: Accurate Language.

From all the medico-scientific aspects, harmless cannabis is not only wrongly defined as a "drug" in any meaningful (semantic) definition of the word but also, by definition and empirical reality, wrongly proscribed as a "drug" (or other substance) under legislation regulations.
Although dictionaries vary slightly in their definitions of "drug", virtually all refer to, and rely for definition on, a drug's habit-forming, addictive properties. Webster's New World Dictionary, for example, defines "drug" as: "a narcotic, hallucinogen, especially one that is habit-forming." As is confirmed by the aforementioned medico-scientific research, cannabis contains no habit-forming properties in the plant itself or its smoke. Evident from the most fundamental and widely inferred meaning, by definition based on empirical fact, cannabis is not a drug.
The word 'drug' derives from Old Dutch meaning dried herbs, as used in food, for healing and in the dyeing of textiles. There was no connotation of addiction. (viz: the Wealth of Nations, 1776, Adam Smith; Book One, Chapter One). In the twentieth Century, that meaning has been transformed by the specious pseudo-philosophy of Prohibition.
The invalidity of linking cannabis with "drugs" is further confirmed by the U.S. government's Bureau of Mortality Statistics. The table, below, demonstrates in the most obvious manner that cannabis by any meaningful definition, traditional or modern, is not a drug and cannabis cannot (correctly) be categorised or referred to as a drug.

COMPARISON OF CANNABIS TO OTHER SUBSTANCES
BY OFFICIAL MORTALITY STATISTICS
Sample year 1988. U.S. federal government Bureau of Mortality Statistics.
SUBSTANCE............................................NUMBER OF DEATHS PER ANNUM.
TOBACCO................................................................................ 340,000 to 425,000
ALCOHOL (not including 50% of all highway deaths
And 65% of all murders).......................................................150,000 +
ASPIRIN (Including deliberate overdoses) ................................................180 to 1,000 +
CAFFEINE (From stress, ulcers, triggering irregular heartbeats etc) ..................1,000 to 10,000
LEGAL DRUG OVERDOSE (Deliberate or accidental from legal, prescribed
Patent medicines and / or mixing with alcohol) ......14,000 to 27,000
ILLICIT DRUG OVERDOSE (Deliberate or accidental from all illegal drugs).........3,8000 to 5,200
THEOPHYLLINE (Prescribed asthma drug) ..........................................................50


CANNABIS

To those people in whose (financial) interests it is to perpetuate the Prohibition of Cannabis the semantically incorrect use of the word "drug" where cannabis is concerned, is a premeditated misuse of terminology. This serves strategy advantageous to Prohibitionists, and comprises a simple but effective mechanism of disinformation, by putting the harmless herb into an unjustifiable association with addictive and harmful drugs.
The reality is clear: cannabis and those pernicious substances, the drugs, are wholly unalike. As the word "drug" is wrong and inapplicable to cannabis, it is necessary to establish a correct word, veracious vocabulary, which is fitting.


From The Report of the FCDA Because cannabis has been loosely, widely and incorrectly referred to in the past as a "drug" does not mean that this basic untruth can become acceptable. On the contrary, since the introduction of Prohibition the legal situation compels veracity and clarity more than ever, for not to articulate the truth accurately involves perjury. Yet truthful language, the truth, exposes the mendacious basis to the Crime that is this Prohibition of Cannabis
The Australian Government Report says "Cannabis has been erroneously classified as a narcotic, as a sedative and as an hallucinogen. Cannabinoids represent a UNIQUE PHARMACOLOGICAL CLASS OF COMPOUNDS"

CANNABIS IS NOT A DRUG, AND NEITHER IS IT AN INTOXICANT.

According to the Oxford Pocket Dictionary to intoxicate is to make drunk, excite, elate, beyond self-control. Unlike alcohol cannabis users do not lose self-control. Massive amounts just send them to sleep.
Intoxicants are potentially toxic, that is poisonous, with a certain overdose level often dependent on the individual. There has never been a single death directly attributed to cannabis use, in 5000 years of history, with hundreds of millions of users in the world. There is NO TOXIC AMOUNT OF CANNABIS. One theory states that an amount of 2 pounds eaten in ten minutes, an impossible feat and not certain to cause death. No animal has died of an overdose of cannabis.
Many substances which are mind-altering or mood changing are not drugs : hormones, endorphins, adrenaline.
Conscious-altering substance which we consume but which are not generally regarded as drugs include sugar, caffeine and chocolate.

CANNABIS IS NOT THC

THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is one of many active ingredients in cannabis. It can also be produced synthetically. Organic cannabis contains over 1000 other substances; like any herb it is the holistic use of the whole herb or medicine which is vital. 30 or 40 cannabinoids have been identified. Any judgment of cannabis based on the supply of THC to patients is unfounded.
Cannabis contains THC but cannabis is not THC. It is incorrect methodologically to mix in extraneous, irrelevant THC findings, or data from isolated cannabinoids, and then make false claims relating to cannabis.
WHETHER OR NOT CANNABIS IS A DRUG IT OUGHT BE LEGALISED.

MOBILE PHONE contract SCAM: VIRGIN MOBILE and others

MOBILE PHONE contract SCAM: VIRGIN MOBILE and others
When you take out a contract for 24 months or whatever, with Virgin and several other companies the same, which includes buying the handset, make sure you mark ona calender the date it runs out, because THEY WILL NOT BE TELLING YOU, instead they will keep charging you the same amount after the contract expires until YOU PHONE THEM to cancel, but when you try to get the phone repaired, in this case just a new battery, you may well and probably be told that they will not fix it because the phone has been yours since the contract ran out, despite that you have payed the same amount as if buying it, for months and presumably for decades until you phone them.
With VIRGIN MOBILE we then phoned then 4 times to be told that we were "probably" entitled to a refund (in this case over £100) and 4 times told that management would call us back within 48 hours, which they failed to do.
VIRGIN and the others will then try to blame you, the customer, for not cancelling the contract. They must make millions of pounds like this, through direct debits, especially from elderly and vulnerable customers. It is nothing but a SCAM.
It was not my phone and I took up the issue with Virgin Mobile for my friend.
Now I have mentioned the case on their facebook page and have been told to engage in yet another conversation so they "can look into it". They have the case number, they have the records, they know that this is not an unusual case.
This has been going on now for over 18 months (although we have cancelled the contract, no more payments taken, but no refund.
Sadly I have to say that in our experience Virgin are best avoided, but I hear it's much the same with Vodaphone and others.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/207123929818172/

Friday, 27 April 2018

COMMON SENSE AND COMMON JUSTICE

The policy pursued at present by the Government flouts common justice and common sense.
 
Quite simply, the policy is illegal: cannabis is a safe, beneficial and natural commodity and the laws which ban it are clearly in violation of several articles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. 
 
The preamble to the UN Declaration, signed by Britain in 1948, establishes these Rights for all time: they are unchangeable and universally applicable. The preamble also explains that the Declaration in spirit is a declaration of the brotherhood and equality of man. It demands that we treat each other with respect and tolerance. How does the prohibition of a beneficial plant align with this? It does not.
Clearly, there is flagrant inconsistency between cannabis prohibition and the Principles and Articles. 
 
It is a Human Right to choose and to change, to preach and to practise, one's religion or belief. To use cannabis in the belief that it is medically and spiritually beneficial is in accordance with Article 9 of the European Convention:
1. "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his or her religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practise, and observance."
2. "Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morale, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others."
 
Cannabis has been in use as a sacrament for thousands of years. Many people believe it is an essential part of their ritual. Others believe it is essential for their health. Either way, what Right has the law to stop them using cannabis? None!
The articles in both the Declaration and the Convention make quite clear the criteria by which the law can be invoked to prevent a person from exercising his or her Rights:
  • to protect the Rights of others,
  • to protect law and order,
  • to protect national security,
  • to protect public well being or morality.
Cannabis smoking does not threaten public safety or public order, health or morals, nor threaten the rights of others.
 
Clearly, on none of these grounds can the law be invoked against a cannabis user. Rather it is the prohibiting of cannabis that breaks the law.
 
The law banning cannabis effectively prevents these people from practising their beliefs. It negates a basic Human Right. It is inexcusable.
 
The enforcement of cannabis prohibition directly contravenes the following articles of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 1, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 16, 18, 21, 25, 26, 28, 29 and 30. The prohibition of cannabis is illegal.
 
An example of this illegality in practice is the treatment meted out in our country to religious sects. Natural cannabis is one of many plants that have been used for the inducing and stimulating of religious states of mind in the individual or, ceremoniously, the group. Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Moslems, Jains, Rastafarians and many other religions have long made use of cannabis. They use it today; but usually in secrecy, for fear of arrest. Modern day New Age Travellers, the Universal Church of the Holy and Sacred Herb, The Church of the Universe, The Church of the Hemp Goddess - members of all these groups are arrested these days for smoking their sacrament. This is a direct consequence of the blanket prohibition of cannabis.
 
The affront to justice entailed in putting into practice our weird law relating to cannabis proves itself in the event, inevitably, to be at the same time an affront to sense. A blatant example: billions of pounds are spent each year providing ineffective medicines to people who claim, after all, to experience far more benefit from the smoking of cannabis. There are thousands suffering from cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, spinal injury, epilepsy, asthma, insomnia and stress-related illnesses who openly admit that they have needed to resort to cannabis to relieve their pain. And many of these, bizarrely, are taken to the courts!
 
After recommendations for an immediate change of law from the House of Lords, many doctors and many experts, and after a huge outcry from the general public, the Government has responded by allowing medical trials of organic cannabinoid extracts, declaring that if these trials are a success, then maybe in the future…!
 
In the meantime, literally millions of subjects are denied relief from pain, under threat of severe punishment. What sort of justice is that? What sort of sense?
 
We propose that the long known and many therapeutic values of cannabis be accepted immediately by the British Government and that cannabis in its natural form be made available without fear of prosecution to all whose health and well-being would benefit.
 
The legalising of cannabispossession, cultivation and supply would protect consumer's health: in effect it would act as a prophylactic against unknown and possibly noxious substances presently found in illegal cannabis on the streets of Britain.
 
Then again, how in the name of sense or of justice can one defend what our armaments, our industries, and our modes of transport do to the environment? For it is a question of justice, a matter of human rights. 
 
The environment is an essential aspect of ourselves, and we bequeath it to the future. It can be said, without exaggeration, that what we do to the world today may be unchangeable for millions of years. Nuclear waste materials have half-lives beyond the imagination. (A half-life is the time it takes a radioactively poisonous material to decay to half its potency. During the equivalent period following, it decays half again. That means that some of our waste will be dangerous for millions of years. This in the interest of fuel, of energy and of profit!)
 
The widespread cultivation of cannabis (to recapitulate) could halt and reverse much of the polluting activity that our society so stupidly and criminally engages in. Cannabis biomass could be made to provide all our fuel virtually cost-free (given that the THC-rich parts of the plant were used recreationally and medically, the remainder being a by-product). The dangerous synthetic industries could be put out of business. Large tracts of land on which other crops cannot be grown successfully could be reclaimed. The Greenhouse Effect could be hugely reduced, enabling nature to undo some of what has been done to the ozone layer. And so on…
 
We have asked why successive Governments have failed to take these facts into consideration and act upon them. We have received no satisfactory answer.
 
The Government's strategy in relation to cannabis is at once outrageous and ludicrous. Such a fuss about a plant, a remarkably safe plant! Such a pother about responsible people enjoying a 'high'!
They claim that cannabis is a dangerous drug. Claim it still, despite the evidence of their own studies!
 
Each year, for the crime of possessing this 'dangerous' substance, more and more people are arrested and taken through the courts. And the process costs the taxpayer billions of pounds.
 
But this figure - this tally - is of course dwarfed by the amount the multi-national corporations accumulate in producing synthetic alternatives to hemp.
 
Just look at the world: sick, starving, war-torn, polluted, crime-riddled and drug-addicted!

links:

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

TIME FOR CANNABIS - THE PRISON YEARS 1991 TO 1995 - INTRODUCTION

TIME FOR CANNABIS - THE PRISON YEARS 1991 TO 1995 - INTRODUCTION

Ever wondered what it's like to spend time in prison for helping not harming - this book may give an insight into the harm done by the system and how it could be changed to bring out the goodness.

Now at Amazon as PAPERBACK and Kindle

Time for Cannabis - The Prison Years" is a true-life story of the journey through arrest, time on remand, trial and conviction and time served in 4 UK prisons.
This book is a valuable comparsion of prison regimes and personal experiences of the damage and the healing possible, and how the treatment of prisoners can affect them upon release.                                           
All this in prisons that claim their aim is to treat inmates with humanity.



 This book is not meant to be humorous, although a certain amount of humour is unavoidable, partly because the nonsense and inconsistencies which I came up against during my time served, and partly because sometimes it hurts so much that one has to either laugh or cry. I fully intend to criticise the prison and the court systems, but not, I hope, unnecessarily, and, I also hope, positively.

This is not meant as a horror story, a fiction, or an analytical work, although I will admit in advance to colouring and flavouring events, changing names, and interspersing actual events with thoughts of the occasion. This is to increase the readability of what might otherwise be a very 'flat' book, considering the flatness of the system.

I consider myself very fortunate, even in this experience, as I have previously travelled to many different countries, and witnessed the different languages and customs therein, which I feel has enabled me to adopt a more detached and somewhat enlightened attitude to the strangeness which I constantly experienced. Many inmates are either the well learned ‘old lags’ who have been in and out of the system for years, or else are younger and more naive.

I was also fortunate to have already received an education, thus being able to further it using the institution's facilities and classes, able to write and read easily, unlike many of my comrades, and thus help the time pass easily and productively. I was also fortunate enough, for want of a better phrase although it may sound as selfish as it is, to have first arrived at a prison along with some acquaintances, and to recognise a few faces already there who I could turn to for help with day to day life. Once again I sympathise greatly with the young, scared and lonely convict or detainee.

Although it is only natural that I feel some anger and resentment against the way I have sometimes been treated, in particular by the courts, this emotion has never overwhelmed me.

I see so many things wrong with the world that Mankind has created, not least the way in which selfish and greedy individuals have polluted our beautiful planet and continue to do so, perhaps to the point of no return and the devastation of possibly all life. I fail to see how the Governments on this world, who often seem to me to be evil, can allow the future to develop in this way, ruining the chances of happiness and health for their descendants. In the sixties I grew up under the constant threat of nuclear devastation imposed by individuals so many miles away, whose identities would never be known to most of us. But this being bad enough, at least there was a chance of survival.

As the sixties have become the nineties there are so many problems in this world, any one of which will destroy us as individuals or as a race, including Aids, acid rain, radiation poisoning, the 'Greenhouse Effect', the ozone depletion, the pollution of the air, sea and land, space junk, chemical additives in our food and water, and on and on and on.

Add to this unemployment and the violence shown on TV, in video’s and in the press, to the point of saturation and ‘normality’, and it is less surprising what is happening on our streets. It has been said that by the age of twelve the average American child has witnessed several thousand murders on the screen, and doubtless a similar figure is true for British children.

In the East they say life is cheap, and death is all around, and certainly it seems that in many countries where overpopulation has become such an everyday burden, there are constantly civil wars or violent freedom fighters whom the various governments call terrorists. But do the governments and industrial bosses realise the terror which they daily cause us in our lives, through their greed? Is it surprising there is so much violence and crime in the country?

Advertising is a strange practice to apply to people who are unable to afford the goods or services advertised, and although increasing sales amongst the select few, causes nothing but unsatisfied desire amongst everyone else. Consider this story. It concerns a village deep in the heart of the Egyptian desert near Libya. I forget the name, but that is unimportant. This small oasis settlement had been there for hundreds if not thousands of years, the locals content to grow what they could, and keep their livestock. In years past they may even have profited from accommodating the occasional traveller. They were certainly unlikely to attract any tourists, unless some big archaeological discovery was ever made. Being short of power, having no electricity and little means of producing it, they were unlikely to attract much big industry.

The locals remained poor people, but never starved. They were basically content, having what they needed and most of what they wanted. This is the point: they had most of what they wanted, or rather most of what they knew about that they could want. Of course they may have wanted a better doctor, a panacea, a magic carpet, but these were merely dreams.

One day however, one of the locals had to traverse the desert to Cairo, for personal reasons. Suddenly, instead of being surrounded by friends and sands, he found himself in a huge city, some fifteen million souls, tall buildings, thousands of cars, buses, trucks, bicycles, people in all style of dress, restaurants, businesses and even more foreigners than the population of his home village. What did he see? Advertising. Somehow he managed to get hold of a television, battery operated, and having been shown how to work it, he took it home with him.

Fortunately, or maybe not so, they could pick up signals in the village and they were able to watch films, news and documentaries about a country and a world they never new existed. The children and young men were, of course, able to watch too. And what did they see? Advertising Young mini-skirted girls drinking cola, cowboys with their special cigarettes, the blond bombshell in the tight jeans, the fast car and the gorgeous lady who went with it, watches, stereos, holidays, household appliances and magical gadgets, and so on.

So, what happened to their simple needs and desires? They multiplied out of all proportion. They wanted all these things too, but of course they had no money so they could only dream on in frustration. Until one day three or four young men themselves set off to Cairo, where the streets were paved with gold and one could make enough money to buy some of the well and ‘successfully’ advertised wares. Unfortunately when they got there they found not thousands but millions of people in the same position, unemployment ridiculously high, the city impersonal and apparently uncaring, and their chances of even getting enough food for tomorrow rapidly dwindling. But not everybody was poor. Some people had cars, wore expensive watches and clothes, and drank cola, and presumably had many more modern goods to make their lives apparently easier and happier. So what did our young and impressionable brothers do? They stole. They broke into a house and took what they could. Unfortunately these men were nothing of the professional burglar, knew nothing of finger prints and forensics, and were soon caught. The result? Four more inmates in the hell hole of Cairo prison. Once again the advertising agents had done their job well, convincing the people that they needed the junk they had to sell!

Of course the situation in Britain is not as extreme, but nevertheless it is surely obvious that if one successfully creates an intense desire for something, in the minds of often uneducated and impressionable people, in a time of unemployment when their cash is hard come by, at the same time blasting them with crime on the TV, something somewhere is going to give. A percentage of them, being unable to earn an honest buck, will hit the streets, either taking what they want through robbery and theft, or dealing in drugs or stolen property, prostitution, or any of the many other ways of getting a ‘few readies’.

This is why the prisons are so full. Add to that the people who drink and drive, maybe take drugs steal to get money for their next hit to lift them out of their boredom and fears, everybody taxed beyond what they can afford, and the prison population begins to overflow.

Having stated that as my beliefs as to why so much crime occurs, I now have to say that this was only a very minor cause of my conviction. I will not in this book, attempt to discuss my personal level of guilt or innocence, but I would like to stress the view I had of my offences at the time.

My charges were concerned with cannabis, a so-called drug. Having consumed it for a number of years, and met untold people in nearly every country I ever visited, smoked with young and old, people new to it and those who had smoked very heavily for very many years, for social, recreational and also ‘spiritual’ purposes,

I did not and do not understand why it remains illegal! In its pure uncut form it certainly seems to have done me no harm, or anyone I have met.

No matter how much one consumes there is no danger for a reasonably balanced person. It has been said that the fatal dose is two kilos, dropped on the head from a great height! There is no heavy withdrawal, no side effects.

The real problems are that it is often cut with possibly damaging impurities, ranging from sawdust to barbiturates, solvents to boot polish and evencow shit, by the less than scrupulous illegal suppliers; that it is normally mixed with the legal and deadly poisonous tobacco; and that it remains illegal and therefore in the control of the underworld. The so-called controlled drugs are controlled not by the Government, who should concern themselves with the lack of purity of consumables, but by crooks.

Added to this are the many acclaimed medical benefits of cannabis to sufferers of ailments such as multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, asthma and arthritis, its pain-killing properties, and relaxing properties, and the uses of the plant - hemp, for the non-polluting manufacture of paper, linen, rope - all the old maps, Bibles, sails, ropes etc were made from hemp - its use as a food supply (seeds crushed to make gruel are highly nutritious) for humans and animals, and its use as a clean, renewable (two crops a year) and highly efficacious fuel, cannabis is probably the most versatile God-given substance on earth! Of course, it makes some people apparently lazier, but not all, and many of these become more creative even if only privately.

There is a vast amount of music and art forms produced under the effect of cannabis.

About 5% of the population admit to having used it regularly, and in private a great many barristers and other professional men. In private a great many individuals agree that it should be legalised, but are, like the majority of people living under Nazi control who witnessed the inhumane treatment of the Jews, too afraid for their own careers, and freedom, to speak out. The anti-legalisation lobby seems to be left, nowadays, with the completely unfounded statement that it ‘leads to other drugs’. True, 95% of hard drug users confess, when asked in a weighted question, that their first illegal substance was cannabis. But only 5% at most, of cannabis users ever take hard drugs. It is rather like using the argument that 99% of convicted armed robbers admit to owning water pistols as children, to bring about the prohibition of possession and sale of water pistols! Meanwhile, whilst those in authority and positions of respect usually remain silent, and the various campaigns for legalisation are left in the hands of often unemployed and outcast folk who have little or no experience of organisation, thousands of users and dealers remain in prisons, and millions risk their health by consuming street ‘crap’.

Let’s face it, even with the risk of incarceration, people still use it and will continue to use it, and continue to line the pockets of crooks, so it is really time that some government opened its own eyes, legalised it, took control of quality, gained revenue through taxation, and saved the time of police, courts and prisons. So, having said that, why was it suddenly made illegal in the 1920's? Some political reasons? Strange how the banning of cannabis and hemp suddenly created a vacuum in the supply of ropes and fabrics, shortly before the industrial giants put nylon on the market, and the huge petrochemical companies marketed their synthetics and polluting alternatives. I sometimes wonder if there was a connection.

I am not trying to excuse breaking the law. The law is the law, right or wrong, and the country cannot survive without laws. Judge Pickles, himself an advocate for the legalisation of all drugs, was correct when he said that people should not be allowed to pick and choose which laws to keep and which laws to break, that sort of freedom would be disastrous. Neither should such offenders be given leniency. In prisons there are many who would legalise all sorts of unpleasant things which they have been incarcerated for. Yet it is true, in the cases of the suffragettes and also the homosexuals, who sought to change the law by breaking it, that it can eventually lead to publicity and success.

I would, however, stress that very many people with similar experiences to me, never had any intention of hurting anyone, and mostly have never broken any other laws. Their preference for cannabis over alcohol and sedatives, has, nonetheless, resulted in their doors being kicked in, humiliating strip and personal searches, hours of solitude in filthy police cells and extended interviews often interspersed with secret threats and insults, confiscation of assets, collapse of businesses or careers, long periods in prison equivalent to sentences for armed robbery and often greater than for rape offences, and general alienation from their families, friends and society in general.

Why? All because they wanted to get high! Cannabis is used in prisons probably more than on the outside. The staff, I have been told more than once by members of that elite group, tend to turn a blind eye - it keeps the inmates quiet.

So, back to this book, like I say it is not the place to discuss guilt or innocence. Although I can hardly avoid ‘having a dig at the system’ and those who perpetuate it, that is neither my purpose.

Rather I want to present the prisons through my eyes, the eyes of an educated and travelled, non-criminally minded, and, as those who know me will agree, harmless forty year old male from Wales. I felt that by helping to organise contacts and introductions between suppliers and customers, I was helping people by enabling them to get a clean supply, by keeping them away from alcohol, hard drugs, and the dreadful tranquillisers and sedatives, benefited people.

Educated as a scientist at university, I was taught to examine the facts for myself, and not to blindly accept everything I was told.

This is all I ask of you the reader, to consider the evidence with an open mind; those who accept orders and laws without question are the true fascists.

The book is divided into four sections: the first will cover the nightmare of remand in custody.

The three prisons which I entered were category B, a maximum security, and a low security C category. I was on wings separated from the so-called vulnerable prisoners, as we call them, ‘nonces’, guilty of horrendous crimes which should not ever be even imagined.

Amongst the prisoners with whom I lived the hatred of the nonces was universal.

As for the others it seems that the longer the sentences the more respect the inmates had for each other. A man two or more years into a ten or twenty year sentence has an entirely different attitude towards his surroundings than a short-timers who is only ‘passing through’.

The main problems for the long-timers are the poor living conditions, being isolation from family and friends, and institutionalisation.

Frustration and helplessness, anger at the treatment of self and others, an authoritative hypocrisy, are what causes violence amongst these men.

This book is an attempt to portray what I saw and felt at the time.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Harm from Cannabis v Harm from Bad Laws

For every person that even claims to have been harmed by cannabis substances, there are thousands that have been harmed by a bad law that punishes people for possession or cultivation of a plant without license despite them having done no harm to others - they have been given criminal records and limits on employment, travel and even insurance.

Furthermore, the law has not prevented that harm that people say cannabis caused them through their own choice to use it; the law did not prevent access; rather it opens the door to illegal profiteers who often care little about anything but profit often selling contaminated products or offering to sell other illegal substances. The law exposes people that have chosen cannabis to the world of crime where profits are not taxed, devoid of consumer protection.

The fear of repercussions may well delay people from seeking medical help when they need it.

What sense is there in punishing those that claim to have suffered through their use of cannabis and what sense in punishing those that testify that cannabis has benefited their health?

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Blood on the Streets, blood on her hands

I was thinking of getting some red paint and just throw it all over the streets to remind people of the blood that our government is spilling in Syria

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

The Need for a Cannabis-Focussed Political Party

The need for a cannabis-focussed political party.

I sincerely believe in our need for a political party that puts cannabis policy at its forefront to enable cannabis activists to enter the political arena.

I say this in the knowledge of opposition within the cannabis campaigning communities! I know full well that people will say that we should instead support the Green Party, the Liberal Democrats or other political parties that have a positive policy on cannabis. They have been saying that for decades but although those parties do create waves, they do not exactly represent the freedom and recognition of Rights that we want. They do not give us a chance to represent ourselves at election times. Instead they seldom mention and do not prioritise their cannabis policies enough: they do not recognise the any benefits of the plant and potential benefits to individuals, the Nation and the world.

I know that people will also say that a single-issue party will fail to gather man votes or that those votes will make no difference. Yet the type of party that I propose, although prioritising cannabis issues and uniting people under a single banner (legalisation of possession, cultivation and supply), allows candidates to hold and express their own opinions and policies on other issues: a single-issue party with multi-issue candidates. Their policies on other those other issues will attract or lose votes too. The chances to be heard will certainly make a difference.

Cannabis has an extremely wide range of associated issues: the utilisation of the plant has direct relevance to Human Rights, health and medicine, pollution and the environmental, farming, industry and employment, taxation and revenue, culture and religion.

Such a party did exist in the not-so-distant past: that was the Legalise Cannabis Alliance Party (LCA), 1999 to 2006. During that time, candidates fought in over 80 elections and although seldom gaining more than 3% of the vote in Parliamentary elections, doing better in local elections, in an all-up council election in Great Yarmouth in 2004 Michael Skipper received a vote from over 16% of the voters. http://www.ccguide.org/lca/lca.php

As well as enabling all those candidates to have their say, the LCA also distributed about one million fliers and had a presence on many news and other programs on radio and TV (including the Fastest Political Party race on Top Gear in which Mark Gibson for the LCA came second), spoke at universities and schools attended rallies and protests, produced a series of informational pamphlets and publications including “Cannabis: Challenging the Criminal Justice System) that gained thousands of signatures in support and a copy was sent to every MP including a copy in Braille to then Home Secretary David Blunkett. LCA also spoke at the Oxford Union and testified before a government panel set up to look at drugs law.

The aim of the LCA was primarily to give people a platform in the political arena and the support of a party focussed on cannabis.

Also its aims were to stimulate debate and to remove cannabis from the Misuse of Drugs Act.

LCA certainly provided the platform and certainly stimulated debate, yet of course the law on cannabis has not changed. Yet I consider it relevant that under David Blunkett cannabis was downgraded to class C and after LCA deregistered as apolitical party in 2006, cannabis was soon upgraded again: both changes were under a Labour Government.

Why did LCA deregister? Mainly because, after the invasion of Iraq and bombing of Afghanistan, with debates on such as ID issues, many members felt that other issues were immediately of greater importance. With de-registration though, came a loss of direction and unity and although LCA continued to exist as a campaigning group it became less active.

In 2011 Peter Reynolds was voted as leader (previously their was no single leader and candidates became leaders in their own community). Reynolds changes the name and policy, got rid or alienated many of the previous members, and formed his own party, the Cannabis Law Reform Party, badly-led dismal failure.

Then came CISTA: Cannabis is Safer Than Alcohol party, founded by Paul Birch who funded just over 30 candidates. CISTA and Birch found a great deal of opposition and not everyone agreed with their main policy of calling for a Royal Commission. As I have said, I believe in the need for a political platform.

I also acknowledge that when it comes to voting, many people may decide that by voting for one prohibitionist party, Labour, they may help oust a worse prohibitionist part, the Conservatives. BUT forming and running a party focussed on cannabis, which none of the others do, is not about getting elected or winning votes, it’s about raising the issues at election times, being heard, representing ourselves. I was one of the two founders of the LCA, Jack Girling being the other, in 1999, and active in both its administration and campaigning. 

Now at over 68 years-of-age, I am not enthusiastic on doing it again. All it takes though, is a team of half a dozen people, including one to name as leader and one as treasurer, a short constitution and all else will follow.