Thursday, 8 December 2011

If there is no intention to sell, how can a cannabis crop be worth money?

Time after time I read that some person has grown a crop of cannabis - sometimes matured, sometimes not - for his or her own use, with no allegation of intent to sell, then read that it is estimated to be of some financial value.How can a crop be worth money if there is no intent to sell?The article below is yet another example of how the press wrongly deal with reports of court cases against personal cannabis crop cultivation."Ramsell was growing the drug for his own use.."

"I am satisfied this was a personal use crop and not a crop for supply. But even those who produce cannabis for their own use can expect a custodial sentence."

"The cannabis would have been for his own use, it was a first crop and would never have been for commercial sale."

Yet the Tanworth Herald reports also:Prosecuting Pat Sullivan said the crop would have produced just over one kilo of cannabis that would have fetched £6,300 if sold on the streets.
How can it have been worth £6300 if sold if there was no intent to sell - what relevance is the estimated value?Why don't they tell us something that is far more relevant - the cost of the arrest and court case - the money that the taxpayers will be covering arresting a man that appears to have done no harm or had no intent to harm anyone with his indoor crop of cannabis?Add together cases such as this, it amounts to billions each year - now THAT is of public concern, that is hurting us the taxpayers - all in the name of stopping people from growing one particular plant for their own use.This must stop.  They tell us we are in financial crisis yet they unnecessarily and unjustly perpetuate a prohibition that soaks up our tax money as a sponge in water.

Tanworth Herald, December 8 2011
Addict who grew cannabis tampered with test samples

 AN "ENTRENCHED" drug addict caught growing cannabis at his Tamworth flat has been jailed for eight months by a judge.

Police found 34 plants under cultivation in a sophisticated hydroponic system at Lee Ramsell's home, Stafford Crown Court heard.

Prosecuting Pat Sullivan said the crop would have produced just over one kilo of cannabis that would have fetched £6,300 if sold on the streets.

Ramsell was growing the drug for his own use.

Judge Simon Tonking had given him a chance to go on a drug rehabilitation programme, adjourning his case on condition he stopped taking cannabis.

But the judge was told that Ramsell had tampered with his samples to produce negative results for the drug testers.
Ramsell, aged 31, of Juniper, Amington, admitted a charge of cultivating cannabis.

Judge Tonking told him: "I am sentencing you for producing cannabis. It came to light because you volunteered information about it when you were under arrest in relation to a different matter.

"The police went to your home and found a hydroponic set up growing 34 plants. I am satisfied this was a personal use crop and not a crop for supply. But even those who produce cannabis for their own use can expect a custodial sentence.

"You are an entrenched drug abuser and it is difficult for people like you to get off drugs. Despite the opportunity I gave you, you are still taking cannabis. I am not going to increase the sentence because you tried to dupe those testing you.

"Although you have been found suitable for a drug rehabilitation order, if you are going to produce false samples to IDAS (the drug advisory service) there's the chance you are going to do the same to the drug rehabilitation team."
Daniel Oscroft, defending, said it had to be accepted that the test samples provided by Ramsell were false. He had tampered with them out of a fear of being sent straight to custody.

The cannabis would have been for his own use, it was a first crop and would never have been for commercial sale.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Man caught growing cannabis has ‘no intention of stopping’

How can this man be blamed? What harm has he done is he doing to anyone (except the loss of profit to the pharmaceutical companies that would be selling him the NHS, costly, more dangerous and less effective medication that he may well have already tried. How can there be any Justice in punishing him and what justification was there for interfering with his Human Right to a Private Life etc in the first place. Human Rights law specified that there needs to be justification to interfere with our Rights even if the law is being broken, and that justification must be that there is a threat to public health, public order, national security or the Rights of others. I would like to read the police court's justification. They will, no doubt, say that they are just implementing the law, but that is not justification

Hawick News, December 7 2011
Man caught growing cannabis has ‘no intention of stopping’

A MAN caught growing cannabis claimed the illegal drug helped alleviate a medical condition.
Mark Makin said he had no intention of stopping using the class B drug, and producing it himself meant he didn’t have to buy it on the street.
Makin, 43, of Dovemount Place, admitted having cannabis and producing the drug at his home on September 2.
“His medical condition is relieved by taking cannabis,” explained defence solicitor Matt Patrick, “and that was the motivation behind him growing these plants.
“It also meant he was not having to move in circles he would have had to, to obtain it on the street,” he added.
Sheriff Donald Corke fined Makin, a sales assistant, £120, warning him his activity was illegal and would be closely monitored by police.
“I know that you feel fully justified in doing this, but it is illegal, and I have to uphold the law,” he told the accused.
“Because you have indicated you don’t intend to stop, you should be aware that the police will be keeping a close eye on you,” he added.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Cannabis smoker jailed after weed worth £3k found at his home

The cannabis is not worth anything financially unless the intent was to sell it.

Cultivation of cannabis for own use is victimless.

To justify interfering with the Human Right to a private life, that is, the police raid and arrest, the authorities need to show that it was in order to protect public health, public order, national security or the Rights of others.

I don't see how they can do that - even based upon their claim that smoking cannabis is harmful -- after all, we know passive smoking of cannabis is a risk to the health of others and that is allowed in one's own home (I am not saying that is should not be) and in the open air.

Problem is the whole Government and most of the Criminal Justice System is corrupt

Cannabis smoker jailed after weed worth £3k found at his home

The Sentinel, December 6 2011

A CANNABIS smoker who grew the drug at his home just months after receiving a caution for the same offence has been jailed for eight months.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court yesterday heard Michael Goodwin, aged 32, received a police caution last December for growing cannabis.
But at 3.50pm on September 3 a police officer smelt the class B drug as he walked along Orion Street in Smallthorne.
"He knocked on the door and the defendant answered," said prosecutor Fiona Cortese.
"There was an overwhelming smell of cannabis. The house was searched and the defendant was asked is he had any cannabis. He said 'Yes, upstairs'."
The court heard in the front bedroom there were cannabis plants and heat lamps. In total there was 3,030 grams of wet cannabis and 836 grams of dried cannabis valued at between £2,360 and £3,585.
Goodwin told police he had been growing the plants for about six weeks. He said he had smoked cannabis since he was aged 15 and would have smoked the drug himself. He added the cannabis would have lasted him between eight and 12 months.
The defendant, now of Ashman Street, Smallthorne, pleaded guilty to producing cannabis on the basis it was for his own personal use.
Stuart Muldoon, mitigating, asked Judge Mark Eades to consider suspending any prison sentence.
Mr Muldoon said Goodwin did not try to hide anything from the police and made full and frank admissions in his interview.
He added that the defendant has now completely stopped smoking cannabis.
Judge Eades said it was a serious aggravating feature that Goodwin produced the drug so soon after being handed the police caution.
He told the defendant: "On December 9 last year you were cautioned for using a residential property to cultivate 14 large and 25 small cannabis plants for your personal use.
"I do not know why the police chose to caution you. The guideline case indicates nine to 18 months in prison for a first time offender.
"One would have hoped the police would have pointed out to you what the going rate was, that for a first offender it usually leads to immediate imprisonment.
"Your reaction was cavalier in the extreme.
"Within eight months you had bought fresh equipment and set up a production plant in a different address."
Goodwin will serve up to half his sentence with the rest on licence.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Home Affairs Committee launches new inquiry into Drugs

Call for written evidence
The Committee will undertake a comprehensive review of drugs policy in the new year. The Committee will examine the effectiveness of the Government’s 2010 drugs strategy and the UK Government’s contribution to global efforts to reduce the supply and demand of illicit drugs. Specifically, the Committee will consider:
  • The extent to which the Government’s 2010 drug strategy is a ‘fiscally responsible policy with strategies grounded in science, health, security and human rights’ in line with the recent recommendation by the Global Commission on Drug Policy
  • The criteria used by the Government to measure the efficacy of its drug policies
  • The independence and quality of expert advice which is being given to the government
  • Whether drug-related policing and expenditure is likely to decrease in line with police budgets and what impact this may have
  • The cost effectiveness of different policies to reduce drug usage
  • The extent to which public health considerations should play a leading role in developing drugs policy
  • The relationship between drug and alcohol abuse
  • The comparative harm and cost of legal and illegal drugs
  • The impact of the transfer of functions of the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse to Public Health England and how this will affect the provision of treatment
  • The availability of ‘legal highs’ and the challenges associated with adapting the legal framework to deal with new substances
  • The links between drugs, organised crime and terrorism
  • Whether the UK is supporting its global partners effectively and what changes may occur with the introduction of the national crime agency
  • Whether detailed consideration ought to be given to alternative ways of tackling the drugs dilemma, as recommended by the Select Committee in 2002 (The Government's Drugs Policy: Is It Working?, HC 318, 2001–02) and the Justice Committee’s 2010 Report on justice reinvestment (Cutting crime: the case for justice reinvestment, HC 94, 2009–10).”
Organisations and individuals interested in making written submissions are invited to do so by Tuesday 10 January 2012. Submissions should be no longer than 2,500 words. Further advice on making a submission can be found below.
Oral evidence sessions will be held in early 2012: further announcements will be made in due course.
Written evidence should if possible be in Word or rich text format—not PDF format—and sent by e-mail. The use of colour and expensive-to-print material, e.g. photographs, should be avoided. The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.
Submissions must address the terms of reference. They should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary. Further guidance on the submission of evidence.
Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere, though previously published work can be referred to in a submission and submitted as supplementary material. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee.
Please bear in mind that the Committee is not able to investigate individual cases.
The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter or e-mail. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
The remit of the Home Affairs Committee is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Home Office and its associated public bodies.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Bristol drug user grew cannabis to avoid dealers' attacks: Bristol Post, Nov 12 2011

“I have to ask what harm this guy did to anyone or their property, apart from creating a smell?

How much did it cost to take this man to court and at the end of the day, what will he do now - probably buy dubious quality cannabis at inflated prices from drug dealers.

And the taxpayer of course, pays the price.

Human Rights law guarantees every person in the UK the Right to a Private Life. In other words, we can do what we want in our Private dwellings, provided, as stated in the Act, that we do not pose a threat to public health, public order, national security or the Rights of others. I don't see how this man did that.

It is his Rights that have been offended - by police - and it is us that have to pay. Meanwhile, serious crime continues throughout Britain and the rest of the land.”

 Bristol drug user grew cannabis to avoid dealers' attacks: Bristol Post, Nov 12 2011
A POLISH cannabis user who claimed he grew his own drugs to avoid being assaulted by dealers in St Paul's has avoided jail.
Adam Wawrzymak, 27, who also said he had not realised it was illegal to grow drugs for personal use, was found with 35 plants in his Lawrence Hill flat.
 One set of 17 plants was said to have a street value of more than £2,700 a judge at Bristol Crown Court heard yesterday.
Robert Reid, prosecuting, said police made the discovery on August 17 after investigating an open door which led to four flats.
He said: "They noticed a distinct cannabis smell emanating from the top-floor flat."
Wawrzymak opened the door and police found two sets of plants, one set which had been harvested and were drying out and a second set of 18 plants growing in the bedroom.
On arrest Wawrzymak, who works for a wine company, said he had a habit which involved him spending £200 a week on drugs but that after being attacked on a number of occasions in St Paul's and Easton he decided to grow his own crop.
Mr Reid added: "He said he never sold it but it was useful because it helped him to sleep and to control his appetite. He said it was legal in Czechoslovakia, where he has some connection, and he didn't realise it was illegal in the UK."
Rodney Wilson, defending, said Wawrzymak had been smoking cannabis for 15 years. He said that his rent of £200 a month and his earnings of up to £325 a week led to him having "a considerable amount of money to waste on cannabis".
He said previous acts of violence from drug dealers in St Paul's and Easton, coupled with the cost of his habit, had caused him to try growing his own drugs.
He said: "It was the first time he had grown the drugs and he had no idea how much he would yield.
"There was no evidence of any drug trafficking paraphernalia.
"He has no intention of cultivating cannabis again. He is not someone who goes out looking to commit offences but he has a drug problem."
Judge Michael Harington said Wawrzymak, who has been in the UK for six years, was before the court with two offences – the possession and production of cannabis.
He said: "I hope this experience has brought home to you the misconception that this is not a serious offence.
"My view is that the offence is so serious that neither fine nor a community order alone will suffice.
"I am sentencing you to 16 weeks' prison, suspended for 12 months."
He also added that he must undertake 100 hours of unpaid community work and pay costs of £250.

Friday, 28 October 2011


So-called "legal drugs" such as alcohol and tobacco are only really" legal" in a limited way.

It is also important to realise that it is not the drugs themselves, but the act of possession, production and supply of some drugs that is illegal for some people!

The use of some drugs is allowed in certain situations such as at home or in licensed premises, and can be banned from public or private places. Alcohol and tobacco can only be sold legally from licensed premises. Law limits home production. This is why we do not advocate treating cannabis as we do alcohol and tobacco. Cannabis is a completely different type of substance. It is not a toxin and one cannot overdose.
The controls applied to alcohol and tobacco are not needed for cannabis.

Although wishing to see cannabis available on prescription for ill people, I do not wish to see this as the only available source of cannabis.

For a start, such a situation may well encourage vast numbers of people to visit their doctor who does not normally often or never sees them. Legalising cannabis possession and supply in this way would increase the number of ‘sick’ people in the country, statistically, which may reflect poorly on the move. Some substances only available on prescription are illegal to possess unless obtained by prescription. Such substances are not fully legal; they are not free.

Drugs such as aspirin, which is highly dangerous, are available in a variety of outlets. Other dangerous substances are available from the corner shop (glue), garage (oils), and over the counter at chemists (cough mixture). There is no reason to limit the outlets of cannabis at all.

From The Report of the FCDA, Europe:
" The proposal of some people for 'partial' exemption from the Prohibition in order to make cannabis limitedly available only as a curative medicament, ostensibly has its origin in the emotional response of sympathetic human beings to the needs of the seriously ill or moribund patients. 'Partial' legalisation, however, on evaluation, is an impulsive idea - the reaction of the heart, not the head - and implausible on the very health grounds on which it purports to be based. To try to 'legalise' cannabis for but one of the two groups of people (that is for the already-sick) is inimically discriminatory, as it leaves the other group, who comprise the huge majority, condemned to inevitable worsening of their good health, as described, until they too fall prey to disease and early death. Those catastrophic results to health now widespread in populations, produced directly by the Prohibition of Preventative Cannabis, would be mitigated or avoided entirely by the Preventative protection of a Relegalised cultivation, trade and general availability. Complete Relegalisation of Cannabis provides the healthy population with the pleasant and safe relaxant to use both as Preventative Medicine and to reduce consumption of the malady-causing alcohol and tobacco. At the same time, relegalisation makes cannabis available to patients and the medical profession, as curative medicine of recommendation and advice, if not prescription. Thus, the aims of the 'partial' legalisation lobby are simultaneously achieved, without ignoring the equally deserving needs of those of the population whose health requirement for cannabis is as prophylaxis, or to replace partially or totally, noxious alcohol and tobacco. Certainly cannabis is effective therapeutically and curatively in a wide variety of illnesses and disorders, and if cannabis had always remained available as a recreational substance of legal choice, those cancers which are tobacco-induced could in a great many, theoretically even all, cases have been completely avoided, i.e. prevented. Those individual men and women, the Prohibitionists, who are responsible for the instigation and perpetuation of the fraudulent Prohibition, are instrumental in and culpable for premature deaths. Indeed, studies into these artificial products, i.e. 'concentrates'/THC, including sections of LaGuardia research, record diametrically oppose results from those clinical studies into natural cannabis. For example, doses of lab-THC can cause nausea and headache, two of the many adverse conditions for which the resinous herb in its natural form is renowned as cure."

"Herbal cannabis in natural forms would yield little profit to the pharmaceutical corporations, whilst eliminating some, perhaps in the longer term much more, of the use of their patent drugs."

"Another ludicrous prevarication proposed by pharmaceutical representatives is the irrelevant argument that each of the many, mostly commonly occurring, chemical constituents in the natural herb, be isolated and tested for their potentials before legally re-allowing cannabis for 'medical' or 'general' use, if at all."

Personally I think decriminalisation of cannabis possession without any change in law regarding production - both at home for personal use and commercially - and supply (both for free and commercially) would be a risky move.

Decriminalisation of personal possession would of course ease the burden and cost of the police, stop the arrest of innocent people and could be seen as a step in the right direction, but only if followed by other easing of the law against cultivation and supply.

It could open the doorway for many more street dealers carrying small packs of cannabis of dubious quality to supply the increase in people no longer deterred from buying, by the law.

It would do nothing to promote consumer and quality protection or enable tax on profits, point-of-sale advice and information, or discourage young people.

It would be little more than sweeping the real dirt of prohibition under the carpet.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Maastricht bans cannabis coffee-shop tourists

So it appears that Maastricht are giving preference to "Germany and Belgium who are the majority of foreign customers."

Recently the Human Rights Court ruled that cities can restrict the sale of cannabis to Dutch-only because cannabis is still "illegal" to supply in The Netherlands.

Now they are taking the idea step further and banning all tourists from Coffeeshop except those from Germany and Belgium. 

City authorities say the influx of tourists buying soft drugs is threatening public order and causing major traffic problems.  So, it seems that the problems with public order and traffic are being caused by people that are not Dutch, German or Belgian.

Sounds pretty dumb to me.

Maastricht bans cannabis coffee-shop tourists
A ban on some foreign tourists has come into force in the cannabis-selling coffee shops of the Dutch border city of Maastricht.

City authorities say the influx of tourists buying soft drugs is threatening public order and causing major traffic problems.

Coffee shop owners say the ban won't work and will hit the local economy.
However, the ban does not apply to visitors from Germany and Belgium who are the majority of foreign customers.

The move comes ahead of a proposed nationwide crackdown being discussed in the Dutch parliament.

The BBC's Anna Holligan says the ban is being seen as a test case that could be implemented in other Dutch towns and cities.

There are about 700 coffee shops in the Netherlands. The cultivation and sale of soft drugs through them is decriminalised although not legal.

An estimated 6,000 people visit Maastricht's coffee shops every day - most making the quick trip across the border from Belgium and Germany.

But from Saturday, anyone who doesn't hold a Dutch, Belgian or German passport will be told to leave.

Hi-tech security scanners have been set up to check passports and ID cards, and police will carry out random checks.

City authorities say drug tourists pose a threat to public order.

'Revenue lost'

But critics of the policy say the ban contravenes EU policies of equality and the freedom of movement.

Marc Josemans, chairman of the Association of Official Coffee Shops Maastricht (VOCM), said the ban would do more harm than good.

"All these clients who are banned from the Dutch coffee shops... have to return to the illegal circuit in their own country, therefore it will become a bigger problem and cause more criminality in those countries," he told Reuters.

VOCM says visitors attracted by the coffee shops also spend an estimated 140m euros (£120m) elsewhere in the city every year.

Correspondents say the Dutch justice ministry wants coffee shops to operate like members' only clubs, serving only local residents.

The European Court of Justice ruled last December that Dutch authorities could bar foreigners from cannabis-selling coffee shops because they were combating drug tourism.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Facts about pain and cannabis

‘Christine’ says arthritis is not an excuse to take illegal drugs, and ‘it’s a known fact that cannabis leads to paranoia’ (LT, September 2).

Firstly, it is not an ‘illegal drug’, it is the possession, cultivation and supply that is illegal.

There is a big distinction there: the law is aimed at people, not substances.

Secondly, paranoia is a mental health problem experienced by some people and whilst cannabis may worsen it for some, it eases it for others – there is plenty of information online to confirm that.

An estimated 3 to 5million people in the UK use cannabis, many to ease dreadful pains and suffering that prescribed medication does not touch. They are not all paranoid, by far.

Furthermore, cannabis as plant material is now available on prescription, through doctors, pharmacists and clinics, in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Canada and many US states.

Pain is no excuse to break the law – but it is a justifiable reason and anybody who suffers or is watching somebody suffer ought to understand that.

People who possess or grow cannabis in their own homes for their own use and do no harm to others ought not to be punished.

That is where the law is at fault.

Alun Buffry, Norwich.

Source: Lancashire Evening Telegraph

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Valid medical use for cannabis

Evening News, Norwich

Tuesday 20 Sep 2011
In reply to my previous letter published in the Evening News on Sept 8 ("Ease up on cannabis laws") Mr E Staniland suggested that "he fails to mention the damage done to young people who use cannabis from an early age. (Evening News, Sept 12, "Drug can lead to a living hell")

Yes, I have worked a "mental hospital" as he calls them and yes there are patients there that have used cannabis at an early age, usually having come from broken homes and having also used alcohol and other substances.
But that is no reason to punish them - or the people that use it with no ill effect or even those that use it to ease pains.
In fact, whole cannabis plant extract is now available on prescription through many health authorities in the form of a spray called Sativex.
Furthermore, the plant itself is available on prescription in The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Israel,Canada and other countries, without problem; also in the US through clinics.
Dr Willy Nottcutt and many other doctors and users will testify to the efficacy of this remarkable plant.
This bad law punishes people who have done no harm to others.

please respond to:

see original letter and replies here  Ease Up On Cannabis Laws   Drug can lead to a living hell

Thursday, 15 September 2011

UK Judge Wants to Imprison Medicinal Cannabis Growers

SHEFFIELD’S top judge Alan Goldsack must be a very sad man.  He has threatened that anyone in South Yorkshire caught growing cannabis would be sent to prison immediately, and has started to carry out his threat.   Will he be sending people in wheelchairs to prison?

The Judge said " “Six out of the 14 cases on my list this morning involve producing cannabis on various scales.”

Well, Alan, that's your job to deal with the people that the police arrest and if they arrested fewer, you would see different people before you.  It sounds to me that you are complaining because they have all been up in court on the day day.  It is not the "fault" of one grower that gets caught that other growers that are caught appear before you on the same day - why should they be punished more heavily for that?

Rather than looking at statistics, ought you not be looking at the question of Justice?  You should be asking whether these people have done any harm or posed any threat to Public Health, Public Order, National Security or the Rights of Others - as demanded by Human Rights Law.

According to both national and international Human Rights Law there are strict criteria demanded before any authority can interfere with one's Private Life or Belief system - and if the activity is limited to ones Private Life and not involving others, that criteria is not fulfilled and the invasion (raid) by police may itself  be unlawful.

Surely the Judges should ask themselves whether the police raid and arrest were lawful or not before even looking at the case.

No victim, no harm, then how can this be a crime.  The fact that it may be against the law to cultivate cannabis  is NOT enough to justify the interference with one's life.

Worse still this judge is fully aware that the "punishment" dished out does not stop at the prison gates.

Judge Goldsack said " “A criminal conviction and jail is potentially going to ruin your life.
“It will potentially mean you lose your job and, if you are the breadwinner, that will impact on your family.
“You will find it difficult in future when you come out of prison to find a job because you have got a criminal record, particularly in the current economic climate, and there is a stigma that will remain with you for the rest of your life.”

So, Judge, by sending people to prison you are punishing them for the rest of their lives.  That cannot be right!

Britain, like many countries, has huge numbers of ill or injured people who cannot get any prescribed medication to ease their suffering sufficiently so have resorted to growing cannabis which they will say is more efficient with less risk of unpleasant side-effects.

In the Netherlands, Italy, German and other countries, cannabis plant material is available of prescription.  Not so in the UK.   The Schengen Agreement even allows people living in countries where cannabis is prescribed to them, to bring their medicinal cannabis with them; but if one lives in the UK and go and get prescribed cannabis abroad then one cannot bring it back to the UK legally.  That cannot be right!

In Canada, the High Court forced the Government to grow cannabis to meet the needs of the sick.  Not so in the UK.

One the contrary, here in Britain, our Government allows the Pharmaceutical companies to grow cannabis and to extract all the chemicals to make a spray containing alcohol.  "GW Pharmaceuticals" sell this whole-plant extract at extortionate prices, to the NHS.  It is called "Sativex" and in truth it is nothing more than cannabsi in alcohol with peppermint flavouring.

Yet anyone preferring to grow their own cannabis, saving the NHS money, doing no harm, easing their sysmtoms, will now be sent to prison.

Soon prisons will become hospitals - they will have to deal with people with serious ailments and injuries and pains - from Multiple Sclerosis to Epilepsy, Rheumatoid Arthritis to cancer.

We, the taxpayers, count the cost of these unjustifiable arrests, court cases, prison terms and pills.

We, the taxpayer, pay your wages Judge Goldsack, and we are not happy!

Judge vows to put anyone growing cannabis immediately behind bars : The Star, Sept 15 2011

SHEFFIELD’S top judge has issued a stark warning to anyone caught growing cannabis in South Yorkshire - immediate prison awaits.
The judge said the number of cases of production of the Class B drug was on the rise, and he was dealing with three or four at court every single day.
Many defendants were unaware they would be jailed immediately, he said - even if it was their first court appearance, they had no previous convictions, and they were growing the drug for their own use.
Judge Goldsack told one defendant: “Six out of the 14 cases on my list this morning involve producing cannabis on various scales.”
And he added a guideline case at the Court of Appeal earlier this year ruled sentences for cannabis-growing “should be higher than they had been”, and should “always result in immediate imprisonment unless there are exceptional circumstances”.
“The Court of Appeal - putting it in simple language - has said the courts have got to get tougher on this,” he said.
“Cannabis is a dangerous drug and those who bring it into existence must be punished.”
Among those jailed at Sheffield Crown Court were:
- Property developer Matthew Whitehead, aged 43, of Wightwizzle, Bradfield, Sheffield. He was jailed for three years and nine months after £94,000 worth of skunk cannabis was found in the garage loft space of the £1 million listed barn he was renovating in Cawthorne, Barnsley.
- Kevin Slater, 43, of Coltfield, Birdwell, Barnsley, who was given three years for producing cannabis, and possessing a Class C drug and cocaine with intent to supply both. His cannabis plants were found in the loft during a police raid on a property in Wisewood.
- Stuart Brown, 40, of Hay Green Lane, Birdwell, Barnsley, jailed for six months for producing eight cannabis plants with a street value of £9,140. His mother, who is suffering from a tumour in her eye and was accompanied by his elderly father, wept in the public gallery as he was sent down. The court heard Brown had lost his job at Mercedes Benz because of the court proceedings.
- Delroy Behan, 25, of Wellington Street, Goldthorpe, Barnsley, jailed for six months for cannabis production. Police found growing paraphernalia in the attic of the home he shared with partner Lisa Parton, 35, and seized five plants worth £9,070. Parton narrowly escaped custody after admitting allowing her home to be used for the production of cannabis. She was given a 26-week jail term suspended for a year and ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.
Detective Superintendent Richard Fewkes, in charge of South Yorkshire Police’s drugs strategy, said over the last five years officers in the county had seized cannabis with a street value of over £40 million.
He said the rise in production could be linked to the downgrading of cannabis from a Class B to a Class C drug five years ago.
Warning others not to get involved in the drug’s production, he said: “A criminal conviction and jail is potentially going to ruin your life.
“It will potentially mean you lose your job and, if you are the breadwinner, that will impact on your family.
“You will find it difficult in future when you come out of prison to find a job because you have got a criminal record, particularly in the current economic climate, and there is a stigma that will remain with you for the rest of your life.”
He added: “It’s very difficult to hide the fact you are cultivating cannabis, even on a small scale. We undertake targeted operations but we are often alerted by members of the public. Neighbours might smell it or visitors might become suspicious.”


Monday, 12 September 2011

Ease Up On Cannabis Laws by Alun Buffry

Every year over 110,000 deaths in Britain are attributed to tobacco use. Every year in the UK over 50,000 people die from alcohol abuse, and daily violent crimes occur due to alcohol.

Yet both are legally imported and sold under license, legal to possess and to share, legal to produce one's own at home.
There are no deaths attributed to cannabis use per se.
Yet cannabis is illegal to possess, grow or supply and perpetual offenders are be fined and/or imprisoned.
The question is: should alcohol and tobacco be made illegal to ,possess or should the law on cannabis be changed?
Come on, Britain. Ease the suffering caused by the law's treatment of otherwise harmless and law-abiding cannabis users and free up a beneficial medicine .
Alun Buffry
Evening News, Norwich

Published on: Friday 9 September 2011

COMPARE THIS with my letter published in The Evening News in 1992 - what has changed?

Priorities wrong on use of cannabis

Evening News, Norwich
Thursday 05 Mar 1992

CAN someone please help me to understand?

Every year 110,000 deaths in Britain are attributed to tobacco use.  Every year 50,000 people die from alcohol abuse, and daily violent crimes occur due to alcohol.

Yet both are legally imported and sold under licence.

There are no deaths attributed to cannabis use, little illness and very few crimes of violence.

Yet cannabis is illegal and perpetual offenders in possession, or those involved with importation or supply of cannabis, can be fined and/or imprisoned.

The question is: should alcohol and tobacco be made illegal and cannabis be legalised?

Come on, Britain. Ease the suffering caused by the law's treatment of otherwise harmless and law-abiding cannabis users and suppliers.

Alun Buffry

Monday, 5 September 2011

Bacup dad-of-three grew secret cannabis farm in attic

So if growing one's own cannabis is "selfish", I guess the judge thinks brewing ones own beer or making ones own wine, baking one's own bread and growing ones own vegetables is selfish too.

As for the "value" of the cannabis if sold on the streets - well as there is no charge of intent to supply, that figure is complete fiction as it has no value on the street unless it is sold!

Meanwhile, we the taxpayers still pay almost £20 BILLION a year "fighting" (some) drugs and have to watch police raid and arrest people like this for growing their won cannabis when they have actually done no harm or posed no threat - they should be left alone by police

in response to:

Bacup dad-of-three grew secret cannabis farm in attic

Lancashire Telegraph, September 4 2011

By Wendy Barlow »

A JUDGE branded a dad-of-three 'selfish' after he set up a secret cannabis farm in the attic of his family home.
Cannabis user Daniel Morgan, 30, grew 20 plants using a sophisticated hydroponic system which would have produced 800 grams of drugs with a street value of up to £8,000.
His partner knew nothing about it until a raid on their home in front of the children three days before last Christmas, Burnley Crown Court heard.
The defendant claimed it was his first attempt and he had started off growing the cannabis for his own use but would have gone on to sell some of it.
Morgan, of Rossendale Crescent, Bacup, admitted producing cannabis.
He was given 12 months in jail, suspended for a year, with 80 hours unpaid work and a two month curfew, between 10pm and 6am.
Stephen Parker, prosecuting, said police went to the defendant's home with a search warrant on December 22. He wasn't there, but his partner and two children were in.
Officers could not get in the padlocked attic and the defendant was contacted and asked to attend.
He arrived and produced the key. Police then found the plants, with heating, lighting and timers.
Mr Parker said two of the plants were sent off for forensic analysis and it was estimated each would have yielded 40 grams of female flowering head.
Morgan said he had got the plants from a friend for £50 and had read books on how to grow the drug.
He said his partner was not aware what he was doing, he smoked several joints a day, but not when the children were around.
Simeon Evans, for Morgan, said he recognised the offence crossed the custody threshold.
Sentencing, Recorder Dennis Watson, QC, said: "Your children should really be your priority, rather than any selfish taking of cannabis."


Saturday, 3 September 2011

Drugs campaigner 'grew plants for medical purposes' - Winston Matthews

Why don't police leave this man alone?

Unless he is doing harm to others or their property of somehow threatening public health or public order, then Mr Matthews is quite correct that his Human Rights are being infringed by police and courts.

It is quite clear in human Rights law that authority had no Right to interfere with the Private Life or Beliefs of a person UNLESS that person is in breach of the Rights and laws that protect public health, public order, national security or the Rights of others. It is quite clear in the Act that law alone is not enough.

So a man grows a few plants at home because it eases his medical complaint - he ought to be congratulated and encouraged for turning away from expensive pharmaceutical pills with risk of unpleasant side-effects and is in fact saving the NHS money and the taxpayers- which the police are wasting.

Drugs campaigner 'grew plants for medical purposes'

By Amy Taylor , GetSurrey
September 02, 2011

A CANNABIS campaigner who claimed he was being 'discriminated against' has admitted to growing more than 80 plants at home.
Winston Matthews, of Upfield Close, Horley, pleaded guilty at Guildford Crown Court on Wednesday (August 30) to three counts of cultivating cannabis plants, and to two of possessing the class B drug.
An outspoken member of Surrey's Legalise Cannabis Alliance (LCA), Matthews, 50, said that he uses the drug for medical purposes.
According to his defence barrister, Ben Cooper, Matthews was recently diagnosed with Hepatitis C, in addition to a number of other serious medical conditions, and creates tinctures, or alcoholic extracts, from the plants that he grows.
He was charged with growing a total of 84 plants on three separate dates between August 23 and December 16 last year, and to having 4.75g of cannabis and 7.36g of cannabis resin on his person on December 16.
Defending, Mr Cooper told Judge Peter Moss that Matthews felt "discriminated against as a medical user of cannabis", and that he had been convicted of similar matters on previous occasions.
The case was adjourned until October 14 to allow for medical reports on his condition to be drawn up before sentencing.
Releasing him on bail, Judge Moss told Matthews that he had to live at his given address and remain 'drug-free' for his appointments with the probation service.
"If what he says is right, then he is going to be doing it every day," he said, addressing his defence team.
"What concerns me is that he's probably still growing it. If the police were to go down there now there would probably be another indictment."

Friday, 26 August 2011

Nelson couple who grew cannabis for arthritis spared jail

I am sure that the Misuse of Drugs Act was not really meant to stop people growing a few cannabis plants at home to ease the symptoms of some terrible ailments and pains, including arthritis - and to the person who simply regards the users as liars and junkies - wake up, you are a fool to believe the Government and big Pharmaceutical companies that are ripping you off blind. By all means take their expensive pills with their risks of side-effects but there remains no reason to punish medicinal cannabis plant users that have done no harm to others. the law (injustice) needs to be changed immediately.

These people were not "spared jail" - they were given suspended sentences which one day they may serve if caught again - it puts them in an unenviable and cruel position of having to choose between pain and less effective pharmaceutical pain-killers with side-effects, or prison.

Nelson couple who grew cannabis for arthritis spared jail
Lancashire Telegraph, August 26 2011

A COUPLE from Nelson who grew cannabis to treat the effects of arthritis have been spared jail by a crown court judge.
Police raided the Sansbury Crescent home of Jacqueline Yorke and Kenneth Laird last December, Burnley Crown Court heard.
And when officers arrived, Yorke immediately started to cry and told them about the cannabis plants growing in her back bedroom.
Police found a sophisticated set-up in the spare room, with lighting equipment, fans and reflective panels erected.
Yorke said she suffered arthritis in her hip and had found the drug eased the condition.
Yorke and Laird, both aged 45, admitted producing cannabis.
Laird was given a six-month prison sentence and Yorke four months, each suspended for 18 months. Each must pay £200 court costs.
Laird must carry out 120 hours community service and Yorke 100 hours.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Man grew cannabis to ease his back pain: The Advertiser: August 9 2011

What a SHAME on UK Justice that this man has been dragged through Magistrates' and Crown Court and punished with a conditional discharge - for doing nothing more than growing cannabis to ease his pain and replace the prescribed diamorphine (heroin) that he says was not efficient.

I do not for one minute believe that the Misuse of Drugs Act was meant to stop people from growing plants that ease suffering or improve health - and certainly as there was no victim to his so-called "offence" he does not deserve punishment.

NO, the court does not deserve the congratulations that one reader writes here. A "conditional discharge" for three years - that means that if he grows again and gets court, he may be punished more severely and even sent to prison.

AND if he resorts again to prescribed diamorphine, one thing is sure - he will become addicted to it.

It is time that the police and courts stopped using the law against people in dire need of the pain-relieving and other beneficial properties of this remarkable plant, cannabis.

Above in response to:
Man grew cannabis to ease his back pain: The Advertiser: August 9 2011 By Daniel Howlett
A MAN suffering from a degenerative spinal condition was spared jail yesterday for growing cannabis to relieve his pain.
Stephen Tull, 59, was given a three-year conditional discharge at Teesside Crown Court after he admitted growing cannabis plants.
Richard Wilson, prosecuting, said that on May 12, police went to search another property in the street in Darlington where Tull lived.
Mr Wilson said: “When they arrived, they found the defendant outside of his property.
He ushered them in, telling the officers that he knew why they were there.
“When officers went upstairs they found a relatively professional set-up with 24 cannabis plants growing. He immediately admitted being a user of the drug and told police that it helped with his condition.”
Tull appeared at Darlington Magistrates’ Court on July 5, but magistrates felt their sentencing powers were not sufficient and sent the case to crown court.
Brian Russell, in mitigation, said: “He was in receipt of around £800 per month in benefits and used to spend around £200 per month on marijuana, which he found to be a much more effective painkiller then the diamorphine he is prescribed.
“He decided to save the money and spent around £1,500 setting up the cannabis farm, which he knew would save him money in the long term.
“He will not be growing cannabis again, but I think it is clear from the pre-sentence report that he will continue to use it into the future.”
Judge George Moorhouse said: “You have pleaded guilty to a very serious charge.
“However, you are suffering from a degenerative spinal condition and, by taking cannabis, your position was made more comfortable.”
He ordered that the cannabis and growing equipment be destroyed.
Speaking outside the court, Tull, who lives in the South Park area of Darlington, said: “I would just like to thank everybody for their kind support throughout this process.
“Me and my partner are both just really glad this whole thing is over. We can now put it behind us and get on with our lives.
“The three-year conditional discharge was a little more than I was expecting, but I will be keeping my nose clean, so it does not really matter.”

Monday, 8 August 2011

Brighton man grew cannabis "to ease his depression"

The argument on whether or not cannabis helps with or worsens depression is not the real issue here is it?  The issue is whether or not the accused has harmed anyone else and whether or not he should be punished?

In my opinion, if this man has not done harm, then he doesn't deserve any punishment.

comment on:

Brighton man grew cannabis "to ease his depression", The Argus, August 7 2011

A former probation worker grew cannabis to help ease his depression, a court was told.
Timothy Parry, 44, set up a small cannabis factory in the basement of a house in Dyke Road, Brighton.
He disguised the entrance by putting up a wooden structure around it.
Police found up to 30 plants growing there when they raided the building on March 24.
A hydroponics growing system and a calendar detailing when the crop would be ready to harvest was found inside.
Police discovered documents with Parry’s details on, and took away a cigarette end, beer cans and a coffee cup for analysis.
Bridget Norfolk, prosecuting, said forensic tests confirmed the father-of-three’s DNA was on the items seized.
Police also found more than an ounce of cannabis in a safe at Parry’s home in Windmill Street, Brighton.
He pleaded guilty to cultivating and possessing cannabis for his own use during a hearing at Brighton Magistrates Court.
The court was told Parry had smoked cannabis for 15 years to relax and ease his depression.
He will be sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on a date to be fixed.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Published Letter: Law Must Be Changed - Liverpool Echo

I READ your article Cannabis: what you need to know ( ECHO, July 21) with great interest.

About cannabis you reported: “smoking cannabis holds the same risks as smoking a normal cigarette. Psychologically, is to reported to cause anxiety and paranoia in some users.

“The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs found a ‘probable but weak causal link between psychotic illness and cannabis use’. Cannabis is not chemically addictive.”

So I have to ask why the Government is pending billions of pounds taxpayers’ money trying to stop people growing and using it. Why are they so set at treating cannabis users differently to people that choose to drink alcohol or smoke tobacco, both known to be dangerous and addictive to some people and with a definite causal link between booze and psychotic illness.

Clearly the law is wrong and the lawmakers have some explaining to do.

Alun Buffry, by email


Liverpool Echo, July 26 2011

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Cannabis: what you need to know


I read your article "Cannabis: what you need to know, Echo. July 23) with great interest.

About cannabis you reported:

"Aside from a raised heart rate and a feeling of hunger (“the munchies”), most effects are psychological. Getting stoned makes people feel relaxed with time passing slower and a greater awareness of sounds and colours which sometimes brings on fits of giggles.

"What are the risks?

"Physically, smoking cannabis holds the same risks as smoking a normal cigarette. Psychologically, is to reported to cause anxiety and paranoia in some users.

"The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs found a “probable but weak causal link between psychotic illness and cannabis use”. Cannabis is not chemically addictive."

.... so I have to ask why the Government is pending BILLIONS of taxpayers' money trying to stop people growing and using it - why are they so set at treating cannabis users different to people that choose to drink alcohol or smoke tobacco, bot known to be dangerous and addictive to some people and with a definite causal link between booze and psychotic illness.

Clearly the law is wrong and the lawmakers have some explaining to do

Alun Buffry

This brief comment sent to the Liverpool Echo at  in response to the article quoted below:

Liverpool Echo, July 21 2011 
Cannabis: what you need to know

Where does it come from?

It is estimated that around 80% of cannabis smoked in the UK is homegrown, either in small clusters of plants by individuals or more industrial-scale cannabis farms.

The rest is imported resin from North Africa, which comes in through Europe.

How pure is it?

Forensic tests suggest that homegrown cannabis is about two-and-a-half times stronger than imported resin. Unlike other drugs, cannabis is very rarely cut with other substances.

In 2007, “gritweed” – cannabis sprayed with tiny glass particles – made its way into the European and UK markets.

The glass was intended to give the impression of cannabis which was sticky and so super-strong, but smokers complained of damage to their throats and lungs and it soon disappeared.

How many users?

The last count estimated there were more than 1m regular cannabis users aged 16-24 in the UK. That figure was doubled for the 16-59 age group. Just under 10m 16 to 59-year-olds admitted to using it in their lifetimes.

How much does it cost?

Average UK prices per quarter ounce of standard quality herbal resin were around £30 in 2010. For good-quality leaf, the average price rose to about £50 while for normal resin, dealers charged, on average, £21. An average street deal is worth about £10.

What are the effects?

Aside from a raised heart rate and a feeling of hunger (“the munchies”), most effects are psychological. Getting stoned makes people feel relaxed with time passing slower and a greater awareness of sounds and colours which sometimes brings on fits of giggles.

What are the risks?

Physically, smoking cannabis holds the same risks as smoking a normal cigarette. Psychologically, is to reported to cause anxiety and paranoia in some users.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs found a “probable but weak causal link between psychotic illness and cannabis use”. Cannabis is not chemically addictive.


In 2009, cannabis was “implicated” in the deaths of 26 people, but almost always mixed in with other substances.

Source: DrugScope

Read More

Monday, 18 July 2011

Questioning the Application of the Law (on cannabis)

My question is whether it is a correct decision to prosecute a person that grows cannabis for medicinal benefit - the decision having been made by police and CPS,  who are both free to decide not to prosecute - can it be a MISAPPLICATION of the law?

Certainly there are obvious cases where it would be a Mis-Application of the law to prosecute somebody even though they may have broken several major laws - many of these cases are when the unlawful action was deemed to have been a "necessity" .

Imagine, for example, a man who spots a house on fire, kicks in the door, smashes into a room, and tries to rescue a person that struggles, so he knocks them unconscious and carries them out to safety.  Clearly it would be a bad decision - resulting in a mis-application of the law - to prosecute for breaking and entering, criminal damage or assault!

An obvious choice.

To come back to the cannabis (drugs) issue; would it be a correct decision to apply the law to a teacher who has confiscated a drug from a student with the intend of handing it to a higher authority?  Or a policemen handling cannabis in the course of his duty?  forensic scientist likewise.  Of course to prosecute them would not be seen either as in the public interest or a correct application of law.

Although Government legislation grants license (permission) to possess, cultivate or supply cannabis under strict criteria, I am not talking about them.

In cases such as the teacher - or any person claiming to have, for example, found drugs on the street - it is up to the police and CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) - and their legal advisers -  to decide to prosecute (apply the law) or not, and must be up to a higher court in cases undecided?

Police and CPS clearly need to consider issues such as whether a court case would be in the public interest - whether anyone suffered damage, whether the property of others was damaged or taken, whether the interests of public health, national security, public order or the Rights of others had been threatened.

In considering the case of a person that is arrested and charged with cultivation of cannabis, clearly growing cannabis in their private dwelling for their own beneficial use, I am forced to ask would such a prosecution be a correct Application of the law?

Surely, the law (Misuse of Drugs Act) cannot possibly have been intended to prevent people from growing and possessing cannabis for their own medicinal benefit in their PRIVATE lives?

If there is no question of supply our of the cannabis being outside the private dwelling, posed no threat to public health, public order, the rights of others or national security, means that the use of the law to prosecute for possession does not fall within the criteria of Human Rights law that allows authorities to interfere with one's Rights to a Private Life, to one's own choice (and practice) of religion or belief.

The cost to the public for this prosecution makes it doubtful that it is in the public interest for it is of not public benefit - especially as repeat offending is highly probable given the dire medical conditions.

In all cases, the decision to prosecute - whether to apply the law - must lie not with the politicians but with the police, CPS and courts - it is for them to rule on the applications on the law.

Given the above points, I conclude that the prosecution of a person for small-scale cultivation of cannabis for own medicinal benefit is a mis-application of the law.

Such prosecutions and the question of application of the law must be considered by authorities on all levels.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Licences to grow cannabis in the UK for personal use?

In a reply to a letter from Des Humphrey, Sylvia.Williams ( ) of the
Home Office Drugs Licensing and Compliance Unit, Drugs Alcohol and Partnership Directorate, says

"The Misuse of Drugs (Designation) Order 2001 also restricts the licit use of cannabis to possession for research or “other special purposes”. Home Office policy with regard to “other special purposes” in this case is to permit cultivation of cannabis plants with a low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content for the production of hemp fibre for industrial purposes or the obtaining of seeds which are then, for example, pressed for their oil. For both of these uses, there needs to be a defined commercial end use. The Home Office only licences plants grown for these purposes from EU approved seed types with a THC content not exceeding 0.2%.

"Controlled drug Licences can be issued to individuals or companies; Cannabis cultivation licenses are no exception."

She goes on to say:

"On the basis of the information you give it is highly unlikely that a domestic premises undertaking the activity you propose would be considered suitable for licensing."

A footnote adds: "The opinions expressed in this message are personal and are in no way an official view of the Home Office; neither should they be considered to be an indication of Home Office Policy."On consideration of that reply, my comment is:

they insinuate that licenses are only given for cultivation on low THC hemp for seed for oil or for fibre BUT
as well as it being possible also within the present law to allow the cultivation of the same plant for other uses such as fuel ....
they make no mention that they ALSO allow cultivation of high-level THC / CBD cannabis by the likes of GW and I suspect several universities
So they have ruled and specified that licenses have been given and can be given to those, but try to put you off applying, saying simply "it is highly unlikely that a domestic premises undertaking the activity you propose would be considered suitable for licensing. "
They also say "The opinions expressed in this message are personal and are in no way an official view of the Home Office; neither should they be considered to be an indication of Home Office Policy."
In other words, it is just an opinion and does not necessarily hone office policy - they are simply telling you not to waste your time - i would say go ahead and apply (of course)
The Home Office decision should be based upon questioning the APPLICATION of law. THEY decide when not to apply the law, that is, when to license (To allow what is otherwise prohibited)
And the PURPOSE of the law must be considered when looking at how and when it is applied
They must obviously think it wrong to apply the ban on cases that they give licenses to.
My CASE for you is that it is wrong to apply the law for small-scale cultivation for person beneficial use. - the law cannot have been made for that purpose - therefor they OUGHT to grant licences.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Stop the Death Sentence for Cannabis - Petition

It's almost unbelievable that some countries that are members of the UN still execute people for cannabis offences, often for amounts less than held by Dutch Coffeeshops, Spanish Cannabis Social Clubs or Californian Clinics.

Although the most well know of these countries that give out the death sentence for cannabis-only "offences" such as trafficking are Malaysia and China, altogether there are over a dozen more.   Malaysia kills dozens - nobody even has any idea how many are killed in China because they don't release the figures.

We're talking cannabis here - the plant that has so many uses and that was used without problem for centuries - certainly since the times of the ancient Chinese and Egyptians.

Today we are hearing more and more on the internet about the medicinal uses of cannabis (seemingly still ignored by press, Governments and Pharmaceutical drug companies.

Although cannabis is well-known to ease the symptoms of ailments and pains caused by Multiple Sclerosis, Injury, epilepsy, glaucoma and even everyday stress recent revelations of how using cannabis has been effective in treating tumours and cancers including skin cancers, autism and many other problems - and it seems that government may have known about this for over 30 years.

The possible use of cannabis as a cheap and safe fuel, as a source of fibre for making everything from rope to bricks, from canvasses to paints, from oils to foodstuff - makes us ask why the ban?

That the possession, cultivation and supply such a plant is prohibited - that such a source of fuel, medicine, food and fibre is denied - cannot surely be to stop people getting "high"?

And to lock people away for years for producing or distributing the crop cannot be justified - to execute them is a crime against everything decent in the world.

That is why I wanted to see a boycott or holidays and buying goods and services from these countries, letters to their embassies, and now a world-wide petition - to STOP THESE EXECUTIONS.

I am not saying that the death penalty for anything else is justifiable - just focusing on this issue

I encourage all to sign this petition and spread this message widely.  We can but try.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

UNJUST that Carlisle man Alex Steventon has been punished for trying to relieve his back pain

It is totally UNJUST that Carlisle man Alex Steventon has been punished for trying to relieve his back pain ("Carlisle back-pain man grew cannabis for pain relief", News & Star, July 9).

Mr Steventon apparently grew cannabis at home and used it for pain relief in preference to the risky pain killers with possible dreadful side-effects, produced by the highly-profitable pharmaceutical companies.

Mr Steventon was fined £100 for the production offence and ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a £15 victim surcharge.

On top of everything else, despite the fact that he seemed not to have actually done any harm to anyone, he is made to pay a "victims surcharge" - it is Mr Steventon that is the victim of an unjust law.

Alun Buffry

News and Star, Carlisle, July 9 2011
Carlisle back-pain man grew cannabis for pain relief

A Cumbrian man who suffered from rheumatism and back pain after a car crash started growing cannabis for pain relief.
City magistrates heard how 31-year-old Alex Steventon, of Carlisle, was in “severe and constant pain” after an accident in 2007 and prescribed medicine did not help.
Defence solicitor Geoff Clapp said Steventon, of Vasey Crescent, off Greystone Road, looked on the internet to see how to grow cannabis from seed.
“It was purely for medical use as pain relief,” Mr Clapp said.
Prosecutor Adrienne Harris said police went to Steventon’s home on June 24 on an unrelated matter but, when he answered the door, he asked them if they had “come about the cannabis”.
Officers found a room with specialised lighting and heating, plus drug paraphernalia. He pleaded guilty to the production of Class B drug cannabis, and possession of the drug when he appeared before magistrates.
Steventon was fined £100 for the production offence and ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a £15 victim surcharge. There was no separate penalty for possession.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Recovering alcoholic said he planted seeds because drug was 'too expensive'

Mr Willey ought to be congratulated not punished for staying off the booze and staying away from drug dealers.

Had it been any other plant, he probably would have - but as it was cannabis, one of the most versatile, efficacious plants on earth with thousands of beneficial uses, he could have been given an award.

Clearly he did no harm so why has he been punished? What a stupid and unjust law!!

Source: Surrey Today & Dorking Advertiser
July 8 2011
A GARDENER was caught growing more than 300 cannabis plants – after he invited police into his home about another matter.
Martin Willey, 45, will have to do community work after cultivating the drug, which was discovered after he reported a person missing and officers visited his Capel home.
Mr Willey appeared at Redhill Magistrates' Court, where he admitted one charge of producing 306 Class B cannabis plants.
He told the court that he called the police regarding the whereabouts of his partner, who suffers from bipolar disorder and has tried to commit suicide.
The recovering alcoholic had been looking after his partner's child and even taking him along to some of his gardening jobs, but had been finding life increasingly tough.
He said: "I have been dry for three years and two months now, so I know that I cannot touch the drink, but by God sometimes I need a smoke."
The defendant pleaded guilty to growing the plants, saying that he had turned to growing cannabis because he could not afford the street price of the drug.
Mr Willey said: "I used to buy cannabis, to be honest, but it has got so expensive. All I did was plant a few seeds, I wasn't really expecting anything to come of them."
He was found to have a hydroponics system and all the paraphernalia to cultivate cannabis in his home, but none of the plants had yet been harvested.
Chairman of the bench Tudor Thomas told Mr Willey: "The cannabis had not been harvested and we have no reason to believe that you had the intention of selling on the drug. However, your actions cannot go unpunished and we sentence you to 140 hours' unpaid work in the community. We understand that you are sorry and urge you to draw a line under this offence and move on with your life."
Mr Willey, now of Killicks, Cranleigh, was also ordered to pay court costs of £87.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Cannabis and Drugs Policy and Activism across Europe (ENCOD General Assembly report)

These are the impressions I got of the cannabis (and drug) situations and activism in several countries around Europe represented by people at the ENCOD conference in Prague on June 24th.

20 Years ago the law became more severe against hard drugs - previous to that small scale possession was not prosecuted. In 2000, drug users once again raised their voices against Government policy and harm reduction became an issue. But government resist campaigners and prohibition momentum is still building – there is little sympathy for drug users.


Cannabis is available as a medicine but few people are able to get it from The Netherlands due to expense. Press reports about medicinal cannabis are mostly limited to Sativex, otherwise it is blocked.. Recently a pro-cannabis petition raised 20,000 signatures, the largest mobilisation for 10 years – and people are now waiting for a response. Parliament presently calling for intrusive drug testing procedures. There has been no political comment on the Global Commission on Drugs report..

In public surveys, 35% of people want on-the-spot fines for small-scale possession and 60% want the law changed. In reply to a question on which is more dangerous, alcohol or cannabis, 60% said alcohol and of those 30% , 90% want no change to the law. There is a strong correlation between what people think on dangers and what they think on changing the law.

On usage of cannabis, 24% of 18 to 60 year-olds admit lifetime consumption but only 4% admit consumption within the last year.

80% voted to legalise medical marijuana (the plant) and 20% say health insurance should pay


In 2008 there were 2 votes re drug law. 100,000 people signed to support an initiative to legalise cannabis but this was rejected by the Government although proposals to make heroin available to “addicts” was approved. Now some medicinal use of drugs is accepted, small-scale possession is decriminalised although one has to pay a fine if caught outside of home.

THC will be limited to 1% from July although this is uncertain and may be delayed – on farms producing essential oils..

Cantons outside the big cities want legalisation and some cities want legal distribution. Activists are hoping that some plants may be allowed within the home under new regulations.


The situation is unclear after the election of a right-wing government that wants to limit consumption – hence the government minister proposal to introduce the “weed pass”, and increase in limit allowed for distance of a Coffeeshop from a school (from 250 to 350 metres). There is a call to review the classification of drugs and to raise the classification of cannabis, or some forms. This is due for debate in the autumn and consultation with users and Coffeeshops is planned for September.

At the moment there is no general weed pass but proof of age is requested at many Coffeeshops.


Trek Uw Plant is developing and expanding based upon the Cannabis Social Clubs proposals and structure for shared cultivation. - there have been major articles in mainstream magazines with 200,000 readers. The present idea is 1 plant per adult with 20 grams collected at the end of the growing season, and Trek Uw Plant has 48 members.

There has been an increase in public debate, also a big increase in cultivation and prosecutions.


New policing has put a limit on the quantity possessed before prosecution – this stands at 5 plants or 15 grams – above that there will be a fine.

There were two cannabis fairs last year with a lot of interest generated, in Prague.


Possession of drugs is decriminalised but police formalities often mean attending a Commission at a drug counselling centre – then usually nothing happens..

But the future is uncertain after the election of a right-wing Government.


The Government says it has no intention of changing the law – they admit to knowing about Cannabis Social Clubs but they have no proposals to do anything. Elections are due soon.. The successful scheme to prescribe heroin has been forgotten.

There has been an “invasion” of big-money people into the Cannabis Social Club concept leading to the construction of “fake CSC's) – it is claimed tat some seed companies are trying to create a façade to sell. For example, in Barcelona a CSC had 20 members but after one month had 5000 members so it can no longer be said to be a “closed circle”.

So genuine CSC's have been trying to promote official regulations to, for example, increase transparency and bring the produce under police control, introduce taxes and limits on production and membership.

About 50% of the Basque Government support CSC's and there exists a possibility to create a working group within the Government to introduce regulations.

The actual number of CSC's in Spain is unknown, it may be in the hundreds, but there are only 30 in the Federation of CSC's as many are false. In Catalonia there are many fake clubs openly breaking the rules and the law. This has created some alarm amongst activists that there may be a public outcry. Police reaction varies from region to region.

Activists feel that there is a need to control clubs and check they are staying within regulations.


Recently there has been much more debate on drug policy and an effort to promote safe injecting rooms, but the Government shows little concern. Cities like Bordeaux and Marseilles have shown an interest in experimenting with changes.

In the Million Marijuana March 15 groups participated this year, in 10 cities.

In January 2011, France showed a TV documentary “If we legalised cannabis” based upon the situations in USA, Portugal and The Netherlands.

Several new political parties are stating their positions and there are many calls for access to medicinal marijuana..

It is hoped that we can introduce some debate during the run up to the 2012 elections.

Media has shown little interest in the Cannabis Social clubs proposals and nobody seems to want to talk about home growing or excluding cannabis from drugs policy.

But although 5 years ago there was no public debate about cannabis or hemp allowed, this is changing and there have been several major articles in the popular press



Cannabis Social Clubs Proposal Petition

Cannabis Social Clubs group on Facebook

Cannabis Campaigner's Guide

Cannabis News

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

New Zealand Courts miss the target on Justice on Cannabis Carer?

Although pleased to read that Peter Davy has not been sent to prison (although he will imprisoned in his own home under detention) I would hate to be in his position - as would most people.

Now he has to decide whether to risk the criminal world and try to buy some, or to risk prison by growing it again.

What a terrible choice New Zealand Law without Justice has put upon this man and what an unenviable position he is now in.

For sure as Mr Davy said, a discharge would have been better - it would also have been FAR more just

Cannabis grower's partner pleased to see him home
Date: July 6 2011
By Anna Burns-Francis

A cannabis grower who threatened to go on hunger strike if he was jailed will spend the next six months on home detention - and his partner's delighted he's coming home.
Peter Davy was growing 45 rare cannabis plants in his backyard, but says he was only growing the plants for medicinal purposes - to help his chronically ill partner, Tracey Perrin.
Before court he reiterated that he was prepared to go on a hunger strike if sent to jail - in protest that he wouldn't be able to care for Ms Perrin, who has multiple sclerosis.
Ms Perrin is “truly thrilled” at the home detention, and is relieved her partner’s home tonight.
“For him to come home, it's the absolute best, it truly is,” she says.
One of Davy’s supporters, Jasmine Hewlett, says the outcome is “just fantastic”.
“Convicted and discharged would have been better but in all reality home detention ...he can look after Tracey, get on with their lives,” she says.
The judge has warned Davy that jail's a real possibility if he's back in court again.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

What if Cannabis Was "Legalised"?

Before even considering this, I feel it is essential to point out that it is not cannabis itself that is illegal – it is the possession, cultivation (production) and supply without a license, that is banned. The law is against the people that wish to use the plant to their benefit.

The lame Government excuse I've heard throughout 20 years of campaigning, for not changing the law, is that they believe use would go up – they then go on to tell us blatant lies that cannabis is a dangerous drug and causes this or that problem with people, whilst denying the medicinal and other advantages.

The Government speculates use and therefore harm will go up. I have heard many cannabis campaigners say that it won't, but there I disagree – use will go up – I HOPE SO – simply because the very vast majority of users benefit from the plant and many more will benefit if they can grow or buy cannabis legally. If the vast majority of new users benefit, in comparison the number of those that suffer damage associated with cannabis use will be small and they can seek help sooner without fear of being busted. Because quality will improve and the criminal element removed, all users will benefit from clean cannabis and we will see an end to that disgusting “grit weed” and “soap bar”, that itself causes damage.

My argument is that the overall benefit to society would far outweigh the risk of more harm.

So I'd like to dream for a while, what the world would be like if the law is changed to allow personal possession and cultivation – maybe licensed production and supply to adults.

There's an estimated 5 million cannabis smokers in the UK with at least that many again that have tried it. That means technically some 10 million people in Britain alone, almost 25% of the adult population, are criminalised – many “break the law” daily, out of necessity or choice – and most of them live in dread and stress for fear of that knock on the door, court case and criminal record. How many have respect for the law-makers when they daily live under fear of the law even though they are not actually doing any harm? Millions!

Perhaps strangely and surely hypocritically, our own Prime Minister, David Cameroon and many politicians, along with high-powered businessmen, sportsmen and women and other professionals, and a massive proportion of those involved with the entertainment industry, are included amongst those once-upon-a-time users. And considering most cannabis users share their smokes, technically they were all guilty of supply too.. Now and then they raise their voice against this law but I cannot say I have seen much help for the cannabis campaign, from them, ever.

So, of course, those so- called “medicinal” and “recreational” users (a vague distinction in many cases) would immediately benefit if the law is changed, as they will then be free to grow and possess cannabis without fear of arrest. And if adult supply centres such as cannabis shops or cannabis clubs / cafés are allowed, those that cannot grow their own will have a safe environment, away from crime and hard drugs, with consumer protection, quality control and cleanliness guaranteed. No more back street drug dealers.

The immediate knock on effect will be easing of the burden on the police and courts, the revenue taxation of profits presently being avoided by criminal suppliers and a saving of billions of pounds a year of taxpayers money presently used to fight and unjustifiable and unenforceable law.

Cannabis as a legal alternative to people that over-indulge in alcohol; cannabis available medicinally to replace so many pharmaceutical drugs with risks of side-effects (and drugs to counteract those side-effects) – the feel-good factor!

Take the case of students and young people.  When we reach the age of 18 we are allowed to buy and consume alcohol on licensed premises - despite the fact that it causes so much grief, violence, illness, absenteeism, accidents and premature death - but of course huge profits are made and revenue gained.  At that age most of us want somewhere to go to meet people, and there is little alternative to drinking.  That leads to drinking competitions and binges, and my experience is that there is plenty of that, at least when I was that age.  I certainly over-consumed more than once, and fortunately, I survived.  The problem with alcohol is that it warps one's judgement, and not only did I ignore warnings that i was getting too drunk, if they were ever given, but once when having been asked to look after the car keys so my mate did not drive whilst drunk, I almost got into a fight when he demanded them back - and he too was very drunk.  One only has to visit an inner city at night to see the fights that do happen, fuelled by booze.  But show me a Dutch Coffeeshop where people end up fighting!  Had there been Coffeeshops when I was 18, I think I would have been visiting them and meeting the sort of people I really wanted to meet, not fellow drunks.

Incidentally I have met a few people that have successfully used cannabis to overcome their addiction to booze.  For most people booze and weed do not mix well.

But the breweries, distilleries and off-licenses are not the only people that fear that more people using cannabis would detrimentally effect their profits.  We also face opposition from drug companies and suppliers - both legal and illegal.

Those drug suppliers that offer oft-inferior quality and contaminated cannabis along with hard drugs, whether on the streets, from houses or in clubs, do not relish the thought that their cannabis customers may have somewhere to buy legally - what will they do if they can't get the trade?  hence the vast majority refuse to support efforts to change the law.

Then there's those drug companies that produce pills and potions to "heal" us, or at least ease the symptoms - although of course their drugs often cause bad side-effects so we need more drugs to counteract those effects.  I have met people taking literally dozens of pills daily, at quite a cost to the NHS - and at least some of them, when resorting to a more efficacious substance called cannabis, are able to stop taking many of the pills at all.  Multiple Sclerosis sufferers amongst them.

How strange that GW Pharmaceuticals are able to produce "Sativex", a solution of cannabis in alcohol with a hint of peppermint, to treat MS and pain.  GW say that sativex is Sativex is a whole plant medicinal cannabis extract containing TetranabinexTM (tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) and NabidiolexTM (cannabidiol or CBD) as its principal components. The medicine is administered by means of a spray into the mouth.   Yet the UK Government deny the medicinal value of cannabis presumably trying to convey that if dissolved in alcohol (THC is not soluble in water) it suddenly gains value!

So natural cannabis is apparently value-less as a medicine, but available as a medicine if dissolved in alcohol and made into a spray. What nonsense!

That would be bad enough - sufferers of MS being prosecuted for growing the same plant at home that GW grows in warehouses - if limited to MS.

But the list of health problems that are eased by cannabis goes far beyond that.  Here are some examples of where natural cannabis can help: treating cancers and tumours, relieving side effects such as nausea caused by cancer chemotherapy, pain, glaucoma, migraine, epilepsy, rheumatic pains, depression and mood disorders, bipolar, asthma, insomnia, loss of appetite, tinnitus - it can help with anti-microbial effects, dystonias, Adult Attention Deficit Disorder, Chron's Disease, diabetic gastroparesis, psuedotumour cerebri, phantom limb pain, post traumatic stress disorder - and of course stress itself.

Let me also emphasis that for those that choose not to smoke (cannabis is far safer and more effective when NOT mixed with tobacco), cannabis can be consumed using vaporisers, or added to food or drinks (just dissolve in hot oil or butter - or even alcohol as does GW - to extract the essentials, and test dose gradually).  So, although there is no actual evidence that smoking pure cannabis cooly causes lung problems, those that are concerned have alternatives

Cannabis users and non-users alike will benefit both through their physical and financial well-being.. It all seems so obvious to me.

But it doesn't stop there.

It doesn't stop there because cannabis is much more than a drug, if indeed it is strictly a drug at all (not being toxic, addictive, hallucinogenic, stimulant or narcotic).

Cannabis is a PLANT – a quite remarkable plant, and every part of it has a potential use – thousands of products can be made (and disposed of) in environmentally-friendly ways replacing many chemical products we depend on in our lives – from foodstuff to packaging, fuel to plastics, from paper to clothes, and much more. See

Cannabis aka Hemp is one of the most versatile plants on the planet. It has been used since prehistoric times. It has been used throughout history until the first quarter of the twentieth century. It’s production was then mostly prohibited. This was at the same time that large American pharmaceutical and petrochemical companies were ready to replace hemp with synthetics ranging from diesel to nylon, plastic to drugs. This has produced huge profits for these companies at the cost of the environment and of personal freedom.

Hemp has been grown for its fibre, for its seeds and for the tops, heads, flowers and leaves.

The fibrous parts of the hemp plant are the stringy threads which come from the stalk and the woody part of the stalk itself, which is called the hurd.

The fibres can be used to produce paper, sails, rope, clothes, shoes, nets, building materials like bricks and chipboard, packing material, animal and human bedding, furniture and even lace. It can also be used to produce blocks or charcoal for burning.

The seeds can be used as a human and animal food (it is more nutritious than Soya) and for oil. The oil can be used as a salad dressing, as fuel for lamps and engines (the original Model T Ford was designed to run on hemp fuel). It can also be used to make lubricants, paint, sealant, varnish, lotions, ointments, lacquer and soap.

The tops and heads, along with some leafy material, can be used as a sacrament, a medicine and as a recreational substance.

Many experts blame the rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere primarily on the use of fossil fuels. Biofuels, over time, would actually help restore the level of CO^2 to a safer level. Acid rain is caused by sulphur being released into the atmosphere by industry. Fossil fuels contain sulphur and are a major source of this problem. Biofuels do not release sulphur into the atmosphere. Chemicals are causing the ozone layer to disappear. Hemp cannot solve this but it can withstand the increased radiation better than pine trees, soya beans and other plants.

_Excerpted from 'Energy Farming in America', by Lynn Osborne_.

“Biomass conversion to fuel has been proven economically feasible, first in laboratory tests and by continuous operation of pilot plants in field tests since 1973. When the energy crop is growing it takes [carbon dioxide] from the air, so when it is burned the CO2 is released, creating a balanced system.

“Biomass is the term used to describe all biologically produced matter. “

“Hemp is the number one biomass producer on planet earth: 10 tons per acre in approximately four months. It is a woody plant containing 77% cellulose. Wood produces 60% cellulose. “

_From 'The Report of The FCDA Europe' by Kenn and Joanna d'Oudney, Fourth Edition, ISBN 0 9524421 1 6._

"The Cannabis Biomass Energy Equation (CBEE) demonstrates for the first time on record that fuel-energy sourced from the renewable, pollution-free resource of flora in the form of Cannabis Sativa, achieves uniquely economical replacement of fuels, and has always been so. There has not been this century, a single ecologically-pertinent fact, theory or postulation embodying practicable potentials as beneficial to the planet and the well-being of its people as those of the CBEE, given practical application in the CBRPF [Cannabis Biomass Resource and Pyrolysis Functions]; this formulation resolves Mankind's most crucial predicament in macro-Economics and Ecology to have arisen since the incipience of The Industrial revolution."

see also Hemp and the Marijuana Conspiracy: Emperor Wears No Clothes

Hemp and other biofuels can safely, cleanly and completely replace both - no more oil spills, oil fires, radiation leaks or nuclear meltdowns. The hidden costs of these industries - subsidies, military costs of protecting oil fields, clean-up costs and health costs borne by society - are not paid for at the pump, they are added onto tax, insurance and health care bills, and oil wars, such as the Gulf War in 1991. We, the people, still pay all the costs, they are merely hidden from us. When these hidden costs are taken into account, biofuels are much more economical.

As a foodstuff, hemp seed is one of the most complete sources of vegetable nutrition known to man. It is a source of high quality protein containing all of the essential amino acids in nutritionally significant amounts. Hemp seed oil is a rich source of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) - important for optimum health in the body. In the last hundred years we have learnt that Minerals & Vitamins are essential for our health - it is now considered that EFA's constitute the final part of the health triumvirate. Luckily hemp has significant amounts of all three. Not only that, but the nutrition in hemp comes in the most optimum ratio and also most easily digested


Being so easy to produce almost anywhere in the world, hemp seed offers a powerful part-solution to world hunger: people could grow their own plants even in poor soil, produce their own medicines, fibres, oils, fuels and seed for food – THAT would save countless lives – if indeed that is what the world powers seek. I wonder if it is?


So the potential result of the removal of cannabis possession, cultivation ans supply – the “freeing-up” of cultivation of hemp for industrial uses, will be a happier, cleaners society.

So the only question we need to ask is: why do successive Governments just say NO?

I sincerely wish I knew the real answer to that question.  I can only surmise that they have secret reasons, probably financial and concerns over loss of power through loss of votes.

Interestingly, a couple of years back to Legalise Cannabis Alliance (now called "Cannabis Law Reform", a political party but with different structure and policies) issues a postcard to be sent to Labour telling them that if they raised cannabis back to a class B drug, we would not vote for them - they went ahead, then they lost the election.  So 5 million tokers had their say - unfortunately the result was the present coalition that is no better.

Beyond speculation, looking at the reasons that the Government give for not changing the law on cannabis, they cite international treaty and their fear that it would mean increased availability, increased use and increased harm - although they have no evidence to back that up.

A document called "Cannabis: Challenging the Criminal Justice System" produced by Don Barnard and Alun Buffry and sent to the Labour Government, along with hundreds of MP's, initiated the following response from Caroline Flynn MP, then in the Home Office:
"The public discussion document ... represents a carefully considered examination of what I believe you would accept is a complex, multi-faceted issue.
"I accept that you have fairly reflected the main requirements of the UN Conventions, which govern these matters internationally and which largely underpin the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. These provisions provide signatories to the Conventions with a fair degree of flexibility. The United Kingdom Government exercises that flexibility responsibly at every level, having regard both to the terms of the Conventions and to the impact of our legislative actions at home as well as on the international community.

"Central to our thinking is the importance of protecting the health and welfare of the British public. We have taken the view that prohibition is the most appropriate means of doing this. The Government has no intention of either decriminalising or legalising cannabis (or any other currently controlled drug) for recreational purposes.

"Our view is that cannabis is a controlled drug for good reasons. In recommending the reclassification of cannabis, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, which, as you know, advises the Home Secretary on such matters, asked for it to be clearly understood that cannabis is unquestionably harmful. It has a number of acute and chronic health effects and can induce dependence. It clearly makes sense therefore for it to remain a controlled drug whose unauthorised production (including cultivation), supply and possession are and will remain illegal.

"To decriminalise or legalise the possession of cannabis for personal consumption would send the wrong message to the majority of young people who do not take drugs on a regular basis, if at all, with the potential risk of increased drug use and abuse. Our target is to reduce the use of all illegal drugs - including cannabis - substantially and the consequent drain upon the health services that would result from increased consumption due to more ready access to increased supply. While our drugs laws cannot be expected to eliminate drug misuse, there is no doubt that they do help to limit use and deter experimentation.

"The Government is aware of the arguments for legalising cannabis in a regulated way and has concluded that the disadvantages would outweigh the benefits. A substantial increase in consumption of cannabis (largely by smoking) could have significant implications for public health. Also, unilateral action on the Government's part would undoubtedly encourage unwanted drug tourism to this country in the event that there were no similar move to legalise internationally. At a time when we are doing much to try to reduce the use of tobacco and alcohol due to ever greater concerns about their safety, it would be perverse to take the huge gamble with public health that would be involved in legalising cannabis."


Considering the misery, poverty, illness, crime and pollution caused by cannabis prohibition, not only do they need to be asked – they need to be indicted for Crimes Against Humanity


Alun Buffry

as published in latest addition of ISMOKE Magazine Issue 6