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."