Monday, 30 December 2013


Thursday, 5 December 2013

We need to debate use of cannabis - Bristol Post - Comment

It's been debated long enough and it's the politicians that refuse to seriously consider changing the law. 

The law MUST be changed in the interests of public health, Justice, Human Rights and the environment.  

The present law that punishes people that have done no harm and posed no threat, for the possession or cultivation of plants in their own homes for their own use - it is expensive, an utter failure at protecting people, and completely unworkable in a society where over 10% have admitted using cannabis.   

These times of prohibition will be looked at in the future i the same way we now look a alcohol prohibition in the US.  

In short, evil.
Bristol Post: Dec 4 2013:

Editor's comment: We need to debate use of cannabis

IT is no accident that the number of cannabis factories is on the increase. Whilst they may be illegal they are certainly lucrative. And without question they are meeting a demand.

It could be argued that the proliferation of these factories is evidence for saying the law needs to change to make the use of cannabis acceptable.

Then there is the use of cannabis to treat medical conditions.

Should we follow the United States where it is regularly prescribed?

And should we deny people with arthritis and other painful conditions the relief cannabis can deliver?
But equally we should not forget that these factories are part of a much bigger picture involving drug dealing and violent crime. It is surely no coincidence that knives were found at one of these farms.
And there is a further issue here. That is if we accept the common use of cannabis then we run the risk of more people moving on to harder drugs and everything that implies.

It is time again to have a serious debate about all these issues.

Read more:

Monday, 18 November 2013

Cannabis Social Clubs - Healthy and Safe Alternative to Unjustifed Prohibition

Cannabis Social Clubs introduced and functioning in Spain, Belgium, Italy and France.

How much better is that than in the UK where so many millions are resorting to illegally growing their own or running the risk of buying from dealers that cannot always assure (or do not care) about quality or contamination and often offer hard drugs - as well as making untaxable profits.

We - adults - are capable of making our own choices on what we do with our lives including what we put into our own bodies - even though many may make wrong choices.  Guidance, advice, safety are essential - but none of that is offered by criminalised cannabis suppliers.

It ought to have nothing to do with Government what a citizen does in private - unless the person poses a risk to public health or order, national security or the Rights of others as demanded by Human Rights legislation.

A person should be free to grow and use (possess) cannabis for their own use and Government ought to be looking at how best to protect them, just as those that choose to consume alcohol and tobacco are protected (and the rest of us protected from them).

The same logic and care ought to be applied to victimless cannabis users.

The Cannabis Social Clubs model as promoted by ENCOD is a good way to go.

are non-profit groups of individuals collectively growing good quality cannabis for their own personal and beneficial use.

Cannabis clubs blossoming in the UK

The Guardian, Nov 17 2013

There are 49 of them around the UK now, with members meeting to discuss the drug's production, its medicinal use and legalisation – and to get high
"I guess it's like wine-tasting – but with cannabis," says Orson Boon (not his real name), head of the London Cannabis Club. "People come to exchange samples, try new strains and have a chat."

Sitting around a table in north-east London are several members of the LCC. One member is examining a sample of cannabis under the blue light of a small microscope to check for mite faeces. Another is comparing the smell of a lemon equinox strain and a Jack Herer, a medicinal sativa strain named after a famous cannabis decriminalisation activist. Different-sized lenses, vaporisers and an assortment of labelled pots containing buds and cuttings from cannabis plants cover the table. It's like a science laboratory crossed with the Chelsea flower show."This is the strain that won the Underground London Cannabis Cup," says Boon, holding a small tube labelled K3M under the nose of a recent recruit, who works in an investment company in the City. The newcomer takes a sniff: "I'm seriously considering growing one or two plants with friends. Homegrown stuff like this is so much smoother than the weed I buy off the streets and you know exactly what you're getting." The others begin speculating as to where would be the best place in their homes to set up a hydroponics tent.

Over the past few years, local cannabis clubs have blossomed over Britain. There are now 49 around the UK, which are united by the UK Cannabis Social Club, an organisation founded in 2011 to represent cannabis users. Operating primarily through Facebook, (the LCC's page has had 39,301 likes the clubs bring cannabis users together from all over Britain to discuss topics ranging from fertiliser to self-medication and campaigning for the decriminalisation of the drug. They also organise meetings, from a recent 10,000 person smoke-out in Hyde Park to more intimate evenings such as tonight's soiree, allowing pensioners, students, bricklayers and bankers to talk about one of their favourite hobbies.

Boon's day job – he holds a senior position in the medical field – compelled him to start the cannabis club in the first place. "A lot of my work has been out of the UK where I have seen how effective cannabis has been on patients suffering all kinds of illnesses. I understand cannabis can have bad effects and can be abused – like anything. But when used correctly it is a very different story. When I came to London I met so many people who were secretly medicating with cannabis, which just didn't seem right. So I set up a Facebook page with the intention to normalise cannabis use and bring users together"One of the mantras of the cannabis clubs is to encourage a more healthy use of cannabis. "I only ever vaporise now, it's so much better for you and the taste is much purer," says Orson, placing a tiny piece of cannabis inside the vaporiser and inhaling deeply. It's also more discreet: only weeks before, several members of the LCC had gathered in the Shard, London. While the surrounding guests tucked into their steak tartare, the unlikely club members proceeded to get high with cannabis vaporisers 31 floors up. "It just looks like you're sucking on the end of a posh pen," says Orson.

The fact that growing and possessing cannabis is illegal in Britain does not deter many cannabis clubs across the UK from using social media to publicise meetings – "It's not illegal to talk about cannabis," says Boon – and the openness is part of the campaign for normalisation. Members themselves usually keep their involvement private: "Many of the people I've met have families, high-profile jobs, mortgages and all sorts, and are terrified of losing everything," he adds.

Millie, 59, is a member of a club in Wales. "As an MS sufferer, I found cannabis to be the only thing that really works. Years ago I had been buying it from a lad down the road, but then I thought, screw it, I'm going to grow my own. I go to little meetings a few times a month and they give me tips on how to grow the best weed for my condition, which helps a lot. It also gets me out of the house."

"At present, our main priority is following America's footsteps and legalising cannabis for medical use," says Boon. "If at the very least that happens I will be a happy man."



Friday, 1 November 2013

Groundless Fears over Cannabis meeting in Dorchester tomorrow

regarding the claim about the number of chemicals in cannabis - all plants contain a large number of "chemicals" but that does not make them bad or dangerous - and tap water contains many more which have been added.

regarding the cannabis meet -p protest picnic - well of course many people don't want to be around cannabis smoke, so why not give users a place to go in safety, away from the public, free of fear of arrest, where they can socialise?

those that choose to drink alcohol have pubs, clubs and restaurants - and we all know just how dangerous that drug can be - fortunately people are not allowed to drink on the streets or in our parks.

and of course any crime committed against people or property should be prosecuted whether the person is sober, drunk or high

Fears over Cannabis meeting in Dorchester tomorrow

COMMUNITY leaders in Dorchester have expressed fears over a controversial ‘Cannabis Awareness Day’ that will take place in Maumbury Rings tomorrow.
This is to be the first ever event organised by the Dorset Cannabis Community - which is a branch of the UK Cannabis Social Clubs and campaign to de-stigmatise, decriminalise and regulate cannabis consumption.
Event organiser Dave Smith states the event is planned to 'educate the general public on the many positive uses of cannabis such as medicinal, spiritual and industrial use.'
It was originally called a 'smokeup' but Mr Smith changed it to reflect the meeting's intentions.
The event comes after months of work by Dorset Police in Dorchester to curb the spread of class B drug cannabis use among teenagers in the county town.
The fact that the event is near the skate park, used by local teenagers, has councillors and police worried that the over 18's only event may draw attention from a younger crowd.
Inspector Steve Marsh said that people need to keep in mind that cannabis is still a Class B drug and is illegal to possess.
He said: "I respect the right for anyone to discuss the current law and peacefully explain an opposing point of view.
"That is a fundamental right in this country.
"However organisers of the event in question should understand that if any offences are suspected under the misuse of drugs act, my officers will take positive action. "
He added: "I am concerned that the area chosen is used regularly by young people and families and ask that any meeting takes this into account and thinks very carefully about the messages they communicate to those that attend."
Organiser Dave Smith, of Gillingham said: “We chose Dorchester because it was central in the county for our first ever awareness day.
“We have a few members in Dorset now so we wanted to organise this regional meet up to spread the message and therefore we will have several key speakers.
"The Dorset Cannabis Community is working to raise awareness of the many uses of cannabis and the dangers of prohibiting this plant.
“We want to remove the black market trade of cannabis in the UK that is currently controlled by organised criminals who are making huge amounts of money from producing and selling cannabis.
“Organised criminals don't pay tax, they use money raised from cannabis sales to fund other forms of crime such as human trafficking, they are happy to sell to young people in the name of profit and they are not put off by the legality, in fact many are aware that if cannabis was legalised and regulated they would be out of a job.
He added: “You do not have to be a cannabis consumer to get involved and we welcome all peaceful members of society to come and check out what we are doing.
“People can come and smoke at their own risk but anyone aged under the age of 18 will be asked to leave.”
Around the country cannabis social clubs are holding their inaugural public protests or awareness days.
Four weeks ago a similar 'smokeup' event was organised called the Berkshire Cannabis Protest Picnic and police officers from Thames Valley Police turned up to confiscate cannabis from those attending the protest.
Dorchester councillor David Taylor, who sits on the Dorchester Crime Prevention Panel, said he has concerns about the event.
He said: “In Dorchester the police and council have worked very hard to stop the encouragement of using drugs such as cannabis and my concern is that this event will make it look 'cool' to the young people and that it is okay to be part of this set.”
The meeting starts at 2pm but talks will take place from 3pm onwards.
Cannabis and the law
  • · Cannabis is a Class B drug - it's illegal to have for yourself, give away or sell.
  • · Possession is illegal whatever you're using it for, including pain relief. The penalty is up to five years in jail.
  • · Supplying someone else can get you fourteen years and an unlimited fine.
  • · Supplying friends, even if you give it away, is also considered 'supplying' under the law.
The arguments for and against the legalisation of cannabis
Many influential politicians and celebrities have called for the legalisation of cannabis.
Last month Durham Chief Constable Mike Barton claimed the war on drugs had failed and said decriminalisation was the best way to wrestle power away from criminal gangs.
The UK Cannabis Social Club believe that consumers should not be criminalised or treated differently than any other member of society or culture or those that use another social or medical drug. The group aims to remove the criminal black market and divert funds away from organized crime by replacing it with a community based and or regulated outlets.
UKCSC support the right to domestic cultivation for personal and medicinal use without fear or having their peace breached by the force of the law.
The group say that users should not be forced to buy their cannabis from sources where proceeds go towards real crime or funding gangs that create real victims. This is a completely artificial chain that has been created entirely by the continued enforcement of prohibition.
The United Kingdom Cannabis Social Clubs say they are here to help bring an end to this by replacing the criminal supply chain with a community based system similar to that which is working in other parts of Europe.
The NHS has issued several warnings about health risks linked to cannabis use.
These include dependency problems, mental health problems and lung damage, further cautions are.
* Even hardcore smokers can become anxious, panicky, suspicious or paranoid.
* It affects co-ordination. Drug-driving is illegal.
* The drug has lots of chemicals, which can cause lung disease and possibly cancer with long term or heavy use.
* Cannabis increases the heart rate and can affect blood pressure.
* It can cause paranoia in the short term, and in those with a pre-existing psychotic illness, such as schizophrenia, it can contribute to relapse.
* Strong herbal cannabis (also known as skunk) can cause more powerful dangerous affects.
Panel Cannabis and the law • Cannabis is a Class B drug - it's illegal to have for yourself, give away or sell.
• Possession is illegal whatever you're using it for, including pain relief. The penalty is up to five years in jail.
• Supplying someone else can get you fourteen years and an unlimited fine.
• Supplying friends, even if you give it away, is also considered 'supplying' under the law.
Inspector Steve Marsh of Dorchester police sectio
Opinion by Inspector Steve Marsh
I am aware that some members of the community want to see certain drugs decriminalised, in particular Cannabis.
One of the arguments used is the medical benefit cannabis can give to those suffering from certain illnesses.
I see this as being an entirely separate argument from the general legalisation of what is currently a Class B drug.
This means it is illegal to possess and supply etc.
My teams have recently carried out several drugs warrants at premises within the town as a result of increased community concern, in particular in connection to the supply of Cannabis to young people.
We continue to work closely with local schools to ensure that all parents and pupils are well informed regarding the risks associated with cannabis.
I am keen to ensure that those most vulnerable are fully aware of the potential risks associated with smoking cannabis not only from a criminal justice point of view but as importantly their own personal health and well being.
I respect the right for anyone to discuss the current law and peacefully explain an opposing point of view.
That is a fundamental right in this country. However organisers of the event in question should understand that if any offences are suspected under the misuse of drugs act, my officers will take positive action.
I am concerned that the area chosen is used regularly by young people and families and ask that any meeting takes this into account and thinks very carefully about the messages they communicate to those that attend.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Peter Reynolds v Alun Buffry Court Case Settled

Peter Reynolds v Alun Buffry Court Case Settled



Peter John Reynolds of ...................................................................


Alun Buffry of …..............................................................................

1. Peter Reynolds is pursuing a claim for defamation against Alun Buffry in the High Court, claim no. HQ13D01104 against which Alun Buffry has submitted a Defence.

2. The parties agree jointly to discontinue this action and to bear their own costs subject to the terms set out below.

3. Each party agrees that they shall not by themselves, their servants, agents or otherwise, abuse, harass, criticise or otherwise comment on the other with regard to their respective private lives. Neither party shall be restricted in any way from commenting on the political and campaigning activities of the other.

4. Each party agrees that they will not instigate fresh legal proceedings against the other over any words published prior to this Agreement

5. The parties agree that this settlement agreement may be published within seven days of its completion and publication shall consist only of the words of the agreement with private addresses excluded under the heading “Peter Reynolds v Alun Buffry Court Case Settled” . Thereafter the matter is at an end and each party agrees neither by themselves, their servants, agents or otherwise to make any public statement about this agreement or the proceedings to which it relates.

Agreed and signed by the parties:

Peter John Reynolds  Date: 25th October 2013
Alun Buffry   Date: 26th October 2013

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Cannabis users deserve protection not punishment, unless they harm others

How can it be fair to threaten punishment of victimless cannabis users because some people that have used it have said they have had problems or have committed other crimes?

If that logic is applied generally, considering the problems cause by some people that drink alcohol, then it also should be illegal and all drinkers would face prosecutions. Drivers too!

Cannabis users, like anyone else, should be punished if they harm others or break other laws - otherwise they deserve the same level of protection in law as people that drink - protection from drug dealers, protection from bad quality, credible point-of-sale advice, and profits on commercial cultivation and sale should be taxed.

If the idea is to reduce cannabis use, then clearly with many millions in the UK admitting to use, many times more than in 1971 the the Misuse of Drugs Act was introduced, the law has totally failed - all it has done is criminalised so many that had actually done no harm.

And whilst the numbers of users has increased so many times over the last 40 years, the incidence of mental illness has not - so there is little connection there.

And in any case those that suffer need doctors, not police, courts and lawyers.

Our RIGHT to practice our own beliefs, alone or in the company of others

Sadhu's, Jains and others that use cannabis for "religious" reasons have been exempted from prosecution of possession for many years, I believe, due to Human Rights Articles - but the Indian Government limits that exception to religions that it accepts, whereas Human rights says "Every person can choose their own religion or BELIEF"

Almost every Government in the world is acting illegally when they prosecute any person that believes that cannabis is beneficial to them unless they can show that a ban is in the interests of public health, public order or national security, or the Rights of others.

WE are allowed to practice our belief alone or in the companies of others - that is a RIGHT that cannot legally be taken away.


Article 18.

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 30.

  • Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.


Saturday, 7 September 2013

Report from Norwich Smokey Bear's Picnic

It was just two weeks notice but when the idea was posted on Facebook
some of us jumped to action. As well as spreading word through social media, I told the two local papers, the Norwich Evening News and the EDP and Radio Norfolk.

Within a few days, I had a letter through my letterbox asking me to urgently phone the police. So I phoned them and agreed for them to visit my house within an hour.

Two chief constables turned up an sat in my kitchen for almost an hour reading out a series of questions they had prepared.

"Are you the organiser?" one asked.

"No," I said, "I am a publisher, I publish events and news."

"Well if you publish it you are the organiser."

"Oh, if that's the case, I should be getting paid because I published the Leonard Cohen tour too - but I did not organise it!"

Other questions were "how many do you expect to turn up?"

"I don't know, I am not an organiser"

"Will you be having marshals?"

"I don't know, I am not an organiser. I keep telling you that."

"What about young people or children?"

""I don't know, I am not an organiser. But I think young people will be asked to stay away from anyone smoking, and children are the responsibility of parents and police, we can hardly drag them away!"

"Will you be smoking cannabis"

"Personally, you won't see me smoking anything and what other people do is their choice, they all know they could be arrested. Anyway, people smoke cannabis in parks in Norwich every sunny day, don't they?"

Yes," said the Constable, "but will they be smoking in your picnic?" "I don't know, I am not an organiser"

"What if somebody thinks, these people may have some drugs or cash and tries to rob people on their way into the park?" he asked.

"Well that would be up to the police to handle and I would call you.

Otherwise I would probably give him my money, I don't carry a lot"

"yes, I would too," he said.

With that they said they did not want the picnic to go ahead.

"I am not surprised," I said, "I guess police don't want any demonstrations or protests unless it's their own!"

"Have you got permission from the Council?" he asked.

"I don't need permission to have a picnic in the park and in any case, I am not an organiser; and if somebody did ask for permission, the Council would say no."

"Do you have public liability insurance?"

"Me, no. For a picnic? I don't know, I am not an organiser".

Two days later there were articles in the local press, one headed "Police want picnic nipped in the bud!"

I told the police that I would go on Facebook and suggest we get some hi-vis jackets and marshals in case thousands turned up, but I expected 50 to 100, based on the picnics we had attended in Chapelfield Gardens ten years or so ago; that we would deal with our own litter and if there was any trouble we would call the police.

When they day came, I went down to the Park expecting to be searched on the way in, but was approached by two bobbies who asked if I was the organiser!

"I am not the organiser, I am just a publisher"

"How many do you expect to turn up?"

"I don't know, I am not an organiser"

"The lady PC asked "Will people be taking drugs?"

"I don't know, I am not an organiser. People may smoke tobacco or cannabis, they know the risk, some are quite prepared to be arrested.!"

"but this is a public park with children and families."

"I know that, I am a member of the public, we all are. Tell us where else to go and we can think about it. You have to do your job and we have to protest."

Then I was approached by Radio Norfolk: "Are you the organiser?"

"No I am not, there is no organiser. It is an idea - let's have a picnic and then people invite friends".

The interview lasted about half an hour and then they took some quotes from a few others, Tina Girling, Don Barnard, Chris Philbin, Kevin Deadman ... on Monday morning many of us were heard on the early morning radio show.

Interviews with the local rags went much the same way and we saw two quite good articles on Monday Morning. You can read the press at

The day went quietly, the only trouble was when police told Don, our liaison officer, that they could smell "skunk" by the park gates (a couple of hundred yards away)

Police pulled a couple of peopl from the group nearest them and did some pocket searches that produced nothing, whilst we just sat on the grass on the grass!

Several amongst us just wandered across the park for a toke and a cup of tea, and several smaller groups were spotted picnicking and toking around the park.

I felt like a decoy, a member of the public eating crisps and drinking orange juice, whilst around the park, across the city, county, country and world, people were peacefully toking as normal.

I wrote a letter to the press, which was published under a heading "The Big debate: Should Cannabis Users Be Given Somewhere Safe to Smoke?" - in it I said that we wanted the Council to ask the Government to allow them a temporary license where we could go and safely smoke and associate without fear of arrest and away from people that did not want to inhale the smoke.

Until then, we would continue to picnic in the parks.

With the estimated 2 dozen police earning double or more money on a Sunday, how much did that all cost?

Multiply that by 8 or 9 times next year, multiply that by ALL the other picnics and protests across the country - it will cost the taxpayer millions.


Personally I felt the day was a success with good publicity for the cause, and everybody seems to have had a good day. And it was sunny!Thanks to Kevin Bear, Don Bearnard, Jack Koala Bear and all the Bushbabies.

Letter: Time to look at a new approach.  

Letter: Alcohol is the Bigger Problem 

Letter: Special Picnic Made its Point 

Cannabis campaigners hold protest event in Chapelfield Gardens in Norwich 

Police want drugs demo group to scrap protest    

Saturday, 24 August 2013


BBC 2's ! "America's Stoned Kids" with addiction expert John Marsden was as disappointing as his previous documentaries on cannabis - pretty one-sided, he focussed more on one or two teenagers (called kids) and the risk that he put at one in four would carry on using cannabis which he calls dependency.

After showing the availability of medicinal cannabis he twisted it to show how readily available cannabis is to teenagers (as it is in most places where there is no medical availabilty).

Marsden tried to use the scare-mongering idea that if cannabis is avaialble legally to adults, more "kids" would become addicted and then used that to oppose legalisation - he completely ignored the pain and suffering cause by prohibition and unjust punishment.

How can he try to justify punishing victimless and medicinal users, argue against legal controlled commercial supply and cultivation of one's own cannabis because "kids" risk their health and safety?

Because the argument that adults should be punished or put at risk - forced to deal with ciminal suppliers or break the law by cultivating the plant because of what the kids do - if followed as a principle upon which to base laws, then adults would be banned from doing anything that could be harmful to young people. Drinking, driving, ....

It's obvious to me that both kids and aults are at greater risk if they are left at the mercy of less-than-scrupulous and criminal drug dealing profiteers than they would be at risk of a regulated supply system with quality control, credible point-of-sale advice, hygiene, age restrictions and tax on profits.

As for the closing sequence in which John Marsden shows cannabis cookies and sweets - an alternative was to smoking cannabis - and complains that they may be attractive to the kids so ought not be allowed - that sort of logic made nonsense of the whole show,

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Cannabis Protests - should they smoke in public?

This morning I listened to an excellent interview with Clark French of NORML UK and the Berkshire Cannabis Community, on BBC Radio Berkshire. 

I think Clark did an excellent interview and made some powerful points.(listen here - about 2 hours and 5 mins from the start - move the slder pop up below the video) also stepped up to the line by putting himself at risk, to some extent, by admitting his use of cannabis to ease his suffering from MS.

But Clark went further than that by announcing a public protest  see  on Sept 7th in Reading, UK.

Personally I congradulate Clark and hope that many people will turn up to support the gathering - of course some cannot or will not, especially if police are going to be there.  On rthe other hand others want apolice and press presence.

Regarding publicity for the gatherings, well it depends on the purpose of the gathering - whether to simply meet up and have a smoke (which may best be done in a more private venue) OR to openly defy and challenge the law or BOTH

.In the past most Smokey Bear Picnics, protests, marches etc included public toking, often in the presence of the, thousands marching through London, cannabis festivals, gatherings in Trafalgar Square, and many smaller gatherings in the open in places like Southsea, Hull, Norwich, Chemslford ... I remember in Southsea one year there would be police arrested a few smokers; the next there would be no arrests, then there would be arrests the year after.  The authorities just did not know what to do.

 In Norwich in a central park we sat on the grass and toked, and police just walked pst, about 70 t0 100 of us.  Even after it was on the front page of the local press in advance, police did nothing.  We caused no problems.

Some people may think it depends on numbers prseent at the event - the more there are the less police presence.

 But history does not suggest that - and think about how many police would turn up if there were an equivalent number of alcohol drinkers.

Then there were turn-yourself-in days (I would never do that because I did not feel I had anything to turn-myself in for). 

In London Free Rob Cannabis and Howard Marks, just the two of them, tried to turn themselves in.  One year they were locked out of the police station.  In Norwich Lewi Rodrigues tried to turn himself in but they would not take him to court.

When THC4MS was busted, over 75 people in the old LCA signed statements saying that if THC4MS were guilty of conspiracy to supply, then so were we, sent it to the Carlisle police and press.  Nothing happened.  THC4MS three were given suspended sntences for supplying 36,000 bars of cannabis chocolate through the post without profit.

When Pinky started his protests, he was worried out people getting busted, so he wanted toking to be discreet - trouble was that so few  protestsersturned up.I do understand that those that grow or have jobs or family circumatsnaces that they want to protect, refrain from such open and public chllenges to the law, but I also greatly ADMIRE those that are prepared to try to defeat prohibition in this way - arrests for small amounts, court cases, all cost money - a waste of taxpayers money, and even without any change in law we can use that to push for greater tolerance - where there is no threat or not harm there should be no such arrests.

Each to his or her own - so long as we each put in some effort in some way, I think the battle can be on many fronts.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Swaziland: Dagga can take us to First World

This article makes sense - consider the many uses of cannabis - medicinal and industrial as well as as a relatively safe relaxant compared with alcohol - consider the pollution that is being unnecessarily caused through the production of synthetic alternatives and the damage done by the side effects of so many prescribed medicines - consider the number of victimless cannabis users and small scale growers unnecessarily and unjustifiably punished and the costs of prohibition - and one is forced to ask why the prohibition.

Consider the massive profits made by and the strangle-hold held over people by the massive petrochemical and pharmaceutical companies that produce those alternatives - and we can see why.

It is time that those Governments of the world that are genuinely concerned with people above profits make the brave move of ending this cannabis prohibition.
Swaziland: Dagga can take us to First World
Thula T Dlamini
Times of Swaziland

Sunday 30 Jun 2013


Please publish my humble opinion on how Swaziland can achieve first world status.


‘Choosing the Holy Bible over money’ is my basic understanding of King Somhlolo’s vision - choosing God through Jesus Christ.
This is also the Gospel of Jesus Christ. According to the Gospel of Matthew 6:24 & 33, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mam’-mon.”

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Swazis should, therefore, admit that if King Somhlolo’s vision is true, then they were given the Holy Bible as the Supreme Law and guide for living.
This covers all aspects of life; religion, politics, morality, ethics, governance, health, science, economics, social behaviour, etc.
If a Constitution is the Supreme Law of a country, then emaSwati were given that Law by God. It is the Holy Bible.

If we say the Holy Bible is lacking is some aspect necessary for living this life, then we would be in conflict with the same Bible that categorically states that we should not add or delete from it. We may not amend it as is done with men’s imperfect constitutions.
God is perfect therefore His Law is perfect. Man is imperfect, therefore his law is imperfect.
Trust in god - mvelinchanti.


When God freed the children of Israel from bondage he promised them land. Everything comes from the land; food, clothing, wealth. Every thing necessary for our physical being comes from the land.
In Swaziland, 80 per cent of the land is owned by foreigners or are farms and only 20 per cent is Swazi Nation Land. Without land, emaSwati cannot be empowered to get to first World status.

To address this anomaly Swaziland should return the ‘stolen’ land to Swazis. This may be achieved through the systematic buying of the land or legislation if necessary.
The repossessed land should be distributed equitably through the ‘khonta’ system.


Marijuana, hemp, ganja, dagga, indofindofi, hash, insangu, umtfunti wetinkhunkhu, grass, weed or whatever name that cannabis goes by, is God’s creation.
To pass laws that seek to annihilate God’s creation is tantamount to condemning God. I believe that we may, however, regulate how it is used.
There are numerous varieties of apples, grass, beans, etc. This is the case with cannabis. The Kingdom of eSwatini is blessed with a very potent variety suitable for medicinal, industrial and recreational purposes.

It is in high demand…very, very high demand.
Currently, chemicals used to destroy cannabis pollute springs, streams, rivers and the environment.
Some people smoke ARVs, glue, petrol, benzene and get high; some go crazy.

Should these drugs be illegal? Some people shoot, hang from ropes or drink legal poisons to kill themselves.
The argument that marijuana drives some people crazy and therefore should be illegal does not hold water. The number of crazy people attributed to marijuana is just not true.

Of course, there is a movement trying to perpetuate the lies about cannabis. Swazis,wake up! This is your gold.
There are numerous beneficial uses of the cannabis plant. These include paper, textiles, oil, rope, canvas, building materials, food, medicine, paint, detergent, varnish, ink, and fuel.
Marijuana can provide superb relief for those who suffer from cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, arthritis, rheumatism, asthma, insomnia, and depression.

Cannabis is the standard fibre of the world. It has great tensile strength and durability.
It is used to produce more than 5 000 textile products, ranging from rope to fine laces, and the woody ‘hurds’ remaining after the fibre has been removed contain more than 77 per cent cellulose, which can be used to produce more than 25 000 products, ranging from dynamite to Cellophane.

Cannabis is an easy crop to grow and will yield from three to six tonnes per acre on any land. It has a short growing season, so that it can be planted after other crops are in.
The long roots penetrate and break the soil to leave it in perfect condition for next year’s crop. The dense shock of leaves, eight to 12 feet above the ground, chokes out weeds. Two successive crops are enough to reclaim land that had been abandoned because of foreign invasive plants.

There are many countries where the use of marijuana is legal. These include the following: Cambodia, Canada, Equador, Italy, Mexico, Jamaica (though not fully), Portugal, Romania, Spain and 14 of the 50 states of America, among others.
For the record I wish to state categorically that I am not advocating for the recreational use of cannabis. Instead, I am calling for the exploitation of its beneficial use in industry.

Ironically by declaring the whole plant illegal actually promotes it as a drug for recreational purposes and to a limited extent for medicinal purposes. While the cannabis plant is illegal you cannot set up factories to exploit it for industrial purposes but you can easily smoke a joint. In the minds of most people, that is all it is good for.

It is my strong belief that if cannabis were to be legalised, the number of recreational users in Swaziland would actually drop.
These include people who smoke out of despair because they are not able to meet their financial obligations, people who drown the sorrows of unemployment etc.

The leading cash crops in Swaziland are devastating the environment and are not sustainable. These include sugar cane, forestry and cotton. Huge tracts of land have been wiped clean of their natural flora and fauna because of sugar cane and in spite of this only a handful of Swazis have benefitted meaningfully.

Cotton requires large quantities of pesticides and herbicides – 50 per cent of the world’s pesticides/herbicides are used on cotton.
However, hemp requires no pesticides, no herbicides, and only moderate amounts of fertiliser.
There are numerous advantages of cannabis over trees, cotton and sugar cane as a cash crop and for industrial purposes; just too many to be stated here.

There is a huge legal market available for Swazi gold. Cannabis can be cultivated by everybody; including the elderly and people living with disabilities.
1 Plant = ±E300
Do the maths. Every Swazi could be financially independent within two years.
= 0% Unemployment
= 0% Poverty
= First World

There is a strong movement, worldwide, for the legalisation of cannabis. Join the Movement for the Legalisation of Marijuana (MoLeMa). Let us take a leading role to be ahead of the pack.
Also, for the record, I neither smoke nor drink.
You have the power – use it.

Thula T Dlamini

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Women fighting for their lives after taking “contaminated” cannabis as Gardai issue warning

This is just one of the many reasons why the cultivation and sale of cannabis should be legalised.
This just does not happen when cannabis is available at controlled outlets such as Dutch Coffeeshops, Spanish, Belgian or other Cannabis Social Clubs (CSC's), US clinics, on prescription such as in the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Italy or even the Indian Government Hash shops.
It could only happen when commercial distribution is controlled by greedy crooks that want to boost their profits by adding dangerous substances - there have been stories of everything from boot polish and solvents to ground glass and ground up pills.

Women fighting for their lives after taking “contaminated” cannabis as Gardai issue warning
Irish Independent, May 30 2013

TWO women are fighting for their lives after taking “contaminated” cannabis.
The women, both in their 20s – one of whom is understood to be a mother – are in intensive care in hospital today.
Gardai have expressed concern that more drug users could be at risk from the same toxic batch of drugs.
The women, who do not know each other, presented separately to the same hospital in Drogheda. One 25-year-old is said to have “catastrophic” injuries and is suffering from multiple organ failure.
Last night gardai confirmed that two women from Louth are in a life-threatening condition after taking a drug. Both are in the intensive care unit of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.
The women are understood to have first taken ill on Monday night of this week.
One of the women has not regained consciousness since being brought into hospital and is on life support.
The second woman became seriously ill in the early hours of yesterday morning and “the symptoms are far too serious to have been caused by cannabis on its own,” said one source.
Gardai are desperately investigating the source of the cannabis – which may have been mixed with a synthetic drug – to establish if there is a bad batch of drugs currently on the streets of the North East.
Follow-up searches of two houses in Drogheda and mid-Louth resulted in some cannabis being seized which is being tested to identify what it contains. However it is believed that it can be difficult to detect synthetic drugs in these tests.
Last night Superintendent Gerry Smith, at Drogheda Garda Station, said: “We are concerned that other people who use cannabis may suffer the same effects.”
Irish Independent

Saturday, 25 May 2013

10 Years for 10 grammes of cannabis in Ghana Shock.

How sad in this day when so many people are suffering at the hands of real and heavy criminals yet your country locks up a man for a small amount of plant material when it does not sound like he has harmed anyone. Reading the news and it seems that cannabis could actually be one of the most versatile and beneficial plants on earth and certainly not the dangerous narcotic Ugandan law seems to suggest.
May 25 2013

A carpenter caught with 10.58 grammes of cannabis has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in hard labour by the Juaso Circuit Court presided over by Mr. Alex Obeng Asante.
Kwadwo Yeboah was arrested by the Juaso Neighbourhood Watch Committee on December 5, last year, and pleaded guilty to the offence of possessing narcotic drugs.
Police Inspector Manasseh Obimpeh told the court that members of the committee were on routine patrol when they spotted the convict smoking what they suspected to be cannabis at about 0200 hours.
He said the members decided to confront him but on seeing them, Yeboah attempted to flee but was apprehended and a search conducted on him uncovered two wraps of dried leaves in his pocket and was handed over to the police together with the exhibit.
Police Inspector Obimpeh said a sample of the substance was sent to the Police Forensic Laboratory in Accra for examination and was confirmed to be cannabis.


Drugs ban teacher: Pot helped me to plan lessons .... You should have stuck with booze Mr Taylor

You should have stuck with booze Mr Taylor as I am sure so many of your fellow-teachers have done!

What a shame that you have been judged on what harmless victimless activities you choose for inspiration in your "free" time and not the quality of your lessons.

Mr Taylor, having been punished once already, by the courts, for breaking a nonsense and unjustifiable law, is being punished yet again.

It is about time this law was changed.

Wigan Today
May 25 2013

A SCIENCE teacher rapped for growing cannabis has claimed smoking weed helped him create better lessons for his pupils.
Alan Taylor, who taught at Westleigh High, claimed Britain’s drugs policy is “immoral” and “corrupt”.
Taylor, from Atherton, was excluded from teaching for at least five years by a disciplinary panel after admitting he grew and consumed the drug at home.
Alan, who had been teaching science at Westleigh High School, was disciplined by the education authorities for the second time over his use of cannabis, after being sentenced to community work last March by Wigan magistrates,
However, Alan has now launched a robust defence of his personal lifestyle, saying that eating a cake or biscuit containing small quantities of cannabis is no different to drinking a glass of wine in the evening.
He also strongly criticised Government policy towards drugs, claiming it ignores scientific evidence and is based on protecting the interests of large businesses rather than safeguarding public health. Alan, 43, said: “It’s a matter of my private life and not something that should be discussed in public. Now that it’s been brought out I could go along with the party line, which would be a lie, or I can choose to tell the truth.
“My position and belief is for a policy based on rationality and evidence, which seems to me reasonable and consistent views for a science teacher to hold.
“The prohibition of drugs is a product of corrupt government. Cannabis has a lot of medicinal uses and I personally know people who’ve used it to treat conditions including epilepsy, cancer and diabetes, but it is made illegal because of big pharmaceutical companies lobbying the government.
“Cannabis has been used in medicine for about 10,000 years, and it’s only since the 1930s in America that it started being banned. The prohibition was based on racism, because it was primarily a relaxant of the black man, and also due to competition between ethanol made from hemp and oil. Cannabis was a threat both to the pharmaceutical industry and to the oil business.
“When I was teaching I found it helped me plan lessons. It sounds like a ‘60s stereotype but it produces what is called latent inhibition, which allows you to see a sense of wonder in things, and as a teacher you are trying to create that sense.”
Alan, who said he began taking cannabis around two decades ago, is also trying to debunk some of the negative social and health perceptions which surround the drug, comparing its effects to alcohol.
He said: “At the 2006 European football championships, when England played in Amsterdam they watered down the beer and opened up the coffee shops. The police praised the fans for how wonderfully they behaved.
“They then went to Belgium where they had access to a lot of strong alcohol and there were riots in the streets. That sums up the difference between cannabis and alcohol, for me.
“Statistics stress there has never been a single death from cannabis. There are thousands every year from alcohol.
“People often say cannabis makes you paranoid, but I’ve been to Holland and gone in the coffee shops and have experienced none whatsoever. In terms of addiction, there’s a greater risk through mixing cannabis with tobacco and smoking it.
“That can bring people into nicotine addiction, whereas I’ve never experienced any ill effects from eating cannabis and have gone for long periods without it.”
Alan is particularly scathing about current laws allowing criminal enterprises to control the supply of drugs on to the market, saying a regulated, legalised system would reduce the health effects of contaminated cannabis, make it easier to prevent young people getting their hands on drugs.
However, he does not want to become a public campaigner to change the law, hoping changing opinions on the street about substances such as cannabis will eventually make the present situation untenable.
He said: “Drugs have no place in the lives of children. No-one should be taking any substance until their brains are fully formed.
“At the moment all a young person needs to find out about cannabis is a £10 note, and that can’t be right. Seeking it out at the moment can also expose them to criminal elements, and possibly to other more dangerous substances.
“That’s why I grow cannabis myself, if I had gone out and bought it I would have been supporting organised crime.
“I just want to get on with my life, I would rather it hadn’t been interrupted by this. I would like to go back into teaching if I can.”
“I’ve lost my career because of the current policy, but people on harder drugs in Leigh have lost their lives, and this is minor in comparison.”

NORML UK Conference is huge success BY Deej Sullivan

NORML UK Conference is huge success

Deej Sullivan

Wednesday 22 May 2013

On Saturday the 18th and Sunday the 19th of May 2013, NORML UK held its inaugural AGM and conference at the Malcolm X Community Centre in Bristol. The event included eminent speakers including Tom Lloyd (ex-Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire Police), Annie Machon (ex-MI5 agent) and Rowan Bosworth-Davies (ex-Detective Inspector with the Metropolitan Police), among others, and drew cannabis campaigners and supporters of drug law reform from across the British Isles and beyond.

All of this was the culmination of the hard work put in over the last 12 months since NORML UK's inception, and the great success of the weekend in bringing everyone together and galvanising thoughts and ideas into actions, will hopefully lead to another huge 12 months ahead of us.

The festivities kicked off on Saturday morning with the AGM where members were asked to vote for nominations to the various executive positions within NORML. Thankfully for those of us who had journeyed to Bristol that morning and were perhaps a little bleary-eyed and in need of a strong coffee and a sativa, the formalities were dealt with swiftly and in typical toker fashion. All incumbents were reelected, although there were a few new positions added and voted on and one or two names of positions were changed. Details of those will be released separately.

After the AGM, the first of many breaks was announced and most people moved outside where some gazebos had been erected. The atmosphere was extremely friendly and chilled out as everyone got to know the many new faces that had come along, and caught up with old friends from within the movement. The loudest voice amongst all of this was of course Des Humphrey, who ensured that everybody he saw was given a welcome befitting an event such as this.

Once everyone was thoroughly refreshed, the conference was officially opened and everyone given a warm welcome by Amirah Cole from The Malcolm X Community Centre, Chris Bovey, Jo Moss and Greg de Hoedt from NORML UK. It was then time to welcome the first guest speaker - Tom Lloyd. Tom is an ex-Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire police and has written and spoken at length on the issue of prohibition and why he believes it is a costly, extremely dangerous and harmful waste of time, money and resources. His speech went on for a little longer than the allotted 45 minutes but no one seemed to mind, such was the passion with which he spoke. The crowd lapped it up and the resulting applause was probably the biggest ever given by a bunch of weed smokers to a chief constable.

Following Tom Lloyd (and lunch, which was delicious) was never going to be easy. That task fell to Mat Southwell, an 'International Drug User Activist & Drug Specialist', who has spent much of his adult life campaigning for the rights of "hard" drug users. I think it's safe to say he succeeded, in a big way. The similarities between his goals and those of NORML are obvious, and he was at pains to ensure that we heed the lessons he and his colleagues have learnt. Again, the audience was exceptionally attentive and were clearly impressed by Mat's energy, enthusiasm and most of all his bravery in standing up to the big shots at the UN and being open about his drug use.
Annie Machon speaking at the NORML UK cannabis campaign AGM at the Malcolm X Centre, Bristol, May 2013.

Annie Machon

Next up was Ayesha Mian, President of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. SSDP are an organisation of students working within communities trying to educate young people, with the aim of enabling them to make informed decisions about drug use based on evidence rather than the propaganda fed to them by the media. Her speech focused on the effects of cannabis on young people and on how best to make sure, as a movement, that we do everything we can to protect young people from the potential dangers of cannabis use.

The final speaker of the day was Annie Machon, ex-MI5 intelligence officer and current director of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) Europe. Drawing on her varied exper­i­ences in her career, Annie eloquently spoke about the failure of prohibition and the war on drugs.

Later on Saturday evening came the possibly more exciting prospect (to some anyway) of live music followed by a performance from none other than Mr Nice himself - Howard Marks. The music came in the form of KSH and the Going Goods; a five-piece hip-hop group from the west of England whose blend of acoustic rap and beat-boxing mirrored the laid-back vibe of the conference perfectly and went down a storm.

The main event of the evening was of course Howard Marks. By the time he took to the stage not one person in the building was giving their attention to anything other than him; such is the level of respect he commands within the cannabis community. Despite some minor technical glitches Howard gave a predictably brilliant performance; regaling the audience with excerpts from his sell out stage show, including the story of his first meeting with the infamous IRA arms dealer James McCann, who helped Howard smuggle Hashish from Kabul, Afghanistan to Shannon, Ireland. One got the impression that many had heard these stories before, either from reading Howard's autobiography Mr Nice, or watching the film of the same name. However it was clear that nothing quite compared to hearing the words from his own mouth, and when he was finished he received possibly the most rapturous applause of the weekend from a crowd who were clearly going to be going home happy.

The following day, the conference was opened by one of Britain's longest-standing cannabis activists, Free Rob Cannabis, who runs the Hemp in Avalon store in Glastonbury and has been well known on the cannabis activism scene since for around 20 years. Free, who changed his name by deed poll to "Free Rob Cannabis" gave an enlightening talk about the many uses of the hemp plant and his view that this is the most beneficial plant given to us on the planet. Free finished his talk with a poem about the hemp plant, which he apparently wrote on the bus on the way to the conference.

After Free was perhaps the most moving speaker of the conference, Rowan Bosworth-Davies, a former Detective Inspector in the fraud squad of the Metropolitan Police. Like Tom Lloyd, Rowan said he didn't personally use drugs, however drawing on his experience as a law enforcement officer, he spoke passionately about how counterproductive prohibition is and how it is a costly waste of money that allows criminals to get very rich by exploiting an unregulated black market that in his view would be better served if it was taken out of the hands of the gangsters and controlled by governments. Rowan said he was interested in harm reduction and putting the criminals out of business. He also said it was disgraceful that nobody had been arrested at HSBC for laundering millions of pounds of drug money, even though this is absolutely illegal under British law. He found it obscene that the boss of HSBC didn't get his door kicked down and unceremoniously taken to the police cells, yet at the same time, ill patients risk this on a daily basis for simply growing their own medicine.

Both Tom Lloyd and Rowan Bosworth-Davies spoke of the need to break down stereotypes. They said just as it is wrong to view all pot smokers as lazy unmotivated long haired scroungers who just want to get high, it is equally wrong to see all police officers as fascist bastards. They spoke of the many good people in the police service who are doing a job they are paid to do to the best of their abilities, many of whom would also agree prohibition doesn’t work.

Delicious Caribbean food was again served up to delegates, courtesy of the Malcolm X Centre, before the final afternoon session, which started with a very interesting presentation from Gary Sutton, head of the Release Drugs Team. Gary’s presentation focussed on the laws surrounding cannabis and the difficulties he faces as an expert witness in court cases, often due to police negligence and/or incompetence. Many of his frustrations at police procedure were echoed by members of the audience, and his speech quickly became more of an open forum. The main point to come from this seemed to be that we need to understand our aims more fully from the other side if we are to make progress. By working within sentencing guidelines and using what we know about police procedure to our advantage, as well as holding police to account when procedure is not followed correctly, it should be possible to at least make our lives a little easier if and when we are caught in breach of the law.

The conference ended with a speech from Greg de Hoedt, NORML UK’s Outreach Director and founder of the UK Cannabis Social Clubs. Greg is himself a medicinal user, who medicates with cannabis to alleviate the symptoms of Crohn's Disease. Greg gave a brief overview of how he came to be involved in the cannabis movement in the UK; from discovering that cannabis relieved the symptoms of his disease, to his travels to the USA where he worked within the legal medical marijuana industry and saw first hand the great positive consequences that regulation can bring, as well as the negatives that can come from not having enough regulation. Finally, Greg spoke about the cannabis social club movement in Europe and his desire to see the same kind of mass disobedience in the UK; nothing will change until we stop talking and start taking action to take back our medicine or recreational drug of choice from the criminals who control it now, and force the Government to accept that we are not the problem, but the solution.

Overall, the event was considered a resounding success. NORML UK spokesman, Des Humphrey said, "It was so good to see so many friends and like-minded people gather for a cause we all so passionately believe in. The calibre of the speakers was second to none and I would like to thank them for making it such an informative and memorable event. I would also like to thank the young lads who brought along so much equipment to film the entire conference and I'm really looking forward to seeing some of the footage.

"The first ever NORML conference in Europe has really put NORML UK on the map and we look forward to organising many more such about events, to help bring about real positive change in the UK on the cannabis issue," said Mr Humphrey.

NORML UK AGM Report 18th May 2013

I very much enjoyed attending this first Conference of NORML UK, enjoyed meeting many new faces and the energy of the campaigners, in particular the many excellent speakers.

NORML UK AGM Report 18th May 2013

Jo Martin Moss

Friday 24 May 2013

The NORML UK Board would like to thank all of you, our members, who attended the AGM and voted in person or voted online. We feel, and all the feedback received to date would indicate, that everyone who attended the NORML UK weekend event not only learned many new things, but thoroughly enjoyed themselves too.

The majority of NORML UK board members stood for re-election during the AGM, however not all to the same post or job title. The make-up of our Board and volunteer team has now changed and is as follows:

Des Humphrey has stood down from the position of Executive Director. We currently have no-one willing to take on this role, and as the role is a demanding one that our team is managing well enough without, we are content to wait until someone suitably qualified and available comes forward.

Des is now taking on the position of Community Outreach Director (Wales), where he tells us he will be much happier now he won’t have to attend loads of Skype board meetings! Chris Mackenzie is joining NORML UK in a similar role as Community Outreach Director (Scotland), and Greg De Hoedt retains his position of Communications & Community Outreach Director for England. All three of these regional roles will provide a direct link with the UKCSC network for mutual sharing of information and support, and regional media contacts.

Jo Martin Moss has been confirmed as both Deputy Director and Secretary, but is actively seeking someone to take on the Secretary role to enable her to concentrate on co-ordinating all of the ongoing projects and implementing new initiatives and strategies for the future of NORML UK. We have had applicants already, but more qualified administrative volunteers are welcome.

Chris Bovey was confirmed as Treasurer and Webmaster, Tina Mendes as Medical Campaign Director and Matt Aldridge as Harm Reduction Campaign Director.

Toby Denney has stood down as Research Director, and Andy Bishop was voted in to take-over the role, which has left his previous position as Organisations Outreach Director temporarily vacant, and we are seeking volunteers for this.

Free Rob Cannabis was voted in as Director of Education during a separate members’ vote on Sunday. We welcome Free to our team and he will be working alongside the Research and Harm Reduction teams to produce specific evidence-based educational material.

Lowell Wolfe was confirmed in his role, formerly titled Spiritual & Sacramental Campaign Director but which was changed on discussion with the Board to Civil Rights Campaign Director, in order to more accurately describe the position.

Sarah McCulloch had decided to leave her role as Political Lobbying Director in order for someone else to be elected to replace her at the AGM – however, no candidate came forward and Sarah will continue to oversee our political activity and support the rest of the Board, with her enthusiasm reignited by the success of the weekend conference. Let's hope we can continue the momentum, keeping Sarah and her considerable talents on board for the foreseeable future.

Richard Shrubb has been confirmed as Media & Public Relations Director; Richard is a professional journalist who has previously written a number of articles for the NORML UK blog.

At our next Board meeting, the officers of the Board will choose three of their number to form the Executive Committee, who will meet regularly to make day-to-day decisions for NORML UK according to our by-laws.

In non-Board positions, Stuart Harper has been welcomed as an advisor to the medical campaign team. We are also very pleased that in the wake of our conference, a number of qualified and enthusiastic volunteers have come forward to take on roles as writers, researchers, editors and general assistants within our rapidly expanding campaign teams.