The British Medicinal Cannabis Register And Your Security
The first is a lack of factual information about who uses cannabis, how and for what reasons. The second is a terrible record of disunity, squabbling and petty power games amongst campaigners.
My fervent hope is that the creation of the British Medicinal Cannabis Register (BMCR) will help to solve the first, at least for medicinal users. The second though may prove more difficult.
The BMCR has attracted the endorsement of a number of eminent individuals. Council members include people whose reputation is beyond reproach as well as medicinal users who, by definition, are described as criminals. There have already been scurrilous attacks on the integrity of some council members and cowardly abuse, anonymous or in disguise, from those who have a different agenda.
Regrettably, a well known campaigner with an honourable and courageous record in assisting medicinal users, has resigned from the council over concerns about data security. While he is a man of great integrity, the web site with which he is associated has hosted a series of paranoid and scaremongering attacks on the BMCR. The site is well known as a forum for cannabis growers who clearly have good reason to be concerned about their security.
The BMCR issued the following guidance:
The purpose of the BMCR is to build a database of factual information. For that data to have any value it must be validated. Cannabis remains illegal in Britain so there will always be some danger in contributing to any website or source of information, even if you do so anonymously or under a pseudonym.
After careful consideration the BMCR has concluded that the minimum requirement for data to be validated is a name, a part post code and a verifiable email address. The name and postcode cannot be verified so there is nothing to stop you using an alias.
Clearly, the information about post code, condition(s) and method(s) of use is only of any value if it is truthful. All data will be stored on encrypted servers and/or storage devices and will not be released to anyone voluntarily. However, you must decide for yourself the balance between providing information and your own security.
Ultimately, medicinal users must decide for themselves whether they want to stand up and be counted or not. Personally, I put my name loud and proud alongside the BMCR and I will defend and keep confidential any information entrusted to me to the ultimate. I know the same goes for all those involved.
The BMCR website is at www.bmcr.org.uk.