I understand why the giant intellects of our legal profession resent this man who is the first non-lawyer in 340 years to be appointed to the exalted role of Lord Chancellor.
It would be fair to say that his record as a shadow minister and then Minister of State for Employment is mediocre at best. He is not a justice minister in the relatively liberal style of Kenneth Clarke. A ‘hardliner’ they call him. He channels the ‘something of the night‘ that defined his former colleague Michael, now Lord Howard. He certainly fits with the idea of the Tories being the ‘nasty party’.
There are few more unsympathetic, merciless and intolerant members of parliament. It’s not clear what other qualities he has that have earned his high office. No surprise then that his opinion on cannabis should be as bigoted and vacuuous as he demonstrated this week.
“I’ve always taken the view that the medical reasons for not going down that road are pretty compelling. I’ve talked to many doctors over the years who have highlighted the links between cannabis use and mental health problems.”
Source: Wales Online
He’s simply repeating the government’s tired and false propaganda.
The links between cannabis use and mental health problems are tenuous to say the least. Despite a massive worldwide increase in cannabis use since the 1960s, rates of psychosis and schizophrenia are declining.
The scare stories and myths promoted by the tabloid press do not stand up to investigation. The facts of NHS hospital admissions and the National Drug Treatment Monitoring Service (inconveniently for government propagandists and tabloid editors) show that cannabis is a very small contributor to mental health problems, insignificant in public health terms.
The real reason Grayling and his cabinet colleagues want to continue the ban on cannabis is that they fear the consequences of legalisation on the alcohol industry which, as we know, successive governments just roll over for in dutiful compliance.
The ban on cannabis has never had anything to do with health concerns. It’s about vested interests and corrupt and weak politicians. The truth is people like Grayling don’t give a damn about the terrible toll that alcohol takes on our society. They care not one jot for the liberty of the individual or the hundreds of thousands who are criminalised fro using cannabis as medicine.
Grayling has never been the sharpest knife in the kitchen cabinet but at least he can be relied on to toe the party line. This is the true worth of most of our cabinet ministers.
This clip is from ‘Sanjay Gupta MD’, CNN’s regular medical affairs programme. It was broadcast on Saturday, 16th November 2013.
An hour-long documentary is to follow, probably in March 2014, when Dr Gupta will expose the terrible cruelty, hypocrisy, dishonesty and corruption which is UK policy on medicinal cannabis. The programme will investigate GW Pharmaceuticals and its cannabis medicines Sativex and Epidiolex. It will also feature Bedrocan and its grow facility in Holland and look in detail at the process CLEAR has developed which has so far enabled five members successfully to import medicinal cannabis to the UK.
Although the UK government claims that cannabis has“no medicinal value”, it has licensed GW Pharmaceuticals to grow massive quantities of the plant which it then processes into its hugely expensive medicines. The license, which was issued for research purposes only, was operated unlawfully between 2003, when Sativex became a commercial product, until March 2013 when the Home Secretary retrospectively legalised it.
Most CCGs refuse to provide Sativex because it is so expensive. A month’s prescription of Sativex costs the NHS £560.00. The equivalent from Bedrocan costs between £35.00 and £105.00 depending on which product is prescribed.
Successive governments have failed to act in the interests of British citizens. Ministers have refused even to consider a change in policy and have ignored or rejected all the efforts of CLEAR and other groups to present evidence and make a case on behalf of those who need cannabis as medicine.
Even though medicinal cannabis was the subject most often mentioned in the written evidence to the recent Home Affairs select committee drugs inquiry, it was ignored. No evidence was heard on the subject and no questions were asked.
Peter Reynolds, president and elected leader of CLEAR, commented:
“UK policy on medicinal cannabis is cruel and corrupt. While ministers refuse even to consider reform despite overwhelming scientific evidence, hundreds of thousands of British people persist in pain, suffering and disability which could be relieved by cannabis. The police are used as armed enforcers of GW Pharmaceuticals’ unlawful monopoly, arresting and even imprisoning sick people who are merely trying to improve their health. I want to thank Dr Gupta for his work. While he has travelled thousands of miles to tell this story, UK government ministers hide in their offices with their fingers in their ears.”
Well I thought it was excellent. The only complaint I have is some wild and ridiculous claims about the value of cannabis plants. Other than that, the film did an excellent job of making the case for regulation. It must have been crystal clear to anyone watching it that present policy is idiotic, self-defeating and causes far more harm than it prevents.
My former colleague on the CLEAR executive, Stuart Warwick, was the star of the show. He came across as warm, humane and truly sensible. He was also the only man with the balls to show his face. Well done Stuart!
The dealers and grow robbers were blindfolded with their voices disguised. Even Orson Boon, promoter of the London Cannabis Club (LCC), was too scared to show his face. So it was ironic in the extreme that he stole the words I have published so often that “cannabis is not a subculture but a mainstream issue”. I admire the LCC’s entertaining Facebook page where it publishes some delicious photos of weed and buds but it is the very essence of the cannabis subculture. It is for the nerdy tomato grower when 99% of us buy them at the supermarket! This is exactly what needs to change.
All in all, a very good programme. I hope it does some good.
So I’ve stuck with it. A shot every day for five days so far and I do feel better for it. Of course it could be any one of a hundred other unconnected reasons but as best as I can determine, my appetite is slightly reduced and I generally feel better this week than I did last.
I thought I felt a surge of energy after yesterday’s dose but I have felt pretty bad and bilious all day. My second dose definitely rejuvenated me this evening. I have bowed to the inevitable that my cocktail shall be called a Virgin Mary Jane.
Today I juiced a bucketful of shade leaves, trimmed from a very large white widow cannabis plant.
My excellent Breville juicer produced exactly a pint of thick, green cannabis juice which tastes vile.
I shall consume one shot of this each day and report any observable results. My measure is an espresso cup which I have measured at 80 ml (my pint of juice is, near as damn it, 600 ml).
Today’s medicine was taken in a large glass of ice cold V8 vegetable juice with a generous slug of Worcestershire sauce, an extended shake of Tabasco and a little salt.
1. Demand ‘rights’ that are neither reasonable nor necessary:
“We want to prove that cannabis can be consumed safely, peacefully and responsibly in public without causing any harm to society”
2. Choose a venue that:
a. enables police to claim that it :
“is used by children and families”
b. enables the local newspaper to use this photograph:
3. Fail to apply for permission to hold the event:
“…we have not received an application in regards to this proposed event.”
See this article in ‘This Is Hampshire’: Pro-cannabis campaigners to hold protest in Eastrop Park
I support the overall aims of the people behind this. The intention is good but the means are naive, irresponsible and exactly the way NOT to campaign for cannabis law reform.
“Anything less than 100% capitulation on the part of the authorities is unacceptable!
Stand together in solidarity brothers. We’ll fight them in the parks, in the streets, we will never surrender!
We’ll smoke cannabis where we want, when we want and we don’t give a damn who it upsets – ‘cos it’s our rights brothers, it’s our rights!
We’ll show ‘em, If we keep defying them, keep showing we don’t care what they think, keep on smoking – WE WILL PREVAIL!”
It’s the hopeless, hapless politics of the school playground. It doesn’t work. It’s about defiance, civil disobedience, selfishness and bull-headed obstinacy, always with a simmering undercurrent of aggression and violence. The ‘angry stoner’ is becoming a cliche that is causing immense damage to our campaign.
Progress will be made and is actually being made in small steps by patient negotiation, compromise and hard work. That’s real work that’s often boring, tedious and has none of the appeal of marching in the streets or sitting round in the park with your mates getting stoned. This is what has created reform, firstly for medical marijuana in California, now 19 other US states and most recently a genuine revolution in in Colorado, Washington and Uruguay. These developments have been achieved despite the demos, not because of them. Exactly the same is happening in Britain.
Legally prescribed, legally dispensed, legally imported medicinal cannabis is now in Britain. The greatest progress in the cannabis campaign since the Dangerous Drugs Act 1925 was enacted.
Last August, I complained about the conduct of Yvonne Davies, a Manchester magistrate. This week, remarkably, the regulatory process worked. She was reprimanded and, as a result, chose to resign. This was the correct decision. It is impossible for someone with such an extremist opinion to judge anyone else. She is an anti-cannabis crusader and no magistrate can properly take that position.
The Manchester Evening News led the reporting which was quickly picked up by the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph. I telephoned the Manchester newspaper to protest that they had merely used the opportunity to re-publish all Ms Davies’ hysterical scaremongering. I’ll be honest. I was concerned the whole thing was starting to backfire, just giving more publicity to Ms Davies’ false and misleading claims.
Some cocky junior Mancunian journalist sneered so hard down the phone at me that I could feel it. When I explained about the endocannabinoid system and the neuroprotective qualities of cannabis he turned into a particularly ignorant and stroppy Gallagher brother and I realised there was no point. I wrote a letter to the editor for publication instead.
I also wrote a letter for publication to the Daily Telegraph.
Then, Tuesday afternoon, I was enjoying a brief glimpse of sunshine outside my friends pub, The Falcon, in Queen’s Park, west London. My phone rang. It was the Daily Mail and I chatted away with Nazia Parveen, the journalist, for a good fifteen minutes. The result you see below in print and the online version is here.
Trust the Mail to try and twist the story into something it isn’t. I wish I had the power to force a few people to quit. I’d start with Theresa May, move on to Jeremy Browne and rattle through Cameron, Osborne, Paul Dacre, Kathy Gyngell, Melanie Philips and by the time I got to the judiciary there’d be plenty more senior than Ms Davies with much greater reason to go (see here for a few examples).
A ‘cannabis zealot’ I am. Just as the 1st century Jewish sect who fought against the Romans, I will stand every time, in the face of whatever odds, use whatever means, to tell the truth about cannabis. It is an immense gift on our planet in so very many ways – which is exactly why it is demonised, why it is only its harms that are discussed and never its benefits.
Yes. I gladly accept the title. A ‘Cannabis Zealot’ am I.
In order to protect patient confidentiality and against the sort of sabotage which is so often seen in the cannabis campaign, we are not releasing details of who we are meeting or when. Suffice to say that this breakthrough has been achieved by many months of behind the scenes work, meetings with MPs, doctors and the courageous efforts of several CLEAR members.
The focus is to permit medicinal users access to the products of Bedrocan, the Dutch government’s official producer of medicinal cannabis. We now have written confirmation from both the Department of Health and the Home Office that doctors are fully entitled to write prescriptions for Bedrocan products, just as they are for any other unlicensed medicine.
The next stage is to obtain an import licence from the Home Office, either a personal import licence for each individual or a licence for a pharmacist to import and dispense. The recent re-scheduling of Sativex makes our case for obtaining these licences much stronger.
We are not there yet but we are now closer than we have ever been to enabling legal access to medicinal cannabis. The delegation will be meeting face to face with people who can make this happen.
We also have a BBC documentary producer with whom we have been working for a few months concerning a programme to be broadcast in the autumn. This visit to parliament could form an important part of the programme.
If you are interested in being considered as a member of the delegation, please email me with a concise description of yourself, your condition and your history of medicinal cannabis use: email@example.com
Peter Reynolds, CLEAR
Stephen Davies, Institute of Economic Affairs
Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday
David Raynes, National Drug Prevention Alliance
University of Exeter. Streatham Court A. 7.30pm. Free entry.
The statement posted on the CLEAR website earlier tonight concerning the “sacking” of Peter Reynolds (now removed) is false and unlawful. The officers of the party as registered with the Electoral Commission are Peter Reynolds and Janice Wells. The affairs and records of CLEAR are fully compliant with its own constitution and with the Electoral Commission’s requirements.
By hijacking the CLEAR website, Chris Bovey has committed a criminal offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. He has been reported to the police and our solicitors have been instructed. We also have documentary evidence implicating Des Humphrey, Orson Boon, Sanj Chowdhary, Greg de Hoedt and Levent Akbulut in a criminal conspiracy.
This has been reported to the police under crime reference number C12D12966.
Mark Palmer, Peter Reynolds, Jan Wells
The CLEAR executive committee, 30th March 2012