Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category
Sure, it’s a lightweight comedy but it manages to weave in a few very valuable home truths that will delight anyone who supports the cannabis campaign. For those who are torrentially aware it’s very easy to find. This is how it starts and this gives a good idea of what’s to come:
“Beautiful. Isn’t it?
But listen. You hear it?
I hear it in my nightmares. That’s the sound of the Feds working their unmanned drones, spending more money trying to shut us down than they did searching for Osama Bin Laden.
42 billion spent in the war on pot. 140 bucks from every one of you to fight a little green herb made by God that grows in the sun.
And God doesn’t make mistakes.”
Cannabis Is Not A Controlled Drug
Present policy abandons control to organised crime and street dealers.
If cannabis were properly controlled, it would be taken out of the hands of criminals. Growing, importing, distributing and retailing would become legitimate businesses, subject to proper control and regulation.
What Proper Control Would Mean
- Regulated sales: licensed retailers, labelling of THC/CBD ratio, other ingredients, weight
- Quality control: elimination of pesticide and fertiliser residues, bulking agents, impurities
- Regulated commercial production, reasonable limits on domestic cultivation
- Protecting the vulnerable: age limit, ID check, harm reduction information
We Need CLEAR Common Sense About Cannabis.
A Safer Britain
- Less crime of all types
- Police can focus on violent and harmful crime
- Lower alcohol consumption
- Fewer road accidents and injuries/fatalities
- Fewer children using cannabis
- Quality controlled cannabis with no harmful adulterants
- Fewer fires from hidden cannabis farms
A Healthier Britain
- Lower alcohol consumption
- Less use of dangerous/harmful drugs
- Medicinal use: Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, chronic. pain, dementia, diabetes, epilepsy, glaucoma, MS,. Parkinson’s, stroke therapy.
- Preventative therapy against auto immune and neurodegenerative diseases
- More funding for healthcare
Taxing The UK Cannabis Market
CLEAR’s policies are based on independent, expert research carried out by the Independent Drug Monitoring Unit in 2011.
Download Here (PDF)
How To Regulate Cannabis In Britain
CLEAR’s detailed proposals for cannabis regulation so as to minimise all health and social harms of cannabis, protect the vulnerable and allow access to medicinal cannabis
Download Here (PDF)
- The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Crime, March 2014
- How Smoking Marijuana Might Be The Best Way To Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease, January 2014
- Few Problems With Cannabis for California, October 2013
- The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance, July 2013
- Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption, May 2013
- Why Medical Marijuana Laws Reduce Traffic Deaths, December 2011
- What can we learn from the Dutch cannabis coffeeshop system? September 2011
- Study: Legal Medical Marijuana Doesn’t Encourage Kids to Smoke More Pot, November 2011
- ‘Taxing the UK Cannabis Market’, 2011
- A summary of the health harms of drugs. NHS, 2011.
- Emerging Clinical Applications For Cannabis & Cannabinoids. A Review of the Recent Scientific Literature 2000 – 2011, NORML, 2011.
- Bringing cannabis back into the medicine cabinet, Prof. Les Iversen, 2010.
- Dutch among lowest cannabis users in Europe, November 2009
- Adulterants & Cutting Agents Found in Cannabis Resin, 2009
- Key Marijuana Compound Beats Current Alzheimer’s Drugs, August 2006
- US Patent 6630507, Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants, 2001
Rebecca Smith, health editor and Martha Gill, blogger, both of the Daily Telegraph have been getting a hard time in the comment threads of the pieces they published on cannabis yesterday and deservedly so.
Rebecca Smith is by far the worst offender, publishing such gross distortions of the study she was reporting on that I have submitted a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission. It’s dreadful that someone granted the title of health editor can be so casually ignorant of science, evidence and ready to mix up her opinion and wild speculation with just a smidgin of fact here and there. Incidentally, I expect no satisfaction from the PCC. Three years and nearly 100 complaints show that it is a deeply corrupt organisation that acts only in the interests of the press to find excuses for breaches of the Editors’ Code. Its nothing to do with protecting readers from inaccurate, misleading and distorted reporting.
Martha Gill does a bit better because she points out what a vacuous and meaningless piece of research Rebecca Smith has made such a fuss about. But Martha, apparently, writes for the New Statesman on ‘neuroscience and politics’. She’s entitled to her political views, which are self-evident given the publication concerned but on neuroscience, the clue is in the third and fourth syllables. It’s science, not opinion and Martha is woefully out touch with the evidence. If she’s not careful she”ll grow up into a mumsy moraliser like Libby Purves or Lowri Turner. She should try reading Professor Gary Wenk, Professor David Nutt, Professor Les Iversen, Professor Peter Jones, Professor Terrie Moffitt or Professor Roger Pertwee. They and many others could give her a grounding in the neuroscience of cannabis: it’s almost undetectable toxicity, its powerful antioxidant and neuroprotective qualities, its anxiolytic and antipsychotic effects. Her sweeping statement that “cannabis bad for you” is simply wrong. For most adults, in moderation, it’s beneficial.
Martha is also detached from reality and distant from the evidence, as is all of Fleet Street, when it comes to the risks of cannabis. The endless screeds that are written about the risks of cannabis use correlating with schizophrenia or psychosis are ridiculous when you consider the evidence. Hickman et al, 2009, a review of all published research so, by definition, not cherry picked, shows the risk of lifetime cannabis use correlating with a single diagnosis is at worst 0.013% and probably less than 0.003%. By contrast, correlation between cigarette smoking and schizophrenia is 80% – 90% (Zammit et al, 2003) but when do you ever read that in a newspaper?
I’m sorry you’re getting a hard time Rebecca and Martha but you and the ‘capos’ of the Fleet Street Mafia need to realise that people have had enough of your bad science, sensationalism and scaremongering about cannabis. The internet means we can’t be bullied and misinformed by newspapers anymore which is why your circulation is plummeting and journalists are held in ever lower esteem. We know you’ve spent years supporting Big Booze with its £800 million pa advertising budget. Obviously it’s desperate to hang on to its monopoly of recreational drugs but if you want to stay in business you’re going to have to start treating readers with respect and with facts and evidence, not baloney.
The Daily Telegraph has become a broadsheet-sized tabloid since it broke the MPs expenses scandal and it is genuinely difficult to distinguish its headlines, writing and content from The Daily Mail these days.
Of course, there’s a lot of rubbish in comment threads but there’s also a lot that’s better informed and considered than in the articles themselves.
People like cannabis, they find it effective, they know it’s safe. 5% of the population uses it regularly. That’s three times as many people as go to Catholic Church regularly.
Expect to be pulled to bits if you try to go back to bad science and reefer madness hysteria. The world has moved on.
At 10.30am this morning there was a case management conference before Master Eastman concerning my claim against Greg De Hoedt. I was awarded judgement against him in February and the next stage is for a High Court Judge to assess the damages and costs he must pay me.
It is only now, after more than a year trying to avoid my claim, that De Hoedt has faced up to it and appointed solicitors. They represented him today. He was not present. His solicitors applied to have the judgement set aside. Master Eastman refused. They then applied for the proceedings to be stayed pending my appeal against the striking out of my claim against Chris Bovey. Again, Master Eastman refused. It is now up to me to propose the next steps and how exactly a Judge can assess the damages I am due.
At 11.00am there was a hearing before Master Eastman concerning my claim against Sarah McCulloch. She had obtained judgement against me by deception. She had made false statements to the Court and pursued an application without giving me notice, so I that had no idea that it was taking place. Today was my application to have her judgement set aside. I was successful and Master Eastman ordered that my claim should be reinstated.
Master Eastman also considered McCulloch’s claims that I was harassing her by writing to her about the case. She had made a further false statement to the Court that I had been given an ‘Harassment Warning’ by the police. In fact a police officer from Harlow in Essex had telephoned me a few months ago to say that McCulloch had made a complaint. We ended up laughing together at how ridiculous her allegation was when I was writing to her about a High Court case at the address she had filed with the Court.
I explained to Master Eastman that ever since I had discovered that McCulloch is diagnosed with two mental health conditions I had made generous offers to try and settle with her. He was gentle with her but very firm and told her however hard she found it, she had to communicate with me about the case.
Afterwards, McCulloch and I had a five minute discussion outside the Court and I made a further offer to settle. She explained that she had now edited one of her articles to remove the false allegation that I had lied about submitting a report to the Home Affairs Select Committee in 1983.
My offer to McCulloch is very generous, far more so than it would be were it not for her health problems. It was sad that as I walked away she shrieked “You’re a bigot!” Nevertheless, I remain hopeful that she will see sense and we can both put this unhappy episode behind us.
When Chris Bovey, Europe’s biggest dealer in highly toxic synthetic cannabinoids, needs a lawyer, who does he turn to?
The sartorial style is almost an exact match. It takes considerable skill to wear an expensive suit so it looks cheap. An oversized shirt collar and a polyester tie is an excellent start.
Such are the dubious talents of Pinder Reaux, Essex-based solicitors more used to prosecuting internet trolls like Bovey than defending them. Now specialising in representing porn stars, knock down prices are offered for legal services with puff pieces on daytime television in true white stilletto style.
In an astonishing display of unprofessional conduct and laughable self-congratulation, John ‘Saul’ Spyrou, a partner in Pinder Reaux, wrote about my action against Bovey on his firms’s website.
“… in certain cases, an uber-aggressive application can be made to strike the case out, often on procedural grounds.”
This blathering about his heroics in succeeding (for now) in his strike out application against a litigant in person says a lot about Spyrou. The only person who can claim credit for enabling Bovey (so far) to evade the consequences of his abuse is his delightful and dazzlingly sharp counsel, Yuli Takatsuki.
‘Call Saul’ is the necessary interloper between a villain and the skill necessary to delay and procrastinate over the truth. “Uber aggressive” is a phrase that reveals everything about its author and the veracity of the defence he pleads.
I stood as a candidate for CLEAR Cannabis Law Reform in the 2012 Corby by-election. At the count I had the pleasure of speaking to Nigel on a number of occasions. He was nipping out to the car park for a cigarette and I was letting my dogs out of my car for a wee.
We got on very well and I found him truly charming and genuine. We talked about many things but of course I asked him about his views on cannabis. He agreed that present policy is “Barmy!” and that “Of course we should!” adopt a legalise, tax and regulate policy.
The really extraordinary thing about Nigel expressing these views is that they are unpopular with most UKIP supporters. That marks him out as a very rare thing in UK politics – a man of true integrity.