Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category
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.
Of course Israel’s interests must be taken into account but the deal with Iran is the right way forward. Israel has been allowed to get away with far too much for far too long. It is the major cause of conflict across the world. It must moderate its aggression and learn to live with its neighbours. It must hand back what it has stolen and learn to use its military might responsibly and in accordance with international law.
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.
Freedom of the press is a crucial ingredient of any free society but so is freedom from the press that habitually lies, misleads and distorts. This is the very essence of The Daily Mail. It is the way it does business. It is its editorial policy and its business strategy. If a story can be twisted, evidence misrepresented or opinion disguised as fact then that is the route that The Daily Mail will always choose.
I am no supporter of Red Ed but now I have a reason other than his delusional policies to feel sorry for him. The disgusting and shameful abuse of his father is beneath contempt but it is exactly what one would expect from the most vile and offensive man in the media, Paul ‘The Butcher’ Dacre.
Dacre is the butcher of truth, the master of distortion and the cause of great misery and misinformation throughout Britain. No other individual has been responsible for more ’inaccurate, misleading and distorted’ reporting. Those are the words at the heart of the Editors’ Code which is supposed to determine the standards by which newspapers operate. The Daily Mail’s editorial is defined by its direct contradiction to the requirements of the code. It is not just in breach of it. It is the antithesis of it.
The tragic irony is that Dacre chairs the Editors’ Code committee. His perverse influence means he rules the Press Complaints Commission with an iron fist and it, despite the good intentions of its staff, is a laughing stock and a rubber stamp for whatever lies monsters like Dacre want to print.
There may be a silver lining in this latest despicable episode. It just might give Cameron the backbone he needs to implement Leveson in full, to kick out the ‘capo di tutti capi’ of the Fleet Street mafia and restore some decency and truth to British journalism.
These brave and intelligent words were published today in The Observer by Chief Constable Mike Barton of Durham Constabulary.
Other senior police officers have spoken out before. Internationally, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition represents those who, at the sharp end, know that current drugs policy is nonsense. Mike Barton has a fresh insight and realistic approach.
These practical men shame our cowardly, self-serving politicians. Aside from individual MPs working for their constituents, ministers cower in fear at even discussing reform.
Chief Constable Barton is the sort of leader we need.
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.
I am relieved that Britain pulled back from the brink yesterday and Cameron was curbed in his self-serving, warmongering ambition.
Assad is a monster but he’s also a puppet. He is simply a figurehead in a Saville Row suit. The Syrian regime is a paranoid, myopic, self-serving bunch of gangsters, nothing more. It doesn’t have anything to do with Islam, it’s about tribalism and grudges and greed.
Assad is not that different from Cameron. The oligarchy that runs Britain is also composed of gangsters. They oppress but in more subtle ways. They cause huge harm and exploit individuals for their own ends. They do it with the deception that we live in a fair and just democracy. There is death and deprivation and injustice in Britain as well. It is the scale that is different.
I can see no benefit to anyone in the sort of limited military intervention that is proposed. The Syrian army is hugely powerful and well equipped. Russia has a financial interest in continuing to supply it with weapons just as America has with Israel. The US momentum for action is insincere and driven by the arms industry and its massive financial and employment interests
There is a better argument for outright invasion and regime change but that is a huge step which I don’t believe we should take – yet.
A better solution would be special forces-led assassination squads targeting the ruling elite. It may be costly in casualties but better a few dozen volunteer soldiers should die doing their job than the collateral damage inevitable in air and missile strikes. I don’t want our soldiers to die for politicians’ weakness. Let them be given a clear objective for death or glory, not sent to the modern version of the trenches as in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The moral question is easy in my view. Any justification for launching a cruise missile is better justification for targeted assassination. Use drones, even use cruise missiles as assassination weapons but we have to be much, much smarter than the dumb George Bush ‘shock and awe’ tactic that is as much about grandstanding as doing anything effective.
Take out the leadership, one by one. Decapitate the beast.