The more harmful, dangerous and addictive a drug is the more important that its availability should be legally regulated, otherwise, inevitably, a criminal market is created with massive consequential health and social harms.
In the UK, before the Misuse of Drugs Act was introduced in 1971, we had around 3,000 problematic drug users. We now have 350,000. Yet successive governments carry on in the same direction.
The vested interests of Big Booze have been supported and encouraged by weak politicians, leading to lighter and lighter regulation of the most dangerous drug of all. Meanwhile, relatively harmless and beneficial substances like cannabis have been abandoned to street dealers and organised crime, blighting communities and involving children in both dealing and use – just as happened with alcohol prohibition in the US.
All the evidence is before us and the most effective policies for reducing harm from drugs are very clear. What we need to do is sweep aside outdated, out of touch organisations like the Home Office and dinosaurs like the present Home Secretary, Theresa May. Yet since 1971, there have been a few intelligent and progressive ministers in the Home Office. Surely it is the irresponsible and obstinate influence of senior civil servants that has prevented governments from moving forward with reform?
Drugs policy must be based on evidence, not pressure from tabloid newspapers, the alcohol industry, scared and ignorant politicians and self-serving civil servants and quangos.
Parliament is now obligated to debate Caroline Lucas’ e-petition formally to evaluate the effectiveness of current policy. We must move rapidly and radically thereafter towards a solution that will work and put aside the idiocy of the last 43 years.
Congratulations to Alex Salmond who resigns with perfect timing and deserves great honour and respect for his considerable achievements.
Few of his contemporaries in public office can match him for courage, integrity and success.
Compared to him, Cameron, Miliband, every other UK politician is small. Salmond is a man of international stature.
“It would be irresponsible to allow the importation of cannabis into Jersey. I could not support a proposition to issue a special licence to an individual for the possession of illegal cannabis in its raw form, where neither the quality nor composition of the product, its safety, dosage or levels of individual use could be effectively monitored and I would urge members to vote firmly against this proposition.”
Deputy Anne Pryke, September 2014
Jersey is in an enviable position regarding medicinal cannabis. As a Crown dependency the island has constitutional rights of self-government and judicial independence. It is within the power of Deputy Pryke, the Minister of Health, to issue a licence for Bedrocan medicinal cannabis to be imported from Holland where it is grown legally for medicinal purposes under the regulation of the Dutch government.
A formal States petition has been delivered and Deputy Montford Tadier (the Jersey equivalent of an MP) has requested that an import licence be issued for his constituent, Evelyn Volante who suffers from ulcerative colitis. See a video about her use of medicinal cannabis here. You see above the disgraceful, monstrous, cruel and ignorant words which Deputy Pryke has spoken in response.
Now these are strong words. Too strong for the people at Politics Jersey, where my description of this politician’s conduct met with wide support but then I was kicked out by the admin team who described it as a “personal attack” and an “insult”.
I repeat my description of Deputy Pryke’s conduct as monstrous and cruel. If we cannot call out politicians for actions they take or words they speak in their official capacity then what sort of democracy do they have in Jersey?
To deny anyone access to a medicine that is proven by science to treat a serious medical condition is monstrous and cruel in any and all circumstances. This is a self-evident truth which renders Deputy Pryke unfit to hold any office in government, particularly that of Minister of Health.
Deputy Pryke’s words are also astonishingly ignorant. It is clear that she has been negligent in her duty properly to consider the evidence relating to cannabis and ulcerative colitis.
Cannabis works for all forms of inflammatory bowel disease because the bowel contains CB1 and CB2 receptors which when modulated by cannabis turn off inflammation. Thus it provides more than simply palliative relief. It actually treats the cause of the conditions. For all intents and purposes it is a cure.
Bedrocan cannabis, as approved and regulated by the Dutch government’s Bureau voor Medicinale Cannabis, is strictly quality controlled and its composition and safety are at least as well proven as any pharmaceutical product. As for levels of individual use, this is the same as with any medicine and is controlled by the amount prescribed.
1. The best evidence of all is Ms Volante’s own experience. She already uses cannabis, illegally, and it works better for her than the highly toxic and debilitating pharmaceutical medicines which are offered by her doctor.
2. There is a vast quantity of anecdotal evidence and personal experience from thousands of people around the world using cannabis effectively to treat ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and other forms of inflammatory bowel disease. Deputy Pryke could spend 15 minutes on Google.
3. Many peer reviewed studies show positive benefits and few adverse side effects from treating ulcerative colitis with cannabis. The following are just a small selection
Esposito G et al. Cannabidiol in inflammatory bowel disease: a brief overview. Phytotherapy Research 2012 July; doi:10.1002/ptr.4781
Lahat A et al. Impact of cannabis treatment on the quality of life, weight and clinical disease activity in inflammatory bowel disease patients: a pilot prospective study. Digestion 2012; 85(1): 1-8
Lal S et al. Cannabis use amongst patients with inflammatory bowel disease. European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2011 Oct; 23(10): 891-96
Naftali T et al. Treatment of Crohn’s disease with cannabis: an observational study. Israel Medical Association Journal 2011 Aug; 1(8): 455-58
4. GW Pharmaceuticals is presently conducting phase II clinical trials into cannabis for ulcerative colitis.
5. The Meir Medical Center in Israel is also conducting clinical trials and claims 90% of patients achieve significant clinical benefit with no side effects.
“Nazi stormtroopers had identified our house as the home of a Jewish family…”. Now Israel Does The Same In Gaza.
“One night, when I was 13, I was woken by the sound of a door being broken down. Boots stumbled up the stairs, there was loud shouting, and a terrifying series of crashes. Nazi stormtroopers had identified our house as the home of a Jewish family, and this was the night of 9 November 1938, when the Kristallnacht pogrom raged across Germany. Our entire home was destroyed before our eyes, with axes and sledgehammers.
I have a vivid recollection of my father, after the monsters had gone, sitting on the one chair that remained and weeping. I had never seen him weep before. I now realise that, but for the presence of myself and my younger sister, my parents might not have survived the raid. It was a brutal demonstration of our situation. My sister and I left Germany on the last Kindertransport from Düsseldorf in May 1939. We have never had a full account of our parents’ fate.
Even now, I sometimes start up in bed, reliving that night. But in recent weeks, it is more often images of devastation in Gaza – of homes and families destroyed in Israeli targetings of such “military objectives” as the homes of officials in the democratically elected Hamas government – that have recalled the terror of the Kristallnacht. For I can hardly believe that a Jewish government is doing these things. How can Jewish people, aware of their own history, undertake a campaign of collective punishment that kills a higher multiple of the casualties cited as justification, than did the Nazi reprisals for resistance in occupied Europe?
Surely we have reached the point where every government not composed of utter humbugs must join in insisting that an Israeli renunciation of ambitions for expansion beyond the 1947 boundaries is a prerequisite for progress towards reconciliation and peace within a two-state solution. The very doubtful prospect of a unified, multinational, secular state in Palestine appears to be the only alternative.”
Yesterday, on his ill judged, flying visit to Scotland, Cameron shed crocodile tears in panic about his destruction of the United Kingdom. He demeaned his office still further by using a thinly disguised obscenity, an appalling and shameful misjudgement. This fool is supposed to be the prime minster of our nation.
The truth about Dave and his cronies and their selfish, arrogant, disconnect from the majority of Britons is exemplified in the trashy new movie ‘The Riot Club’. It’s the Bullingdon Club of course, a depraved gang of posh yobboes who take alcohol, cannabis and cocaine to excess, smash up restaurants, abuse women and then sort it out by peeling a few fifties off Daddy’s wad. Key players: David Cameron, George Osborne, Boris Johnson plus assorted bankers and city conmen. The Independent sets out the roll of dishonour here.
This is why I and millions of others, previously confirmed Tory voters, will never again vote for what has become the Bullingdon Club Party. This is why Scotland should do the wise thing and skedaddle away from the UK ship that is sinking under the weight of corruption, cruelty and incompetence. Any government that is so far out of touch deserves to be brought down. That power now resides in the hands of people like Cameron, Osborne, Iain Duncan Smith, Theresa May and Chris Grayling should be all the warning we need.
If all the people, politicians, institutions, banks and monopoly businesses who are responsible for the terrible injustices and inequalities in our society are so desperate for a ‘NO’ vote, what should that tell you?
That Cameron, all his disgusting, self-serving cronies, Miliband and Clegg are terrified, scared and panicking, what should that tell you?
When all the members of the Fleet Street Mafia: dishonest, manipulative, gutter press editors and seedy proprietors want Scotland to vote ‘NO’, what should that tell you?
When the UK parliament does all it can to prolong the sick perversion of democracy that is Britain in the EU, what should that tell you?
Please vote ‘YES’ Scotland!