Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

The Cannabis Campaign In 2011

with 85 comments

I believe that we can make real progress this year towards ending the prohibition of cannabis.

What we have to do, each and every one of us, individually, is take responsibility.

We have to stop complaining and start campaigning.

However just our cause, however unjust our opposition, no one is going to give us the right to cannabis.  We are going to have to take it.  Take it back from those who took it away from us.

Many of us can point to years and years of fighting for the cause but it is never enough!  We have to keep on. We have to welcome new campaigners and encourage them, not take the view that we’ve seen it all before, done it ourselves and why aren’t we getting the credit?   We have to welcome our fellow citizens to the war against prohibition, support them, bolster their confidence, build them up, not knock them down.

If the millions of people in Britain who use cannabis were to join together and be counted, we could make change happen!  I don’t know whether there are two million of us or ten million.  That’s how widely the estimates vary.  The Home Office used to say six millon use cannabis regularly.  I don’t know.  What I do know is that it is an outrage to democracy and justice that we are denied legal and properly regulated access to cannabis, whether we use it for medicine, relaxation or spiritual fulfilment.

We don’t all have to be campaigners but we do all have to be counted.  If we want change, we have to be prepared, at least, to sign petitions, to write the occasional letter, to put our heads above the parapet.  It’s so easy nowadays.  It can all be done online in the blink of an eye but more of us need to do it and keep doing it until politicians understand that they can bully us into silence no longer.

One of the problems of the online world, of Facebook, the forums and blogs, is that we’re just preaching to the converted all the time.  We may feel that we’re getting our message across but it’s to the same people over and over again.  When you see the disgusting response that Bob Ainsworth had to his brave initiative just before Christmas, when you see James Brokenshire smugly trotting out his prohibitionist agenda, when you see Cameron and his poodle backtracking on all their enlightened and liberal ideas, then you realise that the forces of darkness are set against us.   The war on drugs, which Brokenshire fights so enthusiastically,  is another Vietnam. It can never be won because it is, in fact, a war on democracy but there will be many casualties along the way.  Brokenshire counts the high level of adulteration of drugs on the street as a measure of success.  This is the sort of thinking that we are up against.  It is perverted.  It is evil.  It denies truth and science and justice.

It denies people in constant pain and suffering access to the medicine that they need.  Even if a doctor has prescribed cannabis, ignorant, professional political oiks who have never done a day’s real work in in their lives, think they know best.  Instead they force people towards expensive pharmaceutical products with horrendous side effects but huge profits for their co-conspirators in the corrupt world of Big Pharma and its self-important regulators.   As was seen so clearly in America in the last century, prohibition is fundamentally immoral and self-defeating yet our cowardly politicians hide behind it, preferring inaction, oppression and lies to the truth.

So I have asked myself, what can we do to break this stranglehold that politicians have on the truth?  How can we counter the crass and appalling propaganda that the Daily Mail puts out?  Why does the media love the story of Debra Bell, the mother who blames cannabis for her delinquent and dishonest son?  Why is the truth about cannabis so rarely told?  Where is the voice of the millions who know the truth?

I return to the divisions there are within our cause.  Just as in California, where the growers sabotaged Proposition 19, so we have our own subversive and destructive elements. We have a breakaway group here, an independent campaigner there.  We have medicinal users who are eloquent and persuasive on their own account but will not work with others.  We have hugely courageous individuals who have campaigned and put their freedom on the line but will not reconcile themselves to co-operation.  We have to cut through this.  We have to unite, to generate a momentum that means we cannot be ignored.

That is why, just before Christmas, I decided to join the Legalise Cannabis Alliance.  I was a member of the original Legalise Cannabis Campaign and I saw how the LCA made strenuous efforts, particularly around the 2005 general election. I believe it was right and effective to put forward our views on the political stage.  This is what we must do again.

The LCA is to re-register as a political party and, in due course, I hope to stand as a parliamentary candidate.  Realistically, I don’t expect to be elected but I do expect to make our voice heard. I expect our opinions and our views to be respected and given proper consideration.  When the Daily Mail or the BBC turns to Debra Bell for comment, I expect them to turn to us as well.  When Mrs Bell is on the TV sofa, I want to be alongside her.  I want the opportunity to speak the truth in the face of propaganda.  If they want to put up eminent professors and doctors as well then I encourage it.  Science and independent reason is on our side.  The intellectual and scientific debate has been won many times over.  Now we must win the political battle and the truth is our strongest weapon.  All we have to do is shine the light on it so that the scare stories, the hysteria and the propaganda shrink back into the shadows.

We will be a single issue party with a commitment to de-register once we have achieved our aims.  I urge you all to join the LCA.  I’m going to do everything I can to make it easier to join. Possibly we need to make it cheaper.  Certainly we need to do everything we can to encourage as many people as possible to stand up and be counted.  We need to be able to accept card payments, operate direct debits.  We need as many as possible to join whether or not they use cannabis. We need to reform the law, regulate supply and distribution and realise the huge benefits as a medicine, as a gentle pleasure and as a new source of billions in tax revenue.  That’s the way forward.  Reform, regulate and realise.

One of the most repulsive images I saw last year was the fat, conceited Simon Heffer chortling into his glass of wine and saying that we need to “get nasty” in the war on drugs.  Well I’ve got news for the pompous, hypocritical boozer and for James Brokenshire and his cronies, nobody’s going to be getting nasty from this side.  We’re just going to tell the truth.  And we’re going to keep on telling the truth until it drowns out their lies.  We’re going to tell the truth again and again and again until we get the right to our drug of choice, to the plant that creates peace not violence, to the plant that heals that doesn’t kill, to the plant that we have a right to use and enjoy as we please.

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85 Responses

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  1. Well written Peter

    Alun

    January 9, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    • Hello Peter, Dana K May aka Professor Marijuana. Big fan and newly registered. Hope to chat some day. Keep up the good fight. Dana

      Dana

      January 15, 2011 at 8:10 pm

      • Thank you Dana and welcome.

        Peter Reynolds

        January 15, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    • Yer but Alun, you’ve been saying this for twenty years, last I heard the cannabis law isn’t worth fighting as we’ve already lost.
      Why join the LCA, all it does is support unemployed members of it’s party.

      Doc Saltdean

      January 18, 2011 at 8:37 am

  2. One thing Peter,

    If the Government are forcing through the “No Smoking in Public Places inside and out”; I have a funny feeling given the attitude to cigarettes, the attitude towards Cannabis is going to get worse, not better.

    Fight as much as you like, but I suspect Nanny State will have CCTV in your living room before long. “just to make sure- it is all for your own good”- The the thought Police are here; another of George Orwell’s predictions comes true.

    The Debt Collector

    January 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    • While the Home Office is moving to demonise Cannabis as a smoked product – “Cannabis is harmful because the majority of it is smoked and smoking is bad” we need to move away from that.

      There is evidence that cannabis when burned reacts differently to tobacco. Not all cannabis is smoked, some is vapourised and some is eaten.

      I don’t smoke cannabis – I vapourise it!

      I think we need to raise awareness of vapourising and toking pure among cannabis users.

      Ed

      January 9, 2011 at 4:38 pm

      • The issue with that is one of cost. A good vaporiser can cost hundreds of pounds. A cheap lighter can be 50p.

        TD

        January 9, 2011 at 6:09 pm

      • It doesn’t cost anything to be aware of the option. Cost needn’t be an issue when it comes to debate of the harms and merits of a substance – if there is the possibility of a less harmful route of administration, the substance itself should not be judged by the drawbacks of the more harmful route of administration.

        That’s all I’m driving at.

        I have a magic flight launch box – it has saved me a lot of throat chest irritation and general discomfort. Worth every penny. Also stretches your material a lot farther.

        Ed

        January 10, 2011 at 9:45 am

      • Agreed I have a magic flight box and an iolite. Both great little things, must have saved me well over £100 and gets rid of what little damage smoking does in the first place.

        Its blatantly obvious there are no damages of smoking cannabis or like with tobacco they would have dead stoners on lab tables with a professor going “Look – Black lungs/emphisema/etc – clearly linked with cannabis”.

        Stephen

        January 10, 2011 at 6:42 pm

      • yes it should be leglized no violence peace everyone happy and chilled no more wars more weed, imagine a weed world people will be to chilled to fight everyone will get along unlike booze fighting, hating, alcholics. its less harful but is illegal the goverment are messed up, it will be a step foward to legize bud.

        adam gargett

        January 13, 2011 at 4:52 pm

  3. Truly believe that it should be legalised, i can go days without smoking im not addicted i don’t believe you can, maybe mentally, but im not sure. i love the smell find it quite therapeutic and love the taste too. it needs to be legalised.

    leanne mcleod

    January 9, 2011 at 2:45 pm

  4. “When the Daily Mail or the BBC turns to Debra Bell for comment, I expect them to turn to us as well.”

    This will be one of the largest steps that can be taken. Misinformation is our greatest enemy, and we need educated people who can speak eloquently to be seen and heard alongside the propagandists who spread fear and lies – or at best vastly distorted and misrepresented truths.

    It amazes me that America is waking up to the miscarriage of justice surrounding cannabis before we are.

    Sam

    January 9, 2011 at 7:21 pm

  5. only health risk with smoking cannabis is generally its mixed with tobacco,but how can the gov play god with our lifes and forbid us from using cannabis behind our closed doors,and how can they call it a criminal offence when theres no victim time us fellow users stood together and say no more we not accepting this unjust law no more

    andy4u91p

    January 9, 2011 at 7:27 pm

  6. Let’s make sure that we lobby for PURE Cannabis and not the adulterated, genetically-modified version, which f***ing Monsanto Corporation wants to cash in on!!! 😦

    Shoshana Rose

    January 9, 2011 at 9:33 pm

  7. Well said, and I fully support you Peter!

    As you say, we have won the intellectual and scientific arguments, what we need to win now are peoples hearts. I know that sounds corny, but for exactly the same reason people like hearing from Debra Bell – the ‘human interest story’, they need to hear the stories of the effects of prohibition. As you said, it is all well and good for us to continue preaching to the converted but this doesn’t expand our scope. We need a paradigm shift. Unfortunately I don’t think its going to come from the UK. An American state has to legalise and show that the sky doesn’t fall in.. or a Latin American consortium may get together and challenge the UN resolutions that have got us here. Those will be the straws that break the camels back.

    I honestly think the best that we could can get is decriminalisation here (a half-way, non-ideal measure I know), but with the current vested interests and the way the politicians bend over for the tabloids, another country will make the move first (and some are i.e. Portugal) and beat us to it. I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m being pessimistic, but I feel that is realistically what will happen. I think the UK is more of a ‘follow others’ than ‘lead the way’ when it comes to serious issues these days.

    Regardless, every little helps! If there is a chance we can make a difference, and if you become a candidate, getting the chance to spread our message from a political platform, I will vote for you should I see your name on the ballet paper!!

    Jake

    January 9, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    • Thank you Jake. I think you’re right. It seems to me that in 2011 or 2012 at least one US state will legalise marijuana. That progress will inevitably roll out across the US and influence policy all over the world. I intend to do my utmost to see the UK following this path and I want to be sure that my efforts are focused in the most effective way. I have decided that means working through the LCA and trying to provide the leadership and inspiration that will make a difference.

      Peter Reynolds

      January 9, 2011 at 10:26 pm

      • The status quo can only hold for so long Peter. No backing from science, and there is solid proof an alternative approach is needed.

        You’re correct that the opposition is much more homogeneous in terms of their goals and approach – keep stating the same lies – think of the children etc etc.

        We need to be organised and singing from the same hymn sheet, with as little fragmentation as possible.

        Ed

        January 10, 2011 at 9:48 am

  8. Much love to all of those out there who are standing up against a law that doesn’t belong in anyone’s lives. My father, for 7 years now, has been using medical marijuana because he suffers from cancer. Before he received his medical card, he was always in pain and very depressed about his condition. But not only has marijuana helped his health condition but it has also lifted his spirits a little more every day.

    Mike Harvey (Mikey Chaos)

    January 10, 2011 at 4:17 am

    • Thanks for your comment Mikey

      Peter Reynolds

      January 10, 2011 at 9:17 am

  9. Well written Peter. Its about time WE had our collective say in this debate,up until now all its been one sided but the tide is slowly turning. We face an onslaught of Govt propaganda about cannabis, I certainly dont recognise the picture they try to paint. I’ve not touched cannabis (or any other drug except alcohol) for 2 months now and can stand back and honestly say that cannabis has done me no harm at all,and that I’d rather be using cannabis than alcohol from a health point of view! I know or have known so many people from all walks of life who regularly use cannabis to relax after demanding days at work and have done is some cases for over 30 years with no detrimental effect.Its time some of THESE stories were told as well as the minority negative cases.

    You know what, cannabis users are nice people, don’t you find that? We seem to have a generally well balanced view of life and be somehow calmer and more thoughtful. As the old campaign slogan said “We’re not all kids in hoodies”!

    Lee Gramson

    January 10, 2011 at 10:33 am

  10. Ain’t never going to happen.

    You’re eloquent arguments are wasted, mainly due to intransigence and bigger priorites for the government – certainly at the moment.

    Cockney Copper

    January 10, 2011 at 11:18 am

    • I agree with Cockney Copper, the Government have bigger fish to fry, also see my note 9/1/11.

      And in any case, the Government (if they are still in power) will argue: “If we give in on this, we will be expected to give in on every drug”.

      DOon’t see it happening even at propopasl stage in the term of this Government certainly not this one.

      The Debt Collector

      January 10, 2011 at 11:56 am

      • No harm gentlemen but i’d like to query your statements if i may, What are these bigger priorites??

        Rising debt, maybe?? I certainly think that you would see a steady incline in revenue for the country coffee shops and different types from round the UK, that certainly would put off the tourists!

        I thought we were a ‘free’ nation, makes me feel a wee bit sick at the feeling that someone can tell me what to do,assuming what i am doing isn’t harming or affecting ANYONE else? It isnt up to you what the purpose is, whether it be how fucked up, spiritual and medicinal purposes?

        Pete you’ve my support, and Derrys! 🙂

        Shaolin Shadow Monk

        January 13, 2011 at 11:22 pm

      • What you see as bigger priorities and the Government don’t necessairly makes- Governments rarely do.

        But they wil probably state that their priorities are:

        1. Homelessness (which every Government has promised
        to deal with – but never have)

        2. Immigration
        3. Trade deficit
        4. European Community Issues (Again, we do not see as
        a priority, but they do….too busy kissing the
        feet of Brussels and Paris)
        5. Tax evasion. (Again we do not see as an issue
        because we are all getting pissed off with being
        taxed here from to Kingdom Come.
        6. Intrnational Terrorism. Again much talked about
        but little or no action take.

        So as you can see, WE do not see these as priorities the Government do. And your suggestion that it does not harm anyone other than the user of the substance, will make it less of a priority in their eyes.

        Finally, if they are taking the stance they are on smonking ordinary cigarettes I don’t see them legalising Cannabis.

        We all thought this was a free Country, but that has been disproved by the sprouting up of CCTV and ever increasing invasion of every part of peoples’ lives.

        And I trust DuncanR you have been able to follow the thread and not thought to be “verbal Diahorea”; unless you head is too screwed up on your last puff of the Weed……Maaan.

        Ex-Banker

        January 14, 2011 at 4:53 am

      • Firstly i want to apologise for the lack of articulation of late. but my head also a little hazed from my last puff!!
        I had a think an a few suggestions:
        1. Homelessness
        Well there is no real answer like but its not my job to do so! we could at least give them all something maybe bankers bonus’?
        2. Immigration – they wont wanna stay in the country with all us weed smoking hippys man!!!!
        3. Trade deficit – well the export of marijuana would certainly not take anything from the deficit.
        4. European Community Issues – To be fair has this got anything to do with legalization, like already countrys within EU that have done so?
        5. Tax evasion. – California one of the riches states in america now due to the fact the tax from the sale of legalized cannabis!
        6. Intrnational Terrorism – Isnt that what the army deals with??

        Shaolin Shadow Monk

        January 20, 2011 at 12:10 pm

  11. The thing is with Peter, is that HE GETS THINGS DONE, I have complete faith that Peter will do his up-most to keep the arguments in mainstream media, I think Peter will not give up if given a knock back by the media but keep on to them day and night, I believe he will be relentless in his pursuits and that is good enough for me.

    £25,00 a year to join the LCA is a lot of money especially in this economic climate and why is it so much? For crying out loud what is better, a handful of people joining at 25 quid a pop or a hundred joining at a tenner a throw? In my mind the LCA has already disenfranchised itself with it ridiculous membership fee, though I will join, I still feel £25 is an incredible amount to ask of people and maybe the prime reason why people will not join, £10 I believe will bring more people to the LCA….just my tuppence worth.

    I dont like the “it wont make a difference” brigade, tis the wrong attitude, we can make a difference and the creation of the BMCR is just one way in which to make a difference.

    Now, reading the LCA pages a month or so ago, they said they would not push the medicinal side as they wanted it for everyone, whilst I understand and empathise with that.. tis foolish.. to make progress you should push push push the medicinal side of cannabis, that is what will tug at the heartstrings of people not someone just wanting to get stoned.. push the medical side and the rest will fall into place.

    l catt

    January 10, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    • Thank you Lucky. I agree that £10 for LCA membership is the right “price point”. I hope we can make this happen. I also agree that campaigning for medicinal use is the right strategy towards overall legalisation. No reasonable person can deny someone who is ill the medicine they need, especially if it’s been prescribed by a doctor. We should be able to make politicians grovel with shame and embarrassment to change this aspect of the law. It’s just a question of getting our act together. This is a door that’s unlocked. It’s just a question of pushing it open.

      Peter Reynolds

      January 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm

      • Politicians grovelling with shame and embarrassment is the way to go, leave them with nowhere to go but to hang their heads in shame, an apology from them would be nice but that’s just wishful thinking, but I am even more convinced that if anyone can do this then you can Peter.

        £10 and I may be able to persuade others to join as psychologically “its only a tenner” whereas £25 is psychologically scary LOL.

        There must be people working within the mainstream media and indeed the arts and entertainment business that could be persuaded to volunteer their services?

        We have had live aid, band aid… pot aid would be a blast and believe if the word can get to them, it would attract some great names.. but that is just a hope rather than a plan as organising such things is way above my capabilities, but tis a possibility and one that could be explored a little?

        L Catt

        January 10, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      • Joint membership, group membership and family membership – that is, sharing the fee – is possible

        To halve the membership fee means doubling membership just to equal income.

        Question then: how many people will join at £12 a year but not join at £24 a year

        Alun

        January 16, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    • £24 a year is 50 pence per week – that money enables LCA to function.

      So it depends on how one looks at it, as membership is possible to pay at 50 pence per week or £2 a month through standing order, PayPal etc or in advance

      For those that do not want to pay that there is a way to show support for free at.

      The LCA did not say not to push the medical side, but said to push for legalisation for everyone despite their medical condition whilst emphasising the medical benefits for all users

      Whilst cannabis remains in Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Act it would be impossible to have one law for some and another law for others, based upon whatever is meant by medical use – cannabis has value as a medicine both in treatment and relief, and prevention.

      It is unfair and contrary to Rights and Law to treat people differently under the law based upon their state of health

      WHY should a person have to reveal their medical condition to police or courts

      WHY should a person with any specific medical condition have more rights than another?

      And why should anyone be punished for the possession or cultivation of cannabis so long as they do no harm to others.

      The LCA is dedicated to changing the law so everybody has the right to possess and use cannabis irrespective of why

      http://www.lca-uk.org/endorse.php
      That’s about 3800 already

      Alun

      January 16, 2011 at 7:00 pm

  12. Yes, lets join LCA and give them more money for marine ply wood so its waterproof at ‘protests’.

    As you always tell peope peter, stoners are lazy right?

    anon

    January 10, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    • Well I’m not lazy. Are you?

      Peter Reynolds

      January 10, 2011 at 1:29 pm

      • I’m certainly not lazy. Some people though, are so bad they can’t even finish writing a comm

        Sam

        January 10, 2011 at 3:10 pm

  13. Bringing the LCA back as a political party is very much needed for one it gives us a platform, it gives activists another chance to get the message across that prohibition is not just simply wrong but morally wrong too, candidates get to mix it with the other parties, a chance to instil shame into whoever is elected, its a simple question of who is up for it? My personal circumstance would prevent me but hey I can fully support them by joining the LCA as a political party as it makes complete and total sense.

    £25.00 I can manage and will be prepared to donate, but as I said psychologically it seems a huge amount, but make membership £10 with an option to make further donations and we could be on a roll.

    Only one way to find out, people who do, do, people who don’t sit on the fence shouting.

    I will do whatever I can.

    L Catt

    January 10, 2011 at 4:02 pm

  14. I am with this campaign every step of the way.

    Stephen

    January 10, 2011 at 6:47 pm

  15. I still think the lawyers are up to their necks in the corrupt side of prohibition. Legal Aid for all drugs charges, but a fair amount for cannabis charges net our learned friends a small fortune, as well as providing easy cases for CPS junior solicitors to cut their teeth on. Loads of MPs train as, or study Law at university – cronies the bloody lot of ’em!
    Also, those of us who have had our doors kicked in and dope stolen by Berk’s in stab vests might think it appropriate that we be compensated in some manner, but the massive potential cost of this could be a factor in dissuading MPs from changing the status quo.
    Add to that the Big Pharma argument and there are plenty of reasons why the government would want to see a propagation of the lies and terror stories promulgated by the Daily Mail et al.
    We need to remind sanctimonious, holier than thou puritans that their self-righteous attitudes are undermined by science, morally dubious and hypocritical. They should get out of our way, mind their own business and stop acting as “Useful Idiots” as uncle Joe would have said, on behalf of crueller, more manipulative fiends.

    Ronnie James

    January 10, 2011 at 7:47 pm

  16. I’ve replied to Peter via a blog post due to the amount I had to say:

    http://homegrownoutlaw.blogspot.com/2011/01/2011-year-of-campaign.html

  17. So the lib-dems promised decriminalisation & cameron was pro weed before he had any power to do something about it….

    With all the cuts coming soon the black market for drugs is going to explode in their faces – people will want to escape the drugery and monotony, more people will see selling drugs as a viable income source rather than committing aquisitive crime.

    This is becoming the elephant in the room all the polititions pretend to ignore (while taking big fees from the breweries & pharmicuticle companies).

    I pay my taxes and have worked full-time since I graduated 25 years ago, I am the typical person they will be hammering to pay off the debt they ran up (them not me – I owe nothing to anybody).

    I should be a role-model for society but I’m a criminal because I choose to smoke weed in the privacy of my own home rather than sit in my local pub drinking a government sponsered drug that kills thousands every year.

    They want to raise more tax without hurting Joe public then they should leagalise, regulate & tax soft drugs, while they are at it why not legalise and regulate the oldest profession in the world too. Both are things they will never be able to stop (only educate against) so they should regulate them and take the money out of the hands of criminals & terrorists.

    Failing that – we got rid of the last Tory government with the poll-tax riots – we can do it again!

    Mr Bimble

    January 10, 2011 at 9:07 pm

  18. Thanks Peter. I firmly believe this could be the year of change. I’d also be happy to sign up the LCA with a leader (Figure Head) like you. I’d always seen the LCA as a toothless tiger in the past, hopefully it will now get some bite and co-ordination.

    The Spanish are making head way.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/28/cannabis-clubs-spanish-drug-laws

    And Portugal are also light years ahead.

    I see Professor has a done a short video for the Guardian around alcohol and harm reduction its his usual sensible stuff, I’ve attached a link. This man better most can help break the myths around drugs, he certainly knows his onions…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/video/2011/jan/10/david-nutt-drugs-policy

    Again Peter Many thanks for your dedication to this cause. I’ll certainly do anything I can to help (I work with local government statistics so you never know) We may finally see an end to the scandalous criminalisation of 1000s of innocent pot smokers…

    Bob

    January 11, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    • maybe LCA would have had more teeth with people like you on board Bob

      Alun

      January 16, 2011 at 7:04 pm

  19. We all know that cannabis wont get legalised because if it did happen that would open a flood gate for the medicinal use of cannabis which would result in alot of drug companys loosing money on their so called cures. The cheek of having alchahol legal (which kills, FACT) & not cannabis is a slap in the face. I have been a regular smoker for 15 years & not once heard these “so called voices”. I do believe cannabis can cause some sort of phycosis but only if you have underlying mental health problems. The world needs to wake up. Do you honestly think that if we hade cannabis legalised their would be war in Iraq right now ? Or their would be disese or fammine in any country ? Dont think so ! And with the ammount of tax we pay now, I think that IF cannabis was decrimalised or legalised it would be taxed enough for our country not be in ressesion. GET A GRIP BRITTAIN

    Stoo

    January 11, 2011 at 11:03 pm

  20. Word of advice Peter.

    Remember this – the drug policy reform movemenet has three types of people in it.
    Those that love drugs.
    Those that hate drugs
    And finally, those that dont care about drugs but are shocked at the waste of money that is the War on Drugs.

    Rory

    January 14, 2011 at 1:58 pm

  21. peter the true problem is that the government dont want it legalised for one simple reason. there making money off of it you dont seriously think only drug dealers are bring that much drug into the usa. no there not the govenment is and u can ask any old army navy marins and they will tell you yes we were bring it in, and its not gona be legal till the government can find a way to make more money with it legal no matter how many good things are with cannabis. like how it was the number 2 cash crop when it was legal that it cures stomch aill ments help deppresed people cacer hiv aids pacints. they will not till they find a way to make money off it, and im sure that theres gona be alot of people that say im blowing smoke and lieing and im not a real fighter for the legalising of cannabis,and to you who say that i dont care ive smoked, eaten, drank, and vaperized cannibis. so peter do me a faver and go talk to those old war dogs and see

    chaz lisotta

    January 14, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    • REFORM the law and end prohibtion.

      REGULATE production and supply based on facts and evidence

      REALISE the huge benefits as medicine and as a source of billions in new tax revenue

      Peter Reynolds

      January 15, 2011 at 9:04 pm

  22. im glad someone is doing something to get the goverment to relise its a no brainer to legalize this great species of plant for a ton of reasons.the obvious one is the system does not work you can get all type of illigal drugs just as easy booze and cigarettes and it wont change any time soon so the goverment should free the weed tax it and use the money for hospitals schools and the likes.my only problem is its illigal and im not to keen to put my name to anything incase i get a knock at the door from the police or they just kick it through as i am a cannabis user and could end up in court im sure alot of people are thinking like that but there will be casualties along the way

    woodsy

    January 15, 2011 at 2:29 pm

  23. Very well written, highly informational and incredibly motivational!
    gonna show this to everyone!! 😀

    leon campbell

    January 16, 2011 at 1:20 am

    • Thank you Leon

      Peter Reynolds

      January 16, 2011 at 1:21 pm

  24. another point is if its true there is roughly 6 million regular cannabis users maybe more.say if each person spent £20 a week that’s at least £120 million a year going back into our economy. we would need plans to make sure its done right.things like proposing licences for users where you pay a yearly fee to grow your own plants and have regulators come out and check you meet safety standards and so on, though the main concern should be for the people who really need it for medical reasons we could worry about recreational use later.

    woodsy

    January 16, 2011 at 11:57 am

    • I think your sums are a little out….

      Government estimates 6 – 10 Million regular cannabis users in UK despite prohibition.

      Average street price is £20 for 2g-2.5g of Street weed (hysterical media “Skunk” cannabis)

      If you then applied Duty/Taxation at tobacco levels ie 50% but kept the end-user price the same (so you put the criminals out of business by undercutting them)

      6,000,000 users @ £20 per deal = £120,000,000 per week

      120,000,000 * 52 weeks = £6,240,000,000

      If 50% was tax that’s £3,120,000,000 ie £3.2 Billion.

      Then you could add the savings for not prosicuting soft drug users & the drop in drug crime levels as with no black market – there’s no drugs turf war. You could easily end up with £5-£6 billion towards the deficit.

      Science dictates that there would be 3% of users (same as for alcohol) that would have mental “issues” and that could be treated with some of the increase in Tax revenue afterall isn’t that what they keep repeating about tobacco smokers?

      In my case tobacco was the gateway drug (if I hadn’t smoked tobacco I wouldn’t have tried smoking cannabis) & I’ve never in 30 years had any urges to try anything stronger – been offered it by dealers more times than I can remember.

      Mr Bimble

      January 17, 2011 at 9:52 pm

      • We are quibbling over details and arithmetic. We agree on the principle.

        IDMU has an excellent analysis. The figures are a little out of date but easy enough to recalculate:

        http://www.idmu.co.uk/oldsite/pdfs/Taxing%20the%20UK%20Drugs%20Market.pdf

        Peter Reynolds

        January 17, 2011 at 10:38 pm

      • peter this is the first time i have seen or herd about you and this site.what your doing is fantastic and dont let anyone tell you anything different. i am a smoker myself and if i dint smoke it im really depressed and cant sleep.and those law idiots are saying that cannabis gives you paranoia. that maybe true with some people only because people cant smoke it freely (cafe,socially) and are worried if and when the police will arrest them and penalise them. and are then stuck in theire houses all day everyday alone smoking.so basically the goverment are making people paranoid not the cannabis.keep up the good work peter. it makes me feel so good reading about you trying to help the millions of smokers that are in the uk.

        aaron

        February 1, 2011 at 2:50 am

      • Thank you Aaron

        Peter Reynolds

        February 1, 2011 at 8:16 am

  25. Posted elsewhere in response to a post by ‘New Age Outlaw’ re comments about LCA and its ability to unite the larger cannabis community. Playing Devil’s Advocate here, but its a point that has to be addressed in my opinion if we are to move forward.

    NAO,

    I had previously read your comments on LCA forum and liked what I read. It seems that you have lots of fresh ideas on how to take this fight forward. I have been ‘following’ LCA via the forum for many years and have come to he conclusion that the cannabis community will never unite behind that organisation, there is just far too much ‘bad blood’. I would dearly love to be proven wrong on this, but I have seen so many good campaigners fall out with Alun and his crew (but mainly Alun). The ongoing arguments between members of UK420 (lets face it, they have a big influence in terms of numbers ) and LCA have been festering away for a long time and I very much doubt that wound will be easily healed. I admire Alun as an intellectual idealist, I honestly do, but he has rubbed so many people up the wrong way with his refusal to accept any vision beyond his own and to listen to what other non LCA cannabis campaigners are trying to say. That is the crux of my argument, if this new model is to work then Alun needs to stop thinking in terms of LCA paying members and open up to the vast majority of those who do not wish to be a member of any party under the control ( and I choose that word purposely) of Alun and the LCA.

    We badly need a political party to represent our views yes, but I’m not sure that LCA will do it. NAO, why not start such a party, maybe work with Peter Reynolds (whom I think would make a GREAT leader), get people like Jeff Ditchfield, Sarah Martin, Ed Stratton etc etc on board and I believe that you will have the makings of a REAL party movement. if LCA could also be taken on board then fantastic, they have years of experience of such campaigning. These people will never unite behind LCA.

    I invite comments.

    Lee Gramson

    January 17, 2011 at 10:30 am

  26. i am very new to all this but since i started reserching about causes and sites to do with cannabis i was quite amazed to see the friction between people…wich seems silly as we should be all united in our common cause…but the thing that realy brings a smile to my face is peter is always around in the background to bring a bit of normality back to the situation….and that is why i registered and also willing to do what i can in the fight for what i see as human rights…..i do think the way politics are going at the moment this could be the year to make a difference if we all unite as one and put personalitys to one side…..

    dave parkin

    January 17, 2011 at 11:32 am

  27. The LCA would be better placed to be a pressure group and to lobby MP’s (the pharma companies do – so should the LCA).

    What we need is an articulate government speak white paper on normalisation of cannabis. It needs to avoid the “legalisation phrase” and fight them with the words they understand, Taxable revenue, deficit reduction, regulation, control. If necessary the argument that regulation would help remove the dangers of “Skunk” from our streets by giving adults the option of buying a safer regulated product.

    With the cuts and the drive to reduce the deficit being the number one ambition of the government & people already complaining about fuel duty – the argument should be that despite prohibition there are more than 6,000,000 cannabis users in the UK – that is a huge untapped source of tax where no-one will complain.

    I supose the argument is – would regulation make things any worse than they are now – prohibition is a complete & utter failure, I can buy any drug I want anywhere in the UK (the only problem is you never know exactly what you’re getting) so the illegality doen’t affect my ability to get it if I want it & would people who don’t take it now be more likely to take it if it was regulated (but frowned upon like smoking).

    Legalisation would mean I don’t have to deal with criminals or finance them and I can buy drugs that are standardised & safer. Isn’t the idea of the MODA to “reduce risk & harm”?

    Two questions for you peter….

    1) Which is better : Legalisation, Decriminalisation or Normalisation?

    2) Which is politically viable : Legalisation, Decriminalisation or Normalisation?

    Mr Bimble

    January 17, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    • Regulation based on facts and evidence.

      Peter Reynolds

      January 17, 2011 at 10:35 pm

  28. Good post MrBimble. The legalisation v decriminalisation argument has been going on for years of course, with many saying that we will never see full legalisation of cannabis and that he best we can hope for is some form of decriminalisation. For me, this is the bottom line. All of us who have experienced arrest for something that we choose to do within the privacy of our own homes where we are harming nobody else, will know the bitter feeling that one is left with, the sense of invasion and violation. It just makes no sense, some people lose their homes and their jobs for this victimless crime…an experienced science teacher praised in an Ofsted report lost his job for growing 4 plants in his own home……this cannot go on surely? Every single day the police are knocking on (or knocking down) doors, searching homes, (including childrens bedrooms)for what often turns out to be just a couple of grams of cannabis to be used privately within a persons own property as a means of relaxing after a demanding day at work. Teachers, Nurses, IT consultant, self employed business men and women, sales manager for major car manufacturer, students, central heating engineer, community midwife, health visitor, these are just some some of the people that I have known and who are regular cannabis users, I’m sure we could all produce such a list.

    We need to shed this ‘old hippy’ or ‘stoner’ image and let the general public see that the vast majority cannabis users are ordinary working men and women who offer no criminal threat to anybody, yet are treated as such.

    Lee Gramson

    January 18, 2011 at 10:12 am

  29. gotta say, what i am reading is music to my ears. we do have a very strong case.

    jonathan

    January 21, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    • Thank you Jonathan

      Peter Reynolds

      January 21, 2011 at 7:00 pm

  30. Cheers Peter!

    I red this article five times in two days. Huh. So, you’re going political. Thinking that politicians are those who are making decisions, I guess. Think again.

    No matter what usual plant enjoyer do or not do, the plant will be regulated by the governments in period 2015-2020. For medical use only, prescription based. Because it is planned so.

    It will be legal. No punishments or harassment for patients who will use the plant in medical purposes. No fear anymore. All you’ll have to do is bring the prescription and put it on the pharmacy counter. With all your personal information in it. You’ll get small round bottle with plant flowers. Although the name will be different and will finished on “an” or “ex” maybe. You’ll be registered. You’ll be limited in quantity you would be prescribed. You’ll be tracked.

    Is this the picture you want to see?

    “Medical purposes” is a catch. A catch which will allow the plant to be considered as something good among global mass population. Total consumption will fall at first, then it will explode ten times. The plant is powerful. We know it and they know it. And they have the money.

    You wrote:

    I guess we in the sentence are cannabis users. And I understand your vision of uniting millions. How about erasing the borders? How about the world? 200 millions? Perhaps Mr Bimble can give us some numbers :).

    But Peter…LCA…let’s look at the numbers for a moment:

    0,03% of UK votes in 2001. 8,667 people in UK voted for LCA delegates.

    Why?

    Because the LCA leaders are politically incompetent persons, without strong vision and energy for fulfilling an original aim of CLCIA. “The aim was to campaign for the legalisation of cannabis throughout the world and to secure the release of all “cannabis prisoners”.

    Cool.

    Those people had a chance. Because they have broaden horizons. They have different pictures. Pictures of us buying a plant beside tobacco on shelves. Or growing a couple for yourself. Pictures of freedom and joy, without fear. Some of them are to old for fight. They should consider retirement.

    I will not comment their web site, their social networking marketing (activism), their activities in 2009. It’s a shame.

    10 good men, 12 months, 20.000.000 members. From whole world. Imagine that.

    And now imagine your 6M UK members. The year is 2013. They are going to do certain things on the same day. All their activities offline will be placed inside 24 hour frame time. They’ll do the following:

    1. Quit the job unless self-employed.
    2. Cut all credit cards.
    3. Cash up all the money on their bank accounts.
    4. Cancel all cell phone accounts unless pre-paid.
    5. Cancel all internet accounts and switching to free VPN wireless network.
    6. Get home, enjoy a plant, watch the news.

    Who will have the power then?

    Imagine.
    John.

    John

    January 24, 2011 at 12:27 am

    • You played a blinder John. Last minute, extra time, drop goal, Johnny Wilkinson miracle, it’s there, between the posts.

      Your inspiration is appreciated. I have to concentrate on the hard yards. Your words may be prescient. They are well judged. Back me up!

      Peter Reynolds

      January 24, 2011 at 1:38 am

  31. If nothing else cannabis should be given parity with legal highs where possession of small amounts for personal use will not get you a criminal record.

    Didn’t the govenrment announcement state that “the criminalisation of legal high users for possession should not be persued as it would negatively affect their employability”

    I have no issues with the government persuing criminal drug gangs, commercial growers & dealers but if a tax paying adult wants to smoke cannabis in a responsible way then let them without risking persicution.

    for 90% of cannabis users the biggest problem is getting criminalised due to prohibition not the effects of cannabis.

    End prohibition & start regulation.

    Mr Bimble

    January 24, 2011 at 8:32 pm

  32. I agree with Peter and am with him all the way. good luck with the campaign, you have my support.

    Tom Longland

    January 24, 2011 at 10:58 pm

  33. I have decided to stand up and be counted as I am fed up with all the ignorant alcohol consumers who view cannabis users as ‘druggies’. I am fed up with the hypocracy from drinkers who need to realise that cannabis use can be less harmful than alcohol to many individuals for many reasons. Cannabis lifts my spirits, clears my head to make way for lucid thinking and relaxes my stressed out body when I need it. Alcohol has negative effects on me so why should I be forced to accept it as my only option when cannabis is so much more beneficial for me and many other people who prefer it than alcohol. At least let cannabis be available alongside drink to alleviate stress, gain pleasure and whatever other reasons alcohol is used for.

    loraine

    January 28, 2011 at 10:51 am

    • Well said Loraine.

      Peter Reynolds

      January 28, 2011 at 11:21 am

  34. hi peter and any one who supports prohibition, visit my facebook and have your say and help?

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/The-War-on-Drugs-UK/

    The "war" on drugs

    January 30, 2011 at 12:08 pm

  35. hi peter and any one who are all for LCA, Please visit my facebook page and have your say and help the cause?

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/The-War-on-Drugs-UK/149212131798796

    The "war" on drugs

    January 30, 2011 at 1:35 pm

  36. many thanks peter. it’s heartening to know the LCA has a credible figure head, and someone who can clearly will hold his own on the political front. you have my vote and full support. in whatever way i can help the cause for common sense to prevail please get in touch. craig.

    craig ashby

    February 3, 2011 at 8:46 pm

  37. I am a Christian and believe the Bible as the inspired word of God.
    God commanded Moses to make a holy annointing oil according to Gods instructions in Exodus 30:22-23. He told Moses to take 250 shekels of qaneh-bosm which has been incorrectly translated as calamus. God meant cannabis. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sula_Benet where the Hebrew University in Israel confirm this is true.
    Also see The Union: The business behind getting high http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9077214414651731007#
    I am a photographer not a lawyer but Article 1 of the Declaration of Human Rights, recognised by this government, says we are born free and equal. Article 2 Everyone is entitled to the same rights without discrimination.
    Surely we who enjoy a smoke in our own homes in private are having our Human Rights violated.
    We do not fight and get arrested like drunken people do.
    I started smoking 33 years ago and gave up smoking tobacco 32 years ago.
    I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart to have the courage to fight for our human rights.
    Patricia Tabram and all of you deserve the full support of smokers worldwide.
    It is a Human Rights issue not a legal issue. Give our herb back to us the people to help heal the world.
    Thank you once again. You are doing a fantastic job.

    David Loney

    February 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    • God bless you.

      Peter Reynolds

      February 8, 2011 at 6:37 pm

      • How do I get to see you for a half hour chat, face to face, to discuss what I could do to help with the campaign?

        David Loney

        February 11, 2011 at 1:25 pm

      • Peter Reynolds

        February 11, 2011 at 1:43 pm

      • Hi Peter,
        I went to see Don Barnard and had a good chat.
        He told me you live a distance from me so meeting would be hard at the moment.
        I have spent hours researching about the current situation regarding cannabis.

        I listened to the recording of the AMAZING EDWIN STRATTON which really open my eyes to the legal facts regarding cannabis.

        Please, if you haven’t already listened to his argument, listen and spread to all users. My passion has been aroused and I can’t take this injustice and discrimination any longer.

        We need to share the facts to arm ourselves so I have been telling all my friends the time has come.

        Please listen and share http://www.drugequality.org/

        Our Human Rights are at stake. End the discrimination.

        David

        David Loney

        February 17, 2011 at 12:34 pm

  38. We cant let the the government take the herb away from us anymore, enough is enough. there is no scientific evidence to prove cannabis harmful so why is it still illegal? oh but tobacco and alcohol are fine to consume? the government do not care about us, theres some other shit going on with them, shit that is probably not even legal. We need to push this peaceful protest until justice is finally served and we can legally smoke a herb which harms no one, and have no worry about breaking some stupid unreasonable law.

    Joe wright

    February 13, 2011 at 2:04 pm

  39. Dear Sir I have been a member of the LCA for about 2 years,though i do give my support to the de-criminalisation and regulation of this harmless but theraputic herb,i am a minor local authority worker,with a wife and children and cannot be to public about this issue,i have been a smoker for 30 years,but only with trusted friends or as a sole practicioner,i do wish you all the best in the next elections and i for one will give my vote to your campaign,good luck.

    Brian

    February 15, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    • Thank you Brian. I respect your position. I shall do all I can to advance the cause.

      Peter Reynolds

      February 15, 2011 at 9:06 pm

  40. Have you ever thought about going down the US route to make yourselves more appealing to non cannabis users and calling yourself something like the Cannabis – Tax and regulate Party?

    I beleive some people with less knowledge than most here can get put off by the word ‘legalize’.

    Tom

    February 17, 2011 at 10:49 am

    • We are in the process of considering exactly that sort of name Tom. You are absolutely right about the word “legalise”.

      Peter Reynolds

      February 17, 2011 at 11:49 am

  41. Glad to hear it i think it would be a good step in the right direction, and should make you more appoachable with the general public.

    Plus with the current economic situation anything that raises money should be looked at.

    Are you able to let us know your thoughts of names?

    Tom

    February 17, 2011 at 12:13 pm

  42. Hi Peter,

    I’ve just been reading about how Rosa Parks refused to give her seat on the bus in the USA and was arrested for breaking the law. All part of the Civil Rights movement of the 50’s.

    This led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott which eventually changed the law.

    Seeing as cannabis and ecstasy users are the biggest threat to the alcohol industry, would a one day boycott of using alcohol raise public awareness and highlight the injustice between cannabis users and alcohol users.

    I know the alcohol industry were behind publishing the photo of Leah Betts because of the threat of young people using ecstacy and drinking water NOT alcohol. They fought back with alcopops.

    Could a one day boycott of alcohol by all cannabis users, say April 20th Cannabis day, highlight the injustice. Just a thought.

    David

    David Loney

    February 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm

  43. Sorry I did not mean “the injustice between cannabis users and alcohol users” I meant the DISCRIMINATION between cannabis users and alcohol users.
    David

    David Loney

    February 19, 2011 at 12:34 pm

  44. “Brokenshire counts the high level of adulteration of drugs on the street as a measure of success.”

    “If we give in on this, we will be expected to give in on every drug”.

    a. The LCA can and should use the best careful language to specify that “drugs” are not meant, only cannabis; and as mentioned by Ed (January 9)– “vapourising and toking pure”– banishing the #1 killer drug contaminant, nicotine tobacco, from all association with cannabis use is THE game changer, given the convenient present-day strategy of the tobacco industry and its apologists in the anti-cannabis camp to promote cannabis prohibition (and high-profit nicotine enslavement) by blaming health and character damage (probably caused either by tobacco or by the under-researched possible synergies between tobacco and cannabis) on the cannabis.

    b. (emphasise this most emphatically) — the moment cannabis possession, use and PUBLIC DEMONSTRATION THEREOF are unambiguously legalised and permitted without hindrance or threat of reprisal, be assured that CANNABIS ACTIVISTS will swarm out like Mormons and Witnesses everywhere demonstrating the Toke Pure methods– vapouriser and 25-mg.-serving-size one-hitters (see Wikipedia: One hitter (smoking): “Vaporizing with a one hitter” paragraph).

    c. Apropos the latter: until about 2007 for whatever reasons no one seemed to realize that it was possible to “vapourise” with just any cheap haschischpfeife. Adverts for a “vapouriser” made of breakable glass about the size of a cigar selling on line for $24.95 or $49.95 (I forget which; it’s a ripoff!) then appeared, explaining that one must hold a (50-pence) lighter about an inch under the part of the utensil where the herb was loaded, heating it to vapourisation temperatures, but not close enough to (presumably) break the precious glass. This was followed by the Vapor Genie, beautifully crafted little utensils with a “flame barrier” made of I think metal screens for $49.95 (ripoff!).

    That is when the realization began dawning that the same or better could be done with any “one hitter”, not at the cost of a Volcano vapouriser or even $24.95, but for pennies (please refer to wikiHow.com: How to Make Smoke Pipes From Everyday Objects).

    d. Here it is time to refer to the second leg of Peter’s trilogy: REGULATE– but rather than the difficult task of regulating supply and distribution, a DOSAGE REGULATION UTENSIL actually regulates use itself! Photos, videos, cartoons, diagrams or personal demonstration of how to use a cheap 25-mg.-serving-size one-hitter utensil (suck slow) will banish ignorant recourse to hot-burning overdose cigarette papers & big wide “bowls” which destroy a high percentage of THC, deliver heat shock, carbon monoxide and combustion toxins, and invite or almost enforce the practice of “cutting” the allegedly dangerous skunkweed with toxic addictive tobacco.

    I invite everyone interested in this idea to let Mr. Brokenshire et al. know that he/she/we are ready to undergo one-hitter training and pursue this Missionary Service (weedhād) until there is not one One-Hitter-Illiterate Drug “Smoking” Victim left on the planet. This will save H. M. Health Service billions and– oh yes, in view of today’s news, save Mr. Gaddafi any need to bomb any more “drug addicts”.

    e. “We need to reform the law, regulate supply and distribution and realise the huge benefits as a medicine, as a gentle pleasure and as a new source of billions in tax revenue. That’s the way forward. Reform, regulate and realise.”

    To Peter’s third leg, REALIZE, I would suggest adding, after “medicine” and “pleasure” and before “tax revenue”, one further most important benefit: INSPIRATION. For it is not how you will ”’feel”’ after a toke that will co-determine the future of the planet, but what you will then find yourself capable of ”’doing”’ (such as, immediately hereafter, so tweaking the founding document as to make the LCA both indispensable and unbeatable).

    tokerdesigner

    February 23, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    • TokerD, I NEED some of what you’re smoking!

      Peter Reynolds

      February 23, 2011 at 10:30 pm


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