Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘Canada

Home Secretary Invites CLEAR To ‘Enter A Dialogue’ On Cannabis Law Reform.

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Rt. Hon. Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for the Home Department

Rt. Hon. Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for the Home Department

In a letter dated 15th August 2016, Amber Rudd, the new Home Secretary, has invited CLEAR to raise “any queries and concerns” about present UK policy on cannabis. This is the first time since 2006, with Charles Clarke, that the UK cannabis campaign has had any direct contact with a serving Home Secretary.  It reflects the reality, now recognised in government, that changes in cannabis policy are imminent.

In recent months, there has been a manifest and significant change in attitudes within the Home Office.  We have seen this through the process of obtaining a low THC cultivation licence for our partnership with GroGlo Research and Development.  The response from the drugs licensing department has been enthusiastic.  There has been no difficulty with our declared purpose of producing CBD oil for sale as a food supplement and we are now in detailed discussions on our application for a high THC licence, looking towards clinical trials for a medical product for chronic pain.

As soon as Theresa May announced that Amber Rudd would be heading up the Home Office, I contacted my MP, now Sir Oliver Letwin, thanks to Cameron’s resignation honours list.  Although he will not openly support our campaign, in the past year or so he has been very helpful indeed, meeting with me on roughly a monthly basis and helping me navigate through the Conservative government.  He has now put me in direct contact with Ms Rudd and I will be preparing a written submission as a preliminary to a face-to-face meeting.

In accordance with CLEAR policy, our first concern is how we can enable UK residents to gain access to medicinal cannabis on a doctor’s prescription.  In practice that means Bedrocan products as there is presently no other source of prescribable, consistent, high-quality, herbal cannabis.  I would expect that to change very soon though. Both Canada and Israel look like potential near-future sources.  GW Pharmaceuticals is undoubtedly considering entering the market and our venture with GroGlo could shift gear depending on how quickly UK policy changes.

We will also be addressing the need for wider reform and a legally regulated market for adult consumers.  Although medicinal access remains the top priority, there is no doubt that more overall harm is caused by prohibition of the recreational market.  It is this that creates the £6 billon per annum criminal market which is the cause of all the social harms around cannabis.  This will need to be handled much more carefully as, due to nearly a century of misinformation and  media scaremongering, many people still retain great fear as to what legal cannabis will mean.

The one thing that has been very lacking in the cannabis campaign is pragmatism. Most campaigners for recreational use continue to be lost in a swirl of ‘free the weed’, teenage angst, outrage, revolution and delight in being a rebellious outlaw. That was until 2011 when CLEAR introduced a new approach which has led to more engagement with government than ever before.  The emergence of the United Patients Alliance and now the End Our Pain campaign has helped this but these campaigns are focused only on medicinal use

The fact is that we need to work with Theresa May’s government and the anti-Tory tribalism that many still adopt is nothing but an obstacle to reform.

In addressing Ms Rudd, our overall strategy for wider reform will be:

1. A final separation from the ridiculous ‘free the weed’ movement and ‘stoner’ groups which are incapable of understanding how they are seen and despised by wider society.

2. Differentiation between medicinal use and the more controversial legalisation for adult, recreational use.

3. Shift public attention onto scientific and medical evidence rather than the very poor standard of media reporting.

4. End the fake policy that says ‘cannabis is dangerous therefore it must be regulated’.  Educate that nearly all the harms around cannabis are caused by its prohibition, not by cannabis itself.

5. Emphasise the importance of harm reduction information, education about excessive use and essential investment in treatment for those who do suffer health harms.

6. Clarify that decriminalisation is no solution and is a dangerous option that would probably increase harm.  The product needs to be sold within a properly regulated environment, careful that over-regulation would support a continuing criminal market.

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‘Skunk’ Drives Tabloids And Politicians Mad.

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Tom Chivers, Ian Dunt and Jonathan Liebling expose the dreadful reporting of the latest cannabis harms study from the husband and wife team of Professor Sir Robin Murray and Dr Marta Di Forti.

The British tabloid press has long been engaged in the corruption of our society and successive governments’ ability to deal with drugs policy by its sensationalism, distortion and dishonesty.

In fact the worst offender now is the Daily Telegraph, a tabloid in everything except format. It now eclipses the Mail newspapers for inaccurate, misleading and distorted reporting on all aspects of drugs policy. Its science and medicine writers are either deliberately engaged in deception or utterly incompetent. Virtually every story it publishes on drugs these days has to be retracted but you never hear about it because it’s buried in a tiny, tiny correction.

Here’s what happened to its ridiculous claim recently “cannabis as addictive as heroin”

DT headline 071014

The Mail newspapers can’t resist the stories about the miraculous medicinal benefits of cannabis because they make such good sensationalism. So although they still publish hogwash, like this latest distortion, they’ve actually become more balanced almost by mistake.

Why is the British press so incompetent and/or malevolent on drugs? Is it anything to do with the £800 million pa that the alcohol industry spends on press advertising? I don’t know. Maybe it just likes to appeal to the fast dwindling band of bigots that actually buy newspapers these days.

We are a laughing stock across the world for the idiocy of our press and government, particularly in respect of cannabis. In Canada and Israel, hospitals provide elderly patients with cannabis vapourisers on trollies, so strong is the evidence for its beneficial effects on aging and dementia. Here of course we prefer to let them lie in their own excreta while feeding them with scaremongering nonsense, distortion and exaggeration of scientific studies.

Sugar, peanuts, hay fever remedies, aspirin, paracetamol and traffic fumes cause far more health harms than cannabis.

In Colorado, in 2014, $44 million in cannabis tax revenue was ringfenced for schools and hospitals. Since legalisation, crime and fatal traffic accidents are down 15%, murder is down 50%.

Far too sensible for Britain isn’t it? And it’s the work of our gutter press that prevents such progress here because politicians still give newspapers far too much respect.

Kevin Vickers, Canada Parliament’s Sergeant-At-Arms, A Genuine Hero.

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Kevin Vickers

Kevin Vickers

It is the critical moment of the attack on the Canadian Parliament. Before any more lives could be taken by gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, he is shot dead by House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers.

Zehaf-Bibeau had exchanged gunshots with parliamentary security at the entrance of Centre Block and ran down the long Hall of Honour towards the doors to the Parliamentary Library.

As he ran down the hall, pursued by RCMP officers, he passed the barricaded doors on his left, behind which the prime minister and the Conservative MPs were meeting. On his right, the doors to another caucus room where NDP MPs were diving for cover.

He shot at both doors, with one bullet penetrating the outer doors to the NDP caucus room.

Zehaf-Bibeau continued down the hall toward the wooden doors of the Library of Parliament, where he lodged himself behind a stone pillar beside an alcove to the right of the library’s entrance.

Vickers’ office is around the corner, a few metres away.

Hearing gunshots, Vickers grabbed his side arm, a semi-automatic pistol, and immediately ran out. His security team, who had been chasing Bibeau, yelled to Vickers that the suspect was hiding in the alcove.

Vickers immediately ran behind the other side of the pillar. That put him an arm’s-length away from Bibeau.

According to guards, Vickers actually could see the barrel of Bibeau’s gun pointing out, a foot away.

Vickers did not hesitate.

In one motion, sources told CBC News he dove to the floor around the pillar, at the feet of Bibeau, turning on his back as he landed and simultaneously firing his weapon upwards at Bibeau.

Bibeau was hit multiple times and fell to the ground. Vickers kept firing, emptying his entire magazine.

As soon as Bibeau dropped, the rest of the security team sprinted forward and opened fire.

Several bullet holes in the walls in the alcove give a sense of the numbers of rounds fired, and many more hit Bibeau.

One bullet passed right through the wooden library doors, hitting the librarians’ desk deep inside.

But no one else was injured in that final exchange of gunfire.

According to sources, Vickers calmly got up after the firing was over and went back to his office to reload his gun in case a threat remained.

He then went to the Conservative caucus room where Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his MPs had barricaded the room’s doors with chairs.

After identifying himself to gain entry to the room, Vickers strode to the microphone at the front of the room and explained what had happened:

“I engaged the suspect and the suspect is deceased”, he said.

According to sources, the entire room erupted in cheers, as Vickers left to continue to secure the grounds.

Source: CBC News

 

 

Written by Peter Reynolds

October 26, 2014 at 3:00 pm

The Prince Of Pot

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Written by Peter Reynolds

April 28, 2011 at 11:16 pm

The Inane Incompetence Of A Prohibitionist Politician

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On the back foot all the way through, desperately trying to dig himself out of a hole, eventually breathing a sigh of relief as he thinks he’s blagged his way through it.

The utter hypocrisy, lack of sincerity, evident embarrassment at the idea he has to support but he doesn’t know why.

In fact, Stephen Harper, prime minister of Canada, your stumbling, faltering, clumsy words are as eloquent as it is possible to be AGAINST prohibition!

Written by Peter Reynolds

April 15, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Send British Troops To Gaza. Nazi Israel Must Be Stopped.

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The Israeli pirate assault on aid ships seeking to relieve the besieged people of Gaza is just the latest atrocity from this vile and inhuman regime.

Stormtroopers Against Saints

Israel now represents just as much a threat to civilisation as did Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.  It constantly flouts UN resolutions, commits war crimes and we are certain that it has weapons of mass destruction.   The civilised world needs to step in.  Israel must be stopped at all costs and this is a cause that it is worth our troops dying for.  It is more urgent and pressing than Afghanistan.  British troops would be better employed in crushing the evil Israelis than they are in fighting the Taliban.  If we do not stand up against the great Nazi evil that Israel has become then we have no right to call ourselves civilised

We should send in the Navy and smash the Israeli blockade, open up a sea corridor to allow aid and relief in.  HMS Daring, with the most advanced anti-aircraft weaponry in the world,  should stop tootling up and down the south coast and blast the Israeli air force out of the sky.   The time for negotiating with and appeasing this pariah state is past.  We must take decisive action now.

Israel

I am not anti-semitic because Arabs are Semites just as much as Jews.  I am not anti-Jewish but I don’t understand the relationship betwen the state of Israel and the Jewish religion.  I am anti-Israel and all men of honour, decency and common sense must be.  Its conduct in Gaza and throughout Palestine is beyond any justification.  Its conduct is always disproportionate.  Its whinging about the little fireworks that the Palestinians shoot in is pathetic.  If  my country was being oppressed and bullied then I would react at least the same.  Suicide bombers against Israeli targets are equally as justified and heroic as any suicide mission against the Nazis in the Second World War.

War Criminal

This may well be my generation’s equivalent of the Spanish Civil War.  Give me a chance to fight against the fascist Israelis and I don’t see how my conscience could deny it.  They need to be given a dose of their own medicine and pulverised into submission, forced to withdraw from the settlements, forced to abandon their entire national strategy and policy.  It is clear that the world made a great mistake in establishing the state of Israel.  Perhaps we should have left them to their fate.

Prime Minister Netanyahu is presently in Canada, a nation famed for its defence of freedom and justice.  He should be immediately arrested and detained as a war criminal.

The onus is now on us.   Obama and Cameron must step up to the plate and condemn this action outright.  US and UK forces must join in this most urgent mission.   Leave the rest of Europe to dither as usual.  We must get on with the job.