Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

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The Cannabis Petition. A Wake Up Call For MPs Who Have Ignored Both Electorate And Evidence.

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5.45 pm, 31st July 2015

5.45 pm, 31st July 2015

Nearly 200,000 people have signed a petition to legalise cannabis.  It’s not just a simple click of a mouse button, it requires email verification. It is an enormous event. It is only the tip of the iceberg of the millions in the UK that want to see our archaic and harmful laws on cannabis changed.

A lot of MPs are going to be very unhappy about this. They have successfully prevented any real debate on the issue since the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 was introduced.  This despite the fact that UK drugs policy must be one of our most failed and disastrous polices of all time.  One indicator – in 1971, we had around 3,000 problematic drug users. We now have 350,000.  Another – in 1971 virtually all the cannabis available was well balanced with both THC and CBD content, now it’s all low-CBD ‘moonshine’ weed.

The government and MPs who support prohibition will fight tooth and nail to brush this aside. They will do anything they can to stop it. They will say that it has ‘only’ been achieved because of campaigning – guess what they’re right, it’s called democracy, something we have very little of in the UK these days. Undoubtedly the claim will be made that the vote has been rigged.

No. 1 Baying Donkey Tory Backbencher

Baying Donkey Tory Backbencher

I’m just waiting for some bumptious, baying donkey on the Tory backbenches to make the accusation.  But it would be untrue. This is the will of the people and it must prevail.

Philip Davies MP

Philip Davies MP

MPs of all parties are so far out of touch that they don’t even begin to realise what is going on. Conservative MP Philip Davies, who is on the Justice Select Committee, said that Ron Hogg, the Durham PCC is “abusing his position” by saying that cannabis is a low priority.  This is typical hypocrisy and bluster from a pompous fool who doesn’t really believe in democracy. That was the idea of PCCs wasn’t it, to bring policing in line with what local people want?

Ignoramus Andrew Percy MP

Andrew Percy MP

Fellow Tory ignoramus, MP Andrew Percy said: “We’ve got to start debunking the liberal elite view that cannabis is some sort of benign drug”.  Which, of course, is exactly what it is.

It’s not just Tory MPs, it’s on all sides.  They are ignorant, poorly informed, more driven by prejudice than evidence. Take the baby-faced Blairite John Woodcock.  About a year ago he came out with the fantasy theory that the cannabis policy in Holland led to more hard drug use.  In fact, exactly the opposite is the case. In Holland, where adults may purchase up to five grams of cannabis without fear of prosecution, rates of heroin use and addiction are very much lower than the UK.

John Woodcock MP

John Woodcock MP

The EMCDDA reports problem opioid use (rate/1000)as follows:

UK: 7.9 – 8.3
Netherlands: 0.8 – 1.0

So, in fact problematic opioid use in Holland is about one-sixth of what it is in the UK. This is just typical of how useless the majority of our MPs are. They have no idea. They get their so-called ‘facts’ from the Daily Mail or the Daily Telegraph, both of which have descended to become nothing but dishonest propaganda and crass scaremongering.

Hospital Patient Using Vapouriser

Hospital Patient Using Vapouriser

If you showed the average MP the reality of legal cannabis in Colorado, Washington, Oregon or Alsaka they would think they were dreaming. It’s a roaring success: crime is down, traffic accidents are down, painkiller overdoses are down, millions in cannabis tax revenue is being pumped into schools and hospitals.

I’ve explained to several ministers that in Israel and Canada cannabis vapourisers are provided on trollies in hospital wards.  I don’t think they believed me.  They couldn’t take it in.

The UK Parliament exists in a state of denial and delusion about cannabis. Only in the House of Lords do we see any lawmakers with a grip on reality but even they are mostly victims of the ‘killer skunk’ myth, asserting that this moderately potent strain is somehow different and ‘dangerous’.

It’s unlikely that the petition and the debate which surely must follow will succeed in changing the law.  But MPs, however arrogant they are, cannot ignore the will of the people for ever.  Too many are ignorant about the scientific and medical evidence on cannabis. Most are too cowardly to address the issue even if they are beginning to realise the truth. However, this is a battle of attrition and we are quite clearly winning.

Written by Peter Reynolds

July 30, 2015 at 11:59 am

‘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.

Another Pathetic And Embarrassing Display From The Stoners.

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Exactly The Wrong Way To Represent Cannabis Law Reform.

Exactly The Wrong Way To Represent Cannabis Law Reform.

As Demotix, the photojournalism website, captioned their gallery: “A small group of protestors gathered outside the BBC, calling for Ganja or cannabis to be legalised in the UK.”

See the photographs here.

How long will it take these idiots to learn that their behaviour sets back the cause of cannabis law reform?

Gratuitous lawbreaking, scruffy turnout, signs that look like they were made at playschool and an embarrassingly small attendance even on the weekend that The Observer publishes a survey showing that 52% of the UK population supports legalisation in Colorado and Washington.

Such irresponsible events have never had any positive impact and when they are as shabby, poorly attended and badly organised as this all they do is bring the whole cannabis campaign into disrepute.

Is there nobody associated with the organisers of these disastrous demos that can talk some sense into them?  Or is it really just about the same excitement as naughty children feel when they are being deliberately out of line?  That’s how the public sees it.

Written by Peter Reynolds

October 5, 2014 at 8:12 am

Horrible Pictures From Hyde Park Cause Dreadful Damage To Cannabis Campaign.

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Yesterday, the annual Hyde Park 420 event took place.  420 is an American term for cannabis and these events take place all over the world on 20th April.  Why?  For very obscure and esoteric reasons! They are variously described as celebrations of cannabis or protests for legalisation.  Yesterday in Hyde Park was a disaster.

Violent arrests, open dealing of cannabis, hash cookies decorated to appeal to children – these are terrible images that will cause immense harm to the way that cannabis and cannabis users are seen.  CLEAR will not be publishing any of these pictures.

It matters not that these arrests were fundamentally unjust.  The police officers concerned were only doing their job.  The Daily Telegraph and other media are ramping up hysteria over two deaths in Colorado associated with ‘edibles'; so cannabis cookies in kids style was a spectacular own goal. Close-ups of bags of weed being sold alongside the names of the organisers is not just stupid, it is crazy.

We will never win the support of the public by behaving this way.  Inevitably, of the hundreds there, many seemed barely out of their teens.  The images and messages this sends through the media and to our political leaders are destructive of all the positive work that is being done towards reform. These demos, protests,  ‘smoke ups’ and ‘smoke outs’ have never had any positive effect so what makes anyone think they will now?

I know that many involved with the organisers are sincere but if I wanted to plan how to subvert and undermine the campaign, yesterday in Hyde Park would be a good model.

We have MPs, opinion leaders and powerful people on our side but unsurprisingly they will not be associated with such events.  Let’s move on and put this as far behind us as we can. The key to winning this war is to demonstrate that we can behave responsibily, to win hearts and minds which have been subject to propaganda for nearly a century.  Reform in the US has been achieved despite, not because of such events.

So what can you do? Write to your MP, arrange to meet your MP, ask your MP to arrange a meeting with a minister. This is what works. This is what is actually making progress. Let’s not mess it up.

The ‘Arthur Scargill’ Approach To Cannabis Law Reform Doesn’t Work.

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Arthur Scargill addressing mining industry workers in London.

“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.

Written by Peter Reynolds

September 15, 2013 at 9:24 am

Hope Springs From Colorado And Washington

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After a long night watching the election results come in, my heart bursting with joy at the news from Colorado and Washington, it was time to take the dogs for a walk.

On top of the hill, way over in the west I can definitely see hope shining out.

There was time for just a few tears, then back to work…

Written by Peter Reynolds

November 7, 2012 at 1:12 pm

WANTED. DEAD OR ALIVE.

with 15 comments

For gross violation of all the ethics of friendship.

For deserting his friends and mates and running off to the US of A.

For flagrantly, negligently and with smug aforethought, glorifying in his experience of Colorado’s finest farms, dispensaries and marijuana with no thought whatsoever for the misery and dereliction of his chums…

Left behind…

In Blighty.

THIS MAN MUST BE CAUGHT!

Written by Peter Reynolds

May 9, 2011 at 11:17 pm

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