When Campaigners Take Sides They End Up Outside
An Opinion Piece From CLEAR Member Graham Smith
The very best thing about being a cannabis campaigner is the diversity of people you get to rub shoulders with and the variety of viewpoints you get to hear. When you know something to be unjust, unfair or blatantly incorrect it raises your hackles and motivates you to do more in order to get your point of view across. My extended and dissatisfactory discourse with my M.P. about cannabis related issues has been a complete eye opener to me. I was gobsmacked at the complete and utter indifference with which politicians of nearly all creeds hold their constituents in contempt. In the white heat of animated debate almost anybody can be wrongly perceived as the enemy and it is sometimes the case that we can unintentionally alienate people who are valuable to the cause which we are attempting to achieve.
When I paid my dollar and joined CLEAR it was because I had been sick and tired of being lied to by successive Governments about drugs of all kinds. I liked the work that CLEAR were doing and got “involved”. The divisions of opinion at CLEAR were obvious from the word go. I wont rehash all these old arguments but suffice it to say that they effectively led to the formation of NORML UK. I was dismissive about the chances of this new cannabis campaign ever amounting to much and publicly said so in an opinion piece posted on here a few months ago. I am very pleased to say that I was proved wrong. NORML UK after a shaky start has hosted some good debates and got loads of people involved in cannabis related matters.
When the “Cannabis Reduces Youngsters IQ by 8 Points” story broke a few weeks ago NORML UK and CLEAR were both given opportunities to use the sensationalism of this rather stupid story to make the argument against prohibition on the radio and in the press and both did so effectively and more importantly both giving the exact same message which we all know to be right. We have a very valid argument and if repeated often enough and loud enough public opinion will change to allow reform. This is the very nature of successful campaigning and the positive media coverage of our opinions is our reward.
During the internal arguments we were having earlier on this year one of the many things CLEAR and Peter Reynolds were pilloried for was not fielding candidates in elections. Well this week, after canvassing opinions, Peter has thrown his hat into the ring at the Corby by-election. An excellent article appeared in the main local paper about this earlier on today and is worth a read HERE. Also look at the comments.
I dont think anyone interested in law reform would have an issue with this article. It quotes the press release almost word for word without any distortion of the facts.
The people who I know first hand were involved with the attempt to remove Peter Reynolds from office are so petty and jealous that they are now mounting some sort of a sour grapes campaign to sabotage what is going to be the most public chance of cannabis law reformers getting heard for over a decade. The message in the paper was the identical message they preach themselves but these people use the opportunity not to endorse what is being said but once again to attack Peter Reynolds personally.
Where, oh where were these same people only a month ago when Peter Hitchens was pontificating in the hated Daily Mail? Were they protesting? Were they up in arms about his lies? NO! I will tell you where. They were sat on their lazy arses being silent, probably stoned (my apologies and thanks here to those who did speak out). These people are very fond of referring to themselves as “activists” or “campaigners” but sadly they are neither of these things. They are vindictive and useless counterproductive haters of the vilest kind without scruples or morals or even the sense to know when to quit. They can find it in themselves gratuitously to attack Peter Reynolds but can’t find the time to contradict the Daily Mail.
Their attempts to sabotage the work of CLEAR and its members is a disgrace. A nasty, selfish reflection on their own inability or willingness to put their hands to the wheel with the rest of us and personal differences to one side to achieve something.
JUST WHOSE SIDE ARE THESE PEOPLE ON??????? It certainly makes me wonder.
When these awful individuals picked sides they have inadvertently picked the outside and after their recent behaviour that is EXACTLY where we should let them remain.