16 May A Welcome Note To The New Drugs Minister

—– Original Message —–
From: Peter Reynolds
To: [email protected]
Sent: Monday, May 16, 2011 1:31 PM
Subject: Cannabis

Dear Baroness Browning,

Congratulations on your appointment to the Home Office ministerial team.

Now that you have taken over responsibility for the Drugs Strategy from Mr Brokenshire, millions of people in Britain are hoping to see a move away from prohibition towards a safer, more responsible policy for tax and regulation of cannabis.

Prohibition is a quasi-socialist, nanny-state idea that has no place in either Conservative or Liberal policy. It is also an abject failure that creates division in society and promotes organised crime. Over the last 40 years, the British government has gifted billions every year to criminals and created a massive unregulated market which has led to huge costs in law enforcement and massive social harm. Even in the face of the Daily Mail “Reefer Madness” propaganda, there is no public support for the irrational and costly policy of prohibition. A poll last year showed 70% in favour of legal regulation. It is time for government to grasp this nettle.

Much more urgent though is the necessity to permit the prescription of medicinal cannabis by doctors. The evidence of medicinal benefits is now overwhelming. Dozens of peer reviewed, published scientific studies show quite remarkable results in a wide range of conditions. You may be aware in your own work that cannabis is now being widely used as a therapy for autism. Also, in Alzheimer’s, THC, one of the principal active ingredients of cannabis, is proven to slow progress of the disease more effectively than any currently approved pharmaceutical product.

The endless, inane repetition that “there are no medicinal benefits in herbal cannabis” makes the government look ridiculous. It is also deeply cruel and unjust, particularly when residents of other EU countries can import and use medicinal cannabis in Britain under the protection of the Schengen Agreement. Co-ordinated legal action against the government is now being planned. This is an absurd policy which will shortly be subject to judicial review – unless you can do the right thing first and save everybody a lot of time and money.

I am the leader of Cannabis Law Reform (CLEAR), a UK political party that advocates an end to prohibition. I have attached a copy of our recently published leaflet on medicinal cannabis. I hope you will take the time to read this.

As you will be aware, there is widespread support in the House of Lords for drug law reform and such change is inevitable. It looks certain that at at least one state in the US will legalise next year and then common sense will spread across the world.

Please could I arrange a meeting to discuss these issues with you? I would like to show you the latest evidence both of medicinal benefits and of the relative safety of cannabis. We are about to publish an independent study proving that a tax and regulate regime would boost the UK economy by at least £6 billion per annum. The present policy just cannot be sustained any longer.

I do hope you will arrange to meet with me.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Reynolds