10 Jan An Open Invitation To Debate CLEAR Policy

Amongst the wilder, more delusional misinformation about CLEAR that has been put around recently is a rather more valid concern – that we will accept no debate, input or suggestions on our policies and particularly the CLEAR Plan for the Regulation of Cannabis in Britain .

In fact, at the very beginning of the document it says:

This is a plan for the regulation of the cannabis supply chain in Britain. It has been developed in conjunction with the Independent Drug Monitoring Unit (IDMU) report “Taxingthe UK Cannabis Market” (TUKCM). However, it is not entirely synchronous with that report nor is it set in stone. The development of such a plan is an iterative process thatrequires expertise from many areas. An expert committee should be established bygovernment to finalise a working implementation of these proposals.

It is and always has been a discussion document and we would be delighted to hear from other campaigners, groups or individuals with their ideas as to how it might be improved. If you think it should be scrapped and we should start again from scratch, that’s fine too. Please leave your views here – not just on the CLEAR plan but on all policies.

The plan was developed through consultation with about a dozen people, all with a lot of experience and knowledge. It was extensively edited through the process and, as is usually the case with such projects, everyone disagreed with something. No one was entirely happy with the result. That is inevitable. Politics is the art of compromise.

Those who think that cannabis should be treated like tomatoes or carrots are particularly incensed at the proposal for domestic cultivation licences. I completely agree. Anyone can brew their own wine or beer at home without a licence, so why should you have to have one for cannabis which is much safer ? What business is it of anyone what plants you chose to grow in your own home, greenhouse or garden?

This part of the plan, as the whole document, was an effort to move the issue along, with a constructive proposal that might encourage the government to engage and consider the idea. However unfair such a situation would be, if you paid £120 per annum for a licence and that stopped people getting arrested and allowed sick people to grow the medicine they need without fear, then surely that would be a good thing?

Anyway, this your chance to have your say. Even if you’re not a member, we want to hear from you. We are now finalising arrangements for our 2012 national conference at which this will be one of the major debates. The conference is for members only but we will take on board all comments and suggestions made here.

CLEAR is the first organisation ever to put forward a fully costed and detailed plan for the regulation of cannabis in Britain. I’m not surprised that not everyone agrees with it. I have been up and down the length and breadth of Britain in the past year speaking in town centres, public venues, pubs and clubs . We are eager to debate the issue with everyone and I shall continue to travel and speak to people all over the county in 2012.

Please have your say.