15 Jun 2015

The march of prohibition faces its first real hurdle

It's always been a given in British politics: Any new law designed to crack down on drug 'abuse' is passed almost without debate, it's pretty a safe bet that no-one would ever dare challenge such moral high ground proposals. Until now. From a drug law reformers point of view it's been really encouraging to see the almost universal derision poured onto the new 'psychoactive Substances Bill', the proposal to ban the sale of 'New psychoactive substances' (NPS), the...

13 Jun 2015

So why the decline in Cannabis use?

A couple of weeks ago the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction published a report on the rates of drug use in Europe (European Drug Report 2015: Trends and Developments) which contained an interesting snippet of information: Cannabis use in the UK is dropping and has been for the past 15 years. The reaction on CLEAR's Facebook page was close to outrage with many people saying how it couldn't be true because everyone they knew smoked,...

07 Jun 2015

Add More Prohibition To UK Drugs Policy. A Recipe For Disaster.

Unique amongst western democracies, the UK is reinforcing its 'war on drugs' with the most inane blanket ban on anything that has a psychoactive effect.In the face of all the evidence - even of Ireland and Poland which have seen similar, recent policies resulting in increased hard drug use and a crime wave - the buffoons at the Home Office and No.10 are pressing ahead.The result will be more criminal markets, more misery, more death, more crime,...

24 May 2015

General Election Aftermath – Have The Lights Gone Out All Over The Country?

Oh dear, the Tories won the general election with a working majority, lights are going out all over the country, we are doomed. London following the general election of 2015 (from pinhost) Or something like that. Throughout the last Parliament progress was being made, at least with regard to CLEAR's very focused campaign to allow herbal cannabis in the form of Bedrocan to be made available to ill people via a doctor's prescription. CLEAR made representations to...

16 May 2015

Drugs Policy Goes To Police Minister

The Home Office has confirmed that responsibility for the UK drugs strategy goes to Mike Penning, MP for Hemel Hempstead, the Minister for Policing, Crime and Criminal Justice. This must be indicative of the attitude that we can expect from the new Conservative government. It would seem that this is a hardening of drugs policy as being a criminal justice issue rather than something to do with health. Ironically, Penning is MP for a constituency that...

14 May 2015

The UK Drugs Stategy Is In Limbo

Who is to be the new drugs minister? No word yet from David Cameron. I have been calling the Home Office every day since the election and the answer is always the same – 'no appointment has been made, it is expected within the coming days'. Responsibility for the drugs strategy rests with the Minister of State for Crime Prevention. At least it did throughout the last Parliament. That gave us the horror of arch-prohibitionist James...

08 May 2015

I Have Had The Most Terrible Post-Election Nightmare.

Julian Huppert, Norman Baker, Lynne Featherstone Following the General Election of 7th May our principal allies on the Liberal Democrat benches have all lost their seats. Quickly now, the government will be formed. No surprise that Theresa May has already been reappointed Home Secretary but who will the junior Home Office ministers be? Brokenshire may leave for another department. He's probably due for a promotion. It would be very good to see the...

22 Apr 2015

If you really want to legalise cannabis, then why on earth would you go and get high in a park?

Originally published in the Independent 22nd April 2015 Embarrassing displays of public consumption like the 420 celebrations are not going to lead to meaningful drug reform, but I know what will > Peter Reynolds, Leader of CLEAR Thousands of people gathered in Hyde Park yesterday to mark the yearly event of 420, and protest against the UK's cannabis laws. 420 is an American code word for cannabis with very esoteric, bizarre and not very interesting origins. However,...

11 Apr 2015

MS Society, Cannabis And The SATIVEX Scam.

In the week just gone, on 8th April, Peter Reynolds of CLEAR was interviewed on BBC Radio Kent. Peter was on the programme to talk about CLEAR's recent publication Medicinal Cannabis: The Evidence Also appearing on the show was Nick Rijke, Director of Policy and Research for the MS Society. Now you would expect Nick to be especially well informed about the cannabis debate because of the history it has within the society. Cannabis has been...

11 Apr 2015

Cannabis Saves Lives.

CLEAR has published a revised and updated version of its leaflet on medicinal cannabis. This will shortly be available for purchase and for inclusion in membership packs. As with the previous version we shall also be carrying our carefully targeted and timed leafleting campaigns. Each year we choose a relevant day to saturate Parliament Square and Whitehall with the CLEAR message. If you have an event or an opportunity to distribute leaflets, please...