03 Jul Cameron On Cannabis Part 7

Cameron On Cannabis Part 6 is here.

For those following this correspondence stage by stage, I wrote to Mr Cameron on 5th April and having received no reply wrote again on 26th April.

On 3rd May a letter in reply was sent from the infamous “Mrs E. Adams”, now known to be a mythical figure and an invention of 10, Downing Street. She thanked me for my letter of 5th April and said:

“Your correspondence is currently under consideration.”

Well the consideration has now lasted two months, during which time Mr Cameron’s untruths about cannabis have been eclipsed by astonishing performances from two of his MPs.

Nadine Dorries easily qualifies as the most embarrassingly bad Tory MP of this parliament. After cuckolding and then abandoning her husband as he was diagnosed with MS, she has now been revealed as paying £50,000 of taxpayer’s money to a close friend in extremely dubious circumstances. Arithmetic is not her strong point. On Any Questions at the beginning of June she said the cannabis available today is “50 times stronger” than it used to be and that smoking just one spliff will “prevent a child from reaching its full educational potential”. Her own words and actions tell the truth about her far more effectively than anything I could say.

Then, just a few days later came perhaps the most serious gaffe ever made by an MP on anything to do with drugs. The evidently well-intentioned but seriously misguided MP for Broxbourne, Charles Walker, has been put under a spell by the wicked witch Mary Brett. He moved his adjournment debate on “Cannabis and Psychosis (Young People)” and every word he spoke came straight from Ms Brett’s library of cod science, misinformation, inaccuracy and, it has to be said, deliberate untruths. He reached the nadir of his parliamentary career when he suggested that snorting cocaine was better for children than cannabis.

So I have written to Mr Cameron again. It really is time that he addresses this issue and gives a proper response. It is shameful that our government appears so utterly incompetent on the entire drugs issue. It is like a rabbit caught in headlights, scared stiff to say or do anything. On hard drugs, it is clinging to an absurd objective of abstinence and abandoning the policy of harm reduction, now internationally recognised as the right way forward. British drugs policy is a shambles. We, the people are now the victims of a repressive and medieval regime which stops only just short of Iran, China, Malaysia and Singapore in its brutality and stupidity. We are afflicted with a myopic determination to fritter away taxpayers’ money on a moral crusade based only on prejudice and propaganda. As for the Liberal Democrats and their deafening silence on the subject, well, has any political force ever disgraced itself more thoroughly in shame and abject cowardice?

Dear Mr Cameron,

I refer to my earlier letters of 26th February, 9th and 16th March, 5th and 26th April 2011. These concern the statements you made about cannabis in your Al Jazeera YouTube interview.

Your office replied to me on 3rd May 2011 stating “Your correspondence is currently under consideration”. I have heard nothing since.

In the meantime, both Nadine Dorries and Charles Walker have made shockingly inaccurate and misleading statements about cannabis. In Mr Walker’s case he made the dreadful mistake of suggesting it is safer to use cocaine than cannabis. Leadership is desperately needed here. Mr Cameron you, your party and the government need to start telling the truth about cannabis.

Most urgently you need to permit the prescription of medicinal cannabis by doctors. It is cruel to deny what is now universally recognised as a safe and effective medicine to people in pain and suffering. What right have politicians have to stand in the way of a doctor’s prescription? This is a shameful policy that only makes the government look foolish. If you are concerned about “sending the right message” then start by ending this now. All that you need to do is instruct the Home Office drugs licensing department to grant an import licence when an application to import medicinal cannabis is supported by a doctor’s prescription.

I speak on behalf of millions of people in Britain who want to see a safer, more responsible cannabis policy that will care for the sick, protect children and the vulnerable, control quality and safety and stop surrendering billions every year to organised crime.

It is important to correct the statements made on YouTube. Look how your example has led to even worse from Ms Dorries and Mr Walker. Cannabis is not “very, very toxic” and there is only a very small risk of mental health problems. Alcohol, tobacco and even energy drinks are much more damaging.

Please remember, cannabis was the second most popular question on Al Jazeera YouTube. It matters to people. They deserve to be told the truth and not pointed to tabloid scare stories.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Reynolds

Please write to your MP and send him or her a copy of my letter to David Cameron. Ask him to ask Mr Cameron for an answer.

You can download and print a pdf of my letter here.