23 Nov 2015

Prevent: Radicalisation, The Role Of Criminal Gangs And The War On Drugs.

Back in August I wrote an article for CLEAR entitled "The Real Dark Side Of Prohibition" (Read it here). It focused on the way prohibition encourages people to into secretive lifestyles Being involved in illegal sub-cultures has a set of rules: In order to keep your contacts secure obviously there has to be a code of silence, you are also at risk of being exposed as a criminal yourself should you speak out. In addition...

16 Nov 2015

How to Respond to MPs’ Standard Approach on Cannabis

André Gomes During the build-up to the cannabis debate that took place on Monday, 12th October, we asked CLEAR members to contact their Members of Parliament (MPs) to ensure their interests were properly represented. Many of the responses received were much the same as we have been seeing for years. There are standardised paragraphs used on the subject of cannabis, the same even from different parties. Besides the typically embellished and politically neutral answers, I...

07 Nov 2015

Another Pack Of Lies On Cannabis From The UK Government.

Yet another cannabis petition amongst hundreds of similar pleas was filed earlier this autumn. This one though is more tightly focused on removing cannabis from schedule 1, which defines it as having no medicinal value. The petition is also commendably concise but characterises itself as a 'demand' that cannabis be rescheduled, an unfortunate choice of words. Nevertheless, congratulations are due in that it has exceeded the threshold of 10,000 signatures which means the government must...

01 Nov 2015

The Duplicity And Deceit Of UK Drugs Policy

On 12th October, after more than 220,000 people had signed a government e-petition calling for cannabis to be legalised, Mike Penning MP, the drugs minister, responded to the debate. He said: "I have every sympathy for my friends and members of my family who have had MS and the terrible pain and anguish that they go through because of an incurable disease. So I start from the premise of having sympathy. Let us see what we can...

09 Oct 2015

On The Eve Of The Cannabis Debate, CLEAR Meets Top Government Minister.

Oliver Letwin MP, Cabinet Office Minister. Peter Reynolds, President of CLEAR Today, Friday 9th October, in advance of Monday's cannabis debate in Parliament, I met with Oliver Letwin, the Cabinet Office minister with responsibility for the implementation of government policy. According to The Independent, Oliver Letwin is "probably the most powerful person in the government after the Prime Minister and Chancellor". I first met with him back in July and he agreed to investigate the...

29 Sep 2015

The Weak And Ineffectual Response Of Most MPs To The Cannabis Debate

CLEAR has been mobilising its members as never before to lobby their MPs in advance of the cannabis debate on 12th October. There are honourable exceptions but most responses have been unhelpful, dismissive and have completely failed to deal with the arguments put forward. Most MPs are indoctrinated with the false reporting churned out by the press, scared stiff of the subject and not prepared to look any deeper. It is a terrible indictment of these people,...

18 Sep 2015

Guidance On How To Lobby Your MP For The Cannabis Debate.

In the UK the only democratic power you have is through your MP. The arcane nature of our Parliament and the unaccountability of MPs makes that sad and depressing but it is reality. The only alternative routes to power are to spend millions on advertising and PR or to chance on gaining the fickle and unreliable support of the popular media. So, it is to your MP you must turn if you want to exercise influence in...

08 Sep 2015

Cannabis Debate On 12th October 2015. Now Is The Time To Contact Your MP.

Today (8th September) the House of Commons Petitions Committee agreed to hold a debate in response to the cannabis petition. It will take place on 12th October 2015 in Westminster Hall and it will be led by Paul Flynn, the veteran MP for Newport West, who has been campaigning for cannabis law reform for more than 25 years. Four years ago this month, Paul was instrumental in the launch of the CLEAR Plan 'How To Regulate Cannabis...

25 Aug 2015

UK Government Response To Cannabis Petition: Fatuous, Dishonest And Misleading.

This article appeared on Politics UK 26th August 2015 Peter Reynolds Over 203,000 people have signed the petition on the government's website to 'Make the production, sale and use of cannabis legal'. All petitions that pass 100,000 signatures are considered for a debate in the House of Commons and when MPs return from their summer break, the petitions committee will have a hard time refusing a debate on a petition that has doubled the required threshold....

21 Aug 2015

Now The Cannabis Petition Has Passed 200,000, What Can You Do Next?

It's a great achievement that together we have doubled the the number of signatures required for a debate on cannabis legalisation to be 'considered'. But it's not over yet. The government and many MPs will fight tooth and nail to stop any debate. You can be sure that the alcohol industry is already lobbying ministers furiously. It is terrified that there could be a much safer, healthier and legal alternative to its poisonous products. So...