16 Jul 2016

May Brings A Fresh Start To The Cannabis Campaign.

Would that we were in spring looking forward to a splendid summer. Instead, in mid-July we are heading into autumn towards what looks like a stern, drab and ominous future.   Theresa May is prime minister, perhaps the worst nightmare for those who seek cannabis law reform. You have to admire her first few days though. What you see is what you get. She is smart, calculated and very, very certain about the nature of the government she will lead.  I have no doubt she...

27 Jun 2016

Nanny State? Tabloid Lies? Now, So-Called Reformers Are Doing It For Themselves.

Skunk scaremongering is blossoming again. This time though it's not dire warnings from the Home Office or the Institute of Psychiatry drumming up some new research funding. It's not even the Daily Mail or, more likely these days, the Daily Telegraph, misreporting some obscure study and turning every 'might' and 'may' and 'could' into terrible, scary certainty. No, this time it's the newbie intake of...

24 Jun 2016

Seismic Shift In UK Politics Re-Opens Door To Cannabis Law Reform.

Whichever way you voted in the EU referendum, it has at least opened up all possibilities for cannabis law reform. The dissolution of the coalition government and the unexpected Tory majority last year had really put the block on progress. The Liberal Democrats failed to take the opportunities they had while in government.  So sad that only now they are discredited and decimated in Parliament have they really got their cannabis policy...

20 May 2016

The Sickening Cruelty Of UK Drugs Policy.

Hats off to Coronation Street for the fantastic job they are doing on the Izzy and medicinal cannabis story. This storyline is beautifully paced, very powerful, deeply emotional and is doing wonders for the cause of those who need cannabis as medicine. After so many years of disappointment at the way the media have treated this issue, the producers and scriptwriters at Corrie are excelling themselves.  They have shown how cannabis has very real therapeutic benefits, how the law humiliates...

15 May 2016

A Real Cannabis Crime.

Out walking my dogs this week I had spotted a black plastic bag dumped by the side of the road  that runs along the crest above my house.  My suspicions were confirmed today when I took a closer look.  It contained two or three rootballs and over the fence, what I hadn't noticed before, were another six or seven bags.  It was the remnants of someone's cannabis grow and it had been left in a remote spot, four or five miles from the closest village, 10 miles from the...

22 Mar 2016

‘Poppers Are Not Psychoactive’. The Arrogant Madness Of UK Drugs Policy

If you want something slightly less psychoactive than poppers, I suggest you try a crack pipe. Seriously, poppers produce an instantaneous high as powerful and intense as anything I have ever known. Cannabis, alcohol, even cocaine are mild and gentle compared to the rush that you get from inhaling the vapour from a bottle of poppers.  Maybe crack or crystal meth are stronger.  I don’t claim knowledge at that extreme end of drugs experiences. It’s well established fact that successive UK governments...

10 Mar 2016

CLEAR Response To the Liberal Democrats’ Proposals For Cannabis Regulation

CLEAR welcomes the Liberal Democrats' proposals which can be seen here. We set out below a few comments which we intend to be constructive. We represent more than 600,000 people who support cannabis law reform. Our own publication, 'How to Regulate Cannabis in Britain' is now in its second edition. It is based on independent, expert research which we commissioned from the Independent Drug Monitoring Unit, published as 'Taxing the UK Cannabis Market'. Comments on 'A framework for a...

08 Mar 2016

LibDem Cannabis Policy – A Different Argument For Cannabis Law Reform

There are and always have been two incompatible extremes of opinion amongst people who support cannabis law reform. On the one hand there are those who view cannabis as something best handled by the free market, sold with branding and advertising like any commodity and on the other those who view it as essentially undesirable, something which out of necessity has to be tolerated but which should be discouraged as much as possible. Both extremes want cannabis legalised, but...

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...