18 Oct House Of Commons, Drugs Policy Debate. VITAL You Write To Your MP

HOUSE-OF-COMMONS

On Thursday, 30th October 2014, MPs will debate drugs policy in the main chamber of the House of Commons. This is the first opportunity for years to ask your MP to represent you directly in the House on this subject. It is absolutely vital that you take this chance and make your views clear.

Set out below is a template letter that follows CLEAR policy. Please use it as a guide and adjust it as you wish. It will be more effective if you do add some of your own words and personalise it. The most important thing is that you do write and you do insist on reform.

You can use the website writetothem.com which automates the whole process of emailing your MP

Or, for better effect, go to the parliament.uk website, find your MP’s email address and write directly.

Always remember to include your postal address in an email to your MP so they can verify you are a constituent.

We’d be grateful if you’d cc CLEAR at this special email address: [email protected]

What Is The Debate About?

The debate arises, after years of Labour and Tory governments evading any discussion on the subject, from an e-petition started by Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP. This achieved over 130,000 signatures, most in the last few days after it was, famously, shared by Russell Brand. It had hovered around 30,000 for about a year.

The petition calls for

” the Government to commission an authoritative and independent cost-benefit analysis and impact assessment of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 within the next 12 months, in order to provide the evidence for Parliament to pursue a more effective drugs policy in the future.”

So this will likely be the motion that will be voted on after the debate and, of course, we want this “cost-benefit analysis and impact assessment” to go ahead and, crucially, it must be “independent”. So make sure you ask your MP to vote in favour. However, during the debate, any aspect of drugs policy may be discussed so also ask your MP to make any points that you particularly want heard. Naturally, in the template letter below we have focused on cannabis with the emphasis on medicinal use but we have made the wider point as well.

Please don’t miss this opportunity!

Template Letter/Email.

Dear [insert MP’s name],

Drugs Policy Debate, 30th October 2014

I am writing to ask you to represent my views in this important debate and to vote in favour of an independent cost-benefit analysis and impact assessment of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 within the next 12 months.

UK drugs policy is a disastrous failure as agreed by just about everybody except those in government who run it. Prohibition is a proven failure which is like a cancer in society as it turns the police against the communities and people they are supposed to protect. Although some drug use is down, the rise in dangerous legal highs is caused exactly because people cannot access relatively safe substances such as cannabis and MDMA (ecstasy).

My main concern is cannabis, against which we fight a futile, expensive war and in the process cause far more harm than cannabis ever can. Most urgently it is quite disgusting that we deny access to those who need cannabis as medicine. For 15 years, successive governments have told sick people they must wait for an approved cannabis medicine or they will be prosecuted. Now, Sativex is available but at such a high price that NICE has recommended against it while people can grow exactly the same thing at home for pennies. This must change and it must change immediately. Please speak in the House on this and support the idea of allowing people to import Bedrocan medicinal cannabis from Holland when prescribed by a doctor.

It is vital to retaining my vote that you do speak in favour of reform. I can no longer accept this issue being swept under the carpet. On the question of hard drugs, in 1971 we had 3,000 problematic drug addicts, now we have 350,000. This is the result of the dreadful policy we have pursued. It must stop now.

I shall be watching the debate and I ask you again to ensure you represent my views.

Yours sincerely,