03 Sep PRESS RELEASE – CLEAR To Contest The Corby By-Election

3rd September 2012

CLEAR To Contest The Corby By-Election

Peter Reynolds, who was elected as leader of CLEAR in February 2011, will stand as a candidate in the forthcoming Corby & East Northamptonshire by-election, expected to take place on 15th November 2012.

CLEAR is a single issue political party which seeks an end to the prohibition of cannabis, most urgently by allowing doctors to prescribe it as medicine. It also advocates a tax and regulate policy on cannabis which would minimise all health and social harms, provide far better protection for childen and contribute a net gain to the UK ecomony of up to £9.3 billion per annum.

Last week a major international study confirmed that cannabis could be harmful to children but the real news was that one of the authors, Professor Terrie Moffitt of the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College London, said: “…cannabis is safe for over-18 brains…”

Peter Reynolds said:

“We hope to be a focus for the protest vote against the main political parties. The cannabis issue is a perfect example of how they are completely out of touch with the electorate. They refuse to listen to public opinion. They refuse to base policy on evidence. Instead they are more concerned with how they are portrayed in the media and with vested interests such as the alcohol and pharmaceutical industries.”

The present MP for Corby, Louise Mensch, demonstrated the blatant hypocrisy that pervades the political elite when she was recently questioned about her past drug use. Effectively she said ‘Don’t do I as I do, do as I say’. Then, no doubt, she went off to consume the most dangerous, harmful and addictive drug of all in parliament’s taxpayer-subsidised bars.

The misinformation and dishonest propaganda against cannabis was highlighted in the Corby area recently when Northamptonshire Police issued a false statement to the media claiming that the odour released by cannabis plants has “carcinogenic properties”. CLEAR submitted a formal complaint to the police and made several complaints to the Press Complaints Commission. As a result, Northamptonshire Police issued an apology and corrections were published in the press.

CLEAR published independent, expert research in September 2011 which shows that:

  • over 30% of all adults use cannabis in their lifetime
  • over 3 million adults use cannabis at least once per month
  • over 3 tonnes of cannabis is consumed in Britain every day
  • approx £500 million pa is spent on the criminal justice system for cannabis alone

Peter Reynolds said:

“All the evidence shows that where adults have legally regulated access to cannabis, consumption by children is lower and age at first use is higher. The only ID a dealer asks for is a £20 note. Present policy is dangerous and irresponsible and creates an unregulated £6 billion black market. Our political leaders have abandoned our children to organised crime because they are scared stiff of the tabloid press and of pressure from the alcohol industry. As Professor David Nutt said recently, if cannabis was legally regulated than alcohol consumption could fall by up to 25%. That would transform public health in Britain and save the NHS billions.”

An overwhelming quantity of peer-reviewed scientific evidence now proves the efficacy of cannabis as medicine in a wide range of conditions such as MS, Crohn’s disease, chronic pain conditions, particularly neuropathic pain and many others. GW Pharmaceuticals has been granted a monopoly of medicinal cannabis in Britain with its 51% THC extract of super-concentrated skunk cannabis known as Sativex. It is sold to the NHS at 10 times the price that organised crime sells cannabis on the streets. Together with the Home Office and the MHRA, GW Pharma is engaged in a disinformation campaign claiming that Sativex is not cannabis and that it does not produce a “high” in patients who use it. These dishonest claims are contradicted by the statutory product information.

CLEAR is a UK political party registered with the Electoral Commission. With nearly 15,000 registered supporters it is now the largest membership-based drug reform group that Britain has ever seen. Its aims and objectives are:

  1. To end the prohibition of cannabis.
  2. To promote as a matter of urgency and compassion the prescription of medicinal cannabis by doctors.
  3. To introduce a system of regulation for the production and supply of cannabis based on facts and evidence.
  4. To encourage the production and use of industrial hemp.
  5. To educate and inform about the uses and benefits of cannabis.

Much more information is available on the CLEAR website: www.clear-uk.org.

Taxing the UK Cannabis Market – the most authoritative, up to date, independent, expert research on cannabis in Britain: /wp-content/previous/media/uploads/2011/09/TaxUKCan.pdf

A CLEAR Plan for the Regulation of Cannabis in Britain- a discussion document proposing a system of regulation for cannabis: /wp-content/previous/media/uploads/2011/09/CLEARplan.pdf