28 Apr The Drugs Inquiry Must Hear The Truth About Cannabis

What has it heard so far?

From Sir Richard Branson: “Skunk is too strong”.

From Professor Clare Gerada: “Cannabis causes lung cancer. It causes oesophageal cancer. It causes failure at school.”.

From Kathy Gyngell: “Skunk causes psychosis”.

It hasn’t all been so negative. Sir Richard did say that “normal marijuana” (whatever that is), is safer than alcohol. Professor Gerada said ““I don’t see a lot of problem cannabis users”. Chip Somers, of Focus 12 rehab, said “cannabis is the one drug where you could make a case for legalisation”.

Overall though, the evidence about cannabis has been negative, incomplete and lacking in knowledge and expertise. The inquiry is making the dreadful mistake of lumping all drugs together as one. Where is the evidence about the medicinal use of cannabis or about regulation, as an alternative to prohibition or legalisation?

If the inquiry fails to hear evidence on these issues then it will be a serious mistake.

Transform is due to give evidence next week so we can expect the regulation argument to get a hearing. But Transform has a blind spot about medicinal cannabis and its policy forces it to lump all drugs together as one. It has no appreciation of the unique nature of cannabis. No other drug is so relatively harmless and has so much positive therapeutic value. Many millions of British citizens use cannabis responsibly with no negative impact on themselves or society in general. These facts are not being considered by the inquiry.

That so much of the written evidence has addressed these issues but none is being brought forward in the oral evidence is strange, to say the least. It smacks of censorship, of a predetermination of what evidence the inquiry wants to hear.

I have written to Keith Vaz again, asking him, again, to call me to give evidence. I am not optimistic that he will. I fear that he does not want to hear what I have to say. Even more, he does not want the truth about the Home Office’s disinformation and corrupt relationship with GW Pharmaceuticals to be aired.

In a few short sentences, with a few simple facts and figures, I could blow apart the cover of lies and propaganda under which present cannabis policy hides. I don’t think Mr Vaz has the courage to deal with that. I don’t think he is interested in the truth. I don’t think he has any ambition for this inquiry other than to raise his personal profile and enhance his career.

I hope I am wrong. However, more importantly, what can we do?

If Vaz does subvert the purpose of this inquiry for his own self-aggrandisement, then our aim must be to make it the biggest mistake of his career. Far, far better would be to make him see sense, take responsibility and perform his role with integrity and honour. To that end, I urge all CLEAR supporters to write to Vaz and demand that he calls expert evidence on cannabis.

Write to him here:

[email protected]

Copy your email to all members of the Home Affairs select committee by pasting these email addresses into the “cc” field.

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