October 5, 2012
Peter Reynolds on Cannabis, freedom and the law. Peter is leader of the UK political party CLEAR, a single issue party that seeks an end to the prohibition of cannabis. We discuss the history of cannabis prohibition, widespread ignorance and disinformation concerning cannabis, five thousand years of its recreational and medicinal use, risks vs benefits and prospects for decriminalisation. (Click below to listen)
CLEAR’s aims and objectives:
1. To end the prohibition of cannabis.
Prohibition is a big, dumb, and very expensive failure. It is brutal. It puts prejudice before people. The ‘war on drugs’ is responsible for more death, destruction and despair than it has ever prevented. History has shown that prohibition creates far more problems than it solves. In the 21st century we should expect far better solutions from our policy makers and governments.
2. To promote as a matter of urgency and compassion the prescription of medicinal cannabis by doctors.
No reasonable human being can deny another relief from pain, suffering or disability. There is no rational argument against permitting access to medicinal cannabis for those who need it. The fact that the British government and the deeply rooted bureaucracy of the Home Office stand in the way is a deep and lasting shame on our nation.
3. To introduce a system of regulation for the production and supply of cannabis based on facts and evidence.
Authoritative research from the Independent Drug Monitoring Unit proves that a cannabis tax and regulate regime in Britain would produce a boost to the UK economy of at least £6 billion per annum. That’s based on a cannabis tax of £1 per gram, massive savings in law enforcement costs but allowing for the cost of administering the system and providing additional healthcare and education services. All the evidence and experts agree that a responsibly regulated system would also reduce all health and social harms.
4. To encourage the production and use of industrial hemp.
The prohibition of cannabis has caused huge damage to our society, environment and economy by preventing the cultivation of hemp. Although the industrial strains of the plant have no psychoactive potential, the absurd level of control has effectively destroyed its value as an agricultural crop. With that we have lost the most efficient producer of biomass in the natural world, the strongest natural fibre, a better fabric than cotton, a better paper than wood and one of the most ecologically important activities on the planet.
5. To educate and inform about the uses and benefits of cannabis.
Prejudice is based on ignorance. In the case of cannabis there is also deliberate misinformation. It started with Randolph Hearst, the media, timber and oil magnate of the 1930s and it continues today with the vested interests of alcohol, tobacco, Big Pharma and, yes, media, timber and oil. The truth about cannabis is clear and we have to spread the truth in the face of ignorance and lies.