Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Boris To Back Cannabis?

with 14 comments

I believe the stars are aligned. The time is right.  Cannabis law reform has become a political opportunity instead of a problem and Boris Johnson is the politician who could exploit it for his personal advantage but also for great benefit to the whole nation.

Public opinion is now clearly onside. According to the latest poll, twice as many people (48%) support legalisation as oppose it, an overwhelming 77% support legal access to cannabis as medicine and 22% support legalising ‘grow-your-own’.

Remarkably this poll was commissioned by the newly-formed Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group, a development which itself shows how dramatically opinion has changed, even amongst the party of government.

The headlines around Michael Gove’s past use of cocaine led to an outpouring of confessions from politicians of all parties and those who admitted to consuming cannabis brushed it aside as of little consequence.

The evidence coming from Colorado, which legalised five years ago, is very clear that legalisation works and there have been no significant negative consequences. In Canada and California, which legalised more recently, aside from teething troubles, everything is looking good.

The economic case for legalisation is very strong with estimates predicting at least £1 billion up to as much as £7 billion net gain from additional tax revenue and reduced law enforcement costs.

The thunderous clamour from international business is becoming deafening.  If the UK doesn’t catch up with the fast-moving pace of reform it is going to lose out very significantly.

It’s clear the police have absolutely no interest, nor the resources, to enforce the laws against personal possession, consumption or low-level cultivation of cannabis.

I hear from a very close and reliable source who works in the criminal courts every day, that throughout the system, judges, barristers, solicitors, police officers, probation workers, everyone thinks that there is no point in enforcing these laws anymore and they do more harm than good.

So, if next week Boris Johnson becomes PM, then probably on 31st October, if not very shortly afterwards, we will leave the EU.  Then we will have a General Election because he cannot miss the opportunity while the Labour Party is in its present state of self-destruction.

A new Boris Johnson government will be radical.  He will want to assert his credentials as a liberal and a supporter of business and free markets.  He will also want to support the police and do something to tackle knife crime which is almost entirely driven by the failed drugs policy of prohibition.  It will be a no brainer for Boris to back cannabis.

Written by Peter Reynolds

July 18, 2019 at 3:13 pm

14 Responses

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  1. Boris Johnson legalize cannabis use etc? that will be a total mess !!! and as for the police having “little of no interest in enforcing cannabis prohibition” I’ll take that with a healthy pinch of salt.if anything the police are in some cases redoubling their efforts, even to the point of encouraging people to tout on their naighbours so, sorry I don’t buy the story that the police, courts, etc are losing interest.This is just political maneuvering on Johnson’s part.I’ll believe it when I see it!!

    Shaun O'Connor

    July 18, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    • Sorry Shaun, while you’re entitled to your opinion, the facts of police attention to cannabis are beyond dispute. It is acknowledged by many individual police forces and by national leaders that the police have turned their attention away.

      Peter Reynolds

      July 19, 2019 at 2:51 pm

      • Only in certain postcodes Peter and only small amounts if yu got a house with 120 plants you still getting done. We saw the same with Cameron back in 2005 he was all for legalisation if you think the prime minister has any say in what this country does your very mislead just look at how big companies all of which sponser or are directly connected to government e.g Victoria Atkins husband or maybots husband all linked to cannabis production while claiming no health benefits etc just look at how hemp is treated here we have a plant with the most amazing versatility a farm near me has just had their license revoked the powers that be don’t want cannabis or hemp because it will give to much power to the people even back in Henry the 8th day he used to make farmers grow hemp but since prohabition the big companies don’t want it because they can’t profit from it because everyone would grow it and make money just my opinion but based mainly on facts of prohibition and big pharma companies running the show


        July 25, 2019 at 11:26 am

      • I couldn’t agree with you more @Stuart, every new PM ( well maybe not EVERY new PM), has made all the right noises, raised peoples hopes, only to dash them same hopes to the ground in the end. look at the “law change” that Savid javid announced last year, that was so poorly implemented that , if reports are to believed, even people who” tick all the right boxes” are being denied access to cannabis for medicinal use under the NHS, strangely if you have pots of money, that eases the situation a little, I say a little because even with a valid prescription, there is still a potential risk of being faced with a charge of possession as possession is still, as far as i am aware a class B offence under the misuse of drugs act 1971.

        Shaun O'Connor

        July 25, 2019 at 1:43 pm

  2. Great story, the one thing missing is high profile advocacy from people currently involved in the industry. Marc and Jodie Emery and Dana Larson where instrumental in helping over grow the Canadian establishment.


    July 23, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    • I don’t really understand your point Shaun but great admirer of Marc and Jodie as I have been for many years, it distresses me to see the curmudgeonly attitude they have taken to Canada’s reforms. Instead of supporting the wonderful progress that Trudeau has achieved, they do all they can to undermine it. Certainly it is far from perfect but it is amazing progress which deserves encouragement.

      Peter Reynolds

      July 23, 2019 at 2:49 pm

      • Civil disobedience is the only course of action to normalize Cannabis. Trying to be logical with idealogs is pointless. Someone needs to put some money into opening dispensary’s all over England! Do what they did in both Colorado and B.C., if you build it people will come. And if they get shut by police, open another one up immediately in its place. This puts pressure on the courts and the establishment. It’s worked before here in Canada.


        July 23, 2019 at 9:02 pm

      • with reference to mass civil disobedience, lets not leave out Scotland, wales and Northern Ireland.It is perhaps unlikely the England would rise to the challenge as it is already riddled with division.however having said that, the government will ultimately be cornered into legalizing adult use of cannabis whether it be for “medicinal” use or”recreational” use. As I see it, the two use cases do overlap, this is something that cannot be so readily said of pharmaceutical products which have a very well defined use case associated with them.

        Shaun O'Connor

        July 23, 2019 at 11:27 pm

      • Sorry Shaun I’ve heard it all before and it’s tosh. Endless civil disobedience in the UK took us backwards. it was only in 2011 when CLEAR led the way with a professional campaign, engaging with government and MPs that we began to make progress. Before that we had 40 years of marches, blowing smoke in policemen’s faces and going round in circles with a cause that was regarded as anti social. You couldn’t be more wrong.

        Peter Reynolds

        July 24, 2019 at 7:15 am

  3. It is already a mess and it will be a mess anyway with or without Boris or whichever ejit takes over next.
    Too many people have vested interests in protecting revenue streams and creating new ones, then we have the stupid values applied to Cannabis, money makes people do real stupid shit and go to extremes.
    With the police there are more Chief Constables publicly promoting the end of prohibition and the improtant part here is that they are still in the job, giving interviews in newspapers, TV and radio.
    This is a big move forwards over the past 4 or 5 years considering LEAP was founded by ex dibble and security services and military staff who were all of high rank, this message has finally sunk in and the majority have realised and accepted this has to end the police should not be used in this way any longer.
    As Peter points out the political landscape is getting better the time is coming to legalisation, but its going to be a rough road along the way with lots of stupid stuff happening.
    Today there is an article on the BBC web site about the governement revoking a hemp farms license to grow so they are now having to destroy the crop to remain legal, the crop is apparently worth £200.000 the place employs 15 people who could have lost their jobs fortunately there is a plan B for them.
    Its just the same shit different day, but the outlook is definitely gettin brighter…


    July 23, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    • The BBC report is wildly misleading. An industrial hemp licence has never permitted extraction of cannabinoids which is long established and published policy. This is the farmer breaking the terms of their licence and spinning a false story.

      Peter Reynolds

      July 24, 2019 at 7:19 am

      • Thanks for the heads up Peter
        Sounds like they were trying to run before they can walk.
        This is a good example of the mess that exists with people trying to get in on the ground floor business wise in some manner by pushing things and doing stuff that is illegal thinking they can force the issue.
        As Peter points out civil disobedience is not the way forwards it was regarded as antisocial and this only plays into the hands of prohibitionists.
        Now that we have LEAP and the police in general at all ranks have realised they are part of the problem with prohibition by enforcing it and no longer wish to do this polytricksters are coming on board and we are seeing meaningful dialogue happening in the right places.
        Now we have a change in legislation for medicinal Cannabis and the government is admitting it does have medicinal value we are seeing real progress from this approach.
        Calm and measured dialogue, reasonin, good words, with good meaning uttering truths in an upful and respectful manner is the way forward, as demonstrated by recent changes.


        July 24, 2019 at 3:38 pm

  4. Thank you for the article Mr. Reynolds. As an American, I was so disheartened when I read how ignorant Teresa May is about Khat when she called it a deadly drug. That plant would also help people if they would use it correctly. I hope Mr. Johnson is wiser than she is. I am wondering if your government has maybe started to consider that Professor David Nutt was sacked in hypocrisy and ignorance and that he is right about the real reasons for this foolish drug war our nations have started. I live in southern Illinois, USA and we are seeing the effects of greed harm our government’s drug reforms. You will need 750 thousand USD for a license to cultivate cannabis in Illinois and it will be illegal to grow at home. May God have mercy on these people and open their eyes. I hope this doesn’t happen for you guys too should God bring you wiser leaders who will change the laws, but after reading your article I am concerned that it will happen, as you speak primarily of money from legal cannabis and not justice. i do not accuse you of being greedy, I do hope you will long for justice and not material wealth, for this is good in the eyes of our maker and before mankind. Thanks again for sharing the info.

    Marty Miller

    August 19, 2019 at 11:55 pm

  5. The whole question of licensing needs to be looked at, it appears that British hemp farmers are entitled to grow it for fibre and other industrial purposes, but they are prevented from turning it into CBD oil, which is not a prohibited substance and, which is now available in every high street in Britain. The relationship between GW which was at the time, a private limited company and the UK government is remarkable to say the least and the new Prime Minister should order an investigation to determine the basis on which the previous Labour government handed the monopoly on cannabis based medicines to GW.

    Rupert Simmington

    December 20, 2019 at 11:26 am

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