Peter Reynolds

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The Root Of All Britain’s Drugs Problems Is In Marsham Street, London, SW1

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The Home Office describes its role as “to keep citizens safe and the country secure”. Its lead role in drugs policy achieves exactly the opposite of this.

It is a scandal encompassing successive governments for more than 50 years that the UK’s approach to drugs has been so utterly disastrous that our policy has caused far more harm than it has prevented.

Currently, the two issues of major concern are the rate of drug deaths and difficulty in accessing cannabis as medicine. It’s no surprise most people now recognise that drugs policy should really be a matter for the Department of Health. The only reason for keeping it in the Home Office is if you believe it is primarily a security issue and about enforcing the law to stop people using drugs and interventions to stop production and importation.  This is an outdated view based on misguided thinking.  The Home Office’s own research shows that laws, enforcement and penalties make absolutely no difference to drug use.  There is no justification for keeping drugs policy in Marsham Street, particularly when we consider the way this focus on security and enforcement has made all our drugs problems so much worse.

Famously, before the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, it is said there were about 3,000 problematic drug users in the UK. Today, the effect of this law, administered by the Home Office, is that figure has exploded to more like 350,000 problematic users.  It has been a disaster of unparalleled scale.

Victoria Atkins and Theresa May. The drug barons of Britain.

And everything about Home Office drugs policy makes the problems worse.  The only purpose of drugs policy must be to reduce harm but the Home Office is obsessed with a moral crusade of reducing drug use and the level of use is not the same as the level of harm.  Most of the time, the Home Office’s attempts to reduce use cause more harm than the use of drugs itself.  This is particularly true with cannabis where a criminal record, even a caution, causes far more harm to an individual than the use of cannabis. The Home Office already knows that criminal justice measures do not reduce drug use, so enforcement is largely futile and it causes harm.

It is dreadful that the Home Office is strongly resisting efforts to introduce drug consumption rooms (DCRs) which have been shown, conclusively, to reduce drug deaths.  In Glasgow, the local council and the Scottish government are backing the proposal but the Home Office is intransigent.  What is truly appalling and demonstrates a criminal standard of corruption at the highest level is the way that Victoria Atkins, a Home Office Minister, has lied and misled Parliament and the public on the evidence for DCRs.  She, of course is also a rabid anti-cannabis campaigner while her husband makes his living from cannabis production, licensed by the Home Office! This conflict of interest and hypocrisy well illustrates the fundamental corruption and dishonesty that is the Home Office culture.  The ‘hostile environment’ towards immigrants, first introduced by Labour but enthusiastically pursued by Theresa May when she became Home Secretary in 2010, is central to the way that Home Office officials conduct themselves, not only about immigration but every area of home affairs.  The ‘customer’ is the enemy in Home Office terms, someone to be distrusted. This is the way officials treat those who they are paid to serve.

Against this background, it’s astonishing that the new regulations enabling access to cannabis as medicine were introduced while Theresa May was PM.   No one is more strongly prohibitionist, nor, during her six years as Home Secretary, more in tune with the Home Office’s interfering, repressive culture.  It’s more than ironic that on leaving Downing Street she has purchased a flat in, you guessed it, Marsham Street!  This, the scene of her most shameful actions in government, is where she feels at home.

The introduction of the new regulations while she was PM shows that with a big enough media outcry , even the most stubborn bigot can be forced to concede. Though now the media spotlight has moved on, the desperately ill children, some having hundreds of seizures a day, have been forgotten. With just a couple of exceptions they still aren’t getting the medicine they need on the NHS. For them, the new regulatiions mean that they can now get their medicine legally but it has to be paid for privately. Typically this means expenditure of thousands of pounds per month which the families simply cannot afford.

Under the new regulations, cannabis-based products for medicinal use (CBPMs) are supposed to be available on prescription from specialist doctors as unlicensed, schedule 2 medicines. It’s proving difficult enough to get a doctor to prescribe, such is the lack of understanding amongst doctors and the incredibly restrictive guidelines that professional bodies have put in place.  On top of all that, the Home Office is doing all it can to obstruct access.  Clearly its duty is to facilitate implementation of the new regulations but it is hostile towards the people that seek access to cannabis.  It is and always has been institutionally opposed to cannabis.

For years there has been a procedure in place for those who are prescribed schedule 2 medicines containing controlled drugs to bring up to three month’s supply into the country without requiring a licence.  For cannabis this has been swept aside without any explanation or reason.  The process involved in importing CBPMs is tortuous and complex as the Home Office shows no flexibility, no compassion and places obstacles at every turn. And there is no accountability at all. All Home Office policies, decisions, actions and processes are opaque.  They see no reason to explain themselves. They do what they want, irrespective of the needs of the people concerned, or even the law. Marsham Street considers itself above the law, exempt from any judicial or democratic accountability. Ultimately, the prospect of applying for judicial review of its actions is completely out of reach for everyone except the super rich.

The other crucial aspect of delivering on the new regulations is to develop a UK-based cannabis industry where we are producing ourselves what our people need.  The Home Office has failed entirely to grasp this nettle. Reports are that dozens of applications have been submitted for licences but so far, a year on, the best information I can get is that only one, highly restricted, research-only licence has been issued. So even it doesn’t allow for porduction of CBPMs, all of which have to be imported at huge expense.

It remains the case that the only company licensed for commercial production of cannabis is GW Pharmaceuticals and its subsidiary/supplier companies.  A company in which Home Office minister Victoria Atkins and former Home Secretary and PM Theresa May both have a personal financial interest.  The depth of this corruption and the failure to hold these two crooks to account is surely one of the biggest political scandals ever in British history.

Home Office ministers have a great deal to answer for but also the officials who have restrained those few ministers, such as the Liberal Democrat Norman Baker, who have even dared to consider reform.  The prejudice and bigotry on drugs policy runs so deep it is difficult to see how it can change.  But change it must.  Britain desperately needs a PM and a Home Secretary with the courage and intelligence to grasp this nettle.  Until those people emerge we are destined to stay in a very dark and destructive place while more and more deaths, misery and serious violent crime are caused by those who are failing us so badly.

Written by Peter Reynolds

November 30, 2019 at 6:49 pm

The True EU – A Totalitarian Regime Determined To Subjugate Europe

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Here you have the EU, self-defined by one of its unelected presidents, as the autocratic, faux-democray that it is.

It shows its true colours as Merkel slaps Boris Johnson down and refuses any deal unless the UK relinquishes Northern Ireland, allowing the EU to annex it permanently into its customs union.

Personally, I would like to see Ireland re-unified in any case and it seems there is now a majority on the island for this inevitable progress to become reality.  But the deal that UK has proposed, with no hard border, customs checks carried out in the same unobtrusive way as current excise, VAT and currency checks was a perfectly reasonable and workable solution. Of course Brussels won’t accept it. It never planned to accept any proposal unless UK was prepared to abandon its democratic decision to leave.  The EU would have readily gone along with another referendum. It has been working behind the scenes with treasonous British MPs to achieve this, if not brazenly imposing it as it did on both Ireland and Greece.  Even then, if we hadn’t voted in the way the EU required we would just have been back to where we are now.  Britain will not be allowed to leave without the most severe punishment with the annexation of Northern Ireland only part of it.  The EU is determined to show that any member state that messes with its plans to subjugate the entire continent will be made to suffer.

With or without Britain its next steps are to remove the veto from member states and impose the euro.  Truly, Merkel will achieve with the eurocracy what Hitler failed to achieve with the blitzkrieg.

We are as good as gone. All we have to do now is sort out the fifth column in Parliament and circumvent its abuse of our legislative process.  Then it will be time for Britain to have its own ‘night of the long knives’ and root out from Parliamnent and the judiciary those who have tried to subvert our democracy and the Lord Haw-Haws in our media who have supported them.

Written by Peter Reynolds

October 8, 2019 at 2:49 pm

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Madame Guillotine In Parliament Square

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It’s a recurring dream.  Standing high on a scaffold erected in the centre of Parliament Square is the bloody guillotine. A long queue of 650 enemies of the people snakes around the square, in and out of the trees, in between the lamp posts, around the various statues, skirting the traffic bollards. Like a metronome, at regular intervals, no more than a couple of minutes apart, punctuating the weeping, wailing and hysterical pleading, comes the swoosh-THWACK as the heavily weighted blade plunges down its guide rails and strikes home, delivering its final message to another traitor.

Standing last in line, forced to wait longest and endure most terror is the High Priest of Treason, Oliver Letwin, his knighthood debased for his leadership of the outlaw Parliament.  Also at the rear of the line are those bearing the most guilt who have most seriously abused British democracy: Anna Soubry sobs and whimpers, Chuka Umunna soils himself as he begs unreasonably for mercy and the Liberal Democrat MPs are beaten ruthlessly, enduring cruel torture before swift mercy delivers long overdue justice.  SNP members are denied their pleas to die on Scottish soil. Treasonous Tories Philip Hammond, David Gauke, Rory Stewart and others whose names have faded from memory try to maintain their dignity as they witness the horror that is about to befall them.

Madam Guillotine toils away, does her duty, spares no one, brings order, reliability and honour to the whimpering wretches as they at last receive their just desserts. Swoosh-THWACK. A moment’s scuffling, whining as the next doomed wretch is dragged forward, their neck placed as necessary and their final breaths mingled with the sounds of abject fear and desperation.  Swoosh-THWACK.

At last, Britain is restored to its people and the episode of venal, self-serving and corrupt politicians is consigned to history.  The gutters along Whitehall run deep with the blood of traitors and the next day the sun rises over a land once again in liberty, ridden of its dark tyrants.

Written by Peter Reynolds

September 6, 2019 at 12:57 pm

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NICE’s Draft Guidelines on Cannabis Prove That Its Methods Don’t Work and It Is Causing Harm to Patients

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The draft guidelines produced by the NICE committee are nothing short of ridiculous.  There is a complete absence of common sense and an absurd failure properly to consider all the available evidence.

But it’s actually much more serious than this.  It is now abundantly clear that this committee, its membership and its conclusions were only ever intended to delay, obfuscate and sabotage the reforms which were introduced in November last year because of a public outcry.

The selection of members of the committee is by any standards corrupt.  The most highly qualified people have been deliberately excluded.  Anyone publicly expressing support for the use of cannabis as medicine has been rejected whereas those selected have frequently expressed opposition.  The inclusion of the ‘reefer madness’ advocate Professor Finbar O’Callaghan is both reprehensible and inexcusable. If the man had any ethical standards or conscience he would recuse hismself. The committee is a confidence trick.

The medical establishment, the Home Office and all the various regulators, including the MHRA, the FSA and the Royal Colleges are all institutionally opposed to cannabis and they are doing everything they can to stop it reaching the people who can benefit from it.  Cannabis, the more intelligent approach to medicine it both requires and inspires, threatens too many vested interests and the comfortable, self-satisfied and self-serving model of healthcare that prevails in Britain.

But if any NICE apparatchik or fat cat pharma supremo thinks they can stop cannabis they are fooling themselves.  From right around the world the overwhelming weight of expert opinion and patient experience reveals that what is happening in Britain is merely delaying the inevitable. But in the meantime it is causing great suffering and unnecessary harm to patients.  It is a scandal of the highest order and the people responsible for it must be called to account.

CLEAR has responded to the consultation on the draft guidelines in great detail.  Without reproducing our line by line commentary, these are our three general observations.

1. The entire guideline is characterised by a failure to consider observational evidence and real-world experience.  Cannabis is the oldest medicine known to mankind and failure to give substantial weight to real-world experience of its safety and efficacy is nothing short of absurd. Given its illegality over the past 100 years, the wild scaremongering about its recreational use and therefore the lack of formal clinical evidence, this is simply setting it up to fail. It is irresponsible in the extreme to fail to consider the enormous benefit at very low cost and the very few adverse events associated with illicit cannabis.

2. There is little evidence of potential for harm for cannabis for any medical condition. Given the enormous numbers using cannabis in its most potent form as a recreational drug and/or self-medicating (estimated at 250 million regular users worldwide) there are far fewer adverse events or incidents of harm than for common over-the-counter medicines.

3. The weight given throughout the guideline to the potential for harm of cannabis is wildly disproportionate.  There is no evidence of any significant harm from cannabis when used as a medicine, especially when under the supervision of a medical professional.  At least 10,000 years of human experience shows that cannabis is essentially safe. Seeking to evaluate its safety in the same way as a new, experimental medicine, synthesised in a lab for which there is no real-world experience is a fundamentally flawed approach.  Unlike potentially dangerous or unsafe medicines, cannabis can and should be offered to patients on a ‘try it and see’ basis.  Instead of being over-cautious, clinicians should welcome this approach and can be certain that it will benefit patients whether or not in proves effective in individual cases.

Review. ‘For Ava’. For the Shame of Simon Harris, Fine Gael and the Irish Government

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An extraordinary book. Vera’s achievement as a novice author matches her achievement as a novice campaigner. I’ve worked with people who use cannabis as medicine for 40 years and I thought I was pretty hardened to the tragic and distressing stories but the tears were running down my face as I read this.

I was concerned it might be a rather turgid list of events but far from it, it is a riveting read. It is almost like a thriller, beautifully structured, it grabs you and won’t let you put it down as you have to turn to the next page.

The central message is of the inhumanity of bureaucracy and self-serving politicians who are not interested in an issue unless it can bring them easy and positive media coverage. They are impotent in the face of lobbying from vested interests such as the pharma industry and the medical establishment and prefer to do nothing rather than risk controversy, even while children suffer needlessly.

A magnificent achievement and SHAME on Simon Harris, Fine Gael and the Irish government. They will face judgement at the highest level for their inaction, cowardice and feeble conduct.

Written by Peter Reynolds

September 5, 2019 at 9:04 am

After Three Years Bickering, Parliament Must Now Submit To The People

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HM The Queen has agreed the prime minister’s request to prorogue Parliament. This virtually extinguishes any chance of MPs being able to delay Brexit any longer.  It looks, at last, as if democracy will prevail in the UK and the people will have defeated the outlaw Parliament.

How did this shower of incompetents ever get elected in the first place?  How did they come to so badly misunderstand the public mood that they set Parliament against the people? And how have they so badly mismanaged their own affairs that they are now shut out from causing any further delay?

At the root of it is our corrupt and profoundly undemocratic political party and constituency system. We never have any real choice of who to elect as our MP and most of them are so arrogant that they don’t give a damn what we think anyway.  The only options we are presented with are candidates who have been selected by out-of-touch party  activists and in most constituencies it makes no difference how you vote because the sitting party will always win whoever they put up as candidate.

It’s no suprise then the quality of candidates is so poor or that once in power they maintain a system that gives as many of them as possible a job for life.  As they’ve shown by the way they have fumbled their attempts to wreck Brexit, they are useless, useless idiots. Perhaps only half a dozen worthy of any respect.

The truth is that British democracy is not fit for purpose. It serves the political class, not the people. We need root and branch reform. If I had my way, at the next General Election I’d bar all sitting MPs from ever standing again. I’d rearrange all constituency boundaries strictly on the size of the population. I’d introduce a system of primaries where each party had to put at least two people up for voters to decide who would be the candidates. I’d make MPs legally obliged to represent their constituent’s views based on local opinion polls and their contract of employment would require minimum standards of service in trms of deaing with constituents’ issues, complaints and emails.

I fervently hope that Brexit will cause a massive shake up of these incompetents and many will decide not to stand again.  The gravy train has come to the end of the line and they can’t even catch the shuttle to Brussels now for a cozy retirement plan.

Written by Peter Reynolds

August 28, 2019 at 5:01 pm

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Never Understimate The Power Of Leadership

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At last! After three years of miserable, negative, guaranteed-to-fail incompetence, we have a leader who will make things happen.

Theresa May was a dreadful home secretary and our worst ever prime minister.  Everything she did at the Home Office went wrong. To use the adjective she once chose, she’s a nasty politician, and the Conservatives were stupid, utterly barmy, to make her leader.  As I’ve written before, she never had an ounce of leadership ability. She is an authoritarian bureaucrat, a pen pusher with out-of-date, out-of-touch, discriminatory and spiteful ideas and no ability at all but administration.  I wouldn’t put her in charge of anything except an office full of not very bright book keepers.

Boris is exactly what Britain needs.

They say he’s Marmite but I don’t agree.  I like lots but there’s also some that I dislike.  He’s flaky, unreliable and I wouldn’t lend him a tenner. If you gave him your bag of coke to go to the loo with, you wouldn’t trust him to bring it back.

It doesn’t matter. he’s still the right man for the job.

The EU and the particularly oily Michel Barnier have totally humilated us.  Our negotiating position and ability have been atrocious, worse than useless.  It’s time now to remind the EU that they are dealing with Britain, the fifth largest economy and the world leader in soft power,

We have let our star fall far too far.  It is time to put things right and Boris is the man to do that.  After he’s got us through this we can put someone serious and boring in charge.

Written by Peter Reynolds

July 30, 2019 at 9:33 pm

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