Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Priti Patel on Poppers Demonstrates How Corrupt and Irrational Is UK Drugs Policy

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Priti Patel wants to legalise ‘poppers’, a drug with dangerous effects on the heart and eyes, in order to help the sex lives of gay men who account for around 3% of the population. Yet she refuses to legalise cannabis, a drug that is generally very safe, even though it can provide real medicinal benefits for 100% of the population.

‘Poppers’ is the well established street name for alkyl nitrites, a type of drug that is inhaled, producing a massive and almost instantaneous ‘hit’ by relaxing ‘smooth muscle’ which results in the dilation of blood vessels in the brain. This leads to a drop in blood pressure which the heart immediately responds to by increasing its rate and so a huge amount of extra blood surges into the brain.  Crucially, another smooth muscle that is affected is the anal sphincter and so the gay male community has found poppers a useful aid to anal sex. They can fairly be described as making anal sex safer and more pleasant, preventing ruptures or tears.

It would be a good thing to legalise poppers and to regulate their production and supply so that use of them is as safe as possible.  Alongside legal regulation, information on harm reduction could be offered and the whole environment surrounding their use could become much more sensible and civilised. It would be a even better thing to legalise cannabis. All the same benefits of safety and the environment would result but they would affect many millions more people.  In addition, the £6 billion criminal cannabis market, which feeds violence, gangsterism, county lines, hard drug dealing, modern slavery and much more serious crime, would be dealt a terminal blow.  It wouldn’t stop immediately but it would be the beginning of the end and it would transform many aspects of British society. I believe the benefits would be much wider and more far reaching than we can even imagine.

So what can possibly explain this move?  Why would such an irrational policy be proposed by the Home Secretary?

Priti Patel is quite possibly a very pleasant woman and she is to be admired for rising to dizzying heights in  political life despite the prejudice towards both her gender and race.  She has an unfortunate manner and glint in her eye that seems to appeal to to the authoritarian side of the ‘nasty party’, probably exactly why Boris Johnson made her Home Secretary to appease the hard right, for he is essentialy a libertarian.  Why is she so keen to move on poppers but not on other drugs where reforming their legal status is far more urgent and would deliver benefits on a far greater scale?

It’s instructive to recall what happened in Parliament when it first seemed that poppers would be banned under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016.  Crispin Blunt, the Conservative MP and a prominent advocate for drugs policy reform, declared himself a user of poppers and sure enough, within a few weeks the Home Office had found a way to exclude them from the Act.

 

I expect no one would agree more with me than Crispin Blunt on the urgent need for cannabis to be regulated and, indeed for other drugs, far safer than poppers, such as MDMA (ecstasy). Present policy maximises the dangers of all drugs and while a fatal cannabis overdose is impossible, people do die fom MDMA overdoses because in an unregulated, criminal market no one knows the strength of what they are taking.

There can only be one reason why Ms Patel is making this irrational move on poppers and it’s because she has been subject to lobbying, probably from other MPs who hold the same position as Crispin Blunt.

So while I welcome the legal regulation of poppers, cannabis and MDMA should come first.  It’s no surprise that once again our politicians pursue drugs policy that is irrational and corrupt.

 

Written by Peter Reynolds

August 17, 2020 at 5:25 pm

The Panacea

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Possibly the most frequently heard objection to medicinal use of cannabis is disbelief that one medicine can help with so many different medical conditions. Contempt for this idea most frequently comes from the medical establishment who demonstrate their lack of knowledge of the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Still not taught in most medical schools, the ECS is now known to be the largest neurotransmitter network in the body which does indeed impact on every other physiological system. It is a scientific fact, still not understood by many doctors, that cannabis can have beneficial effects on virtually every condition and disease.

Cannabis is a palliative medicine but I have no doubt that the curative powers of cannabinoids, which have already been proven in vitro and animal studies, will one day be harnessed into medicines. In different combinations, perhaps with other cannabis compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids, they will successfully treat many cancers, mental health problems, digestive disorders and especially diseases of the immune system.  At this stage though, cannabis is best considered as something that helps us deals with symptoms, particularly chronic pain, mood and sleeping disorders.  In this regard, it is still not properly recognised for the immense benefits it offers, especially that it is so safe, non-toxic and kind to the body and mind.

Cannabis does undoubtedly produce some remarkable curative results. In my judgement these are largely by luck rather than design but cannabis is perhaps the only medicine you can do this with. It is so safe that you can try it and see, experiment with different doses and potentially with different ratios of its many active ingredients.  Very, very few doctors understand this. They are more used to dealing with toxic substances that can produce nasty side effects, which is why they and the NHS bureaucrats who control the purse strings are so dependent on clinical trials. These produce valuable data and safety information for pharmaceutical drugs but it means our physicians have lost the ability to treat patients as individuals, using safe, plant-based therapies.  This wisdom has been swept aside by the pharma industry’s rush for profit and forgotten by many of those who care for us.

So I take the view that cannabis really is a panacea.  Not a cure for everything but a remedy that offers some benefit for every condition.  This relies on another truth that is difficult for the medical establishment to deal with – cannabis is not one medicine but many, perhaps hundreds of different combinations of ingredients, beyond just THC and CBD, beyond terpenes and flavonoids, perhaps including omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, essential amino acids, esters, glycosides, enzymes, proteins, sugars, alcohols, ketones, lactones, aldehydes – all the constituents of this remarkable plant. It is this complexity, of course, that makes clinical trials unsuitable for cannabis and its inherent safety that makes them unnecessary.

But I have my personal panacea.  It is made by a good friend who in his professional life produces some of the finest, whole plant, low-THC, high-CBD oils.  In his spare time he turns his lab to more interesting, illicit products.  You will be surprised to learn that my panacea is not a high-THC rocket fuel but a 3:1 ratio CBD:THC blend.  It is a happiness tonic, soothing pain reliever, gentle sleep enhancer and gorgeous elixir for all the aches, pains and complaints of my 63rd year.

I know that if little bottles of this were on pharmacy and supermarket shelves they would sell like hot cakes.  Six drops in a cup of coffee in the morning or hot chocolate before bed – it’s bliss, delight, comfort and it just enhances and smoothes life without any downside, no hangover or side effects at all. Of course, with that ratio it’s completely benign and would be even for an inexperienced cannabis consumer.  When products like this become legally available they will benefit hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Those early into the market will probably make a fortune if they can advertise and communicate its benefits effectively.  The really wonderful aspect though is that this can be as cheap as chips.  Made in volume it could sell for just a few pounds, euros or dollars a bottle that will last for weeks.  It really is a panacea although currently, stupidly, in this crazy world we live in, highly illegal.

Written by Peter Reynolds

August 15, 2020 at 1:29 pm

This Is America

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Written by Peter Reynolds

June 1, 2020 at 2:16 pm

Posted in Politics

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If the Mobs on Twitter and Facebook Want to Persecute Someone, Why Don’t They Choose a Deserving Case?

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For instance, what about Professor Finbar O’Callaghan, who has prevented children having access to cannabis medicine for epilepsy while making his living running £ multi-million clinical trials of pharmaceutical drugs?

These are the sort of people who should be hunted down and villified, not some weird eccentric who is a behind the scenes political adviser making private decisions about his own family.

Written by Peter Reynolds

May 24, 2020 at 9:42 am

Facebook Moderation and Censorship AKA ‘Community Standards’ Going Haywire

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It may be automated systems going wrong or it may be another misguided crackdown on legitimate

posts but as usual with Facebook it’s impossible to get any answers, explanation or guidance.

The CLEAR team has run a Facebook page now for 10 years.  According to Facebook data it’s the second most ‘liked’ page on cannabis and drugs policy and its ‘engagement’ is usually in the top three of all similar pages worldwide.

We’ve experienced everything crazy that Facebook has thrown us over those 10 years.  But in the past few weeks the inexplicable and quite ridiculous censorship has reached new levels.

Over the years, our page has been hijacked three or four times by breaches in Facebook’s (not CLEAR’s) security. On each occasion it has taken up to a month to regain control which has involved endless unanswered messages and emails.  Most recently Facebook has required notarised statements and evidence to restore control to our admins even though they have 10 years history on record.  On one occasion, whilst the page was out of our control, Facebook took no notice at all of a stream of hardcore porn videos that were posted day after day.

Facebook’s attitude to cannabis and drugs policy is wildly inconsistent. It goes through periods of not taking any notice at all to what’s happening at present, which is where even the most innocuous mentions get sanctioned.  Even links to academic, scientific and medical papers or research get removed on the basis that they are ‘promoting drug use’ or even more absurd, ‘selling drugs’.

Today, it has removed one post in which Lisa Quarrell has been told that the NHS will not pay for her son’s medicinal cannabis because she had previously ‘gone private’ to obtain it and it would be an ‘improper use of NHS funds’.  It has also removed a post about a designer who has been ordered to pay Starbucks $500,000 because he designed a bong that looks like a Starbucks coffee cup.

Peter Reynolds was recently blocked from posting, first for three days and then for seven days for posting a meme inviting subscriptions to our email newsletter, the CLEAR Daily News.  This, apparently, is ‘selling drugs’.  We’ve been posting exactly the same meme regularly for over two years with no problem at all.

What’s really worrying is that two long online ‘chats’ with Facebook concierge support (available to advertisers) achieved nothing except for mindless repetition that the post ‘goes against community standards’.  These are real people constrained to the role and inteligence of a bot, unable to think or exercise any discretion.

Meanwhile the endless, lunatic, conspiracy theories on vaccines, Bill Gates, 5G, coronavirus, etc. fill up the newsfeed.  Reports indicate that child porn,  fraudulent scams, misuse of celebrities’ images, terrorist ideology and violence are still not under control.

Facebook is an essential tool for any business, NGO or campaign.  You simply have to be on it. It’s a monopoly that is out of control.  In reality it seems to have more power over governments and regulators than they have over it. It needs to be broken up. The fact that it is also Instagram and WhatsApp is a ridiculous state of affairs.  How have Zuckerberg and his bots been able to get away with this?  Their ‘community standards’ or at least the enforcement are clearly an abuse of US constitutional rights and that is the only jurisdiction of which they take any notice.

CLEAR has put many tens of thousands of pounds into Facebook advertising.  Pages now have to pay if they want to reach their followers.  Before the algorithms changed all our posts would reach thousands of people, sometimes hundreds of thousands. In the last couple of years in many instances that has gone down to single figures. All the time, money and expertise we have invested in Facebook is being wasted.  We have been cheated out of it by this out-of-control, arrogant monolith.  As of this week our executive committee has stopped all Facebook advertising for good. It’ll make no difference to Facebook of course, until thousands of others do the same thing but we are not going to give them any more of our members’ money.

We will continue to do our best to bring our followers the news in the face of this draconian censorship.  All our posts are also on Twitter which is in many ways (not always!) a better and more adult forum but, of course, it’s very unfocused and inflexible.  The minute that there is a viable alternative to Facebook, CLEAR will be off.  It’s a phenomenon that has run its course. We need more intelligently managed and properly regulated online media to communicate through.

Written by Peter Reynolds

May 9, 2020 at 2:11 pm

Unfit To Be Any Sort Of Of Police Officer, Let Alone a Chief Constable

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This idiot, Chief Constable Nick Adderley, issued an implied threat that his officers would start setting up roadblocks and searching supermarket trollies to see whether items purchased were necessary.

It’s clear he doesn’t understand the new legislation. In fact his suggestions are so far beyond his powers as to be ridiculous.  In the present difficult circumstances, even for a senior officer who should know better, we should allow some leeway. We should forgive some exaggeration or overstatement.  But Adderley has gone far beyond this.  He’s clearly unfit to be a police officer at any sort of rank with his ignorance and authoritarian instincts wildly out of control.

He should be sacked from his position immediately. There is no room in British policing for someone who behaves like this, whatever the circumstances.

Written by Peter Reynolds

April 10, 2020 at 1:23 pm

The Trolls Attacking Boris On Social Media Are In For The Shock Of Their Lives

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It’s very, very sad how our great nation has become demeaned by the arrogant, self-righteous, opinionated, know-it-all warriors of social media.
 
When I worked in the ad industry, we had a saying ‘It’s much easier to criticise than to create’ and that’s what I see on Facebook and Twitter. Despite my challenge, not one person has suggested anyone who they think would do better than Boris Johnson.
 
Things are going to get very much tougher than they are now. I think there will be shock, horror, grief, anger and fear to cope with. It’s going to take a leader of heroic strength to get us through and I say thank God we already have that man in Downing Street.

Boris is doing a brilliant job. For 15 years this country has been crying out for leadership. He rescued Brexit from the Remainers who wanted to subvert our democracy and he’ll lead us to victory over Covid19

Written by Peter Reynolds

March 20, 2020 at 4:17 pm

Posted in Biography, Politics

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Life Is A Rollercoaster

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When you’ve been through as much shit as I have in my life, this is just another downward swoop on the rollercoaster. And let’s be honest, if there wasn’t a slight chance that you wouldn’t make it, it wouldn’t be half as much fun!

Written by Peter Reynolds

March 19, 2020 at 4:47 pm

Posted in Biography, Health

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How To Win The Coronavirus War

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Closing things down will not protect us. Only by developing herd immunity will we win the Coronavirus War. So we should be careful to try and slow the rate of infection and vulnerable people need to be in strict hygiene conditions.

In areas where everything is shut down, when people start mixing again the infection will just come back.

We have to accept it in a controlled fashion, then we will develop antibodies and scientists will develop vaccines against it.

Written by Peter Reynolds

March 14, 2020 at 8:28 pm

VIDEO. Peter Reynolds discusses legalisation “I’ve been saying 5 years, for quite a long time”

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Written by Peter Reynolds

February 29, 2020 at 4:28 pm

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