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Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘Edwin Stratton

The First Victory In The Fight Back Against Hatred And Abuse.

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I have now settled my claim for defamation against Dr Gary Potter, London South Bank University and the Global Cannabis Cultivation Research Consortium (GCCRC), consisting of more than a dozen universities and academic institutions across the world.

The claim concerned statements published on the GCCRC website by Chris Bovey, Alun Buffry, Edwin Stratton and Stuart Wyatt.  Dr Potter has published an apology on the GCCRC website which describes the statements as “derogatory“, “without evidence” and “defamatory“.

Dr Potter’s apology in full:

“On the 28 November 2012 and 29 November 2012 in response to various third party postings on the discussion forum on the GCCRC website I made certain comments about Cannabis Law Reform (CLEAR), Peter Reynolds, UKCIA, and Derek Williams. The third party postings I was responding to were derogatory and provided no evidence in respect of the allegations made against Mr Reynolds, Mr Williams, CLEAR and UKCIA. As such my comments were ill-considered and I unreservedly apologise for making them.

I wish to make it clear that the GCCRC is not affiliated with, nor does it support nor oppose any particular individual or group in the cannabis law reform movement or otherwise. Its purpose is to support the carrying out of important research, and all personal information collected in the course of that research is kept strictly confidential and is never shared with third parties. I would ask that in the future individuals do not use the GCCRC site to make public defamatory comments about any third party, and in the alternative if they have legitimate concerns these should be raised by email to the GCCRC using the email functionality on the GCCRC website.”

Further terms of the settlement are confidential.

rcj

This is the first domino to fall and my High Court claims against Bovey, Buffry, Greg ‘Cure Ukay’ De Hoedt and Sarah McCulloch are proceeding apace. Those, including Stratton and Wyatt, who have also been concerned in this campaign of abuse, harassment and defamation can expect to hear from me shortly.

Of course, this abuse has not just affected me.  What finally moved me to launch legal action was when the hate campaign started to target my children and my 78 year old mother.  Those concerned have already been involved in abusing and blackmailing various CLEAR members.  One past member of our executive committee had posted pictures of his grow on a forum and these were sent to his local police using information stolen from the CLEAR website when it was hacked in March of last year. Threats were even made against CLEAR supporters in the USA using the same stolen information. Derek Williams has suffered repeated attempts to blacken his name with his employers.  I salute his courage and steadfast support.

Finally, I should make it very clear that I do not associate the estimable and reputable US organisation NORML with those involved in the  management of its UK chapter (NUK), nor the NUK members who are innocent pawns in the anti-CLEAR campaign.

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UK Drug Strategy 2010 – A Plan To Fail

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Mother Knows Best

Gone are the days when central Government tells communities and the public what to do.

Rt. Hon. Theresa May, MP, Home Secretary, December 2010

A slim volume of treacle-like and turgid social worker-speak shot through with a few strands of sharp hypocrisy.  See here.

A disappointment?  Not really, it’s pretty much what I expected – an authoritarian, moralistic smokescreen behind which the government will do what it wants with no regard whatsoever for the views or the welfare of the people.  It stinks.

It claims to be radical in that it turns away from reducing the harms caused by drugs and instead aims to force abstinence. In other words, do as we say or suffer the consequences.  It is, in fact, a medieval solution to a 21st century problem.  It seems that the British government no longer cares about the harm caused by drugs.  All it cares about is that you STOP!  This is the ultimate exposition of Nancy Reagan’s discredited “Just Say No” campaign because it really is “just” say “no” – no other option exists.  This from a government that advocates giving people methadone  to “treat” cannabis use.  Can you believe it?  That isn’t medieval. It’s prehistoric – or perhaps better described as mid 20th century, a sort of Dr Mengele method.

I give Ms May credit for one thing.  She mentions alcohol alongside drugs in the first sentence of her foreword.  That is progress but from then on there is little of any value.  Nothing that you couldn’t have copied from any out of date A level textbook on social work.

The laughable assertion quoted above that the government doesn’t tell us what to do is just absurd.  Never has there been a more hard line approach to the drugs issue.  See Edwin Stratton’s article in The Guardian here which reveals just how draconian, anti-civil liberties and severe this government is.

In the penultimate paragraph of her foreword, Ms May acknowledges that there were calls during consultation on the strategy for “liberalisation and decriminalisation”.  She dismisses these as not “the answer” but fails entirely to consider the enormous harm caused and crime created by existing policies.  I will be making Freedom Of Information requests to determine just how much notice was taken of the consultation.

There is a complete failure to understand or consider the harms of prohibition.  Britain now stands as one of the most backward and restrictive countries in the world when it comes to drug policy.  We now rub shoulders with those countries that execute people for drug possession.  There is no civilised country in the world with a more repressive drugs policy than Britain.

Broken Britain

Emphasis is given to the introduction of elected Police and Crime Commissioners.  I support this move.  Hopefully, these elected officials, being closer to reality and not ensconsed in Whitehall’s ivory towers, will mitigate some of the damage that this strategy could cause.  They will have the impossible job of trying to implement these ideas and will surely give Ms May and her protege James “Broken Britain” Brokenshire some lessons in reality and common sense.

The statistics and figures quoted in the strategy are manifest nonsense.  Apparently the economic and social costs of Class A drug use are £15.4 billion per annum while the equivalent figure for alcohol is £18 – 25 billion.  Supposedly the total illicit drug market in Britain is worth just £4 – 6 billion per annum while the market for alcohol is £30 billion.  There are just 320,000 heroin and/or crack cocaine users but tens of million that use alcohol.  These figures just don’t add up.  Maybe that’s part of the reason this strategy is so badly conceived and directed.

It’s only part of the reason though.  The main problem is that the government’s approach is based on prejudice and an arrogant, moralistic, proselytising stance.  See David Nutt’s article here on what the government would do if a completely safe alternative to ecstasy was developed.  Prohibition is immoral and evil in itself.  When will our politicians wake up to what most of the rest of Europe and the USA already knows?

Powerful Medicine. Gentle Pleasure.

Cannabis, the most widely used illegal drug by a factor of at least 10 barely gets a mention except in passing.  This, in itself, exposes the inane content of this strategy.  The government apparently intends to deal with cannabis in exactly the same way as it deals with heroin and crack.  The medicinal use of cannabis, now a burgeoning industry and source of hope to people all over Europe and America isn’t even mentioned.  The crass stupidity of this strategy is almost beyond belief.

So the battle lines are drawn.  Every other civilised country in the world is coming to terms with the fact that the war on drugs is unwinnable, even lost.  Theresa May, like some mad first world war general, is blowing her whistle and urging on millions more to go over the top into certain death, or at least misery and degradation.  Her slightly fey, sweet boy, Colonel Jimmy is hiding behind her, determined to gain credit for something but definitely not doing anything worthwhile, “Crikey!  Not me. I’m staying safe.”

This could be a deeply depressing day but at least now we know where we stand.  David Cameron and Nick Clegg have completely turned around on the progressive and liberal ideas they have advocated in the past.  Nothing is a better indicator of the integrity and intelligence of a government than its drug policy.  Britain is shamed by this effort which will inevitably cause more harm, cost more money and ruin more lives.