Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘inquiry

CLEAR Evidence For the APPG Medicinal Cannabis Inquiry.

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RGP PJR HoC2

Roland Gyallay-Pap, Peter Reynolds

Yesterday, 2nd March 2016, Roland Gyallay-Pap and Peter Reynolds were called to give evidence at the All Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform Inquiry into Regulation of Cannabis for Medicinal Use.

We have already submitted a 15 page written response.  Yesterday’s oral hearing was to enable the inquiry to question us in more detail. We cannot publish our written response or go into great detail about yesterday’s hearing until the inquiry has published its own report which is some weeks away yet.

As we arrived at the hearing, Tom Lloyd, ex-chief constable of Cambridgeshire, was waiting to go in so we sat at the back of the committee room and listened to his contribution. Later, after our session, we adjourned to the Westminster Arms for some legal recreational drug use and to swop notes. Tom is a great asset to the campaign and we were able to update each other on the work we are involved in.
Roland Gyallay-Pap, Peter Reynolds

The inquiry panel consisted of three MPs and five members of the House of Lords. Roland opened our session with an account of how cannabis oil had helped in the last months of his mother’s life before she died from pancreatic cancer. The whole panel was visibly moved.  Baroness Meacher explained that this was not the only such testimony they had heard. Everyone was extremely receptive.  A lot of detailed questions were asked about CLEAR’s work and our knowledge of the science, law and best practice involved in medicinal cannabis.

The inquiry’s report will undoubtedly support some reform of the law around medicinal cannabis.  Let us hope it will provoke real action from government.

A New Brand Of Politician

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I am easily moved.   It is connected with my Welshness.  The 15 brave souls singing before they charge for Wales at Rugby Union and I am in bits.

It is rare though for just a few words in print (OK, on a screen!) to move me so much.

Russell Brand

I am right at the end of the 731 pages of written evidence to the HASC drugs inquiry and I come to Russell Brand.

Not someone I have held in high regard until I saw his contribution to the Versus YouTube debate.  Even there he was hyperbolic and almost abusive but the intellect and truth shone out of him.

In his submission to the inquiry, he quotes an article that he had published in The Guardian on 24th July 2011, and this passage made me cry.

It’s also one of those rare examples where the use of foul language is absolutely perfect.

“I arrived late and as I made my way to the audience through the plastic smiles and plastic cups I heard the rolling, wondrous resonance of a female vocal. Entering the space I saw Amy on stage with Weller and his band; and then the awe. The awe that envelops when witnessing a genius. From her oddly dainty presence that voice, a voice that seemed not to come from her but from somewhere beyond even Billie and Ella, from the font of all greatness. A voice that was filled with such power and pain that it was at once entirely human yet laced with the divine. My ears, my mouth, my heart and mind all instantly opened. Winehouse. Winehouse? Winehouse! That twerp, all eyeliner and lager dithering up Chalk Farm Road under a backcombed barnet, the lips that I’d only seen clenching a fishwife fag and dribbling curses now a portal for this holy sound.

So now I knew. She wasn’t just some hapless wannabe, yet another pissed-up nit who was never gonna make it, nor was she even a ten-a-penny-chanteuse enjoying her fifteen minutes.

She was a fucking genius.”

Amy

Written by Peter Reynolds

April 7, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Change Is In Sight

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I really believe that change in our cannabis laws is imminent. Since the CLEAR campaign began the whole impetus for change has accelerated. Even those who are not supporters of CLEAR and who disagree with our policies have become more focused, more coherent and more active.

The impact we have had in the media with the Comment Warriors campaign and the Press Complaints Commission should not be underestimated. Those with a keen eye for progress should check the letters pages of this weekend’s Sunday newspapers. Our message is being listened to and heard.

It is the written evidence to the drugs policy inquiry that really excites me. So much of it recites CLEAR evidence and support for our policies but even when we are not mentioned, all the submissions that advocate reform deliver a coherent message. They cannot be ignored.

The cannabis e-petition has now been superseded. It was never going to reach the 100,000 signature target anyway. Even if it did, all that was offered was the possibility, maybe the probability, of a debate in parliament and the best we could have expected from that was for an inquiry – which is what we’ve got already.

I think the cannabis e-petition has probably been signed by 80-90% of the “stoners” or user activists but we know there are three million people in Britain who use cannabis regularly, so where were they?

These are people who don’t want to join the campaign but, undoubtedly, they’d like to see a change in the law and I believe that many non-users are now seeing the social and fiscal advantages of regulation instead of prohibition. These are the people that hold the power.

It will probably start with some sort of medicinal use and gradual relaxation of enforcement until it is actually formalised. In fact, that’s what ‘s already happening with Sentencing Council guidelines. It will be fascinating to see the impact of the US elections when drugs policy is bound to come to the top of the agenda.

We are getting there. I congratulate all who are involved in delivering our message with the invincible power of evidence and truth.

Written by Peter Reynolds

March 30, 2012 at 11:56 am

Drugs Inquiry Written Evidence

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While the CLEAR website is down, we will continue to provide a service to members from here, my personal website.

One of the recent posts on the CLEAR site attracting most interest was the 731 pages of written evidence submitted to the Home Affairs select committee drugs policy inquiry

You can download the evidence here.

 

Written by Peter Reynolds

March 30, 2012 at 11:51 am