Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘LCA

Evidently My Work Is Succeeding!

with 65 comments

I have my very own hate website!  Somebody has gone to a great deal of time and trouble to put up a site all about me, seeking to… well I’m not sure what actually but you can judge for yourself: http://peterreynoldsmonitor.wordpress.com/.

I am hugely flattered and inspired by this.  Why would anyone go to all this trouble if my work wasn’t having a real and significant impact?

And this hasn’t been put together by some numpty.  I’m afraid it’s way, way beyond the ability of the LCA old guard.  Whoever the author is, he or she can write, spell and even construct a coherent sentence. The site is well put together.

Of course it is abusive, defamatory and infringes my intellectual property and copyrights from beginning to end.  I will be writing to WordPress asking them to take it down for those reasons – but not just yet, please allow me to revel in the flattery and attention just a little longer!

I think we can all recognise that this is a mark of progress.  For someone to use their evident intelligence and ability to attack me like this means I am succeeding.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I never have been.  All my experience of life teaches me that it’s cock up then cover up that is the reality behind most conspiracy theories.  However, I have been persuaded recently that there may well be undercover police or intelligence activity in the cannabis community.  It was the revelations about the undercover cop in the climate change movement that convinced me.  I mean the cannabis lobby has made so little progress and there’s been so much infighting.   How can so many people campaign for so long about something that is so self-evidently wrong and make no progress at all?

So this could well be undercover activity promoted by a government that wants to defend its policies.  I’ve been accused of being an undercover cop myself.  Derek Williams of UKCIA has enjoyed laying into me and questioning my past but I don’t think this is Derek.  It has some of his hallmarks and he has the ability but I give him credit for more integrity than that and he’s been very supportive to me about CLEAR and recent developments.

Anyway, the longer this goes on the more comfort we can take that we are making progress.  I certainly won’t be bothering to read the nonsense that’s being published.  It’s all innuendo, suggestion and “maybe” and “perhaps” and “possibly”.  In fact,  it rather reminds me of reading another report on cannabis and psychosis except that the courageous seeker after truth who has written it is grovelling in cowardly anonymity.  Let me be clear (!), I’ll happily answer any question about me or my past including the darker and more unhappy times (yes, I am human!) but not to some internet troll.  Let the author of this hate site publish his or her name, picture, email address and location online as I do and I’ll happily answer any questions.

Of course, the real disappointment will be that I don’t have any skeletons in my closet.  Oh, I have skeletons for sure but they’re all out in the open.

So that’s enough.  I won’t dignify this sordid little trickster by any further comment.  I am hugely flattered though, encouraged and inspired.  The war on prohibition is making progress!

The Future Of Cannabis In Britain Is CLEAR

with 74 comments

Last Thursday, 24th March 2011, the latest ballot of the membership of the Legalise Cannabis Alliance closed.  By a two-thirds to one-third majority the members voted to adopt a new constitution and to change the party’s name.  From that moment on we are known as Cannabis Law Reform or CLEAR.

We have moved away from the use of the word “legalise” because it is interpreted as meaning a free for all.  It scares people, particularly politicians and the media and we, as a party, now understand that these are the people we need to influence if we are to advance our cause.

We have also refined and sharpened our aims and objectives.  They are now simple, direct and clear:

  1. To end the prohibition of cannabis.
  2. To promote as a matter of urgency and compassion the prescription of medicinal cannabis by doctors.
  3. To introduce a system of regulation for the production and supply of cannabis based on facts and evidence.
  4. To encourage the production and use of industrial hemp.
  5. To educate and inform about the uses and benefits of cannabis.

Medicinal cannabis is our spearhead.  We seek an end to prohibition for everyone but we demand immediate provision for those who need cannabis as medicine.  It is an obscene and evil shame on our nation that so many who suffer are in fear of arrest and prison for using a medicine that transforms their lives.

We will build a new and effective brand and campaign.  We are reasonable, responsible, respectable members of society from all walks of life and professions.  We are discriminated against by an irrational and absurd policy.  Cannabis is a wonderful thing.  It is relatively harmless but it is a psychoactive substance and needs to be respected. It’s medicinal value is unparalleled but it also offers wonderful recreational, spiritual and creative nourishment.  The relatively young science of cannabinoids now explains why cannabis has been treasured and used by mankind since the dawn of time.  Prohibition is a ridiculous policy. The truth about cannabis is clear.

We intend to build a substantial membership. Annual subscriptions have been cut to £5.00 and for concessions £1.00.  We ask everyone to make a payment of £10 towards campaign funding but money will not be an obstacle to anyone joining.  Please show your support for our campaign and join CLEAR.  Within the next few days we will launch a membership drive with the simplest way to sign up being payment by text message.

We will be fielding candidates in council and parliamentary elections all over the UK.  We do not expect to win many seats but we intend our campaign to be given the respect and attention it deserves.  We will seek electoral pacts with other parties who are prepared to sign up to our aims.  If you would like to stand as a candidate,  please get in touch.  We also need voluntary workers all over the country.

We have exciting campaigns on the way that communicate the scientific truth about cannabis and demolish the scare stories and prejudice that is so widespread.  We will never let another ridiculous tabloid story pass without challenging it.  We will not allow our political leaders to get away with untruths and propaganda without calling them to account.

We will campaign for an end to the ludicrous waste of law enforcement resources on cannabis and for a regulated system of production that will exclude organised crime and the evils of violence and human trafficking that prohibition causes.  We will educate users about cannabinoid content, different strains, varieties and methods of use. We will promote regulation to ensure quality, safety and restriction of sales to adults only.

We already have solid data that proves a tax and regulate regime in Britain would produce a net gain to the economy of at least £6 billion per annum, freeing up police to concentrate on real crime and massively reducing the harms caused by prohibition.

Despite the fact that most people in Britain have used cannabis to no ill effect and that between two and ten million people have it as a regular part of their lives, the cannabis campaign has failed to make any real progress.   Now is when that changes.  The future of cannabis in Britain is CLEAR.

We will release more details about our campaign in the near future.

The truth about cannabis is CLEAR.

ISMOKE Magazine Issue 2

with 2 comments

The second edition of ISMOKE magazine is now available here.  It promises to be even better than the first.

The contents are:

  • Lead Editorial – Nuff Said
  • Cannabis Is A Wonderful Thing – Peter Reynolds
  • Cannabis In The News
  • Meet The Sprayer – Nuff Said
  • An Interview With Jason Reed – Nuff Said
  • Bud Porn – THCDUDEUK
  • Strain Reviews – The Cannablog
  • When There’s A Wall, There’s A Way – Clark French
  • Twisted Logic, You Know It Makes Sense – Jason Reed
  • Marijuana Myths: The Dangers Of Smoking Cannabis – Cure Ukay
  • The New Legalise Cannabis Alliance – Peter Reynolds
  • Recreational Or Medical: A Distinction Without A Difference – Alun Buffry
  • UKCIA – Derek Williams
  • Your Pictures
  • My Sacrament – Jakub Carter (FRANKDONTKNOWJACK)
  • Around The World – Cannabis College Amsterdam
  • Stateside: Nuff Said Reaches Out To Farmer Tom
  • Blogs You Should Read – Nuff Said
  • Cannabis Strains – Rags (THCTALK)
  • ISMOKE Reviews – Nuff Said
  • How To Do Your Bit For The Cannabis Campaign – Nuff Said
  • ISMOKE Competition
  • My Story – Luke Bunce
  • Visitor Map On ISMOKEHerb

Don’t Let Cameron Get Away With His Untruths About Cannabis. Write A Letter!

with 89 comments

Call Cameron To Account

Following the example of my comrade-in-arms, Jason “HomeGrown Outlaw” Reed, here is another letter writing campaign.

Yesterday, on YouTube, David Cameron gave a shockingly inaccurate and misleading answer to a question about cannabis.  You can read the full story and watch the video here.

I have written to Mr Cameron asking that he meet me as the leader of the LCA so that I can prove to him how wrong he is.  Now what is needed is for hundreds, preferably thousands of us, to write to Mr Cameron asking him to arrange that meeting.

What I would suggest is that you print out a copy of my letter and then attach it to a letter of your own.

You can download and print my letter here.

I suggest your letter goes something like this:

(Please copy, paste and edit to make it a little more personal. Better still, make it a hand-written note clipped to the copy of my letter.  That is the sort of thing that will make most impact. Don’t forget your reply address.)

Dear Mr Cameron,

I was very concerned by what you said recently on YouTube about marijuana.  The leader of the LCA has written to you asking for a meeting (copy attached).  He represents my interests so will you please arrange to see him?

Yours etc

Mr Cameron’s address is:

David Cameron MP
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London
SW1A 2AA

If you want to take it one step further, send a copy to your MP too.

(Find out who you MP is at www.parliament.uk. Please copy, paste and edit to make it a little more personal. Better still, make it a hand-written note clipped to the copy of my letter. That is the sort of thing that will make most impact. Don’t forget your reply address.)

Dear (insert name),

I was very concerned by what David Cameron said recently on YouTube about marijuana.  The leader of the LCA has written to him asking for a meeting (copy attached). He represents my interests so please, will you ask Mr Cameron to see him?

Yours etc

Your MP’s address is:

(insert name) MP
House Of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA

Written by Peter Reynolds

February 26, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Mr Cameron, It’s You Who Needs Education About Cannabis!

with 56 comments

See the interview here.  The relevant part starts at 10:45.

Al Jazeera: This was incidentally, the second most popular question because viewers would submit questions and then members of the public would vote.

Why is marijuana illegal when alcohol and tobacco are more addictive and dangerous to our health, but we manage to control them?  Wouldn’t education about drugs from a younger age be better?

Cameron: Well there’s one bit of that question I agree with which I think education about drugs is vital and we should make sure that education programmes are there in our schools and we should make sure that they work. But I don’t really accept the rest of the question. I think if you actually look at the sort of marijuana that is on sale today, it is actually incredibly damaging, very, very toxic and leads to, in many cases, huge mental health problems.  But I think the more fundamental reason for not making these drugs legal is that to make them legal would make them even more prevalent and would increase use levels even more than they are now. So I don’t think it is the right answer.  I think a combination of education, also treatment programmes for drug addicts, I think those are the two most important planks of a proper anti-drug policy.

Al Jazeera: What about the argument that it could be used as medicinal properties?  That was another question we actually had, a person saying it’s got proven medicinal properties.  If used properly and regulated properly it could actually be quite helpful.

Cameron: That is a matter for the science and medical authorities to determine and they are free to make independent determinations about that.  But the question here about whether illegal drugs should be made legal, my answer is no.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I am writing about your answer to the question about marijuana during the recent Al Jazeera World View YouTube interview.

I am the recently elected leader of the LCA.  I represent the interests of at least two million regular users of cannabis and perhaps as many as 10 million occasional users in Britain.  This is a huge proportion of the population and on their behalf I am requesting a meeting with you.

We were dismayed, shocked even, at your answer to the question.  With respect, clearly it is you who are in great need of education about cannabis. The information you gave was inaccurate and false.  While we must all respect different opinions, your answer was factually wrong and you must correct it.

Cannabis is not “incredibly damaging”, nor “very, very toxic”. It is a myth that there is anything significantly different about the cannabis on sale today and the idea that it causes “in many cases, huge mental health problems” has been comprehensively disproved many times over by scientists all over the world.

I can provide you with scientific information which proves that these ideas are false.  Recently we have been pursuing various newspapers through the Press Complaints Commission for publishing the same inaccuracies. I am seriously alarmed when I see the prime minster of my country distributing such untruths.

Two key facts:

The Therapeutic Ratio of cannabis (ED50:LD50) is 1:40000  (Alcohol = 1:10, Paracetamol = 1:30). Even potatoes are more toxic than cannabis.

Professor Glyn Lewis of the University of Bristol reviewed all published research on cannabis and psychosis in 2009 and concluded that 96% of people have no risk whatsoever and in the remaining 4% the risk is “statistically tiny”.

Your suggestion that legalising drugs increases use is also not supported by the evidence.  In both Holland and Portugal where cannabis use is not prosecuted, consumption is much lower than in Britain.

Finally, on medicinal use it is simply not true that the scientific and medical authorities are free to make independent determinations.  The Home Office stamps on any medicinal cannabis use even when prescribed by a doctor.  People from other European countries can bring medicinal cannabis to Britain and use it legally under the Schengen agreement but you can’t if you’re British.  Here, sick and disabled people are being prosecuted every day for use of a medicine which is scientifically and medically proven. Surely you cannot be unaware of this?  It is a cruel and evil policy which shames our nation.

So please, Mr Cameron, will you meet with me in order that I may show you the evidence and the facts about cannabis?   Remember, this was the second most popular question you were asked on Friday and I represent the interests of millions of British citizens.  Please make time for me in your diary.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

 

Peter Reynolds

New LCA

with 35 comments

I take on the leadership of the LCA as a serious responsibility.  I shall do my best to represent the interests of the six million regular users of cannabis in Britain.  The government should now move urgently to permit the medicinal use of cannabis. It is not only unjust to deny such relief to those in suffering, it is deeply cruel.  Ministers should be ashamed at their treatment of the sick and disabled. I shall also be campaigning to bring the multi-billion pound cannabis market into a system of proper regulation where children and the vulnerable can be protected and quality and safety are assured.  Prohibition is a failed policy which causes far more harm than cannabis ever has.  It also deprives the nation of billions in tax revenue and in wasted law enforcement costs.

“New LCA” – Call For Nominations

with 75 comments

“New LCA” is in the process of drafting its constitution and revising its aims and principles in accordance with the results of the leadership election.  The immediate plans following the election are set out here.

The management committee is considering a new name which will better reflect the aims of the party.   Nominations are invited from everyone.

This is not a competition and there are no prizes, guarantees or rewards.  We are looking for suggestions and ideas.  The committee will decide the name that it will recommend to the membership as part of the new constitution.

The main consideration is how to advance our cause, ending the prohibition of cannabis, and who we have to communicate with and persuade in order to achieve that.   That means looking outwards at people who do not use cannabis and particularly at MPs, opinion formers and the media.  These are the people we must influence.

We need a name and identity around which we can rally supporters but we are not the main concern.   For instance, “legalise” is a word that frightens people.  Our target audience thinks that it means a free for all, whereas our intention is a system of regulation based on facts and evidence which protects children and the vulnerable and maintains quality and safety standards.

“Cannabis” is a word that people are concerned about having linked to their online and Facebook profiles but it is the essence of our cause.  It is difficult to see how any name could be successful without including the word.   Our new campaign theme is “Reform Regulate Realise” but it needs a payoff to say clearly what it is about.

Please think about how the name will sound when you write to your MP .   Will it be an immediate turn off or will it invite interest?   When Jeremy Paxman talks about us on Newsnight will it be with a sneer or with some respect, that here is a serious party with a serious proposition?

Please post your ideas here as comments.  I promise that every suggestion will be considered.  Here are some ideas to start off with.

Cannabis Party

Cannabis Tax & Regulate Party

Cannabis Tax Party

Cannabis Law Reform Party

End Cannabis Prohibition Party

Reform Regulate Realise Party

Safer Access Party

British Cannabis Reform Party

Immediate Plans Following My Election As LCA Leader

with 28 comments

First of all, I want to say thank you to all who voted for me and to the membership as a whole for placing its trust in me. I take the leadership on as a serious responsibility. This is the dawn of a new era and of what I’m calling for now,… “New LCA”.

I intend to work by consensus with both the management committee and the membership. We will carry forward the plans that I set out in my manifesto. However, even before that, my first priority is our registration as a political party. The membership voted for that before it voted for me.

I have reviewed all the information from the Electoral Commission. The most important part of registration is the submission of the party’s constitution. The existing constitution is not suitable for a political party with a leader and so it will have to be revised. This then is the time to review all aspects of the constitution and so include the plans I put forward in my manifesto which the membership voted for.

I have co-opted Stuart Warwick on to the management committee. The members of the committee are now: Don Barnard, Mark Palmer, Peter Reynolds, Stuart Warwick and Janice Wells.

The committee is now working together to produce a draft constitution for New LCA. It will consider everything about our future strategy including our name and identity. I anticipate that there will be a formal committee meeting in two or three weeks when we will publish the new draft constitution. We will consult widely as we go along. If possible, I am going to try and build in a formal consultation process so that members can comment or propose amendments to the draft. Then there will be a new ballot of the membership on the committee’s proposals.

Clearly, we cannot contest the Barnsley by-election on 3rd March. The Electoral Commission requires a minimum 20 working days to process a registration. We must plan to have completed the consultation, ballot and registration process in time to contest the May elections.

There is an exciting new campaign in development on the theme of “Reform. Regulate. Realise”. I am working with independent scientific experts to ensure the credibility of our message. I promise you will see the details soon,

Other important matters for consideration by the committee will include the website, the forum and the level of membership fees. Anyone, member or non-member, is welcome to write to me with their views, ideas or proposals. Email me at peter@peter-reynolds.co.uk.

The LCA Leadership Election

with 15 comments

The ballot papers have been mailed to members today.  The candidates are Stuart Warwick and myself.  Voting closes a week today.  The result will be announced shortly afterwards.

Peter Reynolds

Dear LCA member,

I am seeking election as leader of the Legalise Cannabis Alliance.

I have been campaigning for an end to the prohibition of cannabis for more than 30 years.

If elected, I can promise you radical change in the way that LCA goes about its business. We will launch a new campaign based around the theme: REFORM, REGULATE and REALISE.

That is REFORM the law to end prohibition, REGULATE production and supply based on facts and evidence and REALISE the huge benefits of the plant both as medicine and as a £10 billion net contribution to the economy.

This will be a tightly focused campaign aiming for the urgent availability of cannabis for those who need it as medicine and a properly regulated supply chain for the millions of British citizens who use it recreationally. That means we will take the business out of the hands of criminals, allow commercial growers to produce the plant under properly regulated conditions and permit small scale personal cultivation of up to six plants.

We will advocate sales of cannabis through licensed outlets such as tobacconists and/or coffee shops to adults only. It would remain a criminal offence to supply cannabis to under 18s. We accept that cannabis should be taxed, partly to cover the costs of the regulatory system and a health advisory service but also so that the entire country will benefit from bringing this huge market out of the black economy. Based on research by the Independent Drug Monitoring Unit and the Transform Drug Policy Foundation we estimate that with reductions in law enforcement costs and new tax revenue, there will be a net contribution of approx £10 billion to the UK exchequer.

We will not be diverted by peripheral issues such as the many uses for industrial hemp, although we will be glad to see progress in that area. We will run a campaign focused on achieving practical change, not promoting a philosophy. That means that our main concern will be to educate and influence MPs and get our message across in the media. MPs are the only people who can change the law and it is through the media that we can influence voter opinion so we will deal with them on their terms, in Westminster, in newspapers and television studios. We will bring a new professionalism to this issue and demand the attention and respect that our proposals deserve.

The prohibition of cannabis is unjust, undemocratic and immoral. Most cannabis users are reasonable, responsible and respectable people and I will demand our right to be heard and treated fairly.

I shall stand for parliament in every by-election and in the next general election on this single issue. Being realistic, we do not expect to win a seat but we will put cannabis back on the political agenda and we will be taken seriously. No longer will we allow the Daily Mail or other media to publish lies and propaganda uinchallenged. No longer will we allow prohibitionists like Debra Bell and Peter Hitchens to misinform and promote scare stories without any balance.

I want to transform the LCA into a professional, effective campaign that will achieve results. I believe that I am the right man for this job. Please vote for me. Vote to REFORM, REGULATE and REALISE.

My website at http://www.peter-reynolds.co.uk contains a wealth of information about cannabis and many articles that I have written on the subject. If you want more detailed information about me and what I stand for, that is the place to look.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Peter Reynolds

Stuart Warwick

Dear Member,

As one of the candidates seeking election for leadership of the LCA, I’ve been asked to write a short letter outlining my plans for the direction and actions I’d like to see the LCA take.

As Leader I would not seek to limit our campaign to the medical and recreational issues only (although I believe this should be our focus) but use the plethora of other applications that cannabis has in industry to gain support from as wide a demographic as possible.

I intend to campaign for legalisation, regulation & taxation.

Legalisation, done properly would remove the cannabis market from the hands of criminals and terrorists and open it up to legitimate businesses & entrepreneurs, giving the substantial profit back to society.

Regulation will help prevent dangerous contamination, ensure good quality and be more effective at keeping it out of the hands of children.

Taxation to put some of the profit back into the country – everyone benefits.

I think licensed outlets and growers is what we should be aiming to achieve. Licensing should cover not only the supply of cannabis but should also cover growing set-ups to ensure electrical and fire safety as this is a known hazard with some badly fitted installations. This would allow local growers to provide more variety in outlets, allowing users to clearly identify the strain that suits their needs the best.

Licenses should be available to cover a wide range of grow sizes to encourage both local and national business opportunities.

I think fact-based policy is a must, with genuinely unbiased research. To base policy purely on knee jerk emotional and moral arguments while ignoring scientific research is unjust and unproductive.

We know there are people in power who understand this but are forced to repeat the same prohibition mantra.

We need to let people know that if they decide to make a stand against prohibition we will be there to back them up. They will not want to make a move unless they know that when they do, they are not left hanging, We just have to give them the nod and be ready when they do.

By standing for elections, I hope to challenge not only my local MP’s and the other candidates but also policy on a national level. As leader of the LCA I hope to unite all of the voices in our community to achieve just that.

I have 2 sites that I have used to promote my ideas so far. Feel free to visit them, although there are some very early attempts on there, so quality isn’t always great, sorry.

http://www.youtube.com/user/NovictimNocrime08

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hunar-for-Prime-Minister/238421977309

Thanks for your time – , this wasn’t as easy to write as I thought it would be!

Regards

Stuart Warwick.

The Politics Of Cannabis

with 37 comments

Originally Published In ISMOKE Magazine Issue 1

Cannabis is a political issue.  Make no mistake about it.  The scientific, moral, medical and health arguments have all been won.  What we need to do now is find a way to make change happen.

It’s in the prohibitionists’ interests to keep debating all the ins and outs and going through the evidence because it diverts from the imperative for change. We have to keep repeating the truth.  We have to cut through their deception and scaremongering but above all, we have to demand action.

In the US, they’ve gone way, way past the silly and irrelevant arguments about cannabis being dangerous or harmful. We like to think that we’re smarter, a more mature democracy but so many Brits are still suckers for a Daily Mail scare story. The propaganda and bigotry still prevails here.  In America they simply accept that if you abuse or misuse something it may cause you harm. They rarely even mention the psychosis theory.  Even after Congresswoman Giffords’ shooting and the stories of Jared Loughner’s marijuana use, his friends were quick to step forward and say he’d stopped some time ago and actually seemed worse and more unstable without self-medicating on cannabis.  More importantly than that, the US media reported what his friends said rather than hushing it up because it wasn’t sensational enough.

Peter Hitchens, the Mail On Sunday columnist wrote a disgusting rant about the shooting, blaming it all on cannabis and having nothing to do with the truth at all. Now the US media are ridiculing him about Britain’s Reefer Madness.  He really is an example of the very worst in journalism.  The truth means nothing to him.  He is a liar and a mendacious frightener of the vulnerable, the elderly, of children and their parents.  You will be interested to know that the Legalise Cannabis Alliance has drawn a line in the sand.  We will no longer let such nonsense go unchallenged.  A formal complaint is being made in the LCA’s name to the Press Complaints Commission.  It will be the first of many.  We will no longer allow the British media to distribute lies without calling them to account.

The War On Prohibition Can Be Won!

Prohibition is fundamentally immoral.  It is nothing less than the unjustified oppression of a section of society.  It is as pernicious and evil as racism, sexism, homophobia or any other form of prejudice. It says that, irrespective of facts, evidence, science or justice, just because we disagree with you, we will make your activity illegal. We will criminalise you, imprison you, ruin your career, endanger your family, smear you with unjustified innuendo and suspicion. We will cause you far more harm than the activity you choose ever will.

It is pretty well accepted now, worldwide, that Nixon’s war on drugs can never be won.  It makes Vietnam or Afghanistan look like a little skirmish in some backwater.  It has been responsible for far more death, misery and destruction than any war since Nixon first declared it.  There are still those who cling to its ambitions, like our favourite preppy, baby face minister James Brokenshire   But he is rather like one of those Japanese soldiers, found on some remote Pacific island, thirty years after his Emperor surrendered – still dangerous, still committed to his cause but hopelessly out of touch, in need of re-education, a very, very sad case.

The war on prohibition is now in full flow and this is a campaign that can and must be won.  It is a war that has right and justice and common sense on its side.  It is time that we marshall our forces, determine our strategy, plan our tactics and hold fast to our courage as we advance on the enemy.  I believe that this year or next marijuana will be legalised in at least one state in America.  Once the dam is broken, progress will begin to roll out all over the world.

I believe that the Legalise Cannabis Alliance is the standard around which we should rally.  We are responsible, respectable, reasonable citizens and we need to unite to fight the war on prohibition.

What is vital is that the LCA communicates its messages effectively to the right people. It seems to me that one of, if not the most important audience is members of parliament. They, after all, are the only people who can actually change the law. We therefore have to play their game by their rules.

In the documentary “In Pot We Trust”, Aaron of the Marijuana Policy Project says that one man in short hair and a suit, lobbying congressmen can achieve more than hundreds marching in the street.  I think he’s right.

The LCA must re-launch its campaign.  We must overhaul our image, update the logo and the website.  We must become conscious of our communications, control and deliver our messages with ruthless effect, use all the spin doctor tricks and techniques, just as any other political party or pressure group.

I will put on a suit and tie for the LCA because that’s what is needed to make progress with politicians, through the media and, most importantly, with the great God of public opinion.

I think we also have to consider our name.  Not throw it out for the sake of something new but recognise that “Legalise” is a word that frightens people.  They think it means an uncontrolled free for all, whereas what we argue for is fact and evidence based regulation.  We also need to consider the word cannabis.  People are frightened to have it on their Facebook profile and concerned that it may come up in a Google search when they’re applying for a new job.  We have to consider these things.  I would argue that instead of saying “Legalise Cannabis”, we might say “End Prohibition”.

So we do need to become much more professional about our communications and image. Anything put out in our name needs to be “on message” in every sense of the phrase – look, feel, content, style, etc. Each target audience needs to be addressed on its terms. We need an analysis and a plan for each individual MP and constituency. We need a rota of pro-active media communications. We need to enlist the help of celebrities who support our cause.  This needs to be done consistently and repeatedly. We need a team of people all over the country working together with a plan to succeed.

I also believe that we should re-register as a political party and field candidates in every byelection.  In fact, I would propose that we field the same candidate in every byelection and we build.the campaign and awareness over time.  I don’t expect us to win a seat in parliament but I do expect us to start being taken seriously. I want to see us on Newsnight and on Question Time.  When Debra Bell is asked for a quote or is interviewed about a cannabis story, I want us to be quoted as well and to be on the other side of the TV sofa facing down her mischief and misinformation.

Cannabis is a political issue.  If we get our act together and get serious about the war on prohibition, get serious about achieving results, explain the facts, expose the lies, then we can prevail. We can see the truth revealed.  We can win!