Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘propaganda

Channel 4. ‘Drugs Live:Cannabis’, Drug War Propaganda Dressed Up As Science.

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Fight back against Channel 4’s war on cannabis.

Drug Warrior Jon Snow and Quack 'Dr' Christian Jessen

Drug Warrior Jon Snow and Quack ‘Dr’ Christian Jessen

Drugs Live:Cannabis‘ is a massive fraud perpetrated on the British people by a broadcaster that places cheap and dishonest scaremongering above its duty for truth and balance.

I expect the programme itself to be balanced and probably reach the correct conclusion on the evidence but the pre-publicity has been misleading and irresponsible.  Most people reached by the pre-publicity won’t watch the programme.

Make a complaint to Channel 4 Here.

Written by Peter Reynolds

March 3, 2015 at 6:11 pm

My MP, Richard Drax, Responds On Israel And I Challenge Him Again.

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Richard Drax MP

Richard Drax MP

—– Original Message —–
From: DRAX, Richard
To: Peter Reynolds
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2014 5:33 PM
Subject: Israel

Dear Mr Reynolds,

I write following your most recent further emails regarding Israel’s recent actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs).

It is indeed tragic that so many innocent civilians, including women and children, have been killed and injured. Ministers have made clear to all parties at every opportunity that the current situation is in no one’s interest, and is harmful to prospects for the Middle East Peace Process. We now have a 72 hour ceasefire. The Government’s objective is to make that permanent so the killing stops.

It is vital that all security operations are conducted with due care and proportionate use of force. There are hundreds of thousands of extremely vulnerable civilians in Gaza who bear no responsibility for the rocket fire and are suffering acutely from this crisis; and the Israeli defence forces estimate that 5 million Israeli civilians live within range of rockets fired from Gaza. Israel has a right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks, but it is vital that Gaza’s civilian population is protected. International humanitarian law requires both sides to distinguish between military and civilian targets and enable unhindered humanitarian access.

The UK is working with international partners to achieve three important goals. Firstly, Ministers will push for a lasting and durable ceasefire agreed by both sides that ends both the rocket fire and the Israeli operations against Gaza. This will require cooperation from all parties in Israel and the OPTs, as well as assistance from regional partners.

Secondly, the Government has committed to do all it can to help alleviate humanitarian suffering in Gaza. Given the rapidly deteriorating situation in Gaza, the International Development Secretary has decided to make more than £15 million available in emergency support including health care, clean water, blankets and cooking equipment to help the people affected by the violence in Gaza. This includes £6 million in new funding to help the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) provide immediate emergency assistance for over 100,000 people who are seeking shelter in their schools. DFID is also bringing forward £3 million in funding to help the International Committee of the Red Cross respond to the worsening situation and is spending £200,000 to repair UNRWA schools that are being used as shelters.

Finally, it is again important to re-iterate that a negotiated two-state solution remains the only way to resolve the conflict once and for all and to achieve a sustainable peace so that Israeli and Palestinian families can live without fear of violence. No other option exists which guarantees peace and security for both peoples. I can assure you the UK will work with all parties to make progress towards this goal.

I do not believe that imposing sanctions on Israel would be a constructive step. The UK has a productive relationship with Israel which enables us to express our views at senior levels very frankly. It is the Government’s assessment that imposing sanctions on Israel would lessen this influence, not increase it, and would not promote the urgent progress towards a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which we want to see. However, I am appalled at reports of further civilian casualties in the vicinity of a UN-run school housing Palestinians displaced by the Gaza conflict in Rafah. The facts are not yet clear, but it is tragic that there are further losses of life in a place which is being used as a shelter. The UN is absolutely right to speak out.

Yours sincerely

Richard Drax MP

 

—– Original Message —–
From: Peter Reynolds
To: DRAX, Richard
Sent: Saturday, August 09, 2014 4:16 PM
Subject: Re: Israel

Dear Richard,

Thank you for your reply.

You do an excellent job of presenting the government’s position. Forgive me for reminding you but you do not represent the government, you represent the people of South Dorset. I am sure we, like the majority of the UK, are horrified at the government’s inaction and acquiescence to Israeli conduct. If anything, present policy only seems to demonstrate how powerful and effective is the pro-Israel lobby. It seems to have successfully driven our government way off course from any morality and blinded it to the criminal actions of the apartheid, zionist state that is central to all the problems of the Middle East.

In sharp contrast, military and proactive humanitarian action has been launched within days in Iraq. We are told we have to prevent a “slaughter”, we have to break the “siege” in the Sinjar mountains, we must prevent “genocide”. Government ministers are wringing their hands over “brutal persecution” – the same ministers who have said nothing about Israel’s massacre of civilians in Gaza and genocide of the Palestinian people..

The hypocrisy is simply breathtaking and the cowardly, weasel words of those who call themselves our leaders are beneath contempt.

Democracy in the UK is nothing more than a sham. The BBC censors and controls the news clearly on government orders. Palestinian resistance fighters are “terrorists”, Israeli war crimes are excused and their propagandists are provided with great swathes of air time to present their arguments, unchallenged and untested while they continue to murder children with impunity.

Israel has no right to defend itself when it is acting unlawfully. It is in breach of 64 UN resolutions. Its settlements, apartheid policies and occupation of Palestinian land are unlawful. It is the rockets that are weapons of self defence.

Israel has committed repeated and heinous war crimes by targeting civilian areas and reckless attacks where it is clear there will be civilian casualties. What is Britain doing to bring these criminals to justice?

We quite clearly do not have a “productive relationship” with Israel. The kindest word that can be used to describe this claim is disingenuous. We have to draw a line. We must not permit an outlaw, renegade state, run by war criminals, to pursue its racist persecution of the Palestinian people. Israel’s fanatacism is every bit as evil as that of ISIS. indeed, if we had dealt justly with the Palestinian people and protected them against Israel, the West would not now be facing such an enraged, dangerous enemy.

Finally, there is simply no excuse at all for supplying anything to Israel that can help it to sustain its present policy. If we are still supplying arms then those concerned must be arrested immediately and brought to justice.

There is no hiding place for ministers or MPs on this Richard, no immunity against prosecution for being culpable in supporting war crimes. Please take a stand. You do not represent the government, you represent the people of South Dorset. Stand up to the corruption and cowardice in Whitehall. Resign if our government will not pursue a moral path. That would gain you more support than any toeing of the party line or repeating government propaganda.

If there is concern that Israel would use its nuclear weapons if challenged, then please have the decency to say so.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Reynolds

Written by Peter Reynolds

August 9, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Horrible Pictures From Hyde Park Cause Dreadful Damage To Cannabis Campaign.

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Yesterday, the annual Hyde Park 420 event took place.  420 is an American term for cannabis and these events take place all over the world on 20th April.  Why?  For very obscure and esoteric reasons! They are variously described as celebrations of cannabis or protests for legalisation.  Yesterday in Hyde Park was a disaster.

Violent arrests, open dealing of cannabis, hash cookies decorated to appeal to children – these are terrible images that will cause immense harm to the way that cannabis and cannabis users are seen.  CLEAR will not be publishing any of these pictures.

It matters not that these arrests were fundamentally unjust.  The police officers concerned were only doing their job.  The Daily Telegraph and other media are ramping up hysteria over two deaths in Colorado associated with ‘edibles’; so cannabis cookies in kids style was a spectacular own goal. Close-ups of bags of weed being sold alongside the names of the organisers is not just stupid, it is crazy.

We will never win the support of the public by behaving this way.  Inevitably, of the hundreds there, many seemed barely out of their teens.  The images and messages this sends through the media and to our political leaders are destructive of all the positive work that is being done towards reform. These demos, protests,  ‘smoke ups’ and ‘smoke outs’ have never had any positive effect so what makes anyone think they will now?

I know that many involved with the organisers are sincere but if I wanted to plan how to subvert and undermine the campaign, yesterday in Hyde Park would be a good model.

We have MPs, opinion leaders and powerful people on our side but unsurprisingly they will not be associated with such events.  Let’s move on and put this as far behind us as we can. The key to winning this war is to demonstrate that we can behave responsibily, to win hearts and minds which have been subject to propaganda for nearly a century.  Reform in the US has been achieved despite, not because of such events.

So what can you do? Write to your MP, arrange to meet your MP, ask your MP to arrange a meeting with a minister. This is what works. This is what is actually making progress. Let’s not mess it up.

Cameron On Cannabis Part 4

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You can see the previous instalment here: Cameron On Cannabis Part 3

I received a further reply from Mr Cameron’s office.

Click To Enlarge

As a reminder, there are four crucial issues involved:

Mr Cameron, Do You Care?

Mr Cameron said that cannabis is:

1.”incredibly damaging”

2. “very, very toxic”

3. “and leads to, in many cases, huge mental health problems”

And then, with regard to medicinal cannabis, he said:

4. “That is a matter for the science and medical authorities to determine and they are free to make independent determinations about that.”

These are all inaccurate and false statements. Mr Cameron should correct them immediately.

So I have written to him again.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Since I wrote to you about your Al Jazeera YouTube interview and your statements about cannabis, the Legalise Cannabis Alliance has changed its name to Cannabis Law Reform (CLEAR) and registered as a political party.

We are determined to put cannabis back on the political agenda and to expose the misinformation and propaganda that maintains prohibition.  We are a new, energetic team of professionals. We know the media and we know the science.  We are not going to put up with the irrational and scaremongering attitude to this issue which has persisted for so long.

The statements you made about cannabis in your interview were inaccurate and misleading.  That is incontrovertible fact.  You must correct them. You are the prime minister of our nation and you must speak the truth.

In your reply dated 7th March you said that “…the Home Office is best placed to respond…” but you spoke the words and we have determined by Freedom of Information request (Home Office reference CR17931) that you were not advised by the Home Office on this question.  These were your words and yours alone.  Please Mr Cameron, will you now meet with me so that I can explain to you the scientific facts and the awful injustice, particularly to the sick and unwell, as well as the waste of billions in public money that your government’s policies sustain?

It cannot stand that our prime minister can speak untruths without correcting them.  Please deal with this Mr Cameron. This is not going away.  Cannabis is used by millions of British citizens every day, in many cases for the very effective relief of illness. We are reasonable, responsible, respectable citizens and we demand that you give this issue proper attention!

Please meet me Mr Cameron. Authoritative research proves that a tax and regulate regime for cannabis would produce a net £6 billion per annum benefit for Britain and massively reduce all health and social harms.

Most importantly though, please correct the inaccurate and misleading statements you made on YouTube.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Reynolds

Many thanks to my commenter, Bob the Wisemaster, who made the FOI request. The full response from the Home Office, disavowing any knowledge of Mr Cameron’s words can be seen here.

What next? More letters to Mr Cameron please. Write to him again. Tell him that he must correct his inaccurate statements. Keep up the pressure!

The Future Of Cannabis In Britain Is CLEAR

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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.

Brokenshire Resigns. New Drugs Minister Appointed.

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James “Broken Britain” Brokenshire has resigned as drugs minister in order to spend more time with his family.  The new drugs minister is Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi, a long time friend of the British government, well known for his intelligent and forward thinking policies and a legend amongst freedom loving people throughout the world.

David Cameron, commenting on Brokenshire’s resignation said:

“James has done a wonderful job spreading government propaganda and misinformation.  Without his tireless and courageous work we would have been unable to restrain the public outcry against our drugs policy.  If it wasn’t for James, thousands of medicinal cannabis users might have found relief from their pain and suffering and strayed away from the poisonous and harmful products that our friends in Big Pharma supply.  It was only through James’ personal guidance that I was able recently to dismiss any idea of legalising cannabis during my YouTube interview.  James told me the right lies to tell. I couldn’t have done it without him.”

David Oliver, Head of the Drug Strategy Unit at the Home Office, welcomed the new minister saying:

“I look forward to working with Muammar Gaddafi.  He has exactly the right experience and personal qualities needed in a British drugs minister.  He is a denier of science.  He has no interest in the will of the people and he can tell bare faced lies without even blinking.  I cannot think of anyone more suitable for the post”

This Man Isn’t A Scientist. He’s A Prohibition Propagandist.

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Sitting alongside him at his press conference “Cannabis Can Hasten Psychosis”, who did Dr Large have to lend him support?

Cannabis Preventer

Jan Copeland, the director of the Australian National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre.

What does that tell you?

This isn’t anything to do with science.  It’s about advancing the prohibitionist agenda – and, of course, is closely connected to Dr Large’s future funding and career path.  See here for the unedited rushes from this little conspiracy.

His big pitch was “The results of this study confirm the need for a renewed public health warning about the potential for cannabis use to bring on psychotic illness.”

Absolute rot.  The study confirmed nothing of the sort.  All it consisted of was a recalculation of data from 83 previous studies.  It’s all correlation and association.  There’s no evidence of causation whatsoever. There was absolutely nothing new in it at all and to claim there is, is simply a lie.  Of course, the mindless, desperate and eager comics like the Daily Mail have almost wet themselves with excitement over it.

This is a very typical example of the misinformation, propaganda and distortion of science put out by the prohibitionists.  It is important to understand the way they work.  They have been doing this now for nearly 100 years, using the latest propaganda techniques every time.

In this “meta-analysis”, as Dr Large pretentiously calls it, what he doesn’t tell you is that all the subjects already had a predisposition towards psychosis (usually by genetics) and included tobacco and “other psychoactive substance users”.  That means any of the approximately 600 ingredients found in cigarettes such as ammonia, various ethyls, and any of dozens of acids and carcinogens could have distorted the findings.  Similarly, and not addressed by the study’s authors, is the fact that the cannabis users, in many cases, were also cocaine, heroine, amphetamine or other drug users.

The study claims that “…schizophrenia caused by cannabis starts earlier than schizophrenia with other causes.” but it fails to consider how many of the subjects were in fact, self-medicating.  The authors don’t even consider whether cannabis causes mental illness or if people with mental illness have a higher rate of using cannabis.  Other evidence shows that self-medicating with cannabis is widespread and that over 90% of diagnosed schizophrenics smoke cigarettes – but nobody is claiming tobacco causes schizophrenia.

It’s hogwash.

The LCA Leadership Election

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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

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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!

Legalise Cannabis Alliance Votes To Return To Politics

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Last week the LCA announced the result of its membership ballot – that it would re-register as a political party and elect a leader.

Stuart Warwick

Two candidates are standing for the leadership:  Stuart Warwick and myself.  Voting will close on 14th February 2011 and the result will be announced a few days later.

At a meeting last Sunday, a new management committee was formed consisting of:

Don Barnard, PR & Political Liaison
Alun Buffry, Treasurer & Coordinator
Mark Palmer, IT & Media Development
Peter Reynolds, Speaker
Janice Wells, Secretary

Two official spokespersons were appointed:

Chris Baldwin
Stuart Warwick

Alun Buffry, co-founder of the LCA,  said:

“In 2006, LCA members voted to de-register as a political party in the mistaken belief that the Liberal Democrats and Greens would take up the complex issues surrounding the cannabis plant.  Sadly that did not happen.  Now, LCA members have voted to re-register as a political party.  The LCA will once again offer voters a platform to register their discontent over the unjust prosecution of victimless users of cannabis.”

Don Barnard added:

“I am over the moon that the membership has voted to get politically active again. I look forward to raising concerns about the dubious reasons for complete prohibition of the cannabis plant with government and parliamentarians.”


For myself, I am excited to be involved in the management committee and the leadership election.  Whatever the outcome, I will do my utmost to represent the LCA, its members and all cannabis users to the best of my ability.  It is time that the discrimination against millions of British citizens who choose to use cannabis was put back on the political agenda.  No longer can the misinformation and false propaganda put out by government ministers go unchallenged.