Pubdate: Fri, 19 Aug 2005
Source: Evening News (UK)
Copyright: 2005 Archant Regional
Author: Steve Clements, Legalise Cannabis Alliance
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - United Kingdom)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


In 1998 Viscountess Runciman reported to  Parliament that Cannabis should 
be moved from schedule 1 to schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs act to enable 
its use as a medicine. They went on to say that a defence of duress of 
circumstance on medical grounds be allowed for possession, cultivation or 

Seven years later we see the High court rule that 'medical neccessity' as a 
defence is no longer admissible in court, a month later  the MS support 
group THC4MS who have openly supplied Cannabis chocolate to hundreds of 
sick people, free of charge, have been charged with 'conspiracy to supply 

This will leave many people suffering and probably resorting to the black 
market to obtain toxic street resin to try and combat their symptoms 
thereby fuelling crime contrary to anybodies benefit. In fact one of the 
accused is herself an MS sufferer facing potentially 14 years in prison.

Any prosecution should be brought 'In the public interest'. What is in the 
public interest in taking medicine away from people who have asked for this 
help or to prevent them growing a plant for their own use forcing them to 
suffer and to turn to dealers to obtain an adulterated alternative. Who is 
the victim in this crime?

The fact our Government are able to do this is more like an authoritarian 
dictatorship than an understanding and caring free democracy,  Whatever 
your views may be on the recreational uses of cannabis it's medical uses 
are beyond doubt and denying these to people is torture. I find it corrupt 
that our politicians play these games with peoples lives on the basis of 
protecting the financial interests of pharmaceutical companies who force 
many far more dangerous drugs into our lives . Remember that hundreds of 
people a year still die from Aspirin and the like, available in every 
corner shop in the land.

The Runciman Report states:  The evidence strongly indicates that the 
current law and its operation creates more harm than the drug itself. 
(Ch.7, para.75, Police Foundation Report of the Independent Inquiry on the 
Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, U.K., 1999).

Judge Francis Young Of the US Drug enforcement agency stated 'Marihuana in 
it's natural form is the safest therapeutically active substance known to man'

The evidence of the medical benefits of cannabis use is overwhelming and 
growing almost daily, after all it was in our chemists until 1971, when 
American pressure on our Government had it removed  on the grounds that it 
had no medical value.

MS, AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, chemotherapy, bowel disorders, sleep disorders, 
appetite stimulation, chronic pain, the list of the uses of this plant is 
endless. There is no risk of overdose from this natural source of healing. 
Dr Lester Grinspoon, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical 
School says ' there is  no risk with marihuana that justifies denying it's 
use to adults for any purpose'

The Government continually refuses to enter into a debate on the subject 
and despite recent reports on the disastrous failing of government drug 
policy they do nothing but pander to the bizarre rantings of certain 
tabloid newspapers.

I have spent many hours studying cannabis and all associated research for 
many years and have no doubt whatsoever that this is one of the most useful 
and safest medicinal plants known to man. The continuing tabloid 
misinformation hysteria is doing far more harm than good and is adding 
nothing to the debate aside from scaring many parents with teenage 
children, and yet the booze fuelled world continues unabated.

Upto 25% of disabled people use cannabis, why should we want to prosecute 
them? For what purpose could this possibly serve?

Tony Blair's failed 'War on Drugs'  is now a war on the sick and 
defenceless, in an attempt to show he is tough on crime? A crime with no 
victim, a crime committed by millions everyday, a crime to ensure a huge 
minority have little respect for the law or it's makers.  It's quite clear 
that drug policy is an out and out disaster, a fresh approach is required, 
surely ' tough on crime' is where control is taken on by the authorities 
rather than leaving it to the hugely profitable black market?

The criminalisation of personal choice, to choose a safer alternative 
natural medicine than the parmaceuticals with terrible side effects is a 
crime against humanity for which Tony Blair is responsible.

Drug-related deaths per million population (in Holland) are the lowest in 
Europe. In 1995, the figure for the Netherlands was 2.4 as against 31.1 for 
the United Kingdom.

Steve Clements

Legalise Cannabis Alliance

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MAP posted-by: Elizabeth Wehrman