Cannabis is termed a "controlled drug" under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 but the truth is that the government has abandoned control of cannabis to criminals and with that they have failed in their responsibility to our children, our communities and the vulnerable. British government policy on cannabis actually causes harm, far more harm than cannabis does.
Prohibition means the massive commercial trade in cannabis is entirely in the black market, much of it run by organised crime gangs. There is no control over who sells cannabis, where it's sold from, how strong or how pure it is and no restrictions on who it is sold to, however young or vulnerable they may be. The only ID a dealer asks for is a £20 note.
Prohibition means there is no recourse to law when disputes arise and violence - sometimes even extreme violence - is commonplace. Large scale cannabis farms are often associated with human trafficking and employment rights or health and safety regulations simply don't apply.
Cannabis is unlike any other drug in that it contains hundreds of different components. Perhaps the two most important are THC and CBD. Cannabis with a high THC/low CBD balance can be harmful to people at risk of mental illness. Under a legal regime this balance could be controlled and products could be labelled with their THC and CBD content. Prohibition means that is impossible. Indeed, it is the commercial pressures created by prohibition that have led to the widespread production of so-called 'skunk' cannabis (high THC/low CBD).
So cannabis cannot be called a "controlled drug" in any normal use of the term and to pretend otherwise is either delusion or deception.
Proper control of cannabis would mean knowing who the dealers are by licencing them and so being able to prevent unsuitable or irresponsible people getting involved in the trade. It means quantifying the strengths and potencies, ensuring the product is clean and without contamination. It means ensuring the product is what it claims to be and that there is proper protection in place for children and the vulnerable.
Peter Reynolds, leader of CLEAR, said:
"We need to take responsibility and take control of cannabis instead of abandoning our children and our communities to organised crime. Then we can use the profits this huge industry generates to boost Corby's NHS, police, schools and other public services."
Cannabis Law Reform (CLEAR) is a political party registered with the Electoral Commission under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) to promote the cause of cannabis law reform, with the aim of replacing the anarchic mess of prohibition with a framework of real legal control which would allow proper control of the trade, ensure proper regulation of the product in terms of strength and purity and provide proper protection for vulnerable people such as children.
If you would like more information on this topic or an other aspect of the work of Cannabis Law Reform (CLEAR), or to arrange an interview with Peter Reynolds please contact him on 07880 872022 firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the CLEAR Press agent Derek Williams 07941 238908 email@example.com
Cannabis Law Reform, PO Box 674, Salfords, Redhill, Surrey RH1 9BN United Kingdom