Sunday, April 30, 2006

parliament square medical cannabis protest: why we filled in the form

Above: Pills or Herb: the right to choose your own medicine.


In many countries all demonstrations are either illegal or subject to police attack even if they are supposedly within the law. Many overseas readers will therefore be amazed to know that until recently in Britain it was not necessary to ask permission from the police to demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament (Parliament Square) in London.

But now a new law requires advance permission to demonstrate in front of the 'Mother of Parliaments' - although the law also obliges the police to agree to any reasonable request. All that is required is the filling in of a simple form. Demonstrations elsewhere still do not require permission.

Some people have been campaigning against this new law by defying it and holding demonstrations without permission. However over 150 other demonstrations have been held legally outside the Parliament building since the new law was passed, by organisers filling in the form.

Given the importance of the medical cannabis issue, and our policy of trying to work with the authorities when organising public events to change the law on cannabis, we decided to also go the legal route in organising this demonstration. The event is therefore legal, although we are promoting the use of an illegal herb as a medicine - cannabis. We have also organised a 'legal' room - inside the Parliament Building!

As part of publicising the Medical Cannabis Demo in Parliament Square (May 24th) we put up a notice on Indymedia, which says it offers "grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues."

The only responce our message had was from an obvious 'fundamentalist' to ask if we had asked permission for the Parliament Sq Demo, implying we were 'sell outs' if we had:

Will you be seeking police permission for the demo? Or will you be exercising your rights, regardless of the oppressive SOCPA law?

This was our answer which we hope was ok (comments welcome):

Yes, we have asked for permission - because this event is about medical repression, not the politics of form filling. Filling in a form was not nearly as repressive as being denied medicine which could give you relief when you are suffering a serious illness and in pain.

Imagine being ill - and then being raided by the police, having the only medicine you have that works taken from you, and being thrown in jail. That is real repression, and it is happening to people all over the world, including Britian. Repression is what this protest event is about - globalised medical repression. We are trying to stop repression in support of multi national drug companies who are selling a slow, complicated and profitable death; when a simple herb can bring relief.

Sorry if it upsets you, but we leave the politics of form filling to others, who obviously have more time - and more freedom - on their hands. We are fighting for our lives and our health, and the lifes and health of our friends and relations, and the lives and health of millions of people world wide.

Please join us - don't slag us off for filling in a form!

This event is part of the Global Marijuana March 2006.

cannabis action: global marijuana march sat 6th may 2006

Above: Howard Marks supporting the Global Marijuana March Sat May 6th 2006: so far events are planning in 196 cities.

doors of perception: mexico decriminalises marijuana and other drugs

Above: Marijuana Demo, Mexico. More action in Mexico City as part of the global marijuana march, Sat May 6th 2006.

Mexico's Congress has approved a law which will bring in 'Class C' decriminalisation for possession of small amounts of cannabis or 'marijuana' ... cocaine and heroin.

And, despite pressure from the US DEA it looks like the Mexican President Vicente Fox, who could block the new law will sign the go ahead for the bill.

The Mexican government is following the footsteps of the British 'Class C' for cannabis policy, which allows police to focus on large-scale trafficking operations rather than minor drug busts.

In Britain 'Class C' is saving the tax payer about £1 billion a year.

The Mexican law also stipulates allowable quantities for an array of other drugs, including LSD, ecstasy and amphetamines. Again their policy is very like the plans suggested by Britain's forward thinking 'New Labour' government which would allow cannabis users to possess surprisingly large amounts of the drug before they would be accused of dealing.

However again the Mexicans go much further than Britain where 'magic mushrooms' have been made a 'Class A' drug along with heroin. Under the new Mexican law it will be ok to possess more than two pounds of peyote, the button-sized hallucinogenic cactus used in some native Indian religious ceremonies.

Mexico's cops, famous for their corruption and bribe taking will have to look elsewhere for extra cash, but the country can expect a massive tourist boom.

Mexico produces some of the best marijuana in the world, the strongest 'magic' mushrooms the natural source of Psilocybe (supposedly sampled there by the Beatles). 'Peyote' is also found in Mexicio - this is the natural source of the psychedelic Mescaline as described in the Doors of Perseption by Aldous Huxley.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

cannabis mystery: hash stash found at home of Defence Secretary John Reid

IT COULD BE MEDICAL - or from Afganistan, or Iraq ...or Wales

Police have found cannabis with an estimated street value of 85pence at the home of John Reid, the British Minister of Defence, a well known war campaigner and activist.

Reid, has been a frequent traveller to the middle east, including Iraq, and the Lebanon where much of the world's best quality cannabis is produced.

He is also an associate of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who's father in law is a famous actor, and self confessed six spliffs a day, cannabis smoker.

Police discovered the drug stash while Reid, who comes from Scotland, a center for drug abuse, was on a secret trip to Afganistan, famous for producing the best quality heroin in the world. He is known to have associated with several Afgani 'war lords' who are involved in the heroin trade.

Well known at labour parties as a 'pusher', insiders say Reid may have got 'hooked' on drugs while working as the Minister of Health with responsibility for the national (NHS) drugs cupboard.

However there is a theory that the drugs stash could be part of a consignment sent to Reid by cannabis campaigner Jeffrey Ditchfield, 45, in November of last year.

Police are investigating, but due to a change in the law brought in by a known accomplice of Reid's, (THC hero David Blunkett), possession of cannabis, is now only a 'Class C' offence, (along with the 'crustie' drug 'Ketamine', and mothers little helper 'Valium'). Because of this Reid has not been arrested and thrown in jail over the Bank Holiday Weed End.

Also his squat has not been trashed, his dogs have not been put down, and the weeds in his garden have not been taken away for analysis, as would have been the case a few years ago under the Tory Drug Lords.

As he has no kids they have not been put into care, and he will not be deported back to the impoverished Scottish Block, but the telephone taps by the CIA, MI6, and Charles Clarke's 'Home Office' remain, in case of further offences.

Friday, April 28, 2006

smoking advice: join the 'slave uprising' - rebel & quit!

schmoo smoked cannabis (weed/hash) 'off' and mostly 'on' for over 35 years with tobacco, but now he's quit both 'weeds' for nearly four months. He does not plan to smoke tobacco ever again, but he advises daily cannabis smokers to "Quit cannabis - so you can really enjoy it!"
I would recommend the 'no cannabis' experience to anyone who uses it every day. The best bit for me is remembering my dreams, which I hardly ever did when I was smoking spliffs all the time. Dreams are way better than most DVD's - and they are free.

Even if you grow your own, you will save loads of cash quitting weed, some of which I advise spending at a dental hygienist, and on some 'good stuff', like food.

I don't miss my 'friendly local dealer' much at all. I used to pay for his holidays - now I'm going on holiday.

I started off only planning to stop using cannabis for 28 days, but I enjoy being 'high as a kite' for free so much, I've now quit for over 3 months.

I used to wake up at 'high noon' (12am), now I am a 'Farmers Today' regular (5.30am, Radio 4).

I will use weed once in a while in the future, but my chronic abuse of the holy herb is over; I want to really enjoy it!

I also quit tobacco - that evil stuff really is addictive - but the physical withdrawl is only two days. Don't believe the properganda - it is not that difficult to quit the multi national corporation, mind enslaving, zombie weed.

Forget patches - just do it. De-hypnotise yourself.
'News of the Weed' tobacco advice: Join the Slave Uprising - rebel & quit!

Test yourself for cannabis abuse.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

thc at 10: medical cannabis on the menu at Downing Street and Parliament, 24th May


A day of medical cannabis action is CONFIRMED for Weds 24th May 2006 to raise awareness of the issues and injustices facing medical cannabis users, growers and their friends and relatives in the UK.

A Petition will be delivered to Downing St at 1pm by a group which includes a Grandmother who self-medicates by adding cannabis to her food (Cannabis Grandma), an MS sufferer, the founder of a clinic dispensing cannabis-based creams and tinctures, an organic medical cannabis grower and a human-rights lawyer.

An organiser said: "Many thousands of people in Britain are being denied treatment with a effective drug, not because of scientific or medical reasons, but because of bigotry, because the drug is called 'cannabis'. As a consequence it could be you who dies early, or who ends up in a wheel chair unnecessarily, or who suffers pain that can't be treated by other drugs without terrible side effects. Or it could be your Mum or Dad, a child or your grandparents. That is why legalising medical cannabis now is a family issue. Meanwhile the only people who benefit from the continued prohibition of medical cannabis are the companies who supply drugs that don't work as well as cannabis - and funeral directors."

There will be a Press Conference, and Lobby of MP's 3pm - 4pm inside the 'House of Commons', Committee Room 18, Palace of Westminster (entrance St Stevens Gate), and a all day demonstration outside at Parliament Square from 10am to 5pm.

Organised by members of the 'Cannabis Trust' - bookmark 'News of the Weed' for more information & regular up dates.

Respect Cannabis - The Law Doesn't
The Right To Choose Your Own Medicine

highway caution: secret drug testing of disabled drivers for cannabis


Tony recently phoned the Cannabis Legal Support Service helpline and explained how he lost his driving licence. Tony who is disabled, has to have annual health checks ordered by the DVLA to continue driving. The doctor who carried out the check last year assured Tony that the DVLA was not looking for cannabis. This turned out not to be correct. The DVLA informed him that since in his medical he had shown a positive test for cannabis, his licence would be withdrawn for a year. As a result, Tony who has a clean driving licence, has had no other accidents and lives in an isolated part of the country, has been unable to drive for a year. Tony is anxious to warn people that anyone who has a medical test ordered by the driving licence authority, and which proves positive for cannabis, is liable to have their licence removed regardless of the circumstance. And there appears to be no procedure for appeal against this.

Cannabis Legal Support Service helpline : Tel:01508 480528

Advisory Council says ‘Leave it in Class C’

report by Steve Barker

It was back in March 2002 when the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs published their report which recommended that cannbabis was moved to class C.

In March 2005 Home Secretary Clarke asked the Advisory Council to reconsider their recommendation in the light of recent research into the relationship between cannabis use and mental illness. This report, entitled ‘Further Consideration of the Classification of Cannabis under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 was published last December and concluded that cannabis should stay in class C; but that a publicity campaign should be run to advise people of possible dangers of cannabis use.

Initially there were rumours that the Home Secretary, with the backing of the Prime Minister was planning to override the ACMD and have cannabis returned to class B regardless. However, the word ‘misuse’ in the title of the Misuse of Drugs Act is a value judgement and it is the task of the Advisory Council to make the judgement as to what ‘misuse’ constitutes. Their role in this is clearly spelled out in the text of the Misuse of Drugs Act itself.

Rumours then spread that if the HS over ruled their recommendation the Advisory Council would resign en bloc. The government would then have had to introduce a completely new Act to control drug classification, and considering that the original vote on moving cannabis to class C was carried both in the Commons and the Lords with a two to one majority, any vote to return it to Class B without the backing of the Advisory Council, would most likely be lost.

The 30 page report started by reaffirming the original report in saying that there are health dangers in smoking cannabis as there are in smoking tobacco. Cannabis intoxication can effect sustained attention and motor activities, and acute cannabis intoxication can lead to a sense of confusion, panic attacks and even paranoia. In a small number of cases, users may need hospitalisation and anti-psychotic medication for a few days. The number of patients admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of acute cannabis intoxication has remained stable in England at under 150 a year for the last five years.

On the issue of dependence , the Council’s enquiry found that if cannabis dependent users stop using they may suffer decreased appetite, lethargy, irritability, insomnia and mood changes. Reinstating the cannabis use terminates these symptoms. In other words, the ACMD is conceding that withdrawing cannabis use from these users reduces the quality of their life.

Schizophrenia Psychosis and other drugs

The onset of schizophrenia usually occurs in the late teens or early twenties, the age at which cannabis use is most prevalent, and association, though not necessarily a causal one, is therefore inevitable. The current evidence suggests that at worst, the use of cannabis increases the lifetime risk of developing schizophrenia by 1%. There may also be an inherited factor here based on the catechol-omethyl transferwase gene.

The report goes on to state that although perhaps 20% of the population experience psychotic symptoms at some time in their lives, The association between the amount and frequency of cannabis use and the development of psychosis is very weak. As is the evidence that use at a young age can trigger psychosis in later life; although cannabis use at a young age is to be discouraged. Recent data does not find a causal association between cannabis use and the development of depression or bipolar disorder; even those studies with positive findings only show small effects. Studies have not necessarily sought information about users’ consumption of other drugs such as amphetamines, which commonly lead to agression, psychosis, schizonphreniform illness and dependence.

The effect of this report now seems to ensure that future governments will recognise that cannabis consumption is an established social activity that needs to be regulated rather than suppressed.

A link to the report is available in PDF format on the front page of the Home Office website []

LCA Party Conference Report

report by Steve Barker

This was the 7th Legalise Cannabis Party conference. It seems amazing to consider what has been achieved in the last seven years. It was on the University of East Anglia campus as the last six have been, in a down stairs hall in a block called the Congregation Hall.

This was a much more attractive and relaxing space than the lecture theatres which we have been allocated before; more space to move about, and with tea, coffee and refreshments in the hall rather than elsewhere .

Speakers included Chris Baldwin, Don Barnard, Rocky van de Benderskum, Alun Buffry, Tom Corser, Andria Efthimiou, Chris Jackman, Winston Matthews, Steve Pank, 'Granny' Pat Tabram and Derek Williams. Farooque Ahmed was MC.

The L C A Party Political Broadcast which appeared on ITV and BBC in Wales a week before the 2005 general election, was shown, and received rapturous applause. There were about 100 people there and among those who attended were was the founder of Release, Caroline Coon. The conference concluded with an auction of varied items and cannabis memorabilia.

In the early evening we were entertained by a quality performance from the Coffeeshop Band from Worthing fronted by hard man campaigner Winstone - performing unforgettable anthems about the toker's life and the woes of prohibition . Standup comic James McLeavey gave all a hearty chuckle with his one-man comedy show, and Vincent won the gruelling quiz beating 13 contestants including last year's winner! The speeches are up on the UKCIA website in the library.

Steve Barker