VOTE FOR CANNABIS
The Legalise Cannabis Alliance was formed with a purpose of giving the cannabis user and legalise-campaigner a voice.
We are aware of two political barriers that we must remove before we can ever achieve legalisation.
Our message is simple -
WE, THE PEOPLE, WANT CANNABIS LEGALISED AND UTILISED
UK Political Parties' views on cannabis
(The Observer, 25 March 2001): "Labour remains firmly opposed to the legalisation or decriminalisation of any currently controlled drug. The scientific evidence is quite clear about the harmful effects of cannabis, both long term and short term."
Tony Blair (Reuters, 14 October 2001): "There is a debate about whether you decriminalise cannabis or legalise cannabis. I am against it,"
Jack Straw and John Prescott (Daily Mail, 11 October 2000 - 'Straw and Prescott hard line on drugs.'
"TWO senior Cabinet ministers yesterday joined forces to warn against the dangers of legalising cannabis.... Mr Prescott said: "The Government is absolutely right. I am a hardliner on drugs. I think cannabis leads to use of other drugs and I am against that." Straw: ""The long-term effects include a very severe exasperation of mental illness and cancer. It is reckoned that cannabis is between two and four times as carcinogenic as tobacco."
In Labour's manifesto they say:
"One of the biggest contemporary drivers of crime is drugs. Access to effective treatment is essential. Prisoners are already subject to compulsory testing and offered treatment where necessary, which has led to a 50 per cent cut in the number testing positive. Drug Testing and Treatment Orders ensure people punished in the community stay drug-free.
"We are pledged to raise spending on drug treatment by 70 per cent by 2004. We will roll out drug testing to cover offenders at every stage of the system. People in prison for drug-related offences will have to kick the habit before they are free from supervision on the outside. Drug dealers will be required to register with the police after leaving prison.
"We will simplify the law on extradition to target organised crime including drug traffickers. The Criminal Assets Recovery Agency will target their ill-gotten gains. We will follow the money trail, through bureaux de change to offshore accounts, to convict them, and remove their money and passports.
"Our ambition is to mobilise every neighbourhood against drugs. We will therefore ensure that crime-fighting partnerships, covering every locality, get over £200 million over the next three years to fight crime and drugs."
COMMENT: There is no mention of cannabis because they 'tackle drugs together'!
The position is complicated by the UN Conventions on drug trafficking (known as the Vienna Conventions), which require signatory countries like the UK to make selling cannabis a crime. Our policy of legalisation is thus subject to securing international agreement to renegotiate the conventions.
In the meantime we advocate a policy of not prosecuting people for personal use, cultivation for personal use, or social supply of cannabis.
I attach our policy paper on the subject.† 07/12/2001: Policy Papers: Honesty, Realism, Responsibility
Head of the Policy Unit
Liberal Democrat HQ
From the Office of the Leader of the Opposition, November 2004
Michael Howard has asked me to thank you very much for your recent email regarding the reclassification of cannabis.
You will be aware that the Government has made a decision to liberalise the drugs laws and effectively remove the fear of prosecution from adult cannabis users. Under new guidelines issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers with Government backing, which came into force on 29th January 2004, cannabis is downgraded from Class B to Class C.
People caught by the police with the drug will escape with a warning and confiscation. It is a policy which Home Secretary David Blunkett claims will make UK drugs laws more credible, and enable the police to focus on abuse of more dangerous narcotics.
Mr Howard believes that the Home Secretary's decision represents the worst of both worlds. The reality is that he is giving control over cannabis to the drug dealers, with the police turning away. He has failed to explain why it is right to tell one set of people that it is half permissible to take cannabis, but to tell another set of people they may be put in prison for 10 years if they sell it.
It is for these reasons that a Conservative government would reverse Labour's decision to downgrade cannabis to a Class C drug. I believe that it is very important indeed that this country maintains tough drug laws.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to write to me. Please let me assure you that I fully intend to address the failures of this Government's drugs policies.
With best wishes
Office of the Leader of the Opposition
UK: Tories To Restore Hard Line On Drugs: Sunday Telegraph, 21 July 2002
UK: Tories Pledge Cannabis Rethink: BBC News, 14 July 2002
Daily Mail, 20 September 1999: "WILLIAM HAGUE slapped down Peter Lilley last night after the former deputy
Tory leader indicated he will call for the decriminalisation of cannabis." ... "a spokesman for Mr Hague tried to distance the Tory leader from the embarrassment. He said: "William's position is perfectly clear. He is firmly opposed to all forms of illegal drug taking. We are opposed to the legalisation of cannabis.""
The Guardian, 9 October 2000:
"Ann Widdicombe, the shadow home secretary, was yesterday forced to backtrack on her pledge for zero tolerance against cannabis users after seven of her shadow cabinet members mocked the policy by admitting they had used the drug in their youth."
Tories clash over cannabis cafes plan (Essex Evening Echo, 7 April 2000):
" Rayleigh MP Dr Michael Clark has branded his Tory colleague Teresa Gorman "irresponsible" after she spoke in favour of cannabis cafes. Mrs Gorman, the veteran Tory MP for Billericay,has added her name in support of a controversial Commons' motion which would effectively legalise recreational use of the drug in cafes across the UK."
Find out if your GP candidate knows or even cares about the issue before you vote.† Some donít!
Taken from Green Party policy
DU405 Cannabis to be removed from the 1971 Misuse of drugs act. The possession, trade and cultivation of cannabis to be immediately decriminalised, roughly following the Dutch model, including allowing the establishment of cannabis "pubs" (similar to the Dutch "coffee shops"). The trade in Cannabis to be the subject of the Royal commission (below) with a view to establishing a fully legalised, controlled and regulated trade. Small-scale possession of drugs for personal use would be decriminalised. The starting point would be advise to policing authorities to caution rather than prosecute for offences of drug
possession for personal use and to refer offenders to the health-care services
(DU411). Subsequently, regulations would be brought forward removing criminal sanctions for simple possession of controlled drugs for personal use. The recommended sentences for small-scale supply would be non-custodial options. The possession of pipes made for the use in connection with smoking of Opium would no longer be a criminal offence . A Royal Commission or similar body to be established to review currently controlled drug classifications, within a legalised environment of drug use. A Royal Commission or similar body would after wide consultation consider and recommend frameworks of social, economic and health conditions for drug use and supply.
DU406 With the exception of cannabis, Policing Authorities would be encouraged to focus detection resources on major drug trafficking operations. Unauthorised production, importation and marketing of all drugs controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) would remain criminal offences. Fines, confiscation of assets and prison sentences
This broad alliance of socialist groups has recently added the legalisation of cannabis to their list of policies.
Socialist Alliance statement on legalising cannabis: "As we make clear in our manifesto, the Socialist Alliance calls for the legalisation of cannabis - with no ifs, ands, or buts - now. The refusal of the major parties to engage in an honest discussion on this issue is yet another example of the failure of our big business dominated political system. Millions use cannabis. Millions more have no objection to its use. The Socialist Alliance wants to make sure their voices are heard in this election. The prohibition on cannabis turns millions into criminals, gives the police license to harass young people and extends state control over all our private lives. The same government that bans cannabis reaps billion from tobacco and alcohol sales - priorities dictated by its friends in big business and the media. All our candidates are committed to the legalisation of cannabis."
The Liberal Party advocates the legalisation of all drugs.
September 20 2001†† Plaid Cymru adopt 'legalise cannabis policy' by† Jamie Lyons, PA
Plaid Cymru adopt 'legalise cannabis policy'
Plaid Cymru today overhauled its drugs policy and called for the decriminalisation of cannabis - against the wishes of its own leadership.
The Welsh nationalists' annual conference voted in favour of decriminalising the use of cannabis for recreational and medicinal purposes - defying the party leadership which warned against the move.
Under the policy, the drug would be available legally only from registered licensed premises.
Delegates also backed calls for a major public awareness campaign about the dangers of cannabis use.
The party wants cannabis decriminalised for medicinal use once ''a sufficient evidence base has proven efficacy and an appropriate treatment protocol developed as a model''.
Despite opposition from top ranks of the party, the proposal is now adopted as official party policy.
The party has now ditched its former policy calling for a Royal Commission to examine decriminalisation of the drug - against the advice of its own shadow Welsh health minister Dai Lloyd and its parliamentary leader.
Dr Lloyd, a practising GP, said cannabis causes depression and new evidence suggests it makes users violent.
He said there was no such thing as a soft drug.
The party's parliamentary leader, Elfyn Llwyd, warned smoking cannabis could caused cancer and psychosis.
''I agree with it for medicinal purposes, but for heavens sake unless we know definitely more about the medical problems it will cause we should not lay open our children's future to this extremely dangerous drug,'' he said.
Leading calls for the drug to be decriminalised, delegate Robert Hughes (Merthyr Tydfil) said it was wrong to label cannabis users as criminals. And he said decriminalisation would stop cannabis users mixing with people pushing more dangerous drugs.
It would also enable parents and teachers to talk honestly to children about the harmful drugs ''that blight the lives of our young people''.
He said setting up licensed premises would also attract visitors thereby boosting the tourism industry.
Scottish Socialist Party
THE Scottish Socialist Party called for the introduction of Dutch-style coffee shops in Scotland which would be licensed to sell cannabis. It issued the demand as part of its policy on drugs which included the legalisation of cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes. The party, which is contesting all 72 Scottish seats in the general election, also called for heroin to be prescribed on the NHS.
Kevin Williamson, the party's drugs spokesman, who has advised the Government on cannabis, said: "We are the only party in the election with a policy that will succeed on drugs. The SSP will also argue for heroin to be prescribed under the NHS on a treatment programme."
Read Scottish MSP's thoughts and views on drug use at http://www.the-pain.fsnet.co.uk
You can see what some MP's have said about legalisation of cannabis here.
BRITISH NATIONAL PARTY (BNP)
UK LTE: British National Party Anti-Cannabis: Evening News, Norwich, 24 May 2003
THE ONLY PARTY TO PRIORITISE THE
LEGALISATION AND UTILISATION OF CANNABIS IN THE UK IS THE