Six-year-old Alfie Dingley lives with a rare form of epilepsy that only medical cannabis can treat. But the government have refused to grant a licence for the drug. His mother Hannah Deacon makes an emotional plea to the government on BBC Breakfast on Monday 19 February.
It is 2018. Obviously. It is not the same world as 2004 when the Labour Government changed cannabis from a Class B to a Class C drug. Nor 2009 when they inexplicably changed it back, against the advice of the Drug Tzar, lead scientist, David Nutt. He was later fired for correctly comparing Ecstacy use to riding a horse, horses are far more dangerous.
Nor is it the same world when Russel Brand interviewed Nick Clegg, when he said he would change it if he could, but public opinion doesn't allow it, with a reference to the grey vote.
So what has changed, why 2018?
For decades now there have been pockets of legalization or semi legalisation. The Netherlands was the drug tourist heaven in Amsterdam and California had medicinal cannabis, but there was no movement towards liberalisation anywhere and the propaganda against Cannabis remained rife.
In 2012, Colorado passed Amendment 64 and Washington passed Initiative 502 becoming the first states to legalise recreational use of cannabis. It didn't change the federal prohibition but it was ignored. To say it has been a success is an understatement. More states followed on legalization or allowing medical cannabis (defacto legalisation) and there is enough weight and momentum behind it now that it can't be walked back. There are now only 4 states that prohibit cannabis for any use. Alabama. Connecticut, Georgia and Idaho, havens of enlightenment historically, of course. More states will follow this year, the only reason the federal government could maintain its anachronistic ban is to prove its own redundancy.
In 2013 Uruguay adopted a program of full legalisation. Switzerland has attempted it repeatedly and while it was rejected shops are permitted to sell some form of cannabis products so long as they pay their taxes! Canada is set to legalise cannabis this year. Portugal decriminalised all drugs back in 2001, now people are terrified to discuss it, if they are against drugs, because their society is functioning extremely well. I recently had a friend visit the UK and whilst staying in Glasgow he was shocked to see drug addicts in the streets, its just not a thing in Lisbon now.
The reason why I think 2018 is the year we can see some kind of fundamental change and move towards legalisation here is that you can't maintain the propaganda that people have used as a deterrent when its legal in comparable economies across the western world. We know the stories of doom and disaster are false already, the evidence keeps stacking up.
We are behind the times, that is OK, we are British and as such crave disappointment and resist change. We have two parties that support legalisation, The Liberal Democrats and The Green Party, but don't let that put you off, lots of sensible people support it as well!
Whats stopping us?
Myths, myths and damned myths.
The problem is the stuff on the streets is much stronger than it used to be.
That may be true, but probably not. They used to use gas chromatography so we have no idea what was on the streets back then because the testing methods used were inaccurate and degraded the THC. It is, however, a moot point. The places where it is legal have strong weed, it's not causing a problem, they also have weak weed and high CBD weed which is good for numerous things and acts as an antipsychotic. There is a choice.
We shouldn't take the chance, we need to keep our children safe.
Legal weed or illegal weed people who want to smoke it do so, some do it daily. There is no problem of supply, dealers are like rats (I don't mean that pejoratively) in that you are never that far from one no matter where you are. The police aren't interested in catching them, they don't care about Cannabis, especially not the head of Durham Constabulary who said he won't even prosecute people for personal use or personal growing.
There are no Medical Uses
The video I started this topic off with proves that lie. Its also great for pain management and cancer sufferers, most people long-term degenerative illnesses find benefit from its use.
It is Addictive
It is not. It can be habit forming, it is not addictive like alcohol or cigarettes and the consequences of a habitual use of marijuana are mild, amazingly so in comparison with alcohol or other drugs.
It Causes Mental Illness
It does not. It can cause short-term psychosis in those who have a predilection towards mental illness episodes.
But this goes for all of the above points, it's already on our streets, anyone can get it if they want it in every area in every town its there. It really doesn't matter if you disagree with the way I've disproved these few brief points, it's already here. The cat is out of the bag and it's been out too long, the bag is not big enough.
People are not stupid, they won't obey stupid laws. We are in essence still only government by consent when a law is unenforceable. Prohibition on Cannabis makes no sense, it can't be enforced and the people who are in charge of enforcing it are not enthusiastic, yet they still waste their time when they must.
Let us adopt:
More tax money less black market money
More choice, more regulation, more education
Free up Police Officers time and jail time
Spend less Taxpayer money pursuing a war we lost decades ago
More people getting the thing they need to improve their quality of life
.....Oh and while we are at it, we can help that mother save her child.