Above: Cannabis 'rockie' - another sweet cannabis campaigning tool.
The 'Legalise Cannabis Alliance' (LCA), a legally constituted political party which has stood candidates in Parliamentary elections against prohibitionists in the Labour, Tory, Liberal and even the Green Party, has decided on a major change of strategy.
An 'emergency' meeting this weekend held in Norwich has decided to give up fighting elections against the major political parties. They plan instead to concentrate on lobbying for legalising cannabis using other methods.
So far it is not clear what these new methods are going to be. Personally I would suggest giving up smoking so much cannabis - if cannabis campaigners smoked less cannabis it would have been legalised years ago!
For years the Legalise Cannabis Alliance (LCA) put pressure on cannabis prohibitionists in the main political parties by offering to take valuable votes away unless they changed their policies. On the other hand, any candidate from any party who publicly supported legalising cannabis was allowed to stand unopposed.
The tactic worked especially well on the Green Party, many of whose supporters are chronic cannabis users (strangely for an 'environmental' party many of them also smoke tobacco). For years the hypocritical Greens refused to support full legalisation, which is the only safe and sensible policy for cannabis, and like the hapless Liberal Party would only dare to go as far as decriminalisation.
But after the Cannabis Alliance won hundreds of votes in several elections against Green candidates, the Green Party changed their policy.
Realising that there were votes in liberalising the cannabis prohibition laws, all the parties have subsequently adjusted their tune on cannabis. The Labour Party (who have done more for cannabis reform than any other party), finally brought in the 'Class C for Cannabis' policy, which was effectively decriminalisation for personal use.
Until then up to 100,000 people a year had been prosecuted and given criminal records simply for being in possession of cannabis - at a cost to the tax payer of nearly £1 BILLION a year.
However, since then things seem to have started to go backwards. With over 3000 people now facing criminal prosecution for producing cannabis in DIY 'grow rooms', and the crazy 'cannabis causes schizophrenia' scare, the battle to end the real madness that is cannabis prohibition is still very much on.
Meanwhile the government seems to be stalling on it's valuable medical cannabis achievements, and has failed to give a license to GW Pharmaceuticals to allow MS, cancer and aids patients to benefit from it's use.
FACT: the really dangerous thing about cannabis - is cannabis prohibition.
Many politicians from all the main parties know this is true - but until they have the guts to tell the truth the general public, especially young people, will continue to be put in danger by the ignorance driven policies on cannabis.
What everyone needs (including cannabis users) is some cannabis education.
* I smoked cannabis for many years, but I have given up and have never felt better. However I still believe cannabis should be fully legalised now (and sold in special licensed 'cannabis clubs') - to protect the health of the nation, especially young people.
• Earlier this year the annual 'Hemp Expo', organised by the magazine 'Weed world', was mysteriously cancelled just days before it was due to start after the directors of the venue suddenly decided to pull the plug. A new venue has now been found and the UK Hemp Expo is going ahead at the Telford International Centre, May 5th, 6th and 7th, 2007.
cannabis - marijuana - politics - drug war