The Birmingham Mail have reported on the Cannon Hill Cannabis Protest Picnic on Sat Aug 31st, and have run an on-line vote along-side to gather the public opinion about the current policy legislating cannabis. But what do the public think?
The year 2013 has seen cannabis in the headlines non-stop; whether it has been to do with cannabis raids in the UK, mass death tolls on the Mexican boarders or legalisation in Washington, Colorado and a further 4 states that have voted for medical marijuana in 2013. Yesterday the Birmingham Mail ran an on-line poll listing some of the pros and cons of cannabis legalisation.
Many of the comments on the Birmingham Mail’s website were in favour of legalising cannabis so that it could be regulated rather than left in the hands of organised crime. Some even questioned how much the MPs even stood for the drug war. One commenter said “I don’t see why laws on some drugs are even there when MP’s in parliament’s bathrooms have been doing coke”.
Even Liberal Democrat’s head of Drug Policy Ewan Hoyle remarked “It is very likely awareness of the health risks would be much better raised by investment in education and provision of health advice at point of legal sale. At the moment illegal vendors are not compelled to warn people of risks and indeed it would be very poor business sense for them to do so.”
Being able to test and label cannabis so that consumers know and have a choice of what they can smoke is just as rational and important as the sale of beer or spirit and the consumer knowing the strength or a conscious tobacco smoker looking to smoke the least tar. Giving people the information to make the choice is a lot more effective than locking them up. We have seen a reduction in people smoking tobacco products since health warnings were implemented.
Not surprisingly, after the Home Affairs Select Committee advised the Government that the current policy needs to change, Colorado and Washington have both legalised and more states continue to allow medical use, not to mention the recurring talk of the positives of decriminalisation in Portugal and the fact that Uruguay have just taken the first steps to break UN treaty rules and do the sensible thing to legalise and regulate; the Birmingham public have resoundingly voted that cannabis should be legalised here in the UK!
94% of the public have voted YES and only 4% voted NO!
Most of the arguments against were very weak and possibly were arguments that cannabis should be regulated. One of them is even debunk-able by Government funded studies. “The drug has lots of chemical ‘nasties’, which can cause lung disease and possibly cancer with long term or heavy use.” Dr Donald Tashkin’s team published peer reviewed papers stating that those who smoked cannabis neat or even with tobacco had less risk of neck, throat, skin, lung and mouth cancer than people who didn’t smoke anything at all. And at no point does the BM back up it’s “against” claims with a reference. Cannabis is safer and the US Government paid to prove it!
To show your support please come to Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham from 1pm onwards where we will be there to answer all your questions on cannabis, the law, the recent medical studies that support cannabis use in treatments for serious illnesses and how to get involved with changing the law. You will also get to meet lots of great like-minded people. This is our chance to make an impact not only on local and national policy but to play a part in an international movement that is building great momentum.
Other than that we will have some really chill vibes, a few sets by local artists, a raffle and head shop supplies. The truth about cannabis should not be hidden or denied from anyone. Let’s come together and show the world we just want peace and freedom of choice. If you can’t make it to the Birmingham smoke up check out our events page and see where the next one local to you is. Please come down on Saturday August 31st to Cannon Hill Park and show the world that people smoking cannabis shouldn’t really be deemed a crime and burden the tax payer with prosecution bills.