When Merseyside Police posted a Facebook video of Matthew Brown, manager of its Cannabis Dismantling Team, listing the problems ’caused’ by cannabis, they set themselves up for a public backlash as people flooded the comments section pointing out that such problems exist not because of the plant but because of prohibition.
Brown starts by saying that “some people may think that the cannabis plant is an innocent plant” – well, it is; inanimate objects aren’t illegal, it’s what people do with them that can be criminalised. The cannabis plant is not guilty by dint of existing in the natural world!
This guilty plant, he goes on, has “links to organised crime, gun crime, human trafficking and modern-day slavery to name a few”. There’s a missing link that hasn’t occured to Brown, though. As one commenter put it: “So what Matthew is saying is that cannabis should be legal and then there would be no cash for the criminals.”
Weren’t all these things also associated with alcohol when alcohol was illegal?
Brown adds that “there are also major risks, linked to the destruction of property and damage to the dwellings where the cannabis is grown. This can be flood damage, due to the large amount of water being used; the fire damage because of the heat, created by the growing equipment, which poses a threat not only to the house where the cannabis is being grown but also neighbouring properties.” He then gives people tips on how to spot a cannabis farm and encourages people to contact the police if they suspect cannabis is being grown in a house in their neighbourhood.
But embarrassingly for Merseyside Police, instead of receiving support the video was bombarded with complaints. Brown may have thought he was educating the public, but from the looks of the comments it was the other way round.
People accusing the them of protecting the corporate interests of GW Pharmaceuticals – whose biggest stakeholder is Theresa May’s husband’s investment firm Capital Group – the UK company which is the biggest exporter of cannabis in the world.
“Don’t you have a conscience?” asked one who pointed out that patients – of cancers, chronic pain, inflammatory diseases, and so on – who use cannabis as a medicine are forced to obtain it illegally, precisely because of the prohibitive prices set by the likes of GW’s monopoly on ‘medical’ cannabis. Others pointed out that this was a waste of police time.
Greg de Hoedt, chairman of the UKCSC and the Right To Grow campaign said: “Matthew Brown has made a bit of an error here mistakenly listing off the problems caused by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and blaming them on cannabis directly.
“This is a common tactical mistake by prohibitionists who fail to see the dogma that they are helping to prop up. But the way forces around the UK have ramped up the cannabis posts this week looks like they have all been told it was a good idea, but it has very much backfired on them.”
Darren Rigby, photographer for The Quarter Leaf magazine told us he has noticed a trend among police force pages. “Cannabis posts have by far the most interactions, and not just by a few, by hundreds or thousands.
“People are clearly upset that this is happening and are telling their forces how unhappy they are with the prioritisation and effort put into making posts about cannabis busts.”
The UKCSC stands with the people who are refusing to stay silent on this social injustice and who are prepared to set the police staight. We are campaigning for the right to grow your own cannabis precisely to rid society of the problems caused not by the cannabis plant but by prohibition. If you are fed up with police’s attitude then please support our national campaign to raise awareness about the truth about cannabis so that we can try to empower the people to grow their own.
Neil Woods of Law Enforcement Action Partnership UK has condemned the action and has taken to his own campaign of posting this link any time he see’s a force using cannabis to increase their Facebook ratings. If you see your local police using this dirty trick to get people to snitch on their neighbour, post the link too.