Welsh Tory Darren Millar has faced a backlash after he attacked the Police Crime Commissioner of North Wales, Arfon Jones, in the Welsh Assembly for visiting a UKCSC cannabis club.
Millar, Assembly Member (AM) for Clwyd West, called on the Welsh Government to “condemn the actions” of Jones “for his irresponsible behaviour in visiting cannabis clubs which promote illegal activity, including being the guest of honour on the 23rd of October [for a Stop and Search podcast] at a private cannabis club in London.
“This sort of behaviour sends mixed messages to young people in our country… police commissioners actually ought to support people and the police in upholding the law, not encouraging people to break it.”
Millar was heckled for his reactionary posturing by a few other AMs, including former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood, who had started the debate by calling for leniancy to be used with regards to medicinal cannabis.
UKCSC responded directly to Darren Millar on Twitter
Young people shouldn’t be left to buy cannabis off the streets by dealers who don’t check their age or care about their mental well being #cannabissocialclubs prevent youth access and provide harm reduction information. @DarrenMillarAM do you support the unregulated #blackmarket?
— UK Cannabis Social Clubs (18+) (@UKCannabisClubs) 27 November 2018
Organisations such as LEAP UK and Transform Drugs came to Jones’s defence, attacking Millar on Twitter:
Jones posted a response to Millar on Twitter, saying: “This accusation was made by Darren Millar during a serious Senedd debate about the use and availability of medicinal cannabis which has a proven record of alleviating the distress caused by multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. It is disappointing that Mr Millar has tried to score cheap political points when AMs were discussing a very real and serious issue which affects the daily lives of many adults and children across the UK.
“Unfortunately every time Mr Millar has a foray into the field of drugs policy, he ends up with egg on his face caused by his ignorance of the subject matter. Children are far more at risk from cannabis supplied by a criminal black market which doesn’t care how old a child is compared to an age-regulated recreational market as they have in Canada, Uruguay and ten US states.
“Social cannabis clubs have strict membership rules and children are not allowed access which contradicts the two points he makes. As a conservative I am surprised Mr Millar wants to dictate to consenting adults what they can and cannot do in private, especially as they cause no harm to others. My progressive colleagues and I from Derbyshire and Durham are proud that we engage with all members of our communities, including those that choose to use cannabis recreationally without causing harm to others. We have no wish to stigmatise or marginalise anyone for their lifestyle, but would rather prefer to treat everybody with dignity and respect.”
Cardiff Cannabis Cafe issued a call to action for the pro-legalisation movement to make sure Millar is made to feel that he is the one who is in the minority.
UKCSC will be represented at the Welsh Assembly at the Welsh Cannabis Industries launch night, raising awareness of the unique agricultural, social and economic potential for Wales if they take advantage of its devolved powers on Health and Economy.