On the 26th of September, we in Wrexham Social Cannabis Club had one of our first major open nights to get an idea of just how many private members we can gain from our almost 200 strong Facebook group.
It was also a brilliant opportunity for our North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones to meet us all and exchange ideas on how we can use Welsh devolved powers to speed up the end of prohibition in Wales and then take this model to Westminster.
It was literally two days before the 90th anniversary of the start of prohibition. Looking around the packed out venue covering long picnic tables, it was clear outside of social media, progressives are onto something. The cannabis community in the UK is not prepared to see prohibition last 100 years.
We have a momentum after a year of seeing a government practically taunt the loving parents of numerous seriously ill children as the government continually left these children to suffer potentially fatal seizures by stealing their cannabinoid medicines which provide the only effective treatment against these forms of epilepsy that big pharma have failed to cater for.
The momentum has come from the fact that both the Home Office and the pharmaceutical industry have blown their cover and exposed their relentless lack of compassion in favour of their total greed. The Home Office fudge says it all with their “expert panel” failing to prove an ounce of expertise in cannabinoids from the basics of strains to the universal human endo-cannabinoid system.
The pharmaceutical industry took their turn at one last grab at the cookies by simply forgetting the art of PR, first with their biggest funder Goldman Sachs asking biotech companies if their plans to find cures for diseases are “sustainable business models”.
There was also the poorly hidden corrupt monopoly via British Sugar’s sole UK license to grow 45 acres of “Skunk” for GW Pharmaceuticals, thanks to British Sugar’s Paul Kenward’s wife (Victoria Atkinson MP), AKA the princess of prohibition, securing the license to her husband while holding a staunch prohibition stance on any change in the law for even medical access to cannabis.
It was quite hilarious that we could look back on that story to see the desperate lies they tried to use at first from GW’s stock being in a “Secret Location” to claiming they are just growing tomatoes or when our activists turned up, claiming it is illegal to film the place, despite them being on a public footpath. It’s almost as if they can actually feel the shame of their hypocrisy.
Of course much of these discussed stories lent to a melting pot of ideas on how to fight back and make gains against our corrupt enemy in prohibition.
Arfon Jones provided us with encouragement and inspiration on how to campaign to the public and our services to get on our side. To me this made his attendance worth the wait because I have seen in the Labour movement and wider population that cannabis as a subject is not actually a pressing matter for them after eight pointless years of failed austerity measures.
Even Wrexham is now showing open wounds of desperate poverty which has fuelled a serious opiate and alcohol drug abuse problem in a growing homeless community that have been left behind by the State in the name of banks being “too big to fail”.
Thankfully our open night was blessed to also have the attendance of two kind-hearted local girls who were launching “Project Home”, a non-profit volunteer group gathering donations to bring to the homeless community in Wrexham. I was pleased to find out they were just as clued-up on the scientific weight that now supports the fight against prohibition, probably due to both pro-cannabis and help the homeless being progressive movements that have faced nefarious opposition.
This easy partnership led to a conversation with Arfon on holding a meeting later in the year with progressive delegates from all parties in Wales to get together to force a motion on the main parties that requires corporate business interests are not included in any parliament activity to change laws that affect health.
It was mentioned that such a motion would have more security in the devolved powers of Wales and Scotland before it could be sent to Westminster where there is still both a right wing and corporate bias that is almost fortified by pharmaceutical and alcohol industry lobbyists.
I chipped in that this was one of the reasons behind my recent efforts to engage the local population to get them on our side via education on how I would not exist if it was not for the medicinal superiority of cannabis.
This has meant I have engaged in public speaking across the country at other new UK Cannabis Social Clubs and talked to people on the doorstep about my story and the benefits of a nationwide, regulated cannabis market birthed by the harm reduction and maximised medical benefit principles of the UKCSC.
In the lead up to our open night, this recent public outreach gave me a great deal of optimism that prohibition will not last another 10 years. This is because, in all honesty, the UKCSC policies are incredibly easy to sell when you are a cancer survivor thanks to the wonderful plant itself.
It must also be mentioned that on the night we were lucky enough to have a guest from South Wales who actually works in the NHS and fully supports our movement with the understanding that cannabis can benefit everyone’s health when used in a regulated environment that the UKCSC clubs around the country are providing cannabis users with, both medical and recreational.
At the end of the open night we thanked the person staffing the venue for providing us a physical forum to exchange ideas and meet new members of the Wrexham Social Cannabis Club online community that are interested in helping the club turn Wrexham into a cannabis friendly zone in North Wales with what we hope will be our first permanent private members club venue.
I couldn’t help but drive home with much more optimism. The UK cannabis community has helped keep me alive and well for the best part of three years since I was diagnosed with brain cancer and I now feel closer to this community than ever before.
It also makes us grateful to the UKCSC that there will soon be a place in North Wales where we can refer people if they are interested in finding out about non-pharma (mask and repeat) products to effectively treat inflammatory disease; or if they are simply a recreational user who simply wants to use something far safer than alcohol in a harm reduction zone just like a pub, but without the neurotoxins.
As a club we now look forward to our membership packs arriving and then setting up our first awareness night, which should provide a great platform for us to undo the harm that synthetic drugs and opioids have caused in Wrexham by educating people about the safer alternative that cannabis is, and to help Project Home achieve their goals of helping the homeless community in the area.
Peace and Love,
Phil James – WSCC