Cannabis culture section

Politics

Politics and politicians, probably the biggest problem civilisation has to deal with. In this section we present the major treaties and laws which govern yet totally fail to control cannabis and give an outline of how to get involved to make change happen.

Resources

The UKCIA law library
The main laws and treaties governing cannabis in the UK. Please note this information is given in good faith, but may be out of date.

Cannabis 'crime' statistics
Recent statistics detailing the enforcement of the laws on cannabis

Your rights on arrest
A brief guide to your legal rights upon arrest and how to behave

Do it yourself politics

Complain
For a guide on writing letters

Vote for me!
You don't just have the choice of the four major parties, you can stand for election yourself. How to stand for parliament

Get on TV
Use that 20 second soundbite

So why is cannabis still illegal?

Up till now, Cannabis has remained illegal for a number of reasons. Firstly in the moral climate professional people found it hard to speak out in case they become associated with drug use and it affected their career. This was especially hard for politicians who feared tabloid outrage and loss of votes.

This was the situation for years but which came to an abrupt end during the Conservative Party conference in Autumn 2000, when the then shadow home secretary, Ann Widdecombe, stood up for her keynote speech which centered around a "clampdown on Cannabis". The speech was torn apart by the media and the police as being out of touch with reality, which it was. The following days saw politician after politician admit they'd used cannabis, things would never be the same again and the threat of a clampdown was kicked into the long grass.

However, there are a number of people who campaign and lobby politicians against cannabis and in recent years the prohibition lobby has been working overtime to regain lost ground. These people may have vested interests in keeping cannabis illegal, such as brewers, drug squad officers, cotton growers, pharmaceutical companies or the criminal suppliers or they may just be loonies. There are also people with honest motives who attack cannabis such as religious moralists, people who have overcome their drug problems and the people who work with them who generally believe that prohibition is in some way "correct". In any case, the debate is still going on.

The situation is slowly changing for the better though. At one time the number of people arguing for change was very small, now the calls are coming from a wider and wider range of people and organisations, not least of all from some senior police officers. The issue of cannabis law reform is still there and very much alive, it's not going to go away.