CLEAR carries on

The first four months have been difficult for the CLEAR cannabis law reform campaign. Actually “difficult” counts as one of those massive understatements, along with “interesting”. At the centre of it all has been the leader, Peter Reynolds.

Without going over too much old ground, Peter took over the near-to-death LCA (Legalise Cannabis Alliance) just about a year ago, this blog covered the emergence of the new campaign at the time and you can see the posts listed under “The campaign” sub-heading, along with the story about the subsequent campaign against Peter Reynolds. I had joined as website editor at the end of the summer and saw first hand what was happening within the CLEAR exec.

Thing is, just when it began to look as if the worst were over, it all exploded again in mid March.

As is perhaps usual there are a lot of claims and counter claims flying around on Facebook and I don’t want to fan either side of the flames, but I will give this partial account of where the campaign is as I see it, and how it got there. It is a partial account, simply because there is an awful lot of dust to settle yet. Also unlike certain people, I’m not going to accuse anyone of anything nor am I going to reveal any information or comments given to me in confidence.

CLEAR had an internal e-mail mailing list for the use of the exec which I’d imposed on the members following the initial problems at the start of the year, the idea was to provide a forum for open debate, the simple rule of which was anything went, it was a total free speech zone. The only condition to that was that anything posted to that list and any subject discussed there was confidential to the committee.

I had a private-life problem to deal with for a while, which meant I didn’t take a very active role in the committee discussions. One such discussion lead to the proposal from two members for a confidence vote in Peter to be tabled at the next exec meeting. However, before this could be properly discussed or agreed those two members decided to tell the world – or at least Facebook – about it.

It was about this time that things turned nasty and I had no option but to pull out of the campaign, so I resigned my position as website editor.

Shortly after that there appears to have been an attempt to hijack the website and for a time control of it was lost. However, this was soon resolved – true ownership was never in doubt and easy to prove – and the site was moved to a new host, whereby it came under a denial of service attack. Apparently this has now been sorted out, probably at some expense, but the site is now back up and seems to be running a lot faster than before.

Once the website was sorted out, Peter Reynolds agreed to ask the membership for a vote of confidence. This was done by e-mail to all the members who had joined before an agreed cut off date. The cut off date had been agreed because there had been a campaign on facebook and youtube to encourage people to join CLEAR with the intention of voting against Peter by one of the people removed from the exec.

A total of four e-mails were sent out to members, the first on April 9th announced the intention of running the vote:

Dear Member,

As you probably know, the website has been damaged and offline at some periods but by the end of today it should be fully restored.

The truth is that CLEAR is now the most effective, successful and popular cannabis campaign that Britain has ever seen.  That means we’re attracting jealous and destructive attention, even from some that are supposed to be on the same side..

More than that, we are now the largest, membership based drug reform group ever in Britain.  There are academic thinktanks, charities, pressure groups and various other bodies involved in campaigning but no other group represents real people, both users and non users, with the mandate that CLEAR has.

Of the 731 pages of written evidence to the Home Affairs select committee drugs inquiry, around a third of all the submissions cite CLEAR evidence.

This is a stupendous achievement of which we can all be very proud.  We have mobilised people who never before would have considered submitting evidence to a parliamentary committee.  We are making change happen.

My leadership has come under sustained attack. There has been a vicious hate campaign of lies, abuse, forgeries and false allegations. Recently, those responsible have also turned on my colleagues, Derek Williams, Jan Wells and Mark Palmer.  These brave individuals fight for truth and justice against jealous, ignoble and cowardly bullies.  They are champions of the cause.

Those who waste their energy on opposing us rather than active campaigning have demonstrated that their real ambition is to hijack CLEAR, just as they tried to hijack our website.

Now is the time for a new leadership mandate.  I am calling for a vote of confidence in me.

The vote will take place in about a fortnight’s time.  It will be administered by Jan Wells, the party secretary and treasurer.  Jan will devise a robust process which will be verifiable and subject to audit by any legitimate outside organisation.  It will ensure that all votes are cast by members and that each member can only vote once.

I stand on my record.  I ask you to compare what CLEAR has achieved in the past year against the record of any other group, and particularly against those who are so eager to attack and criticise me.

I am the best man for the job.  I ask all members to vote, to endorse my leadership and the policies I stand for.  It will not end the hatred and the hypocrisy of those who oppose me but it will mean that we can ignore them and continue our work to end the prohibition of cannabis with renewed strength.

I will write again in the next few days with details of how the vote is to be conducted.

Kind regards,

Peter Reynolds

On April 17th, the vote was announced in an e-mail to members from Jan, the campaign secretary:

Dear Member
I am writing to you all about the vote of confidence in Peter Reynolds and asking you to send in your vote.

You should all have received an email from Peter explaining why we are calling for this vote, we hope it will reaffirm the mandate Peter was given a year ago when he was voted as leader by the membership of the party, then called the LCA. Peter promised to lead a focused campaign, to register as a political party, to improve the website and to increase membership, he has done all this and more.

He has represented Clear at debates, on radio, locally on the cannabis truth roadshow, spoken at events and conferences,  Clear also published an independent review ‘Taxing the UK Cannabis Market’ which we launched at the House of Commons last September.

He continues to complain whenever we find lies about cannabis; his views were sought by the Leveson Inquiry into the ethics of the British press.

The website is constantly being improved, we have opened a member’s forum and our membership has grown from 60 to 800, this provides much needed cash. Last year Clear spent £13,000, we began our year with £4,500  which funded the re-branding to Clear, we received £8,500 from donations & memberships and this has been spent running our focused campaign. We have had some very generous donations. Thank you all.

We have had some problems, all with people, yes, it is politics!  It began with old LCA who missed the old site and old ways, but that grew into a focused campaign of harassment, which dug into anything they could find to make Peter look bad. It is a sorry saga of exaggeration and misinformation, much is online. The results are lost members, some of whom were on our admin team, some feel Peter has lost too much credibility because of the lies and misinformation; they chose to believe the people who want Clear to fail. Even with these departures Clear has continued to grow, with plenty of new members joining the party.

Peter has the support of the remaining admin team, Mark, Myself and newly appointed Dan Ford, who has been doing such good work with the comment warriors. We believe Peter has the drive and passion that are essential if we are to make a difference in the modern world of campaigning, his record is Clear,  his private opinions are just that, private, they are not Clear’s. We will continue to focus on the real campaign issues, and do whatever it takes to end prohibition.

We have decided that email is the fastest most secure method to run the vote, every member has a unique email address, so one vote per member.

I want you to reply to this email at confidence@clear-uk.org   with your vote, all votes must be received by midnight – April 24th

To make it easy all you have to do is hit reply and write yes or no, then send it back, your vote is important!

1) Yes I have confidence in our present leadership.

Or

2) No, I believe there should be a leadership election.

all the best

Jan – Clear Secretary

This post contained an error with the e-mail address in the body of the text – although the reply-to worked correctly, so another mail was sent out later that night to correct the mistake:

Dear member

The original email contained an error. The return address is

confidence@clear-uk.org

Please reply to that address to cast you vote

[The call to vote mail (with the corrected address) was repeated following this correction]

Peter Reynolds sent a further mail to members on 19th April

Dear Member,

Why I Deserve Your Vote Of Confidence

If you have already voted, then thank you.

If you haven’t, then I am writing to encourage you to do so, whether or not you’re voting for me!

The party needs to speak with a CLEAR voice, so the more members who vote the better.

If you haven’t voted, you can do so by simply replying to this email.  The votes don’t come to me, they go directly to Jan Wells, the party treasurer and secretary.  She is checking each one for valid membership and duplication.

Naturally, I think I deserve your vote.  I believe I am the right man for the job.  I get results.

I invite you to compare my record with that of any other cannabis campaigner.  No one works harder or achieves more in the war against prohibition.  Under my leadership, CLEAR has become the largest, membership-based, drug reform group Britain has ever seen.  We have put the cannabis issue back on the agenda as never before.  Our campaign is professional, evidence-based and tightly focused  We are being taken seriously.  We are no longer regarded in the same light as the Monster Raving Loony party.

We have commissioned the most up to date, independent, expert research on cannabis in Britain.  We have forced the media to stop publishing lies and misinformation about cannabis.  We have taken our campaign right into the Houses of Parliament and we dominate the evidence in the HASC drugs inquiry.

I stand on my record.  Inevitably, I have ruffled feathers and upset some people but I am not here to make friends.  CLEAR is not a cannabis users social club. it is a serious campaign for change. If I had known the abuse and harassment I would be subject to, I would never have started along this path but now I am here I owe a duty to those who have placed their trust in me.

I really don’t know anyone else who is capable of doing the job that I do. Believe me, I’m very interested in finding the right person to succeed me. I would love to find someone to share my workload who has the ability, brains and drive to get on with it and eventually take over.

So please vote!  Have your say!  Speak loud, proud and CLEAR!

Yes I have confidence in our present leadership.

or

No, I believe there should be a leadership election.

Hit reply or email confidence@clear-uk.org and say “Yes” or “No” – all votes must be received by midnight – April 24th.

Thank you for reading.

Peter Reynolds

On 24th April the votes were added up and the result was a new mandate for Peter Reynolds:

For: 236 votes

Against: 101 votes

Total Votes: 337

Turnout 42%

Which gives Peter Reynolds a mandate of 70% of those who voted. It is true that the turnout could have been higher, but that’s the nature of voting. It’s also true that several people complained via facebook that they didn’t get a vote, yet they seemed aware of the election. All I can say with certainty is my vote arrived.

Now of course this result caused a howl of protest from the “fan club” – including a blog by Sarah McCulloch which compared this vote to those held in Zimbabwe, but frankly as far as I’m concerned Peter Reynolds now has a mandate to continue.

Two things come out of all this though. First is he has no skeletons in his cupboard now. Whether or not you agree with his take on the world or any other aspect of Peter Reynolds, he can quite openly talk about his past in a way many of us would perhaps be reluctant to do.

The second is that CLEAR is not a part of the crowd that likes to think of itself as “the cannabis community”, who are perhaps better called “cannabis evangelists”. This is an interesting development, simply because being associated with the stereotypical stoner image is something CLEAR didn’t actually want.

There is more to tell, but it’s best left unsaid for the time being and perhaps for ever. Just how much damage all this has caused to CLEAR only time will tell, but the wheels are still on the wagon, and it’s still rolling along.

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About UKCIA

UKCIA is a cannabis law reform site dedicated to ending the prohibition of cannabis. As an illegal drug, cannabis is not a controlled substance - it varies greatly in strength and purity, it's sold by unaccountable people from unknown venues with no over sight by the authorities. There is no recourse to the law for users and the most vulnerable are therefore placed at the greatest risk. There can be no measures such as age limits on sales and no way to properly monitor or study the trade, let alone introduce proper regulation. Cannabis must be legalised, as an illegal substance it is very dangerous to the users and society at large.

52 comments on “CLEAR carries on

  1. sunshine band

    Having heard Reynolds in action today on politicsUK, I can tell you that his views on people are highly objectionable, and are clearly against cannabis users. I can hardly believe he is now calling people who use cannabis who disagree with him to be ‘hopeless hippies’ and ‘crazy stoners’ – this is exactly what must be stopped, this outrageous demonisation of cannabis users – the fact that it is the so-called reform movement saying these things is simply surreal. This is a people’s movement and Reynolds has alientated immigrants, Jews, Moslems, gays and most of the former Executive of Clear – not satisfied with that he now turns his attention on the ‘wrong kind’ of cannabis user – with ‘friends’ like him who needs enemies? I was hoping the endless talk about him would stop, but after his slur today I think it is the duty of all right-minded freedom loving folks to oppose Clear wherever it dares to spout off it’s vile contempt for the people it isists it will represent no matter what they say. I don’t even care if it was a fair vote with 100% support – there are hundreds of opponents filled with mostly rightious indignation, and I for one having seen the true colours today will never accept Peter Reynolds as the spokesman for my interests, never.

  2. Andrew James Cox

    If Sarah knew anyone from Zimbabwe or could hear anecdotal stories from people who lived there she would be ashamed to make such comparisons. What people suffer/ed in Zimbabwe deserves more respect.

  3. UKCIA Post author

    @sunshineband – I think to be fair the way the same group of people – including you – are following PR around is somewhat pathetic.

    You are refering to a Facebook discussion today on “Politics UK” where you “heard” him make these comments in text form. That forum was swamped by you and the other regulars of the PR fan club who trashed any chance of having a discussion about drug law reform, which was supposedly the subject up for discussion.

    I have to say I do wonder about your real motives when all you do is disrupt an effort to get the arguments across to a different audience.

    You are not a member of CLEAR as far as I know so PR doesn’t speak for you, but in any case you don’t get to decide who speaks on the subject of cannabis law reform, it’s open to anyone who wants to do it. Also do remember there are some 2 – 3 million cannabis consumers (maybe more) out there, you do not represent them either.

    @Andrew James Cox, I agree totally.

  4. sunshine band

    I don’t know how much worse it could get than being persecuted by virtually the whole of society for one’s drug orientation, only to put one’s faith in a so-called reform group who then turns on you in a nasty spiteful pique and seeks to demean you as a hopeless hippy, lambasts you for being ‘stoned’ and threatens to report or sue you for complaining. I like the way Derek (sarcasm)now says Clear isn’t a community organisation or isn’t for for ‘stoners’ – if its not for immigrants, gays, jews, moslems, hippies, stoners etc then who is it for – oh yes, for people like, well, Peter. It should be renamed the Peter Reynolds party – what it must not do is ever seek to represent the interests of drug users, for that would be an unforgiveable insult and a stab in the back.

  5. UKCIA Post author

    @sunshineband – look, turn your comupter off and go for a walk, there’s a big wide wonderful world out there, you need a distraction.

  6. sunshine band

    Thing is Derek, Politics UK framed the interview more concerned about these issues – i cannot stand this nonsense about Reynoldsism. I simply had to speak up when Peter insulted drug users. I won’t allow that – these are the people I choose to speak up for, I won’t tolerate the wanton abuse of humanity to protect Peter’s ego and ambition to make capital out of cannabis – I didn’t like his other phobic remarks, but he crossed another line today when he attacked people for their cannabis use or being hippies. He is a nasty piece of work, and I won’t forgive you for supporting this outrage that is Clear. Clear is the clear enemy of cannabis users – that’s my view.

  7. sunshine band

    Our so-called cannabis representatives hate ‘stoners’ and hippies, – there is no way out of this other than swearing and contempt for the whole thing.

  8. Andrew James Cox

    Personally the issue for me has nothing to do with people as such. I am about making the cannabis plant legal, if nobody used its properties and was just grown as an ornamental plant i would be happy with that. Nobody has a right over nature. No one can say who can/cant represent nature. Get over yourself.
    What if Peter left clear and a person you deemed acceptable took his place and i then decided i did not like this person…would you then have them removed?

  9. UKCIA Post author

    Sunshine – “these are the people I choose to speak up for”. Do they want you to do that? On what authority do you consider yourself the person best suited to speak up for “these people”? Seriously I think you’re starting to get a bit of an overblown impression of yourself to the point of becoming obsessive and from what I see, that is what PR is talking about.

    At least he has a mandate from CLEAR members, you don’t have a mandate from anyone.

    Like I’ve said before Sunshine, it’s a big wide wonderful world out there, with lots of opportunities beyond this small group of people you’ve become a part of.

    And Andrew, again I agree. This is all about trying to end prohibition, it’s not about any individual or any other social issue.

  10. sunshine band

    Eh? It’s only about people or do you mean personalities? Yes, nothing to do with personalities. But it isnt about plants I’m sure of that – this has absolutely nothing to do with making a plant legal. Don’t you understand this is about respecting people, plants have no rights, no legal status and are irrelevant! This is about respecting the private peaceful lives of humans to be sacrosanct unless there is a justification for interference. I wouldn’t make any comment about anyone’s fitness to lead except on the basis of relevant issues, whilst there is an argument to say some of the personal issues are relevant to the leader, what concerns me are his views and policies concerning people and drugs – they are, in word, bullshit.

  11. sunshine band

    Derek – I don’t need a mandate to speak up for the oppressed, I speak from my own heart about things that strike me as unjust. I have been a civil liberties advocate privately and professionally for nearly 20 years. I do have a mandate to speak for the DEA and numerous clients and people I assist.

    I am not saying I am the best at anything – I say what I think and I don’t want Reynolds speaking on this issue because he offends my sense of justice and fair play. He knows nothing about rights or cannabis really, sounds like he has mugged up from a book of interesting facts. I don’t think any person I have chosen to speak up for has ever objected actually. I know you are not one of the minority drug users being oppressed either.

  12. UKCIA Post author

    Aw please Sunshine, knock it on the head will you? I think we know your views on what this campaign is all about (see last weeks comments). Whilst I agree with the basic logic of your argument, I don’t agree that it is the way to try to fight this battle.

    What’s worse is this isn’t a new debate, we’ve been having the same circular argument from some people for the past 20 or so years and no-one who matters is listening.

    For the record I do not dislike stoners and especially I do not dislike hippies, indeed I am proud to consider myself to have come from that grand tradition. But I am somewhat fed up with cannabis evangelists who preach constantly about one aspect or another, over and over again often for years on end. It’s like a stuck record – these days perhaps a corrupt mp3 file. If we want to be a part of this debate that is finally happening we need to be discussing things in the way others are doing. What’s on the table isn’t this idealist concept of human rights for drug users – important as it may or may not be. The debate going on now is about controlling the trade and ending the anarchy created by prohibition.

    I would like to see you engaging in the debate everyone else is having Sunshine, or at the very least not preventing those of us who want to do so.

  13. Andrew James Cox

    I have drank my camomile tea and have to be up for work at 5.30 so im off to bed, hopefully i will be asleep soon but it may be hard as i will be chuckling to myself for a while due to your comments sunshine…..life is about perspective, i have mine you have yours, instead of demanding i/everyone think like you please accept my opinion as mine and we can move on. I place all forms of nature at a much higher regard than any human, regardless of rights/legal status etc

  14. Pierre E

    Hi Derek and with you all the way on this one, sunshine you do not speak for me nor have you ever done, the closest activist that has spoken up for me and other medicinal users is no other than peter reynolds, who is working tirelessly and under great pressure to get results that will benefit my family and many others.

    Stop attacking what you are jealous off because at the end of the day you can claim what you like but in the real world, independent thinkers will realise exactly what has gone on here.

    My only prayer is that when our day comes we have a book that records just who the troublemakers were.. stick to your own campaign instead of slagging off other peoples, one wonders of the genius behind such a pathetic anti PR campaign, but now you are all tarred with the same brush as your colours have been well and truly nailed to the wall.

    and with that thought I bid you goodnight sunshine you are irrelevant in my immediate circle now think of the domino effect 🙂

    whereas Derek is just brill and we need more Dereks not less, but you know what you lot are like… OOOOH GET HER!!!!!!

    Thank you Derek for everything you have done over the years and what you still do.. brilliant and much respect to you.

  15. Alan Jono

    I don’t know much, but I do know that the ultimate aim of repeal of prohibition is better seved by working either together or seperately for the same cause and not against each other.

  16. weedol

    Its all very well CLEAR claiming to have got its house in order but unfortunately – quite aside from any of the internal bickering and unfair personal attacks – Reynolds has made CLEAR a toxic entity in the public sphere.

    His totally unacceptable offensive comments are on the public record, as are his failure to apologise for them. His ad hom attacks and legal threats against fellow reformers and organisations are likewise. Theres no conspiracy with those issues – they are prima facie multiple examples of behaviour that renders him unfit for office. If no one outside of a small group of devotees is willing to engage with him (or by implication, with Clear) or other organisations or public figures willing to share a platform (yes it is that bad) then the existence of the orgaisation with him as leader is untenable, and the the vote – fair or not – is meaningless.

    Quite aside for tactics for the campaign (a political party is a stupid idea anyway) – he simply has to go before *anything* can move on. This isn’t a problem that will go away and its not about haters and trolls etc (no one cares about HIM personally – thats the whole point, its about the campaign and hes hurting it – he just needs to step away). Its just reality – one you appear unable to accept.

  17. Dirtysquirty

    ‘CLEAR carries on’
    I think what you meant was
    ‘what a CLEAR carry on!’
    as CLEAR has become almost a script perfect Cannabis carry on movie!It’s a joke!And it’s dead in the water.What’s more, as soon as the press have got a little extra ball scratching time, they will no doubt turn their attention to Colonel ‘Ahab’ Reynolds!It’s ticking s**t bomb and I’m just sitting and waiting for it to explode and hit the fan, which it will, sooner or later.And with it any chance of an adult, non prejudicial shot at getting Cannabis normalised in the UK for everyone to use.

    Here’s the thing Derek,the facts.
    Out of 10,000 members only just over 330 bothered to vote for their most glorious leader!Doesn’t that seem a little odd to you?
    Oh but then again it doesn’t have members as such, it has followers.These same ‘followers’ must obviously have been caned 24/7 to have not noticed the vote date right?Damn stoners!
    Which is why e-mails were sent out, like all professional single issue parties do, right?
    But I bet those stupid stoners went 420ing their nuts off and just plain forgot and hey presto the majority of the actual (800?) members CLEAR (possibly) has, were too stoned to remember or just got couchlock and couldn’t be assed to move three feet to the left and grab their laptops and send Jan an email to confirm their allegiance to his most exalted mendacious leader, is that right?Sounds a little worrying to me to be honest.Sounds to me like there isn’t much confidence any more.

    Derek, for the love of ganja please wake up and smell the Kush!Peter said it himself that the press were ready ages ago to do a hatchet job on him, do you now really want to be standing next to him when Hitchen’s starts manically hacking away?He also said that if he didn’t get 10,000 members he’d resign,that never happened.Not exactly a man of his word is he?
    Regardless of if Peter comes on here later and starts saying I’m a liar, or if I’m really lucky a troll, the fact is that the truth will out.
    If not today, then maybe in a year from now, all of this will be exposed and ‘the cause’ will be beggared!

    I will however take the time to thank you for allowing us the chance to give you our perspective on this site, regardless of your current insanity!
    This is something which members of CLEAR could not do on the(CLEAR)site when the results of the victory were announced.
    I and many others have actual screen captures of these events, as well as other censorship examples, if only to prove to ourselves that they actually happened and were not in fact an hallucination of our hazy minds!

    And as for there not being a ‘Cannabis community’, I can assure you that there is.It’s alive and well and actually blossoming thanks to the current ‘fertiliser’ that it has been fed!
    I’ve been a part of it for many years now and it probably has more than 800 members in the UK alone!

    Honestly yours
    Dirtysquirty

  18. Jameson_666

    Well to show how great this vote is, I was not informed by any of these emails, I was not informed that I would not be allowed to vote.

    When I question on CLEAR that potentially there might have been a screw up in the way this has been conducted, I then had my account removed.

    I was not involved in any of the “smear campaign” at all, but yet I have been banned for no reason aside from speaking my mind! I can’t wait for all of this to bite PR in the ass.

    What goes around comes around!

  19. UKCIA Post author

    @ Dirtysquirty – CLEAR has around 800 paid up members (not sure of the exact figure) and close to 10,000 “likes” on facebook. Now people who click “like” on facebook presumably do like what they’re liking and they can “unlike” again if they feel so inclined. Now it is also true that there has been something of an effort by certian people to get people to “unlike” CLEAR – I’ve seen evidence of that, but the “likes” are still there. Make of that what you will.

    Regards the vote though, it was only ever going to be amongst the 800 or so paid up members. A turn out of 40% is a pity, but of course no-one forces people to vote. I can be pretty certain close to 800 e-mails were sent out though.

    I think it is important to remember the cannabis campaign has never been held in high regard by anyone much outside of it. The old LCA was a real laughing stock and something of a liability to be associated with.

    But if you’re right and “the cannabis community” has been galvanised into action by a mutal dislike of Peter Reynolds then all to the good. If that happens it will have been a real achievement in it’s own right. We’ll see, I’ll follow it’s development with interest.

  20. sunshine band

    I don’t agree again UKCIA; you cannot galvanise a movement around a dislike of a person, unless that movement’s objective is just to destroy that person. The problem with the cannabis community is that it has no coherent set of principles, and the most annoying thing about the constant anti-Reynolds noise is that it rarely if ever touches upon the issue of cannabis use, or even how Reynolds clearly has no depth of understanding of that issue or any empathy or congruence with people that actually use it. The focus is all on his unsuitability due to various other allegations, the latest being that Clear is now in the process of handing all the data concerning the Clear website to the police including membership details in order to pursue a complaint against persons for allegedly hacking into it.

    The really important issue is what I wanted to talk about all along was the complete failure to develop any theoretical basis for a movement that could actually cohere the debate around something more positive than ‘I hate Peter’. I don’t think Derek to be honest you have applied any thought to this at all, and your endless fielding of complaints about Reynolds and the Clear policies smacks more of protectionism than objectivity. You have sided with a completely unsuitable person and there you can see no way out other than to try and brass it out. Sadly this involves causing yet more harm and spewing out unwarranted criticism of those who you see as Clear detractors and more importantly skews your perspective about what needs to be done now for the future. You try to tell me what is on the table and what is off it – that I don’t like at all – that’s you discarding people’s freedom for your own sycophancy. Never, ever even think that liberty is off the table – and if your goal is to cut a deal be careful who you think to sell out.

  21. UKCIA Post author

    Sunshine – I don;t think the apparent surge in motivation of the anti PR lobby will come to anything, but I suppose it might and if it did, well, perhaps it would be a good thing.

    I do very much agree with the criticism you make about the “fan club” and its narrow focus and simply trying to discredit PR. I havn’t heard or seen any cannabis law reform effort from them worth mentioning.

    I find myself in an interesting position. PR, for all his faults is sayinmg the right things as far as I’m concerned. I agree (mostly) with his agenda regarding cannabis.

    Why don’t I agree with your argument? Can I suggest you read this blog https://ukcia.org/wordpress/?p=1373 from earlier this year. Note you won’t be able to comment on it because the comments close automatically after a month to prevent spam, but if you read it you’ll see why I don’t agree that the thrust of the law reform effort should be based on the liberty issue.

  22. sunshine band

    Thanks for that link UKCIA – I am versed in the subject of rights, and I have to say that one major problem with the whole rights discourse is how it has become bastardised to mean using the word ‘right’ to add credence to any old claim that a person wishes to make. Because we have (and I am not commenting on the merits of, just the form of these claims) rights claims for clean water, medical treatment, children including the unborn child and animals, we end up with no coherent meaning and do a great diservice for those who fought hard for true rights to be recognised. I think we need to study the various constructions of the claims, some are demands for freedom (eg freedom of speech), some are demands for protection (eg censorship of hate speech) and some are for provision of a service (eg a right to reply). Whilst it takes a combination of these forms of recognition to fully realise a workable balance in contemporary society, there are conflicts and the balance very much depends on one’s political outlook. You must see that really where the tensions arise ALWAYS from the same formula – one one side we have the demand for freedom without interference from the state, and on the other we have a demand for interference – try it out with any examples you like, right to strike vs right to get through the pickets etc.

    I am firmly of the view that when it comes to the drug laws, what we are dealing with are rights claims for freedom to be offset by the public need for protection. This is not what you have set up at all – you have sought to say that the right for freedom to use has to be assuaged by a public benefit such as medical use – this is not the argument at all and neither does this reflect in the MoDA. The law is concerned with protecting against social harm, and incursions into liberty must be proportioante to that end, it is not that the peaceful drug user has to justify themselves at all.

    The most vital form of rights are of course real civil rights, and these are defined as being exercised by autonomous legal subjects as the free space in which they peacefully occupy without intervention – so freedom of speech is a real rights claim, demand for protection against hate speech is something very different in character – in fact it is the opposite. We must not confuse these claims!

    When you seek to distinguish between legitmate and illigitmate uses you simply must adhere to the correct criteria – does the activity cause social harm or not. Your proposal on medical use for example simply hands over the whole basis of rights claims to a private life over to doctors. There is no need for theis complex, expensive ‘expertisation’ of the private space people occupy, especially with relation to cannabis. If you were discussing access to opiates for example then perhaps there is an argument for doctors to be involved. Your dismisal of the ‘being stoned’ desire is frivalous and shallow – you miss the importance of this by being absurdly judgmental about what is appropriate or not for an individual to do. We are by definition special, sacred, our minds are the dominion of the whole existence that we can contemplate – we must not allow them to be arbitrarily policed for molecules that facilitate other mind states or enable different modalities of thinking. To impose a contemporary western perspective on what is acceptable is just as bad as imposing Christianity on the Americas or determining that casual sex is immoral or that gays are perverts. Every human being must be granted peaceful sovereignty over their minds and bodies – some people choose religious paths devoid of drugs, some ascetic disciplines such as yoga, some go for the arts and musuc and others use drugs. It’s actually about the magic of consciousness and we should not hand over control of that without good reason – I’m shocked that you would even consider dividing cannabis users up into the worthy and unworthy as Reynolds sought to – I am sure this is rooted in either political cowardice or a determination to profit from the valve that is the perpetual arbitration and supply of an overly regulated market (of which of course the promised benefits would never arise except for the few because the impetus for the criminal market would remain and even be compromised). It’s the worst of both worlds to play fast and loose with rights as you are unwittingly doing.

    Rights are universal freedoms based upon citizenship, not divisive entitlements based upon needs. Whilst I make no comment on the worthiness of advocating protection for these causes, it’s worth describing them in other terms such as entitlements when asking for the state to provide you with something – what we really need is freedom to be, not more and more concerns for more policing and protection IMO. Rights should only describe power of real citizens, yet they have become debased to be about animals and the unborn child – let’s get our terms right and all will make more sense. Yes it’s true that we cannot live by rights alone in this world, but in this subject in particular, the conflation of entitlements-based claims is a hiding to nothing. We must boldly assert our freedoms, why shouldn’t we?

  23. UKCIA Post author

    Sunshine

    >>
    You must see that really where the tensions arise ALWAYS from the same formula – one one side we have the demand for freedom without interference from the state, and on the other we have a demand for interference
    >>

    Agreed. As I put it some people demand the freedom – in this case to use cannabis – while others reject that freedom. Hence we have a conflict.

    >>
    I am firmly of the view that when it comes to the drug laws, what we are dealing with are rights claims for freedom to be offset by the public need for protection.
    >>

    Not sure I quite understand that, but I think I agree. Trouble is it’s not an argument that a large section of the population can relate to.

    >>
    you have sought to say that the right for freedom to use has to be assuaged by a public benefit such as medical use
    >>

    No no no, a thousand times no I haven’t. I argue there are issues surrounding the right to medical use that do not apply to recreational use – ie the need is greater basically, I see it as a different issue in some respects. You have totally misunderstood the point I was making about medical use.

    You make a passionate argument for your view on what constitutes freedom Sunshine and as I say, I more or less agree personally. But a sizable proportion, probably a majority, of the population don’t. There is absolutely no point in continuing to try to argue your take on the world with people who do not agree with it, you’re just wasting your breath – and my band width!

    >>
    It’s actually about the magic of consciousness
    >>

    Using phrases like that really doesn’t help!

    Look, it’s easy to dismiss your argument simply by saying “I don’t agree with it” and that is basically what has happened. The state doesn’t agree, the law doesn’t agree, the Daily Mail doesn’t agree so the sheeple don’t agree. Because of that we don’t progress the argument.

    My point is that what tips this debate isn’t the intellectual argument about “internal freedom”, but the real world consequences of not allowing it. Because the policy of repression gives rise to the illegal trade, the violence, the bloodshed and all the rest caused by the fact that so many people insist on the right to use cannabis everyone is put at danger.

    It isn’t supposed to be like this if we believe the prohibitionists, their policy is supposed to protect everyone. But it doesn’t, it puts everyone in the firing line. That is the way to present this argument, in a way people can relate to because it affects them directly.

    So we have an argument which has a relevence to everyone, Daily Mail reader, Tory voter, the lot of them.

    As I said in that blog link; we need to talk TO people not AT them. You are talking AT them I’m afraid and they don’t want to listen.

  24. sunshine band

    But upon what basis do people seek to reject the rights claims of others? There has to be a threshold of observeable nuisance to add any substance – it can’t just be prejudice.

    Much of what you say seems to be panderring to the prejudice and misconceptions of some of the public. That is a bit like saying the way gay activists should have addressed the discrimination issue was to perhaps feign concerns and focus on them being mentally ill and needy of help, arguing that the prohibitionist policy merely pushes it underground and making the consequencs of the evil worse – thankfully this was avoided by a demand for equality and recogntion.

    What is ‘medical use’? Isn’t any introduction of a drug into the body a medical issue? Why do you think recreational use is perceived as a problem when we are a nation of piss-heads?

    Magic is fine, I think you want to sanitise some drug taking and come up with pussy-cat imagery, well I don’t buy it. I think its fine to say drug taking is profound, its significant, it carries risks and leads to consequences – I don’t think we should shy away from ecclectic interests, shamanism, druidism, recreational stoners, the arts, spiritualism and opening the mind at all – there is no doubt that Huxley was onto something with his doors of perception – this isn’t really about cannabis, it’s about the human mind. I can’t agree that we should tone it down or carry of a myth just to pander to popular misconceptions – faint heart never won fair maiden as it were. You want to start from the basis of a drug, but really this is all kinds of wrong and the root of all evil with the misadministration of laws. We start from the basis that people have rights to peacefully exist, it doesn’t matter if someone wants to experience magic mushrooms or whatever, its about the brain – its not a soft or hard divide, its about the outcome. You can do wonderful work with a box of tools or you can burgle and stab people with the same things – drugs are tools, and they are the tools of the user. Don’t judge the tools, judge what is done with them.

    What you seem to be saying is look at what everyone else is doing like Transform, all singing from the same hymn sheet to go on and on about the paradox of consequences of prohibition and not a single word about liberty – yet in truth it is ALL about liberty, that’s the reality, it is about who gets to control consciousness, we will never sort it going on about regulating drugs when we are regulating persons. I say forget the rest, they have been saying these things for decades and what is supposed to be on the table is so damn little I wouldn’t get out of bed to hear it – perhaps in a year we will have licensed cannabis products on special prescription, perhaps we will see possession cases channelled into the healthcare social welfare interventionalist model rather than the criminal justice model – well sorry but that’s just not good enough. I demand an amnesty for all peaceful prisoners concerned with drugs, I demand freedom to access any drug that can be foreseeably used without causing significant harms – these demands are not unrealistic once we understand the issues at stake. Yes there is much between where we are now and that outcome, but I cannot see how we can progress by carrying on acting as if we still accept the earth is at the centre of the universe or whatever – it takes a radical thesis to rescue this, and it just happens to be 100% the truth. Youa re really saying the truth is too much so lets play games with the persecutory policies, akin to asking for padded shackes for slaves. I am going for the jugular because that is the target, what you are saying is hit the shield because its in view. We make our chances and we set the agenda for reform – I’m not going to compromise principles, what I am asking for is nothing beyond rationality, equality and peaceful respect for what it means to be human.

  25. Billy Gartside

    Don’t try passing that vote off as a credible mandate.Reynolds expelled/excluded his opponents,called a vote of confidence and still only got 70% of the vote and the numbers in question are pitifully tiny.The BBC estimates that there are 3 million cannabis users in the UK and 204 deluded fools think that Reynolds is a credible leader.So what.As for Reynolds handing the membership list to the Police well Janice did that in August 2010 so I guess the Police needed an update.

  26. Ch1pLead

    My problem with Reynolds is that I believe, thanks to his rather outspoken and at times disgusting treatment of others (not to mention his dictatorship of CLEAR), no one in a position of influence, such as MPs etc, will not give him time of day. If that is the case no matter how hard he works toward cannabis law reform he will not get anywhere. That’s why I believe, while Reynolds is leader, CLEAR will not make any headway whatsoever.

  27. UKCIA Post author

    Sunshine. Your principles are fine, all well and good, but who’s listening? I suggest you only audience are those who already agree with you. You argument isn’t going to sway Mr and Mrs average Mail reading voter, hence it can safely be ignored by the establishment.

    I’ve talking about putting an argument across people with no interest in your way of looking at the world can relate to, because it’s only by doing that we can hope to get their attention. And we do have to do that because there’s a hell of a lot of them.

    For me, I just want to see change. Anything is better than prohibition frankly. I’m not an all or nothing person.

    @Billy Gartside – the vote was valid I’m afraid whether you like it or not. You’re not a member of CLEAR so frankly the result is none of your business anyway. Why don’t you put some effort into useful campaigning for cannabis law reform instead of this obession with one person?

  28. Tevion

    Derek I think your CLEARLY deluded, is this another attempt at winding folk up like your escapade on 420 prior to Christmas? You just can’t see the wood for the trees dude!

  29. UKCIA Post author

    @Tevion – Go back to UK420 and stay there please.

    @ Ch1pLead – we’ll see is the answer to your comment, but this can hardly be worse than they were with the old laughing stock of the LCA

  30. Jameson_666

    Derek – re your comment to Billy Gartside.

    I was a member until the spine-less excuse of a man Peter CLEARly didn’t like having the flaws in his process pointed out, and chose to delete my account with out warning or reason!

    I call him spine-less as I have emailed asking why my account was removed and asked for a refund of my membership, I’ve had no response but that is no change for that pathetic excuse of a man in my experience so far.

    That vote was bullshit to say the least, appears to have been hand picked voters, counted by hand picked staff.

    I ask for proof all emails had gone out, to see it has been done fairly and asked questions as to why it wasn’t handled by a 3rd party to prove that everything was above board, I was ignored on the forum and dragged into the bullshit arguments over the smear campaign that I had sweet FA to do with.

    If the vote had been handled professionally, none of the complaints against the vote would hold up as we would have known that PR could have nothing to do with the results, but this process he has used, shows the potential for corruption all to easily.

    If he was really that confident that the majority of CLEAR would keep him, he should have had no problems having the vote run externally and include all 800 PAID members not excluding any.

    If you are in contact with PR ask him to actually respond to my emails like a grown up “leader” of a political party.

  31. Peter Reynolds

    The hate filled hypocrites hiding behind their childish pseudonyms are just the same old, same old “crazy stoners”, every bit as much enemies of reform as “reefer madness”.

    CLEAR has had more impact on the serious business of cannabis law reform than any other group in Britain ever. I will not be diverted by abuse, personal attacks or false allegations filled with hatred and spite.

    It is pitiful to quibble over a poll conducted with exemplary fairness which has given me a new mandate with a 70% majority. Those indulging in their very flattering but unwanted obsession with me are wasting their time.

    I am focused on ending the prohibition of cannabis, most urgently for those who need it as medicine. No shamateur lawyer or gang of nasty, bitter trolls is going to stop me.

  32. sunshine band

    Peter if you are referring to me as a ‘shamateur’, actually I am a proper lawyer although that training doesn’t mean much really, but I do have qualifications. Most don’t trust your CV or even the vote – you have simply carte blanche and complete control over your small business enterprise masquarading as a political party.

    I am certainly not bitter, I do resent someone bullying their way into this movement and then talking rubbish and compromising all our rights and freedoms, which is exactly why I oppose your operations. Your explanation for this is delusional, the reason why people are acting against you is because of the fact that they don’t like your behaviour/policies. You can rationalise it to yourself that they are trolls, liars and drug dealers or jealous campaigners – but that is bluster, most critics would welcome any positive developments, there is no reason why they shouldn’t – they oppose you because you are pushing for an agenda that is, in the kindest possible interpretation, a business agenda. That agenda is deeply flawed and compromised because you are prepared to sell us all out to milk something from this. Your concerns about medical cannabis users look like a sham to exploit products for these persons, as this would be impossible if greater liberty was won – that’s why you sell us out time and time again with your cannabis is not tomatoes and pathetic hopless-hippy dreamers sound-bites. Your latest attacks seem to think cannabis use is actually a problem as you use the use of it as a stick to ‘beat’ your critics with – I cannot believe you dare say surely you must have been on that wacky stuff again you stoners, looks like you have cannabis psychosis and other stupid remarks. NEVER EVER will you represent my interests or truly speak on behalf on cannabis users with your divisive ill conceived agenda. I will always say I think you are wrong when I think you are wrong which is just about whenever you open your mouth or put pen to paper. If you were to ever make any sense at all I would welcome it, but given your direction is a fait accompli there is little hope of that.

  33. Peter Reynolds

    You almost sound coherent in that last comment SB! You almost make sense and there’s a notable absence of the abuse and petty insults that are in the rest of your comments here.

    What you say about CLEAR though is complete rubbish. It is a democratic organisation, far more democratic than any other drug group in Britain.

    There are a few dozen “crazy stoners” who attack me but the vast majority of stoners and the millions of others who uses cannabis are very supportive towards both me and CLEAR.

    You’re perfectly entitled to disagree with me of course and I do know that you can be rational at times, even if you still insist of putting words in my mouth and grossly distorting what I say, but anyone who knows you gets used to that after a while.

    There may be hope for you yet! You do need to get your head out of your rear orifice though. You should try listening to what I say or reading what I write rather than imposing your fantasises of what you think I say or write.

    I’m not interested in representing you SB. You’re obsessed with a largely irrelevant, nuance of language that does nothing at all to advance reform. Ever decreasing circles I believe they call it.

  34. sunshine band

    Peter – why should anyone trust the vote? The figures could be completely made up as far as the outside world knows. Even if they are right, the process used and communications were questionable to say the least and by your own admission more than 100 proper members I think voted against – that’s not a few trolls. I am not a member as you know so feel free to ignore the question as sometimes I wonder why I waste time on Clear now new groups are forming. Groups by the way who understand its not about a plant, and that cannabis can never be illegal or legal. I see you posted today “the problem with cannabis is that its illegal”. Well done, you just supported the four pillars of prohibition.

    Of great importance are the slurs you make against people already sufferring persecution.
    Your new favourite expression “crazy stoners” is fucking offensive – you now transfer the blame for your unpopularity from your own failure to understand anything about drug users, to the misuse of cannabis by others. Astonishingly for someone aspiring to represent cannabis users, you cling to a belief in the negative effects of cannabis such as mental impairment and psychosis. Whilst I was for one was prepared to try and keep your racist comment “curse the evil Jews” and other questionable remarks to one side, I am not prepared to tolerate hate speech against cannabis users – these are the people I choose to try and support. You are more like a wannabe Peter Hitchens than a friend of the drug user.

  35. Meeman

    This Sunshine person seems obsessed with attacking PR. If this Sunshine person is so abhorred by PR then instead of attacking him, why not start your own pro-Cannabis party? Afteral, you are, allegedly, both trying to reform the drugs policy in the UK. If SB believes PR’s way is not the way then do something positive about it and do it your way.

    That way I won’t have to be subjected to all this whining and petty squabbling.

    Just a suggestion, not a command.

  36. UKCIA Post author

    Sunshine, I from what I saw the vote was run as fairly as possible. All members were sent an e-mail and Peter was not involved in the counting.

    “Crazy stoners” was typical PR bluntness, I always talk of “cannabis evangelists”, but it’s the same thing and if you’re honest you’ll accept these people exist. These people have done a lot of harm to the cause of law reform by providing the awful stereotype so easily mocked as well you know.

    If you don’t want to support CLEAR, that’s fine by me but you don’t have an authority to pick and choose who is active in the cannabis law reform debate.

    I have to say SB that some of your arguments have merit – quite a bit of merit actually, but you do tend to take it to such an extreme as to undermine the good points you’re making.

    In plain English I’m afraid cannabis is “illegal” in that its possession is illegal. Please, you’ve been constantly making this point for about 4 or 5 years now, over and over again. We understand your argument, honest.

  37. sunshine band

    Meeman, I think you have expressed your point backwards, its not a personal animosity between myself and Peter – its jostling over the approach from my point of view. I am not attacking PR but what he says, there is a difference – I am on record for trying to curb the personal stuff and stick to policy, and arguing about policy that in the world of politics everyone is the name of the game. It’s pathetic to say people opposing your position should be insulted and banned as Clear do – the real problem here is that the policy and personal now gets mixed up. It is fair enough to discuss someone’s suitability to lead though, but it has gone too far into the personal, but not by me. I think its fair enough to say someone shouldn’t lead because of what they say about the issues.

    The real reason I must confront Clear policy is that it is working against the reform of drug policy by failing to address the salient issues. We simply must not fall into the traps that have thwarted progress for generations, which is not as Peter would have it, down to people having hippy lifestyles or getting ‘stoned’ – but through a complete propaganda coup by prohibitionists that got the world believing in four myths. I judge all reform intiatives by whether they expose or affirm the four myths. Sadly Clear is not exposing anything and actively trying to stiffle expressions of rights and liberty ideals as ‘off the table’, so we are not on the same side.

    Four myths (all interconnected):

    That the UK law is governed by and supposed to give effect to, the International Treaties and Conventions on drug control.

    That the drug law controls “illegal drugs” via an Act of prohibition. The reversal of subject and object of regulation is of monumental importance, its simply wrong to talk about regulating cannabis – we are reduced to an indivisible objectified status about our own chemistry via this misnomer.

    That the drug misuse law does not control “legal drugs” – this is allowed by people thinking cannabis is illegal as Peter thinks. It is not, no drug is legal or illegal – law controls persons.

    The law seeks to prevent the use of “controlled drugs”. It does not.

    See http://www.drugequality.org (the group I am involved with).

  38. sunshine band

    UKCIA – are you saying you acted as an election monitor? Did you see the replies and verify them? Seeing at that time it was down to a very loyal Jan to do all of this, how do we know its right? How do we know that the email addresses are all real people? The letters that went out were hardly neutral, effectively imploring people to act in a specified way.

    More important to me is the criticising of people as hippies, stoners and evangelists. If people want to believe the herb is sacred then let them, this is our one life and if we want to get evangelical then we damn well will. This snipe is so misguided its barely believable. It’s like having a diversity group for the moderately minded. Given that too much of society already believes people that use cannabis are lazy good for nothing hippies who are debilitated by drugs, how can it be acceptable for the supposed representative to lambast people for these alleged qualities or diseases? The stereotype as you put it is the product of the context, why would you need to distance yourself from the flower power movement and its astonishing impact on culture, music, anti-war, consumerism, environmentalism and freedom? Who cares what middle England think if they are being bigots – no surrender.

    I cannot see your point in truth, its so absurd as to stand out like a beacon amongst a sea of faux pas – by all means argue with your prospective clients for their ideas, but please don’t criticise their lifestyles and drug orientation out of frustration that they don’t want to know you. You must respect CHOICE, you must accept your clients as you find them – if you have ideas to sell, then lets hear them, but attacking people for cannabis use shows you don’t understand what cannabis represents – its a choice for personal freedom, anytime, any place anywhere – its two fingers up to the tut tutters, so who’s side are you on?

  39. sunshine band

    I would add that this is not a mandate for people acting stupidly – if people cause harms through not being able to do what they are doing properly, then they should be held to account for that, but we must not presume harm and impairment – it is really highly subjective. Some people can use cannabis for example and operate better than without it, some people cannot perhaps through inexperience – we have to really start to question the presumption of impairment as it looks like cannabis users are going to become unable to drive if the govt gets its way. Really people should be focussed on the new drug driving law – its an outrageous threat to liberty.

  40. UKCIA Post author

    Sunshine

    >>
    More important to me is the criticising of people as hippies, stoners and evangelists
    >>

    I don’t, I only criticise evangelists. There’s nothing wrong with hippies or stoners. I don’t critise the flower children or the anti war movement, you have put that interpertation on thnigs – wrongly.

    Evangelists though are something very different and you do know the sort of person I mean.

    Along with evangelists come the absolutists – those who will not see an alternative argument no matter what evidence is presented or what external developments take place.

    An example of that was the person who both insisted that cannabis was utterly incapable of harm and that smoking it with tobacco was simply a matter of personal choice. According to this person, anyone who argued for, say, age restrictions on sales or a tokepure sort of health campaign was a prohibitionist.

    Such people do exist and they are destructive people. These people are also bigots.

    Also, please stop telling me what I *must* do and what aspects of all this I *must* respect, I will decide those things.

    Regards driving impairment, I’m not against banning people who are stoned from driving. I am concerned if the test simply detects past use though. Driving isn’t a right, whatever else is.

  41. sunshine band

    I think smoking cannabis with or without tobacco IS a matter of choice -as far as age restrictions go, nobody really wants to touch this subject, if someone says children are the same as adults, well rubbish. But this is not the same as accusing critics of having cannabis psychosis, being inchorrent due to ‘waking and baking’, being hopeless hippies and the crazy stoners remark that Peter actually has repeated at least 5 times already so its not a one off blunt remark – he has always thought stoned = fucked (as opposed to normalised).

    I don’t know what you mean by stoned driving, you are not someone who uses so its hard to accept what you say you think about stoned driving – its all about impairment, not just that metabolites are detectable for ages, but that impairment is being presumed not demonstrated.

    If I say ‘must’ accept, its the imperative mandated by fairness and not degrading people – of course its free speech and at least you are not censorring here which is respected.

  42. UKCIA Post author

    SB I’ve replied privately to some of your points, but cannabis use with tobacco ins not simply a matter of choice. Tobacco is highly addictive – both physically and psychologically (in a way that cannabis simply isn’t). Consuming a drug to satisfy an addiction in not excercising free will.

    You say no-one want to touich the subject of age limits, well I do and so does CLEAR.

    Criticising people who have this evangelising attitude to cannabis is fair game in my book. I think you are taking it to rather stupid conclusions though. It is not a matter of slagging off alternative lifestyles as you seemt ot think.

    I can’t believe you don’t know what I mean by stoned driving , seriously how can you say that? Driving is a dangerous occupation and requires a high level of concentration. Accidents will always happen, but the onus is on the driver to be as alert as possible. That is how it should be.

  43. sunshine band

    UKCIA – we need to be careful about surrendering to the notion of ‘addiction’ to being told what’s best for us. There is a well known Dutch psychiatrist in the reform movement who wants to ban the word as much as I want to expunge “illegal drugs”. It simply enforces a label onto someone and undermines human agency. This is it UKCIA – we must think about agency and choice because that’s what was stole from us via objectification. I don’t believe people are truly helpless in the face of tobacco, its actually a choice they make and excuse it because there is some withdrawal symptom as addicted. What does addiction really mean and if it exists how is it that millions break their ‘addictions’ every year? With your line of argument we will have to have compulsory exercise classes for the overweight because they are so lazy their choices are borne of that mental weakness, so they need your ‘objective’ control.

    You can just say young people have no entitlement to use cannabis, but then you end up with the same issues that we see with prohibition with adults, kids buying and selling illegally and the wrong sort of stuff. We don’t know that cannabis is really harmful esepcially if used sensibly – look at alcohol, its more dangerous as you know and the legal age to use it is 5. In some countries indigenous tribes give even babies Class A psychedelic drugs and there are no health or social concerns at all about this. For all we know even youngsters may be deficient in cannabinoids and would benefit from a suitable ‘kiddy strain’ being introduced as sweetened cannabis oil into their milk – I am not saying that’s fact, but its just as valid an area of research as any other, what is clearly wrong in my view is to come out as some do and say NO cannabis until you are 21 or whatever to appear responsible, when we know the scares and myths about the about cannabis are so inflated as to mean that the one’s about kids brains also have to be treated with some suspicion and investigated. It may well be child abuse not to give children some cannabis – more research needed.

    Driving: Well I have been told that some medical cannabis patients would be highly irrepsonsible to take to the wheel without being medicated – it would be a case of an offence of driving whilst impaired through NOT taking cannabis. I am not saying these reversals of your presentation of reality are universal gospel, but there are complete paradoxes inherrent within our world view about drugs that need to be exposed. I do know that cannabis can mean loss of concentration, and if people experience that then I agree driving would be reckless. What we need is to be able to test for impairment and not cannabis because once we assume impariment then there is no safe limit. If its true, and I don’t believe it is, but if you cannot drive for 24 hours as I think Steve Rolles was saying after using cannabis, if that is right, then it should be unlawful to drive – but what is the truth of it? Personally I think it has a lot to do with type of cannabis, experience and not allowing distraction by daydreaming or certain forms of communication. It may be the case that people can drive better with it than without it. Being ‘stoned’ is such a catch all expression from being floored by a strong product taken by a novice through to ‘normalisation’ of an experiened user perhaps by something weaker – the time elapsed is a factor as indeed are many other variables.

    Evangelists – again I caution this quick to judge matter, It’s like one person’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter – you may find something extreme, but free expression means tolerating others, not just people like you feel comfortable with. You see you have your view about cannabis, and yet I have given you a very different perspective on each of your points just in this post – I am not looking to argue about the merits of each claim, my point is that this is subjective and not something that lends itself to obsessive control. The Indians sometimes say that the British ruined curry with their obsession about making curry powders from recipes, when real cooking is an art using varibale ingredients all which change day to day as does the weather and the rest of it. Really the mind is something beyond complete control and drugs are about that, resisting control. The problem with ‘responsible intiatives’ is that they are too responsible, and sadly Clear’s leader is not someone who understands, he is too quick to form judgments about people, to lash out when confronted in an ugly way, and to hold prejudices. We should take one thing from Russel Brand’s HASC contribution, and ask ‘where is the love’ – we need to find beauty in people and not keep laying down the law where it is not warranted.

  44. tokevine

    1. Driving: personal experience showed me that after imbibing alcohol there were illogical urges such as to DRIVE FASTER so as to get home quicker leaving less time for an accident. The drunk driver also gets into “fights” with other drivers with guess what consequence.

    A typical drunk driver might scorn the cannabis user who is drivingwise TIMID, slows down, avoids confrontations etc. I used to drive a cardboard recycling truck including after tokes and this was o.k. because the streets used were quiet industrial ones (getting to the docks where $ cardboard and pallets were to be had) and you didn’t have to drive over 20 mph to keep up with traffic. (Cops sometimes zero in on someone driving “too slow”…) So the answer to these threatened new driving laws is to confine all driving to slow streets and take your time.

    2. Wikipedia emergency

    Firstly– having lived in the US most of my life I can’t judge the appropriateness in context of Peter’s “caustic” approach to idiots and morons in the British govt. prohib ranks as well as to other adversaries, also notably the British newspaper writing style has always seemed more vicious” than the American, and the screaming and yelling in Parliament surprises us over here.

    Anyway, here’s my suggestion: Peter and Sunshine should both check out the recent (especially since April 2011) “History” of cannabis-related articles on the Wikipedia.

    For a while User:Tokerdesigner got some traction adding information to those articles about tobacco-avoidance (covered in UKCIA’s “TokePure” section) and use of miniature pipes (including adding photos of midwakh, kiseru, calumet and other devices capable of delivering a vape-temperature 25-mg toke instead of the hot burning overdose lungbuster 500-mg papermonster.

    Guess what– an editor named User:Mjpresson appeared and began to Delete all Tokerdesigner’s pro-moderation work, deleted footnotes to the Australian Board of Health warning against mixing cannabis with tobacco, planted a BIG photo of a “person smoking a joint” at the top of the “Cannabis smoking” article, etc.

    Pursuant to discussions on the talk pages of these articles Mjpresson entered charges against Tokerdesigner on “Noticeboard: Incidents” for Incivility, i.e. “THREATS” against Mj’s articles which mainly consist of 44 articles covering the life and work of Jose Mojica Marins (“Coffin Joe”) the Brazilian horror movie mogul. Subsequently Tokerdesigner was accused of Soapboxing, Self-Published-Sources, Single-Purpose-Editor and other crimes, labeled an addled pothead and banned from editing cannabis-related articles.

    Mjpresson could himself be cited for SPAM– inserting advertising material to benefit a particular commercial interest. In the WP “Joint” article, for example, you will see a picture of the “Americone”– a huge cone-shaped object with red-white-blue brand name clearly legible, which contains a ONE-GRAM joint allegedly for medical marijuana users. (Why would anyone burn away ten bucks worth of herb in a few minutes is my first thought.) Mj discloses on his userpage that he is based in Granite City, a suburb of Sacramento, a couple hours’ drive from San Francisco where the Americone is made. Uh oh.

    My first thought is we need some stiff upper lip Welshman with huge dogs to go in there and kick that photo of a man smoking a joint off the top of the “Cannabis smoking” article, adding a picture of a Moroccan Sebsi instead, etc., etc. But admittedly it must be done in a nuanced way for Mjpresson is on guard and will react instantly. Therefore I have tried to study what is known of the individual to determine what pathways exist to understanding and coping with his mindset.

    If you try to say the name “Mjpresson” you might hear echoes of “I’m depressing” or “In depression” which is my diagnosis of what the fellow’s problem is. He discloses on his user-page that he is a glaucoma patient who uses medical marijuana– good luck to him with that I say. But why he burns a one-gram joint full of carbon monoxide and 421 combustion toxins is the question.

    Possibly this “medicates” his depression by making it “feel” better, especially since his main hobby is to sit through hundreds of hours of horror movies so as to write authoritative plot synopses for Wikipedia. Or– the SPAM hypothesis– if Coffin Joe movies turn into a megabucks craze in English speaking countries due to the coverage in WP, Mjpresson can ask the film distributor for a little Tip??

    Because Wikipedia is like a World Government of Information and every article is atop the Google and the Bing, it’s vitally important that energetic forces of nature like Peter Reynolds and Sunshine Band get together and banish the crap from those cannabis articles. (If Tokerdesigner tried to do it under a different Username account they might get me for Sockpuppetry.)

    Good (bad) news: whilst for years the WP article has been atop the Bing and the Google for “Cannabis smoking”, in the last weeks on some days on the Bing Derek’s “How to smoke cannabis” article on this website (usually in second place) has actually displaced it! Go see for yourself! Congratulations Derek! But the bad news may be that the Mjpresson regime has degraded the Wikipedia article far enough that readers turned against it. Just like we need a just effective government we need a truthful effective Wikipedia so go to it everyone.

  45. Tom

    Clear is over, no one wants to know.

    NORML will be taking the reigns up now….

  46. Andrew Cox

    Why does the birth of a new organisation in the UK mean another must die? Are you really that sad, taking up the reigns, what does that even mean. Cannabis isn’t Rudolph and NORML isn’t Santa Claus. Not only one person is in charge of changing or effecting cannabis laws. Should Derek now remove this site from the internet? Should i stop my endeavors as i have no reigns. Please get over yourself, have a smoke of your precious cannabis and realise “life is just a ride” Several organisations even when working separately will make change happen quicker rather than one. Sheesh!

  47. Tom

    Andrew, it’s you that needs to get over yourself.
    Reynolds has been proven to be a risk to individuals because he so freely shares peoples information to the Police.
    NORMLUK is being run properly, unlike Clear, who has, does and probably will again delete posts they do not agree with, even though they have been perfectly respectful.
    Not very democratic.
    Off course you are free to do as you wish, what I meant was in the context of organisations, which I am sure you realise but would prefer to twist my comments.
    As for the “have a smoke of your precious cannabis”, that sounds very negative, are you sure you support legalisation at all? Do you even use Cannabis?

  48. Andrew Cox

    Not sure why im answering this but have been in the sun all day and am just waiting for my dinner to cook before i have a shower so have some minutes to spare….
    Have any of the individuals you mention been affected by information you claim has been given to the police….If so it would interesting to know why this information was given.
    Clear has nothing to do with you…why dont you use your efforts to do something positive…show me a political party that is democratic….thats not an excuse but if these are your beliefs i hope you spend as much energy on contacting and pursuing all parties misdeeds and wrongdoings.
    i was not trying to twist your comments i read it as i saw it i doubt i am smart enough to twist words i read them literately. You said “the reigns” to me implying there is only one set and that one person/org deserves/be better at representing cannabis. the cannabis plant is part of nature, humans for ME are secondary in all of this, my efforts are concerned with legalising a plant, many of the arguments and reasons for and against this aim involve humans so i must involve them.
    I use the phrase precious cannabis as you seem to be precious over who is allowed to represent or be involved in cannabis. He cant/he can….can i? maybe im far worse than you perceive peter to be, maybe you should contact government and warn them not to listen to Andrew Cox he does not represent cannabis.
    Maybe to prove my cannabis credentials to you i should go on a radio station and claim i brought strong cannabis to britain, or go on endlessly about the origins of different cannabis strains. Maybe i should read the multitude of cannabis specific books instead of doing rhs courses, maybe i shouldnt read about luther burbank and gregor mendel
    i know that last bit makes me seem a bit of a dick but meh! and if one person who does not know of them researches it will be worth it.
    sorry for stoking the fire derek

  49. Tom

    I don’t give a hoot about your ‘credentials’.
    It is about Humans and more specifically, their freedoms and rights.

    Clear purports to represent Cannabis users, it doesn’t.

    I do plenty, I contact members of parliament and have turned one around at least, with another on the way, I hope.

    Speak to Sanj, look at what Peter has said with regard to peoples information and handing it to the Police, no qualms what so ever.

    The rest of your post is nonsense … you take yourself very seriously.

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