Introduction to UKCIA


Old UKCIA logo

 The UKCIA site is one of the oldest – if not the oldest – cannabis law reform websites in the UK. It was set up in 1995 right at the dawn of the internet in the UK by the remaining members of the original LCC, the old “Legalise Cannabis Campaign”. The idea was to put the knowledge and experience gained in running the LCC online for people to use.

These days UKCIA offers a commentary on the developing law reform campaign and issues relating to cannabis, its many uses and the culture that surrounds it, but it also still hosts the original site

The old site is here and contains a wealth of information about cannabis, as well as a record of the law reform campaign of the late 90’s

Having “CIA” in the name of cannabis law reform campaigns was an in joke at the time for some reason which is how the UK Cannabis Internet Activist site got it s name, but it’s not a bad name and unlike others has stood the test of time. In the spirit of the internet back then UKCIA had a simple mission statement; to tell the truth about cannabis. That seemed an easy thing when it was written, but of course as always it gets messy because the truth sometimes involves things you might not want to hear, but to me that is a strength, not a weakness.

As it happened though UKCIA was in trouble, the people who had set it up wanted to move on and do other things with their lives and the site was left online but no-one was updating it, pretty soon it began to be in need of a re-vamp.

Smokey Bears Hyde Park 1998

Smokey Bears Hyde Park 1998

In 1998 an IT bod came on the scene just in time for one of those special days which don’t happen very often, the sort of day wonderful things unfold; in September 1998 a “picnic” in Hyde Park was arranged by Free Rob Cannabis (his real name), a long established campaigner, and we all went down to London and met up. It was at this picnic was born and a few days later the domain was registered and I became the webmaster. I’ve run UKCIA ever since and I hope I’ve kept it true to the original aims which are to be a library of information about cannabis and to tell the truth about the herb and its culture, warts and all.

The growing violence fuelled by organised crime and the ever more sinister police state, both created by prohibition, are trashing our liberties and rights while the other “unintended consequences” of prohibition  tear at the very fabric of society. So Cannabis law reform isn’t something that only cannabis users should support; the disastrous effects of prohibition touch us all.

The UKCIA site is a bit like the government’s anti drugs advertising campaign “Talk to Frank” should be like if it wasn’t first and foremost a propaganda tool. I invite anyone to compare the UKCIA risks section with the information given on Talk to Frank. Whatever you want to know about cannabis UKCIA is the place to come – other than how to grow it which other sites like UK420 are quite good at, or where to buy it from because that would be naughty.

UKCIA will continue to try to counter the  misinformation out there, most of it coming from the tabloid press and the government. Prohibition – which is the regime cannabis is subjected to now – is a con and can only be maintained by lies. Even the way they speak about the laws is untrue; prohibited drugs are called “controlled substances”, but controlled is the one thing they are not! So the job of UKCIA is to help expose these lies and to provide honest, factual information. Of course that’s going to be a big job – lies are always simple, the truth never is.

Cannabis is a stimulating-hallucinogenic depressant with psychotic and anti-psychotic properties, it’s not your normal run of the mill drug. It’s a complex substance and isn’t like most other drugs because it’s a plant that gives us more than one active chemical. What this means is the cannabis experience is the result of a blend of active substances and because of this different strains of the plant, which have different amounts of these component parts, interact differently producing different effects on the consumer. All this is covered on UKCIA and you can dig as deep as you like into what makes cannabis tick, the rich history of its many uses and the dark politics that have lead us down the destructive path of prohibition.

Tokepure – UKCIA safer use campaign

It is true that some of this approach has put UKCIA at odds with certain law reform campaigners over the years. The old mantra was that cannabis is “The harmless herb”, although almost true was used against the law reform movement with great effect with the reefer madness claims a few years ago, even though these claims were largely based on lies themselves. In reality of course nothing on earth is “harmless” and it was a bit daft to claim cannabis was some kind of magical exception to that rule. But the thing UKCIA has shown is that if you are prepared to look at issues with an open mind, the truth is often not what you’re being told it is. Once the issues are understood it becomes clear that the arguments used to defend prohibition are actually arguments for its abolition.

It’s not hard to show that the real dangers of cannabis are caused by the prohibition policy. Prohibition means no-one really knows what they’re buying, how strong it is or what type it is. Worse, it means street cannabis is often polluted and now may not even be cannabis at all since  the arrival of SCRAs, the “Synthetic Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists”, sometimes called “Spice”. All of these problems are caused not by the plant, not by the users, but by the government and the law.

No-one should ever be harmed by cannabis but prohibition does its best to make sure people do get hurt. Prohibition makes it difficult if not impossible to do real science; because the trade in cannabis is illegal it can’t be properly surveyed, so no-one really knows much about what’s going on, how many users there are and how many are toking away on weed sprayed with SCRAs. As well as spreading knowledge about cannabis and how to use it safely, UKCIA is also there to expose the dangers caused by prohibition. This of course is something Talk to Frank would never be allowed to do.

Cannabis, whatever they tell you, is not a controlled drug.

Believe it or not increased pollution of supplies and increased uncertainty of strength and variety is regarded a s a measure of “success” by the police and government, which is why the effects of prohibition can be summed up in three words: deliberate harm maximisation. This is why UKCIA exists, please use it because knowledge is power.

UKCIA is now continued as a wordpress site and will do its best to bring honest information and comment. You can follow UKCIA on Twitter and Facebook

Derek Williams
Contact UKCIA

The legalise cannabis  march, Brixton, 2002

The legalise cannabis march, Brixton, 2002

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1 comment on “Introduction to UKCIA

  1. Pingback: The government's drug policy favours dogma over harm reduction | Left Foot Forward

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