Challenges we face in the fight for cannabis legalisation

9 mins read

The UK cannabis activism scene is in a lot of ways going from strength to strength, with a growing number of active cannabis clubs, positive press, numerous events and projects all being run across the UK, plus many emerging collectives and communities as well. However, in other ways, it is in a state of distress.

As many of you will be aware there are around a hundred or so cannabis social clubs in the UK with many of them being associated with the UKCSC (United Kingdom Cannabis Social Clubs) a nationwide organisation founded in 2011 to help grow a community and network of clubs and activists to further the UK’s fight for the reform of cannabis laws.

Other clubs aren’t connected to the UKCSC, but still follow a similar ethos. The aim of these cannabis clubs is to provide access, advice, education and specialised knowledge that simply isn’t available any other way. These clubs serve the majority of the country with at least one being present in every county in the country I believe.

Unfortunately, however, some of these “clubs” have been hijacked; some may have even been established as covers for opportunistic dealers to exploit the club model, structure and reputation as a way of disguising their excessive profiteering from the perpetuation of prohibition and unfortunately doing nothing to further the dialogue around cannabis legalisation in their local community.

This is antithetical to what the majority of activists, cannabis clubs and the movement as a whole are seeking to do, which is to remove the criminality that has historically been attracted to the cannabis scene in the UK black market and which is a direct result of the prohibition of cannabis.

Just look at Washington state in the US, where the wholesale price of cannabis has fallen month on month. This is forcing criminals out of the market as retail cannabis obliterates local dealers market share while providing jobs and careers for the most knowledgeable and employable among them.

There are also members of our own community that are still using disparaging and derogatory terminology and language while claiming to be pro-legalisation. The etymology of Marijuana is racist as we’ve previously discussed here on Ismoke Skunk is another word being unnecessarily used, causing massive over-generalisation.

the term “skunk”, in particular, is being used as a buzz word that is being appropriated by the biased media and prohibitionists to mean high THC, while for some reason claiming this is dangerous for the consumer, which is false. It’s reefer madness 3.0!

Britain is one of the only countries pushing (and exporting) the skunk psychosis myth too. A recent study looking at cannabis and psychosis discovered that: “To get a sense of the size of the risk, we would need roughly 23,000 people to abstain from ever using cannabis to prevent one of them from becoming psychotic”

That one person would also have been predisposed or more susceptible to psychosis anyway. This means that their psychosis could be triggered by dozens of factors again a concept we’ve covered here on ISMOKE before.

Ultimately the study concludes the best way to reduce harm when consuming cannabis is to not mix it with the known addictive carcinogen Tobacco.

The mainstream media in the UK still push the addiction myth quite aggressively, refusing to take into consideration that fact that some 77% of British cannabis consumers mix their cannabis with Tobacco a drug known for its addictive qualities and notoriously difficult to quit.

Words are our weapons, and we must strengthen and sharpen our armaments, ensuring that our arguments evolve and that we do not devolve down to their level.

Media outlets sharing propaganda and scare stories one day then a miracle cure story the next are doing it deliberately to confuse and deceive.

Within the community, there are also dealers turned “healers” giving out terrible advice and providing poor quality, unflushed, trim run and tainted oils and calling it medication. Claiming to be all about the patients then charging £60, £80 a £100 a gram is insane man. These people are charismatic, calculating, conniving and callous they’re targeting some of the most vulnerable in our community. Robbing innocent people of their life savings that they’ve handed over to these snake oil salesman in a last-ditch effort to save theirs or a loved one’s life.

Flavour chasers who by into the hype of Cali Weed are also paying 4x, 5x as much as the market value of a plant. All this does is actively artificially inflate the whole cannabis marketplace putting more and more money into dealers pockets. it also out prices poorer communities that have to subside on international gangs setting up industrial grows of low and mid-grade mono crops too often poorly grown with chemicals and methods that are detrimental to human health.

Every big town and city up and down the country is full of pop top pushers selling strains with ever increasingly obscure names, claiming “we don’t smoke the same” playing into the hype of whatever is the in strain on Instagram that day.

Not to mention Hedge funds, Investment bankers, pharmaceutical companies, Timber industry, Textile industry, Alcohol industry, Tobacco, prison guard and police unions, Petrochemical companies, Religious institutions, international drug cartels and the multinational drugs agencies whose jobs would simply evaporate overnight in a post-prohibition Britain.

We may face many more enemies in this legalisation fight than you thought, but even if we are the last domino to fall you can take solace in the fact that cannabis legalisation is now inevitable, it is only a matter of time.

Just look at the facts: more than half of the American states have medical and 8 states have full recreational with several more due to vote on legalisation soon.

Uruguay, Spain, Holland, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Mexico, Poland, North Korea (I know right?), Peru, Jamaica, Portugal, Switzerland, Argentina, Costa Rica, Czech republic, Ecuador, Italy, Japan, China, Estonia, Israel and even the Philippines all have or are working on a legal framework for either medical or recreational cannabis.

The WHO World Health organisation and the UN United Nations recently jointly called for the global decriminalization of all drugs citing that prohibition doesn’t work.

As cannabis consumers, we must remember that we are ambassadors for the plant and we’re setting an example for the next generation of consumers and activists and are often the only face the public see of our culture and our community. I feel we should all honour the great work of all those activist that have gone before us by representing their legacy with dignity and integrity.

We need to stop mincing our words. The continued prohibition of cannabis is a tragic miscarriage of justice and will be viewed harshly by future generations learning about this dark time in our modern history.


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