Hi ISMOKE, I’m Tyler Green.
A lot of you will remember us when we were just starting out back in 2011. Since then we’ve been publishing cannabis content and fighting for cannabis legalisation.
For those of you new here, you may be wondering just what the ISMOKE Network is, and how we provide a voice to Cannabis users here in the UK.
What is The ISMOKE Network?
The ISMOKE Network consists of cannabis websites providing education to people in the UK and worldwide, covering a variety of cannabis topics. We are not strictly a news source, although we report cannabis news from around the globe when it provides a benefit to our readers. We hold a fundamental belief that cannabis should be legalised around the world, and share stories which we hope will help make this a reality.
I started ISMOKE Magazine with a pdf release magazine each month, but found this very time-consuming and limiting in terms of readership numbers, so decided to put the magazine content online for our readers in article format. After taking a bit of a break ISMOKE rebranded early this year, relaunching the ISMOKE network how you see it today.
We also launched ISMOKE Media, a youtube channel where we publish cannabis facts videos and blogs, as well as curating good cannabis content from around youtube into playlists covering cannabis documentaries, stoner music, baking, general cannabis information and more. Here is our latest video: 5 Cannabis Facts You May Not Know 02
So, what do we want?
ISMOKE wants cannabis to be legalised in the UK both for medicinal and recreational purposes. While we are not a political party, we provide a voice to cannabis users, publishing stories on the benefits of medicinal cannabis showing how it helps people live a better life.
We hope to provide enough information so that our readers can learn about cannabis in all it’s forms without being subjected to the anti-cannabis propaganda found on most conventional tabloid news sites.
The name ISMOKE is meant to evoke a sense of togetherness – ‘I smoke’ can be read as a brand or as a statement. While not all our readers are cannabis smokers (or indeed cannabis users!) it remains a very popular choice of consumption alongside vaping and edibles. We cover every form of cannabis consumption on ISMOKE, and our target audience is cannabis users in the UK and abroad, whether they choose to smoke, vape, dab or eat their cannabinoids.
Medical vs. Recreational Debate
The medical argument for legalising cannabis is as clear as the light of day. There are at least tens of thousands of people in the UK suffering from conditions that cannabis can directly benefit. Over the past decade, it has emerged that cannabinoids such as CBD have a whole range of medical benefits and that many other cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant also hold medical value. There is no excuse from any Government worldwide that can justify withholding legal access to medicine for its citizens.
Even the most indulgent Cannabis users often remain fully-functional members of society, and I hold the belief that if cannabis was legalised in the UK that people would choose to use cannabis and drinking levels would drop, which could save the Government millions each year in NHS spending as well as providing a large new revenue stream via taxes which could then be channeled back into things like the NHS.
Whether a medical or a recreational cannabis user, I believe that you should not be criminalised for using something that is safer than alcohol, tobacco and even caffeine, and this is what drove me to set up ISMOKE.
The UK Cannabis Community
You may have read our post recently on UK Cannabis Social Clubs. One thing that I have seen growing recently is the number of clubs and groups of people all over the UK getting together to consume cannabis and network in a safe environment.
This is a very good thing. Since attending the Hyde Park Rally on 20th April this year I have been meeting some great people who are part of a dedicated cannabis subculture. I have even joined a couple of the cannabis social clubs and plan on attending the Product Earth Expo, Green Pride and any other upcoming cannabis-focused events.
If you are looking to network with other cannabis users events like these are a great place to start. I have also found the subreddit UKTrees to be a great place full of passionate cannabis users discussing UK-relevant cannabis topics.
If you have something to write about or a cannabis-related story to tell then please write to me at [email protected] – I try to respond to all emails that aren’t spam!
The State of Cannabis Law in the UK in 2016
We posted this article on ISMOKE earlier this year talking about the current UK cannabis laws. Since then I have actually noticed an upturn of cannabis in the media, with more news sources talking about cannabis, mainly covering the various countries around the world who are relaxing cannabis laws such as Canada and Germany.
Norman Lamb has also presented a Private Members Bill in the House of Commons calling for the legalisation and taxation of cannabis in the UK, and Scotish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recently came out saying that she would back a medicinal cannabis system in the UK.
I hope that as more countries worldwide relax cannabis laws our Government will finally see that this is the sensible way to move forward. It is likely that the EU will eventually hold an eu-wide referendum on cannabis, and it is a big shame to see us leave the EU before this change has had the chance to come to come to fruition.
In a way a lot has changed since I started ISMOKE. While politically we have made little progress in the UK in the past 4 years, the amount of good cannabis media now online speaks volumes.
The advent of encryption means that there are now thriving cannabis communities throughout the UK, which I’m pretty sure didn’t exist when I started ISMOKE magazine, at least in the form that they exist today.
Annual cannabis rallies such as 420 in Hyde Park are also growing year on year, with over 9000 people (police figures) attending this year’s celebration, despite it being midweek.
We still need more MPs to come out and say that they back a change in Cannabis laws, and hopefully the positive cannabis stories from across the world will help influence that – only time will tell!
ISMOKE will continue the fight for cannabis legalisation in the UK in 2016 and beyond, by providing cannabis education and information that benefits our readers.
We hope that you’ll join us for the ride!