High Society is a new VICE documentary series about drugs in the UK. This episode takes a look at how current cannabis laws are failing the UK.
The presenter meets figures such as Lee Harris (candidate for Cannabis is safer than Alcohol and owner of London’s oldest head shop), Greg de Hoedt (president of the United Kingdom Cannabis Social Clubs) and Black The Ripper (UK Rapper and cannabis advocate).
This 20-minute episode on the UK cannabis scene doesn’t have enough time to go into much detail, but you get a sense from watching the documentary that UK perception is changing, with the documentary pointing out quite rightly that more than half of both people and MPs want to see legal access to cannabis in one form or another.
Several positive topics are covered including the April 20th celebrations in Hyde Park, Medical and recreational cannabis. In one scene the presenter meets Greg who tells him how he quit cannabis whilst at uni only to find it was an effective medicine for his Crohn’s Disease.
Ital Samson aka Black The Ripper has gained a lot of attention for his various videos featuring cannabis consumption in public places, and he features in the documentary, as does Lee Harris who ran for mayor for Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol to make a statement.
I felt this episode could have gone into more detail on all of the topics covered, but being limited to 20 minutes it did a good job to cover several key areas.
Some of the negative sections included a scene about a granny growing cannabis in Birmingham, (not itself a bad thing, but it was presented as tied to gangs and with hijacked electricity – not painting a good picture!), and another about some of the gangs who go around stealing cannabis crops. I feel that these scenes, in particular, should have been highlighted to be problems caused by prohibition, but perhaps this shows the disparity in perception of the UK cannabis campaign from the outside.
After all, the law puts us all in the same boat, does it not?
Watch the documentary How Weed Laws Are Failing the UK and read the youtube description below:
Weed is the UK’s favourite illegal drug. An estimated half a million people use it for medicinal purposes, and many more just to get high. But while countries around the world move to decriminalise or even fully legalise smoking and growing weed – and in the face of British police de-prioritising the policing of cannabis – the UK’s government refuses to budge. When over 200,000 people signed a petition last year calling on Westminster to make the production, sale and use of weed legal, the government responded with a flat-out no.
In this episode of High Society we explore how that approach to the issue shapes the UK’s weed culture, meeting growers, medical users, politicians and a couple of thieves in Birmingham who have come up with a novel way to make money off the country’s cannabis trade.