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July 21, 2017

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What you have is an embedded system of one dealer supplying another. Trying to make money as fast as they can. It creates an expanding web of criminality. Is that good for society? Its not good for innocent cannabis users I know that much. Or do they not matter? Do they not have a government?

Make no mistake, levels of cannabis use are high. How does that square with the political and financial hub of an upper class minority that has a tight grip on the public institutions? Not that it is a nimble, reflexive establishment. Its not. But it does dominate.

So what? Scorch the earth, salt the fields? People want it, and grow it. Its practically harmless. Why should people be harassed and terrified by the government for something which is more basic to prepare than beer?

Its them that should feel the force of the law and justice. I'll temper that with an explanation. They that dictate to us with a high handed morally superior attitude start wars, destroy countries. I don't trust them. There is something relevant here though. And its the crusade against this or that. The arbitrary war against drugs which has stuck and as always dictates peoples life CHANCES. It didn't even work did it? What it did do was cause a lot of suffering and criminalise people with all the implications. I'm quite sure that gives certain sections of society a warm glow.

Lets turn it around. That would be justice. How many families have been damaged by the clumsy and pitiless boot of injustice? I'd like to see revenge. I'll explain. How? Becoming better and more interested in seeking justice, in fighting for our own interests against those who have everything and give nothing. To deprive them. Stop their streams of revenue.

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I'd go as far to say it should be available on free prescription. It is not too expensive. They are supposed to be a government. Anyone can grow it. The state though will turn its nose up at any kind of responsibility, progressive help etc. because it goes against their dogma that the state should do nothing for anyone. In many parts of the world it grows abundantly, here it wouldn't take much effort.

For the sake of ideology they throw away tax revenue. This would be controversial if many parts of the world very similar to our own were not already well ahead of us. They hide behind the law. People have been patient whilst their entirely innocent usage of a natural plant is allowed to cause danger to users and foster corruption and criminality in wider society through no fault of their own

In short, I firmly believe it needs to be given to those who need it medically, for free. Then further it can be grown and sold cheaply to a high standard to anyone who wants it. It should NOT be a criminal offence to buy or grow or consume a natural plant. To sell it? Well if its legal to grow, I see no problem in getting government involved with all it power to regulate and standardise.

Many people far more useful and respectable than they have found use or enjoyment out of cannabis throughout history. Just one of many reasons why the current lot need to be kicked out and replaced with people who know and remember who they are supposed to serve.

Tuco

Dear Paul,

I cannot agree with you more. This article/post almost brings me to tears that someone in Parliament finally has the confidence in pushing for reform, which from my own perspective as a Londoner, is far long over-due. Prohibition of cannabis has been a poison to society - I have seen this first hand.

I am a 27 year old Londoner who has used cannabis medicinally and recreationally. I also studied for my degree in Boston, Massachusetts, USA from 2008-2014. When I arrived in Boston cannabis was illegal, however it was apparent most people were using it. I noticed people were much more open with their use and less "afraid" compared to users in London. There was also much less of a "stigma" attached to cannabis users compared to the UK. There would be annual (and legal) festivals centred around cannabis activism, with local police keeping everyone safe and allowing people to smoke cannabis as long as it wasn't too obvious (i.e. using large devices such as a water pipe). If they did view someone being a bit obnoxious with their use, they would politely tell them to put their apparatus away. I even joined a cannabis activism club in my university (SUNORML), which was funded by the university itself. Soon enough, cannabis was decriminalised, and anyone carrying up to an ounce of cannabis would only be subject to a $100 fine, and no criminal record. In 2012, cannabis was legalised for medicinal use. After graduating in 2014, two years later in 2016, cannabis was legalised for recreational use, and from what I have heard from friends who still live there: there has been absolutely no disadvantage to the city and it certainly has not turned the city upside down. On the contrary, it is functioning better than ever.

In 8 years, Massachusetts went from cannabis being illegal, to being fully legalised for recreational use for those over the age of 21. This is a state that has some of the most respected Ivy League schools (such as Harvard University).

It was strange and peculiar for me to arrive back to London to see the same substance in a totally different manner again. The Media were constantly painting the picture of cannabis as health-decaying and a problem to society, and still do.

The only aspect that makes cannabis any bit harmful to health, is PROHIBITION! When users in the UK purchase cannabis, they have to go through the "black market" and buy from "street dealers". 95% of the time, users have absolutely no knowledge on the source of their cannabis, who it was grown by/where it was grown, or the strength of it (% of THC). With consumer safety as a low priority and profit as a main priority to many of these "street dealers", people often end up consuming cannabis that is either contaminated, poorly grown (leaving nutrients inside the plant harming health when ingested), or far too strong in strength for their liking. Just think about it from this perspective: would you consider buying no-name booze without knowing who brewed it? Where it came from? The % of alcohol in it? If it's safe to consume? Or would you rather buy a drink from a shop, knowing it is consistent in quality, the source of the drink, the strength and the cleanliness of it? Of course the latter. During America's prohibition on alcohol, many were poisoned due to lack of quality control. Simply put: it is prohibition that is creating all the avenues to MAKE the substance harmful to health. With a regulated market, consumers will be able to understand the source of their cannabis, the exact strength, and the exact variety of it.

Government reports claim that cannabis use has declined. As a user myself who is connected to the London/UK "cannabis community", and from my own personal perspective: cannabis use and supply has only increased. The fact there even exists a "cannabis community" should already portray the wide-spread use. Keeping the substance Class B has done absolutely nothing. If it has helped reduce cannabis - why have I only seen an increase of varieties of cannabis, and an increase of suppliers? I know more suppliers today than I did in 2008. One look around on Social Media - it's clearly evident many in the UK are using cannabis (and aren't afraid to show it).

I admittedly have used cannabis almost daily since 2009. I dont smoke tobacco and don't drink too often. When I stop using cannabis for a few weeks all of a sudden, after months of daily use (such as now whilst I am abroad), I have no withdrawal symptoms whatsoever. I have never mixed my cannabis with tobacco, as I never got into smoking tobacco (nicotine makes me incredibly dizzy/nauseous). The culture of mixing tobacco with cannabis in Boston was absent. Everyone smoked/ingested pure cannabis. So essentially, I have been using even stronger amounts compared to the "spliff" smokers the UK media continually talks about. And that is an aspect nobody talks about in these articles demonising cannabis - the tobacco. Please find me any tobacco smoker or drinker who will feel absolutely fine going "cold turkey" after years of almost daily use. The most one might feel stopping after long bouts of cannabis use is a slight lack of appetite and not being able to sleep as soon as your head hits the pillow for a few days, and that's it. The plant is not physically addicting and I am living proof. It is not health-decaying, and I am living proof. I achieved my degree using cannabis almost daily. My brain is functioning just absolutely fine.

My twin brother is a Type 1 diabetic and he has only had nothing but benefits from ingesting cannabis. Studies today even show how it is beneficial for diabetics, from stabilising glucose levels to reversing retinopathy (damage to the eye that can cause blindness). In the past, whilst completely wrong, my brother never checked his sugar levels, ever. This is an essential part to managing diabetes. For years he continued his life without checking his sugar levels but felt fine. After talking to other diabetics and seeing them gasp at his lack of checking sugar levels, he saw a specialist just to make sure all was OK. The specialist himself was utterly shocked that he did not check his sugar levels, but was confused as to why nothing major had happened to his health as a consequence. In his own words: "You've gotten away with murder." And we fully believe it was the daily cannabis use that helped regulate his sugars. He now is on-board with managing his diabetes and regularly checks his sugar levels, as any diabetic should. I never would advise any diabetic to neglect managing their sugar levels either way, it is totally wrong, but my point is, through my brother's experience, there clearly is an aspect of cannabis that helps diabetics.

I myself was diagnosed with PTSD after I was attacked by a man with a baseball bat who clubbed me on the top of my skull. It was an unprovoked hate-crime attack. I was knocked out cold from the impact and fell to the floor, fracturing the back of my skull on concrete. Where the bat had hit the top of my skull was an open wound and I bled severely. The man who had attacked me stole my phone and so I was unable to call an ambulance. I begged many passers by to please call medical help but many were too shocked at the sight of all the blood and quickly hurried away. Eventually, somebody saw me sitting on the floor bleeding and helped me. After going to hospital to get my wound stapled shut and going for multiple checks after that, it was almost a miracle that from both points of traumatic brain injuries there were no lasting effects. Some people hit the concrete floor from a punch and are in a vegetative state from there on. A friend had mentioned that cannabis is a neuro-protector, and asked me if I had used cannabis prior to the incident - I had. I became instantly curious and began to research cannabis as a neuro-protector online. Sure enough, I found many articles and even a study done on rats, finding that rats subject to a traumatic brain injury with cannabinoids in their system received less damage and recovered much faster compared to those without. All I have been left with is a slight bald-patch scar on my head, and I am truly thankful to cannabis for what I think saved my brain. As for the PTSD I developed after, after my first appointment with a therapist, he had prescribed me anti-depressants ("Lexapro"). Having known many examples of people who went down the road of anti-depressants only to come out more destroyed, I flushed them down the toilet and continued to use cannabis, which in my opinion, was incredible for my PTSD. I was able to get a great night's sleep without worrying about physical withdrawal, harmful side effects or possible overdose.

In terms of tax - HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS can be made annually through the taxation of cannabis, whilst at the same time eradicating most of the "black market", taking the business out of criminals hands, putting a stop to the "cash crop" that feeds so much of gang culture that is on the rise in the UK.

In Spain, they now have a "Social Club" scheme, where people (only if referred by a current member) are allowed on a premises to safely purchase and consume cannabis. Before this was implemented, many years ago I had visited Barcelona, and the city was rife with intimidating street dealers. I visited one year ago after "Social Clubs" were implemented and in 100% honesty I did not see ONE street dealer. Neither was cannabis use or the social clubs themselves invasive/obvious to the public. The city if anything was a more beautiful than ever before. It was incredible to just be able to walk into a Social Club, safely purchase cannabis and consume it around normal, functioning, sane people and go about my day. No criminals, no gangs. It made it even more bizarre that England had not caught up to this, as it was clearly working in Barcelona for the better.

Mr. Flynn, I think perspectives like mine need to be heard in Parliament. I am a functioning, respectful member of society. I am not rebellious against the police. I am not a criminal. I fully believe cannabis should be regulated and taxed. Our country can reap so many benefits in doing so. I understand you are more on legalising the medical stance first which I am all for.

I would love to support you, and will do so from here on. Thank you so much again for the confidence in bringing this subject to light as an MP.

Please contact me if you would like, I would love to meet in person.

-T


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