2013 - The year of legal cannabis?
Last year was a special one for cannabis campaigners and activists, many of them now feel that the international political community is finally ready to ‘normalise’ the use of cannabis. The Americans legalised cannabis in Washington and Colorado last year. South American leaders are moving closer to legalising cannabis and taking the supply/profits out of criminal hands. Around the world the medical community are contributing more and more evidence of the valuable uses that cannabis has. There has never been as much momentum for change as we have today.
Last week we saw yet another major newspaper join the calls for a major rethink on international drugs policies. Over the last 40 years the existing ‘anti’-drug laws have made more tax-free cash for the criminal underworld than they could ever have dreamed of. But what was really surprising about the newspaper article was that it came from Germany, one of the slowest European countries to realise the failure of the ‘war on drugs’. But Germany’s reputation as one of the countries with the least progressive drug laws is beginning to change. The full article from Germany’s ‘Der Spiegel’ newspaper is here and well worth reading.
The article in ‘Der Spiegel’ shows the frustration of the mainstream media regarding national drug laws. Laws which were supposed to condemn the criminals and protect the public but actually achieved the exact opposite. The New York Times also published a similar article. The drugs debate is one where the worlds political elite are lagging a long way behind public opinion rather than bravely leading it. Many of the drug laws in the developed world are 40+ years old and completely out of date. Prohibition of cannabis was meant to control and limit supply; in fact it achieved exactly the opposite.
Mexico has paid a terrible human price in the failed 'war on drugs'
Political leaders fail to understand that making something illegal does not limit availability; it actually increases availability since it puts the entire drugs industry into criminal hands who will use any means necessary to increase sales. Cannabis usage has increased dramatically since it was made illegal and in recent years the street cost of hard drugs has halved. The war on drugs has been an epic trillion-dollar failure and the history books will laugh at the way our political leaders have handed drug-barons a business as big as the pharmaceutical industry.
The tax –free drug revenues guaranteed by drug illegality have ensured that in many parts of the world the drug gangs are significantly better funded than the police who are supposed to be fighting them. The sooner this nonsense is ended the better, we just need political leaders with the guts to think different. Many modern politicians lack political bravery and ethical courage. The ongoing war against cannabis users is the largest legally-backed persecution in the world today and millions suffer as a direct consequence of weak political leadership. Preferring cannabis to alcohol should no longer be a crime. Having an evidence-based debate should not be something to be afraid of. Guaranteeing medical users safe access to cannabis should not be beyond the capabilities of our politicians.
Above, logo's of some of the good guys and campaigners we will be supporting
Prohibition of cannabis does NOT work and is causing far more harm than it prevents. One example is the wave of new ‘legal highs’, synthetically created new chemicals which are dangerous yet entirely legal. By making cannabis (100% natural and organic) illegal we now have a growing range of legal yet dangerous artificial alternatives. Current anti-drug laws are neither effective nor cost effective. Maintaining illegality guarantees only one thing - more funding for criminal gangs. The last generation of politicians have left a legacy where their laws and policies are far more dangerous than the drugs they were supposed to protect us from.
The most dangerous thing about cannabis is the criminal record it can give you.
But things are starting to change and when the Americans themselves are legalising weed you know that the end of the war is not too far away. On top of that is the research into medical uses of cannabis; that work is continuing today at a rate never seen before in history and the evidence is now irrefutable and growing stronger every year. Either the politicians change the laws now or they will be forced to do so as medical evidence becomes over-whelming.
2012 was a great year for cannabis campaigners and 2013 will be better still. Those of us that have waited patiently for the cannabis laws to change may not have to wait that much longer. Dutch Passion will be sponsoring a number of European activists/events in 2013 as well as a number of medical grow cooperatives. The main ones, so far, are below
- TUP, Belgium (Belgium’s first cannabis club, similar to the Spanish model)
- VOC, Holland (Dutch Campaigners & Activists). Dutch Passion will also be main sponsors of the Dutch event "Cannabis Bevrijdings Dag" (CBD) organized by VOC on June 16th this year
- Norml, Uk (UK legalisation campaigners)
- LaPianTiamo, Italy (Italy’s first legal medical grow cooperative)
- The Czech million marijuana march each year and the ‘Legalizace’ magazine linked to that event.
Lets see how much progress can be made in 2013. Best of luck to all those involved in campaigning!
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