First signs of political changes to the drug debate
We have had lots of mail asking whether the world is seeing genuine changes to the way our politicians are seeing the drug debate. First of all we had the report from the Global Commission On Drugs Policy last year. Former United Nations boss Kofi Annan and various other high profile leaders including the former leaders of Brazil, Colombia and Mexico argued that the war on drugs had been lost. The routine criminalisation of users should stop, and legalisation should be introduced to take the money out of criminal networks and the violence off the streets.
That debate is continuing today. The country which led the war on drugs, the USA, has ironically become the biggest consumer. The demand for drugs from USA is causing carnage in central American and South American countries where organised crime is controlling all aspects of the supply chain. These countries are tired of the USA anti-drug laws and want to introduce some changes to stop their countries spiralling into the chaos of a war that can never be won.
Here at Dutch Passion we are very much against the addictive ‘hard’ drugs which cause so much damage to individuals. But we are a firm believer that our seeds produce weed which is substantially safer than the alcohol you can buy in your local supermarket. Remember you can buy a lethal dose of alcohol for €30 in the form of a bottle or two of vodka quite openly in our confused society, whilst marijuana remains technically illegal in many countries. But changes to the ‘war on drugs’ are of great interest to the self-sufficient marijuana grower, since it increases the chances that more countries will increase their tolerance to marijuana. In the last few years we have seen marijuana tolerance extend from countries like Holland and Spain into many other countries such as Portugal, Austria, Russia, Czech, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark and others.
In the last week the President of Honduras has had discussions with Colombian, Brazilian, Mexican and other leaders to discuss the first practical points of a legalisation process. Meetings continued and even the USA were involved. In a surprising statement which was not picked up well by the mainstream media, USA Vice President Joe Biden said he was prepared to ‘discuss’ the point of legalisation but not do anything beyond that so close to an election. But the fact that the US is prepared to ‘discuss’ drug legality is a major step forward after years of only being prepared to dictate. The USA has been told that their insatiable appetite as worldwide number one drugs consumer is scarring many neighbouring countries so long as drugs remain illegal and controlled by gangs. Mexico alone has had some 50,000 drug related deaths in the last 6 years. A number of the South and Central American countries are now enacting drug legalisation laws for ‘personal’ possession. The USA may not be happy but surely they don’t expect their neighbours to suffer like this forever.
Here in Europe the legality of marijuana seed has at least taken a big chunk of marijuana supply out of the hands of the criminal gangs as so many people are becoming self sufficient medical and recreational growers. Let’s be honest, the self sufficient marijuana grower isn’t, and never has been, part of the problem. But the increasing burden of proof that marijuana is medically effective is starting to make a lot of European marijuana laws look like they need some changes in the next year or two.
Up until now many politicians could hide behind the ‘fact’ that cannabis had zero medical value. Now we have medical proof that cannabis is clinically valuable in numerous medical situations, Sativex (by GW Pharmaceuticals) has now been proven to be very effective. It is a whole-plant extract from marijuana sold in liquid spray form ‘cannabis in a bottle’. It is being exported around the world, it is being used in everything from cancer to MS to pain relief and it is making the UK a world leader in medical marijuana even though it remains illegal for a UK medical grower to cultivate a few plants for personal use. Surely the UK laws will need a few changes soon. And they may get them. Politician Keith Vaz, the man leading the UK Home Office committee to look at UK drug laws met the Colombian President a few days ago and has, behind closed doors, been told that a continuation of drug illegality is simply no longer sustainable. The UK is one of a number of European countries taking a fresh look at the effectiveness of their current marijuana and drug laws. There is a mood of optimism amongst cannabis activists and we hope it continues.