Vote in large letters with cannabis buds in the font.

Vote in large letters with cannabis buds in the font.

By Chris Bovey

The UK general election is only two weeks away and the undemocratic First Past The Post voting system will decide who will govern the UK for the next five years in our illusory democracy.

The Canadian Liberal’s surprise victory in 2016 of Justin Trudeau where he came from third place to win an outright majority was in part put down to his campaign pledge to legalise cannabis, which he ultimately did in his first term as Prime Minister.

So where do the parties stand on cannabis in the UK?

The Liberal Democrats support legalising cannabis. Their policy is to end the criminality by creating a taxed and regulated market as they have done in Canada and much of the USA.

The Green Party and Welsh Nationalists, Plaid Cymru, also support legalisation of cannabis.

Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas, tweeted back in 2017

Decriminalisation

Scottish Nationalist Party logo

The SNP support partial reform of our outdated drug laws.

The Scottish Nationalist Party are more progressive on this issue but they do not go for full legalisation. Their conference recently voted to decriminalise cannabis for medical consumers, which is good news. but this is not full legalisation. It still keeps the supply chain in the hands of the criminal black market and limits choice as medical conditions require different strains.

A decriminalised cannabis market would not offer much choice for many consumers and they only talk of medicinal cannabis.

Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the SNP is on record as to saying:

Cannabis is not a harmless substance. I am not in favour of general decriminalisation but I do think there is a specific case for medicinal use.

The Labour Party have been traditionally anti-cannabis, increasing it from a Class C drug to a Class B, against the advice of their own advisors and they also sacked Prof. David Nutt as Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs for telling the truth about drugs policy.

Jeremy Corbyn has in the past indicated support for decriminalising cannabis and their current policy is to have a Royal Commission to look into drugs. This is a commission of inquiry appointed by the Crown on the recommendation of the government.

A Royal Commission may well recommend legalising cannabis, but they take years and the government is under no obligation to listen to the findings, and, often, a different government is left to respond to the findings.

Conservatives most anti-drug law reform

The Conservatives are the most hostile to cannabis law reform. Previous PM, Theresa May, said she was open to the idea of making Skunk a Class A drug, even though her husband and the husband of her then Drugs Minister, are making a killing from legal medicinal cannabis that the Home Office gave them licenses to grow.

Theresa May also tried to alter the findings of a report into drugs commissioned by the Lib Dems, because she didn’t like the findings.

You’d think with the large number of Tory MPs who have been exposed for being cokeheads they would have a more liberal approach, but no, they prefer to have their own monopoly to legally grow weed in the UK while the rest of us risk imprisonment if we dared to do the same.

Also, the City of London, is the world’s capital for laundering dirty drug money of the Cartels, which might explain the Tories’ harsh opposition to drug law reform.

A number of politicians were prohibitionists before they retired, including former Labour and Tory leaders, Ed Miliband and William Hague. Former Labour Drugs Minister, Bob Ainsworth has since come out in favour of legalistaion.

Tactical voting

Of course, people vote on a range of issues, not just cannabis, for me voting for the candidate most likely to beat the Conservatives is most important, which is fine for me as I live in Totnes, which is a seat where only Jo Swinson’s Lib Dems can beat the Tories.

The Lib Dems support scrapping Brexit, legalising cannabis and voting reform, so that’s good enough reason for me to vote for them. The Greens have stood aside in my areas to give Dr Sarah Wollaston, who defected from the Tories the Dems, a better chance of winning the Totnes seat, which is a seat where Labour have no chance of winning.

Understandably, the issue of cannabis might not be the only issue you vote on. The Tories are party least likely to give you cannabis law reform as well as a wide range of shitty policies, such as tax cuts for millionaires, privatising the NHS and the worst form of hard Brexit, not to mention killing the poor and disabled. If you don’t want Boris Johnson and the Tories to win then you must vote tactically for the candidate best placed to beat the Conservatives.

If you are not sure of which candidate in your area is best placed to beat the Conservatives then please visit:

www.getvoting.org


Chris Bovey, writer and musician.

Chris Bovey is a businessman, writer, artist, musician and practical joker. He lives in Devon with his partner, two children and cat. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter @_dr_dremp.

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