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Cannabis is a political issue. Make no mistake about it. Te scientific, moral, medical and health arguments have all been won. What we need to do now is find a way to make change happen.

It’s in the prohibitionists’ interests to keep de- bating all the ins and outs and going through the evidence because it diverts from the im- perative for change. We have to keep repeat- ing the truth. We have to cut through their deception and scaremongering but above all, we have to demand action.

In the US, they’ve gone way, way past the silly and irrelevant arguments about cannabis be- ing dangerous or harmful. We like to think that we’re smarter, a more mature democracy but so many Brits are still suckers for a Daily Mail scare story. Te propaganda and bigotry still prevails here. In America they simply ac- cept that if you abuse or misuse something it may cause you harm. Tey rarely even men- tion the psychosis theory. Even aſter Con- gresswoman Giffords’ shooting and the sto- ries of Jared Loughner’s marijuana use, his friends were quick to step forward and say he’d stopped some time ago and actually seemed worse and more unstable without self-med- icating on cannabis. More importantly than that, the US media reported what his friends said rather than hushing it up because it wasn’t sensational enough.

Peter Hitchens, the Mail On Sunday column- ist wrote a disgusting rant about the shooting, blaming it all on cannabis and having nothing to do with the truth at all. Now the US me- dia are ridiculing him about Britain’s Reefer Madness. He really is an example of the very worst in journalism. Te truth means nothing to him. He is a liar and a mendacious fright- ener of the vulnerable, the elderly, of children and their parents. You will be interested to know that the Legalise Cannabis Alliance has drawn a line in the sand. We will no longer let such nonsense go unchallenged.. A formal complaint is being made in the LCA’s name to the Press Complaints Commission. It will be the first of many. We will no longer allow the British media to distribute lies without calling

them to account. Prohibition is fundamentally immoral.

It is

nothing less than the unjustified oppression of a section of society. It is as pernicious and evil as racism, sexism, homophobia or any other form of prejudice. It says that, irrespec- tive of facts, evidence, science or justice, just because we disagree with you, we will make your activity illegal. We will criminalise you, imprison you, ruin your career, endanger your family, smear you with unjustified in- nuendo and suspicion. We will cause you far more harm than the activity you choose ever will.

It is pretty well accepted now, worldwide, that Nixon's war on drugs can never be won.


makes Vietnam or Afghanistan look like a lit- tle skirmish in some backwater.

It has been

responsible for far more death, misery and destruction than any war since Nixon first de- clared it. Tere are still those who cling to its ambitions, like our favourite preppy, baby face minister James Brokenshire. But he is rather like one of those Japanese soldiers, found on some remote Pacific island, thrity years aſter his Emperor surrendered - still dangerous, still committed to his cause but hopelessly out of touch, in need of re-education, a very, very sad case.

Te war on prohibition is now in full flow and this is a campaign than can and must be won. It is a war that has right and justice and com- mon sense on its side. It is time that we mar- shall our forces, determine our strategy, plan our tactics and hold fast to our courage as we advance on the enemy. I believe that this year or next marijuana will be legalised in at least one state in America. Once the dam is bro- ken, progress will begin to flood all over the world.

I believe that the Legalise Cannabis Alliance is the standard around which we shouild rally. We are responsible, respectable, reasonable citizens and we need to unite to fight the war on prohibition.

What is vital is that the LCA communicates ISMOKE | 37

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