2005 Election Special; Meet your Norwich South Candidates, Use Your Vote
Source: Concrete, UK
Pub date: Wednesday, May 4, 2005
Cited: Legalise Cannabis Alliance http://www.lca-uk.org/
Don Barnard http://www.ccguide.orr.uk/donbarnard.php
Don Barnard, Legalise Cannabis Alliance
Don Barnard is the Legalise Cannabis Alliance candidate. He spoke to Joanna Lambert.
JL: How would legalising cannabis benefit Norwich?
DB: Legalisation would benefit not just Norwich; you have to look at it on a universal stage. The tax taken from cannabis could be plowed into the economy. The Labour Government itself had a report done in 1998, "What would be the result of legalising cannabis?", and it came back that if cannabis was legalised on the market and taxed at the same rate as cigarettes, allowing £13 million for possible increase in health problems, it would return £18 billion to the exchequer every year, as opposed to spending £8 billion a year trying to stop people using it. There's immediate saving on police time, on court time, on prison time and all the problems that have come out of prohibition.
JL: Your party's flier states "No Victim, No crime". Examples of victimless crime includes corporate crime and taxation fraud, how do you feel about this?
DB: If you commit cooperate crime, then you do harm somebody - you either take their money of you cause them stress. However, when you use a cannabis plant, or you grow a few plants, in your own premises for your own use - how does nicking somebody, putting one or two parents in prison, help children? Ane tell me, who do I harm by smoking a joint unless it is in an enclosed space and they object? I can get two years for running down the street to my dealer but if I grow I can get 14 years and an unlimited fine. At the same time, the maximum a judge can give a paedophile would be 12 years. So really I'm looking for justice.
JL: Did you support the Government's higher education bill (which introduced top up fees?)
DB: No, education should be free from birth until death.
JL: In order to meet the government's target on energy production, would you support an increase in wind farm construction?
DB: Well basically I support any type of energy that is derived from non-dangerous fuels but I believe that wind farms cannot replace other means of producing electricity. In particular, I propose cannabis and pyrolysis. Not only are you talking about generating electricity, it must be emphasised that the cannabis plant is also a source of fuel to drive our cars. Basically what we have is a lack of accountability by anybody to the environment and once we start looking at the environment generally - well if everyone got stoned it would be a wonderful world!