Don Barnard, 63, Legalise Cannabis Alliance (LCA)
Source: Evening News, Norwich, UK
Pub date: Tuesday, May 3, 2005
Cited: LCA http://www.lca-uk.org/
Don Barnard http://www.ccguide.org.uk/donbarnard.php
"No good reason can be given for continuing to punish cannabis enjoyers.
We need to find a better way founded on common sense, science, compassion, health and human rights - a vote for the LCA will be a vote for common sense.
The LCA was formed in 1999 by a group of Norwich activists who felt cannabis hemp was not getting a fair deal.
Six years on the LCA is contesting 21 constituencies. Our first broadcast suggests we have achieved this aim!
I think we have come to rely far too much on costly criminal law to attempt to solve our various social problems.
Cannabis prohibition is an example of this - we punish people for possessing or growing the cannabis plant because it's potentially harmful, so why don't we punish those people who use dangerous products such as coffee, fatty foods, tobacco or alcohol?
The answer is simple - it would not work!
By any rational test the war on some drugs has been nothing but an unjust, costly failure.
The estimated cost in 1993 was £526 (UKP) million. Today it's around £18 (UKP) billion.
Remember also, teenagers today have had 10 years school-based drug education.
Still we have the highest number of cannabis enjoyers in the EU.
Now they want drug testing and dogs in schools - Labour is talking about inoculating children to stop them becoming addicts!
In the face of this economic and social disaster the major political parties refuse to justify throwing billions down the drain.
They want to lock people up for possessing a plant.
Vote for change - vote for the leaf."