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Cannabis: What constitutes a 60 day supply?

Canna Zine

Wednesday 08 Oct 2008

The United Kingdom looks set to reclassify cannabis early in 2009, bringing with it the threat of a 5 year term in prison simply for possession of a £10 bag of cannabis.

This is a fact. Its happening, so get used to it.

The reasons behind the move according to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, are entirely health driven.

But in Washington State in the US, as if to disprove the UK governments stance on cannabis, the cannabis problems Washington police are facing are coming from an entirely different angle, as law enforcement allied to the Washington Department of Health attempt to hammer out a fair deal for patients who are entitled under the Washington state medical marijuana program, to grow and consume cannabis.

The task? To work out what constitutes a fair, 60 day supply of cannabis.

Isn't it a little weird that not one single government minister will debate cannabis on an open forum, with citizens who have all the facts regarding the class C substance? Ordinarily politicians are all for a photo-opportunity. Another chance to hammer home their "reasons" for keeping cannabis outlawed.The fact is there is no reason, except the politicans best friend "money"!

The aim? To work out how much cannabis a patient may possess before law enforcement officials swoop in brandishing a "no-knock" warrant and cart the perpetrator off to jail, to join the '1 in 99' US citizens in prison on marijuana charges.
After months of research and consultation the state Health Department came to the conclusion a patient may possess 24 ounces of dried, cured marijuana, which they are legally entitled to grow themselves.

Thats now the law in Washington state.

But as is always the case where cannabis is concerned, not everyone is happy with the decision.

"24 ounces works out to a pound and a half," said Sergeant Ken Lattin, with the Kennewick Police Department. "You can imagine the street value of a pound and a half, it's pretty significant".

"That's a lot of marijuana for one person to have on hand, even for medical marijuana use," agreed Captain Jim Raymond, with the Pasco Police Department.

Although the Washington Health Department has come to this decision, "That doesn't give them [patients] a right to sell it or produce it, outside of their own personal use," concluded Raymond.

But Captain Mike Cobb from the Richland Police Department has seen things from the other side of the fence. He said "Abuse is always a concern, but the risk is low."

"I've had friends who have been cancer patients, for who the use of medical marijuana has made a life altering difference for them," said Captain Cobb, who also commented he thought 24 ounces of cannabis "didn't seem unrealistic".

"The benefits far outweigh the potential concerns, just from my personal involvement," continued Captain Cobb.

United Kingdom
Whats remarkable in this instance, are the discrepencies between what our own government tells us is unsafe, and what other administrations around the world are telling us by their actions.

24 ounces of cannabis as things stand, is enough to secure a "drug dealers" prison term of 14 years, just because the government are seeking to protect the alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical industries in the United Kingdom by maintaining their hard-line on cannabis.

Make no bones about it. Thats why cannabis is, and will remain illegal, as between them these three large industries look to lose trillions of pounds sterling with the legalisation of cannabis, as people choose to get "stoned" instead of drunk, self-medicate with cannabis (a proven pain-killer) instead of aspirin, and as has been proven by the actions of the Dutch government, dump tobacco, in favour of the healthier choice; "pure" cannabis joints.

The Exchequer is also set to be hit hard financially and in today's credit crisis which see's health and education money being spent to prop up the UK's ailing banking industry, this is yet another reason to maintain the illegal status of cannabis.

Psychosis. Are you mad?
In the news today is a story about Marc Middlebrook. A 27 year old man who allegedly stabbed his girlfriend 15 times as she lay asleep in his bed.

William Harbage QC, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court:"We say the main cause of this "odd" behaviour is his long-standing abuse of cannabis smoking, which we say is entirely self-induced."

Another story tells the tale of Greater Norfolk coroner William Armstrong, who said Oliver Lindon, who was found in his Norwich flat on December 12, 2006, died as a result of hanging while in a disturbed state of mind.

Mr Armstrong said he could not speculate if cannabis had caused Mr Lindon to hang himself but then "speculated" all the same when he said: “There is, and has been, very clear and compelling evidence from a number of professionals at this hearing that his mental health was severely impaired as a direct result of his use of cannabis. Anyone who needs to be convinced of the damaging effects of cannabis use should have been here.”

In the meantime the numbers of people who regularly use cannabis is on the rise, with 4 million plus UK citizens admitting to using cannabis regularly, and in light of the mental health horror stories we're hearing about, shouldn't we be "in the teeth" of a mental health epidemic by now?

Shouldn't I, who used cannabis to rid myself of an alcohol addiction, or good friend Winstone Matthews from the Legalise Cannabis Alliance, who used cannabis to kick heroin, be contemplating suicide by now as between us Winstone and I have 40+ years of cannabis use under our belts and we're not alone.

But we're neither of us contemplating suicide, just sick of hypocritical politicians and the lies they are prepared to tell in order that they may fulfill their personal agenda's.

In short, the Home Office has lied to us. Again!

Yes there are risks with smoking cannabis as there are risks from smoking anything, and in the meantime another 160,000 UK citizens will die as a result of smoking tobacco this year. Death's caused as a direct result of our nation's messed up drugs policy.

So to keep sending people to jail using a mental health argument which "may" affect 1 in "5 or 10 thousand", as the reason to keep cannabis illegal is a gross breach of human rights, which should be treated as political 'negligence' and its about time we the public stood up and reminded the politicians just who it is they work for.

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