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Press Release: Cameron called heartless and callous over cannabis

Legalise Cannabis Alliance

Saturday 13 Nov 2010

Cannabis Campaign accuses Prime Minister of heartless and callous behaviour
November 13 2010

Recently the British Government has announced a policy of avoiding custodial sentences for violent criminals.

Chris Baldwin, a spokesman for the Legalise Cannabis Alliance (LCA) is concerned about the disproportionality of a system that allows violent offenders more freedom than medicinal cannabis users.

Mr Baldwin said: "I believe the only people who will agree with this policy will be violent criminals.

"If violent criminals are going to escape prison how can the Government justify the fact that custodial sentences are still being handed out to sick and disabled people who are growing a small amount of cannabis for their personal, medical use?"

Earlier this year, Mr Winston Matthews of Surrey and Mr Edwin Stratton of East London have both been given custodial sentences for growing cannabis for their own personal, medical use. Mr Matthews received 6 months suspended for 2 years and Mr Stratton received 3 months suspended for 1 year.

Passing sentence Judge Tudor Owen said a custodial sentence was unavoidable but added that he was satisfied that Mr Stratton had been cultivating the drugs for what he believed were medical reasons.

Judge Owen explained: "I take into account your impeccable character and that you were not intending to supply this to anyone else and that you were taking it for what you perceived to be good medical reasons."

The judge accepted that Mr Stratton was not intending to supply anyone and that the cannabis was for his own medical use and stated that a custodial sentence was unavoidable.

Mr Baldwin and many others ask: "How can this be fair and just?" Answer: It isn't."

Although the sentences for both men were suspended, if they get caught again during the suspended period they will almost certainly be sent to prison. This means that they have to either deny themselves the medication that keeps them out of pain or risk incarceration.

In Mr Matthews case, he has been busted again twice since he received his suspended sentence there is now a serious risk that he will serve time. Mr Matthews suffers severe pain from a back injury he received at work many years ago. He has a scar on his spine to prove it.

Mr Baldwin said: "All he is doing is supplying himself with something that keeps him out of pain but the Government sees it as right and proper to lock him up."

Many European and other countries around the world have recognised the value of medical cannabis yet our Government still persecutes and prosecutes sick and disabled people for the crime of using a medicine that alleviates their pain.

Mr Baldwin continued "I'd like to ask Mr Cameron why he is demonstrating heartless and callous behaviour with this policy and we demand that you do something to change it now.

"While you continue to lock up the sick and disabled for a victimless crime and allow violent criminals to walk free you run the risk of losing even more respect from people and you really can't afford that can you?"

Legalise Cannabis Alliance
Chris Baldwin 01903 212258




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