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UK: Cannabis martyr deserves a knighthood as Echo readers say legalise it (Gary Youds)

David Prince

Liverpool Echo

Wednesday 28 Feb 2024

Gary Youds has built up support in his campaign to legalise cannabis which has seen him frequently jailed

The debate over whether cannabis should be legalised or not heated up in the ECHO's comments section this week after the release of Liverpool's own 'cannabis martyr' after a year in prison.

Gary Youds, 54, earned the 'cannabis martyr' tag from one of the many judges called to deal with his law-breaking over the years, and has certainly earned it after being jailed several times over possession and sale of the drug, and remaining unrepentant for his crimes.

His most recent spell in jail saw him serve one year of a three year sentence after giving free cannabis oil to a man who was dying. He pleaded guilty to the production of cannabis, possession of cannabis with intent to supply and possession of cannabis in 2023.

This week he said: "What I've been growing for 20 years has the roots of real change. I feel very strongly about it. I 100% feel like I did the right thing and I would do it again." He added: "Times are changing. The world is changing and I think we will fall behind if we don't keep up with the times."

Laws banning the recreational use of cannabis have been relaxed in certain countries including Canada, Germany, Malta, South Africa, Thailand, and parts of America and Australia. Cannabis remains illegal in the UK and is classed as a Class B drug. The maximum penalty for supply and production of a Class B drug is up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.

Mr Youds has high profile people in his corner, including the Liberal Democrats who want to "introduce a legal, regulated market for cannabis.." The political party believe that the UK's "outdated cannabis laws are causing harm".

Comments from readers this week show a range of views that reflect the wider argument about using cannabis and whether it should be legalised.

Dickysam praised Mr Youds by saying: " A courageous man. Sadly people are making millions from the UK cultivation industry aimed at pharmaceutical production (more expensive and less effective). All the while fat cats reap the dividends, people such as Mr Youds will be criminalised for producing safe and effective natural remedies."

Cattyfishy said: "If it helps someone, and if the person wants it, it's nobody's business."

Eebomb cheered on Mr Youds, by saying: "Keep up the good work Gary. Absolutely right behind you - just like millions of other people." TruthSeeka said: "What a disgrace putting this man in prison, Gary you should be given a knighthood mate for doing the right thing and helping people in their hour of need."

Johnson1967 sees it from another perspective. He said: "Well done you. The government won’t want it to be legalised as they will lose too much money from these pharmaceuticals and people will live longer because cannabis oil is a cure."




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