Drugs Policy Debate, 30th October 2014

(OK this is a subject I am pretty passionate about. I feel a change in the law on drugs is long overdue. I wrote to my MP today. Instead of repeating it all again here, it’ll be easier to just copy & paste the email I wrote below.

If anyone else would like to write to their MP about this subject & ask them to represent your views in parliament on 30th October, you can get all the information you need by visiting this link:

http://www.clear-uk.org/house-of-commons-drugs-policy-debate-vital-you-write-to-your-mp/

Ok now follows a copy & paste of email to my MP, I hope it was OK, I used the template on the site just to help me get started, & kick off my own words; it is much better you write to your MP using your own words.)

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Drugs Policy Debate, 30th October 2014

I am writing to ask you to represent my views in this important debate and to vote in favour of an independent cost-benefit analysis and impact assessment of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 within the next 12 months.

UK drugs policy is falling behind much of the world, & is a disastrous failure as agreed by just about everybody except those in government who run it.

Prohibition doesn’t work, it turns the police against the communities and the people they are supposed to protect. It alienates addicts who need help & support by making them into criminals.

People will take drugs whether they are allowed to or not. Prohibition doesn’t work. It just makes drugs more dangerous & also more accessible to minors. The black market works outside regulation & doesn’t adhere to age requirements. Prohibition also helps to fund criminal gangs & terrorist activity.

My main concern here is cannabis, against which we fight a futile, expensive war and in the process cause far more harm than cannabis ever can. In fact cannabis is less harmful than paracetamol. It has no overdose potential, & unlike paracetamol has recently been shown by a study in Canada that it does not cause harm to the liver.

I feel the vague unclear links to it causing mental illness often printed in biased newspapers to scare people, are unsubstantiated.

When cannabis was prohibited it’s use went up 22 fold in the UK. Yet there are no indications this has caused a 22 fold increase in psychiatric problems. I feel this study was flawed because it failed to take into account how many users had pre-existing mental health problems before they started using cannabis, & failed to state if these users were self medicating with cannabis to treat existing mental illness that was there before they started using cannabis. It also lumped all cannabinoids together, & didn’t state if there was any difference of effects between synthetic manmade cannabinoids, to the natural ones found in the plant.

There is a compound in cannabis called CBD (different to THC, but just as valuable medicinally.) which scientists now believe may have anti-depressant potential & has even shown promise with treating schizophrenia. It is also a safe alternative to sleeping pills for treating insomnia.

I myself am disabled & struggle to move due to pain & spasticity, the medications I am currently on are not perfect, they have unpleasant side effects, & I often find myself dreading to take them. I am unable to get sativex on prescription as it is just too expensive.

I have read & heard people recommending natural cannabis to help with the spasticity & pain,  but I cannot get any except through the black market,  which I haven’t done & I am unwilling to risk doing. As I don’t think in my current condition I would last very long in prison. I find this frustrating, because my current medication is ineffective & I would like to be able to legally use cannabis to treat my condition.

I think it is wrong & inhumane, that people who are ill & could benefit from using cannabis, are treated as criminals for doing so & risk going to prison if they try it. It is unfair that we deny access to those who need cannabis as medicine. Some of the medications prescribed for chronic illness have harmful unpleasant side effects & can be overdosed on whether accidently taking too much or deliberately. Cannabis as a medication has no such risk, because it is impossible to overdose on it. For many people it could greatly improve the quality of their life.

  For 15 years, successive governments have told sick people they must wait for an approved cannabis medicine or they will be prosecuted. Now, Sativex is available but at such a high price that NICE has recently recommended against it’s use due to the cost. This is really frustrating because people could grow exactly the same thing at home for free.

If people were allowed to cultivate cannabis, or their carers/friends allowed to do so for them, (only a few plants for their personal medical use,) it would save the NHS a lot of money in prescription costs. Many of the expensive medications could be replaced by personal cannabis use, which would help cut costs on the NHS. Yeah the big pharmaceutical companies won’t like it, & I suspect could very well be the ones behind the opposition to lift the prohibition of cannabis, & perhaps also the ones behind much of the media propoganda, as one of them so eloquentally put on the radio, ‘ you can’t patent a plant.’

However this is wrong. Sickness should not be something to be profited from, that is unethical & inhumane. People who are sick & in constant pain should not be treated as criminals & risk going to jail for growing a plant which helps treat their condition. This must change and it must change immediately.

In the state of Colorado in the USA nothing bad has happened since they lifted the prohibition on cannabis. The people all seem a lot happier, sociable & friendly, which I think quietly disproves the media hype about it causing mental health problems. And it seems to have created a lot of jobs & contributed to their economy in a positive way. People there are allowed to cultivate up to 6 plants at home, as long as they are only for their personal use & don’t sell it or give it to minors. It can also be purchased legally & safely from a licensed shop, as not everyone has green fingers. Those that do have green fingers spend their money via specialized seedbanks & horticulturists, which also generates more money for the economy. Many people go to cannabis cafes as an alternative to the bars, like they do in Amsterdam; which also benefits the economy & is an extra way to raise taxes & create jobs. It also encourages tourism which adds to the local economy. I believe lifting the prohibition on cannabis would be a great benefit to the UK economy as well, & I’m not the only one. I heard on the radio last night that many programners in Silicon Valley are investing in cannabis, as they say it is going to be the next big thing in the US. They are usually right about this sort of thing, & I think we in the UK should listen & take advantage of this potential economic boon right now & get ahead of the market while we can, & not get left behind, like Britain always seems to do. Especially up here where jobs are seriously lacking, it could create a whole new thriving industry,  stimulate economic growth & pump billions into the UK economy. It would also save the expense of unnecessary prison sentences on cannabis users & help cut off some of the funding that goes towards terrorist organisations from cannabis sold on the street & instead that funding would go to the government & the people. It would also help the police do their jobs better, by freeing up their time to focus on more serious crimes.

Also a large percentage of the electorate would be happier, & that isn’t a bad thing for a politician (:

Please speak in the House on this and support the idea of at least legalising cannabis.

It is vital to retaining my vote that you do speak in favour of reform. I can no longer accept this issue being swept under the carpet. When you have a debilitating illness, & there is a natural herb available which could greatly improve your quality of life, it seems inhumane & cold hearted that it is a crime to use it.

I do not know much about the issue of hard drugs, but in 1971 we had 3,000 problematic drug addicts, now we have 350,000. These people need help, they should not be treated as criminals, & many are too afraid to seek medical help because of the heavy handed draconian drugs laws in this country.

Sorry for the long email, this is something I feel passionate about. I won’t take up too much more of your time. I am not currently taking any drugs except those prescribed by my doctor, I don’t find my prescribed medication to be particularly effective or pleasant, & as a free human being, I would like the freedom & the right to use a plant that is relatively safe, with no overdose potential, that can help treat my chronic illness.

This issue is really important, not just to me, but many other people with chronic health conditions, of all ages, & backgrounds across the UK who would like the freedom to be able to use cannabis.

I shall be watching the debate and I ask you again to ensure you represent my views.

(If you want to write a letter too, you can do so by visiting: http://www.clear-uk.org/house-of-commons-drugs-policy-debate-vital-you-write-to-your-mp/

Cheers)

Windy Day

It’s a stormy evening, & it’s animal hospital here again, just rescued a beautiful thrush that had got caught out by the wind. One of the cats got it & brought it in the house & plonked it at my feet still alive.

I picked the poor bird up gently, fed it some mealy bugs then took it to a sheltered spot outside, left some more mealy bugs & gave it some quiet & space. Went to check on it just now & it was gone, so I’m hoping it managed to fly back to it’s nest once the shock of the nightmare it had just been through had simmered down. Will go check again later with a torch, but hopefully it was a successful rescue.

The cats however are completely bewildered by me, & scratching at the doors to be let out, so they can find it & show me what they were expecting me to do with the bird. I think they can stay in tonight…

Introvert/Extrovert

I’m an introvert & that’s cool by me. We live in a world dominated by extrovert thinking, it’s what people are encouraged to be when they’re looking for work, at interviews, when you’re out with friends. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with being an extrovert. Introvert/extrovert just means you have a different way of connecting to your soul. Extroverts are more entertaining when it comes to the stage, & their outward energy makes them fun to be with & they also help to get things done. However all this pressure to be charismatic, overly positive & dynamic to succeed in life, makes introverts feel like they’re inadequate or that there’s something wrong with them if they can’t fit in.

The truth is being an introvert is cool too. You only feel like you don’t fit in, because you, & to an extent society, makes it hard for you to accept the way you are. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being an introvert. You may not be the life & soul of the party, able to charm your way to the top or make zillions of friends, but you have other gifts that are just as valuable.

Introverts tend to be more thoughtful people, which often means they’re more considerate of others & their thoughts & feelings. Introverts tend to be more contemplative, able to look at things deeper, not just on a superficial level, they make good friends, & the friendships they do have tend to be close & meaningful. Through their way of thinking, they can get to the heart of the problem, they are perceptive & often have good foresight. Introverts are able to plan in advance, predict what might happen in the future & take action in preparation for it. They can be good at problem solving, good at things like writing, & can be very creative people. They can also be good at science, Albert Einstein was an introvert. These are all valuable qualities in society. You may not impress an interviewer with your quietness, but that interviewer is enjoying much of the comforts/technological advances in their life because of introverts.

One thing I’ve learnt somewhat embarrassingly/painfully over the years, especially in my youth, is don’t try to be an extrovert if you’re an introvert. It causes you to lose touch with who you really are, which can lead to a painful inner crisis & a lack of self worth.

There’s nothing wrong with being an introvert, the world would be seriously dull & lacking if we were all the same. It doesn’t matter if you are good at social situations or not, you’re just as valuable as anyone else. Accept whatever you are & don’t try & force yourself to be something you’re not, just to give yourself the illusion of fitting in. It will make you feel lost, alone & unhappy. It’s like trying to fit into clothes that are too tight or loose.

You fit into society fine as an introvert, some people might perceive this as boring, but so what?  Does this make you any less than them? If society has a problem with you, it’s cause they haven’t caught up with you inwardly yet. As an introvert you just have a slower pace outwardly, but a faster pace internally. You need more personal space to think things through than extroverts do. You need to respect that about yourself, & gently help others who don’t understand to respect it too. If you go silent whilst socializing, it’s not cause there’s something wrong with you, it’s cause you are being thoughtful. Introverts make good listeners, & when they do speak they can often bring something valuable to a discussion, a way of looking at things from a different angle. Which is priceless.

Most people are a mix of introvert/extrovert, I think I’m about 80% introvert 20% extrovert. Everyone’s different, & that’s alright. So don’t be made to feel inadequate by celebrities, adverts, TV & all the marketing hype & images of what someone else thinks is the ideal human in the media. If it’s not you, that’s cool. Just got to accept who you are & don’t beat yourself up or try to be something you’re not.

Although this note bigs up being an introvert; a world composed solely of introverts would be just as freaky as one composed solely of extroverts. Society needs both, just be proud of whichever one you are, & don’t try to put yourself into a mould you’re not comfortable with.

Be yourself & be cool with it.

Random Thoughts

Feeling really unwell at the moment & very low. My muscles & body hurt & the meds I’m on are not helping much. I’m going to see my doctor tomorrow to ask about better meds. Sometimes wonder a bit morbidly if my time is running out soon & I’ll get to find the answers about what happens after this life. It could just be my depression talking, at least I hope it is, cause I still have a lot of music & pictures & writing left in me; but my body does feel weak just now & I have very little energy.

Been working on a new tune today. It feels like one of my better ones, has a good emotional vibe about it. I love my synth, it is my favourite possession, it connects me to a deeper self, almost like dreaming, helps me clear my head & be in the moment & also somewhere else. I see sound as colour in my mind & to me music & painting are part of the same source.

Worried about all this talk on the news about changing our human rights. I think human rights should not be decided by politicians especially Tory ones. The only reason I can imagine the government is so keen to ditch the European court of human rights, is cause they have something dodgy planned. I don’t want people like Cameron deciding what a person’s rights should be.

Money is a problem, elitism needs to be wiped out, in a non-violent way.

A maximum wage would be a good idea, as long as the government taxes the corporation properly, otherwise you’ll end up with the person at the top who started the company pocketing the savings in wages.

What would be good, is if communities ran themselves without state intervention, state intervention should only occur if human rights are being violated. Communities when they get together are more than capable of running themselves & know what’s best for them.

In the future robots will be doing most of the jobs & many people will be unemployed, in that situation it could become a utopia or a brutal unequal society with a lot of poverty. If we stop this elitism, we could all live comfortably, the robots & computers will be doing most of the jobs, freeing up everyone’s time to do the things they want to do, without fear of society collapsing due to nobody working. The wealth could be distributed equally & maybe we could concentrate on helping each other & fixing the environmental damage caused by industry.

Today it was announced on the radio that the government is going to heavily subsidize EDF to build a new nuclear power station. Part of the agreement was that electricity bills will be twice as high as they are now.

Who the Hell does that benefit?

And even more disturbing, why is the government subsidizing nuclear power which although carbon free, is very expensive & incredibly dangerous, as past nuclear disasters show us, such as Chernobyl & Fukushima?

The amount of money being spent to subsidize nuclear power & fracking, could be used to subsidize cleaner, renewable eco friendly alternatives. It just makes no sense, why when the earth is in crisis, & we are about to witness the mass extinction of life due to manmade environmental damage; the government isn’t throwing all it’s resources into sorting this out?

To me that shows how dangerous having a government has become, because we are dependant on the state to stop this catastrophe. It isn’t just down to people, the state of this planet can only be properly fixed if the governments do something about it & stop subsidizing the very things that are destroying it. When most of the public are opposed to fracking, yet the government just ignores them & goes ahead & does it; that is very troubling. There is more to life than economics & GDP.

It is a frustrating & crazy situation right now.

If these politicians want the position of power; then they should damn well take the responsibility.

Spiral Galaxy

Spiral Galaxy: http://youtu.be/hgslbcOW6PE

My latest music video, music composed by me & the images are taken from hubble telescope. Going to try & upload more music over the coming months, I’m not really any good at videos, but can’t afford the Soundcloud subscription, youtube is free & doesn’t have limits to how much I can upload, so moving my stuff over to youtube now.

It blows my mind to think we’re in a galaxy with roughly 20 billion stars & out there could be billions of galaxies.

Makes you realize how tiny we all are, how meaningless & insignificant politics is.

Yet it also makes you think how precious we are, the life on this planet could be unique, there is more than likely a lot of life in this universe on other planets, but they, like us, may also be unique lifeforms having followed different evolutionary paths due to different circumstances/environments. There may not be other life exactly like the life here. Which makes this earth precious, this could be the only planet in the universe that has polar bears or other life currently endangered. This is a critical point in our history, a time when we need to stop following the self destructive path of industry & GDP. The earth is priceless & it’s time to work with nature, not exploit it, don’t need to go back to the dark ages, but we can develop cleaner technologies, get rid of plastic, use biodegradeable alternatives & develop more eco friendly ways to produce our energy.