The big practical problem prohibition faces is that it’s built on the assumption people will do what they’re told – even in private or in the company of consenting adults – which is perhaps the sort of assumption only politicians could make about the real world. Because of this naive assumption at the heart of prohibition it was always going to be an uphill struggle to make the drugs laws work. This is, of course, made much worse when people get a very real benefit from using a prohibited drug – not just enjoyment but, for example, relief from pain.
However, in this country Parliament is sovereign and is free to pass any law it sees fit. If it decides that it is Parliament’s will that rice should be banned in China, it is free to pass such a law; practicalities do not limit Parliament’s law making scope. However, there is a duty on law makers to ensure that laws are applied equally and without bias. There is no scope in UK law for making exceptions to laws based on, for example, cultural acceptance of certain aspects of the issue at the heart of the law.
So it is we have the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 which sets out to control drugs which have the potential to be “misused” – which we can take to mean “used for fun” or other uses politicians don’t approve of including, apparently, therapeutic relief. There is nothing in the act which allows for some drugs to be excluded from the act simply because they are already “misused” by a section of the population (which just happens to include the politicians themselves), yet this is precisely the reason given for not including alcohol and tobacco in the Misuse of Drugs Act and thus treating the users of these drugs differently from the users of other drugs including cannabis.
So it was, perhaps, only a matter of time before someone who was getting a very real benefit from his use of cannabis, who was not causing any problem to anyone else with his cannabis use, should object to having his life torn apart and being dragged through the courts by this selective application of the law. That person is Edwin Stratton, recently convicted of growing cannabis as this blog reported a few weeks ago. This is his story in his own words.
Read the full article at the UKCIA’s news blog
Edwin Stratton – Papers Leaked Concerning His Judicial Review, Evidence that the Court was misled Read More