Search OCA
Get Local!

Let farmers ruined by foot-and-mouth grow cannabis, says labour MP

October 19, 2001 The Independent (London) by Nigel Morris
STRUGGLING FARMERS should be allowed to grow cannabis as a cash crop, an MP said yesterday when he launched a Bill to legalise the drug.

Jon Owen Jones, Labour MP for Cardiff Central, said it would provide a lifeline to farmers reeling from the impact of foot-and-mouth disease.

His Bill seeks to "legalise and regulate the sale, supply and use of cannabis for recreational and therapeutic purposes". Under his plan, a licensing system, regulated by the Home Secretary, would be set up to regulate the cultivation and sale of the drug. Users would be allowed to smoke soft drugs in "cannabis cafes". Mr Jones said the illegal cannabis trade in Britain was estimated to be worth pounds 1.5bn a year - "a very significant amount of money, which farmers would welcome". The Bill, due to be debated next week in the Commons, is being sponsored by nine Labour and two Liberal Democrat MPs, including Jenny Tonge, the party's international development spokeswoman.

Mr Jones, a former Welsh Office minister, has admitted enjoying cannabis in his youth. "All over the world it is becoming clear cannabis use is a fact of life and trying to deal with it through the criminal justice system is absurd," he said. "Legalisation is the most rational way forward."

Although his Bill has no chance of becoming law without government support, it is being introduced at a time when Britain's drug laws are under fresh scrutiny.

Mark Littlewood, the director of campaigns at the civil rights group Liberty, which helped to draft the Bill, said: "The public don't want our police force frittering their energies over a victimless 'crime' like cannabis use. Our drug laws are arcane and outdated ... they need urgent review."

The Home Affairs Select Committee is to look at current legislation on all categories of illegal drugs. Among the questions it will consider is what effect a relaxation of controls on cannabis use would have on levels of crime, drug-related deaths and demand for drugs.

Members will also examine whether decriminalisation of soft drugs such as cannabis is desirable and, if not, discuss "practical alternatives".

Tony Blair and most ministers fiercely oppose any relaxation of drug laws, but David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, has called for an "adult, intelligent debate" on the subject.


Home | News | Organics | GE Food | Health | Environment | Food Safety | Fair Trade | Peace | Farm Issues | Politics
Forum | Español | Campaigns | Buying Guide | Press | Search | Volunteer | Donate | About Us | Contact Us | Email This Page

Organic Consumers Association - 6771 South Silver Hill Drive, Finland MN 55603
E-mail: Staff · Activist or Media Inquiries: 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652
Please support our work. Send a tax-deductible donation to the OCA

Fair Use Notice: The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc. It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal or technical advice.
Please Support Our Sponsors!

Organic Valley

Organic
Valley

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps

Dr. Bronner's
Magic Soaps

Botani Organic

Botani
Organic

Aloha Bay

Aloha Bay

Eden Organics

Eden Foods

Frey Vineyards

Frey
Vineyards

Intelligent Nutrients

Intelligent
Nutrients