25.09.2015 Author: Valery Kulikov

Marijuana Legalization Lobbyists in the UK Ignore the Skyrocketing Number of Drug Users

85771Legalization of marijuana in the United States and the fact that it has become the most rapidly growing sector of the economy gives no rest to political and business circles in the UK, which, not without some advice from their colleagues from across the Atlantic, are going to apply certain American “practices” at home.

Thus, according to The Guardian, one of the most influential politicians in the UK, which strongly favors the legalization of marijuana in the Kingdom, is a former Ambassador to Afghanistan Sir William Patey. No amount of “professional diplomatic experience” during his trips to Iraq, Sudan and Saudi Arabia, affected him more that his recent mission to Afghanistan where he had close contacts with US officials that “opened his eyes” on the uncountable financial profits that can be obtained from the legalization of drugs. This is not surprising, since drugs started flooding European and US black markets after the joint US-UK “intervention” in Afghanistan. Certain elites in those countries couldn’t care less about possible health issues of ordinary people as they seek ways to take control of the drug trade through legalization.

“Business circles” of the Kingdom have shown full support for the ideas expressed by Sir William Patey and it took them only four days to collect 125,000 signatures under a petition for the legalization of marijuana in the United Kingdom, although a 100,000 signatures would have been enough for the Parliament to discuss the bill in question. While collecting signatures, supporters of this bill have launched a full-scale media campaign in social networks, where activists urged UK citizens to sign the petition. Nobody doubted the future “success” of this campaign, given the fact that according to recent studies, the number of marijuana users in Britain has reached a five-year maximum, exceeding for the first time the one million mark.

However, those who want marijuana to become a legal drug in the UK have gone even further by finding some supporters of their cause in the British Parliament. This resulted in the creation of an initiative group of MPs and peers who issued a statement that smoking marijuana is a ‘human right’, therefore there should be a legal cannabis market in the UK. This group is the most ardent supporter of drugs legalization in the UK and it goes under the name of All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform. Among its members one may find former MI5 director general Baroness Mannigham-Buller and former chancellor Baron Lawson of Blaby. The report issued by this group underlines that the government should find alternatives to a “total ban” on the use and trafficking of drugs since it could allow it to better take care of public health, reduce violence and corruption.

The lobbies in the British establishment have apparently forgotten (or they’re pretending that they have) that the government of the Kingdom has made a decision back in 2009 to return marijuana to the list of “B” drugs, promoting it from the list of less dangerous “C” drugs. This was caused by the fact that in the UK cannabis is increasingly getting grown on small local plantations. Moreover, the volume of domestic production of cannabis has started overtaking the import of Moroccan cannabis.

In the face of an ever increasing number of drug users the law enforcement agencies have already been forced to admit that in some counties they are unable to pursue small drug producers due to the lack of funds for such an activity. So, the police departments of three counties – Derbyshire, Dorset and Surrey, according to the online news portal International Business Times, have confirmed that they will no longer pursue those who use or grow cannabis “in small amounts.”

Earlier in Durham county representatives of the local police stated that they would only prosecute those producers of cannabis whose actions will be considered “outrageous.” As it has been officially recognized by a member of the Labour Party and the police commissioner of this county Ron Hogg, plantation owners that produce drugs on tens of thousands of pounds, as a rule, rarely go to jail. To demonstrate its “loyalty” to the cause of the legalization of drugs, Ron Hogg even took the initiative to create special rooms for drug addicts, where they could inject themselves with heroin without fear of arrest or prosecution, reminds Daily Express.

Is it any wonder in these circumstances that the UK is in the first ranks in Europe in terms of drug use and the second (after Spain) largest cocaine market. According to estimates of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, the level of cannabis use in the UK is very high (10.5% of young people reported that they had used it in the past year), and a large number of young people regularly use cocaine.

But what can one want from Britain when even MPs and peers of this country have become frequently featured in drug scandals. A few days ago a 69-year-old member of the House of Lords baron John Sewel, who was one of the key allies of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, was forced to resign due to public accusations of drug use.

One can hardly imagine the possible scale of drug use in the UK once the political and business circles of the Kindgom legalize it, while following the example of their American counterparts, just for the sake of obtaining super profits for themselves.

Valery Kulikov, political analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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