Early this week, Streatham MP and Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna spoke about his past use of cannabis and said that he did not think it was “news anymore, to be honest”.
Although Mr. Umunna states that he was “not proud” of his cannabis use (hardly a surprising disclaimer given the current climate), it is typically encouraging to see prominent members of society “come out” as current or former cannabis users. These admissions help to humanise our campaign and open up space for honest discussion about our drugs laws. As heir apparent to the Labour Party leadership, Mr. Umunna is quite right to note that the taboo surrounding cannabis use is fading. With nearly 10 million Brits and 78 million Europeans having consumed cannabis in their lifetimes, the only thing preventing us from obliterating these dangerous and repressive stereotypes is our silence.
It’s time to create an honest and supportive environment so that all cannabis consumers can “come out” for reform. To do that, we need every single one of our friends and members to get involved. Share links, talk to your neighbours, write your MP. Our representatives won’t take a stand until we get behind them. Let’s tell Mr. Umunna and his colleagues that we’re not ashamed–and that we vote!