By Matt Aldridge
The most harmful thing about cannabis is prohibition, the lack of regulation means that we cannot guarantee that the cannabis which gets distributed is as safe as it should be.
It is the responsibility of all people involved in the cultivation and distribution of cannabis to be responsible for harm reduction and ensuring public safety.
We have a responsibility to self-regulate cannabis in the UK and to make it as safe as possible. We make it safer and safer, until risk of harm is no longer a valid reason for prohibition, as if it was already?
There are a small minority of people who are campaigning to demonise cannabis, not only suppressing knowledge of the true capability of the plant, they are trying to make it less safe for the public by removing any responsible level of regulation. These people are in support of prohibition which is a system not geared towards harm reduction, therefore these people could be considered the opposition of our public safety initiative, after all, politicians who support prohibition are supporting organized crime.
All the authorities ever tell us about are the alleged dangers of cannabis, why aren’t they interested in talking to us about how to reduce any risks of danger?
Self-regulation is our way of ensuring a sustainable future for all who are involved in the highly rewarding cannabis market in the UK. Whether a change in policy happens or not, we are already working towards the better way. For the growers and dealers who take into account the self-regulatory public safety initiatives, it will be much more straightforward to adapt in the future as policy does inevitably change, many of us would like a new form of employment once cannabis hemp regains its place in the ‘free market’.
We basically are all faced with a choice, whether we want to be a criminal or not.
Criminal behaviour is socially irresponsible and causes harm, loss or fraud to others.
I, like the majority of cannabis patients, consumers, distributors, cultivators and activists, do not want to be a criminal and I want my existence to benefit humanity rather than be a burden on it.
I have chosen not to be a criminal and I actively seek to detach the cannabis market from the criminal market. In many places across the world patients are allowed to grow their own medicine safely without fear of having their door kicked down and their attempts at peace, happiness and wellbeing stolen along with their medicine.
Cannabis is not a criminal issue but a health issue, the cannabis market which is worth several billion pounds a year, has a gateway to crime left wide open by irresponsible drug policy and lack of recognition as to its legitimacy as a safe substance and furthermore a highly capable medicine.
Things are changing here in the UK.
This revolution will not be instigated by parliament but by the people.
A transition into a scenario with increased public safety will be made possible by those who are willing to share with others good honest information about how to reduce risk of harm or any undesired consequences.
The transition into satisfactory regulation of the UK cannabis market; should come from the inside out, and not the outside in. We need the experts of the field and not the authorities. We need a well-informed public and not a misinformed public. A well-informed public is best positioned to decide what drugs it can and cannot use.
We, the cannabis cultivators, suppliers and consumers in the UK, who will always exist within society, need to take the responsibility to make our world safer.
By labelling the bags that are distributed, those consuming it will know about the strain, its contents and effects. Given the sheer diversity of cannabis strains and effects the importance of this cannot be understated.
The NORML UK Harm Reduction Team will be encouraging public safety and generating harm reduction campaigns to assist in the transition in the UK from prohibition grade cannabis, to medical grade cannabis. To assist in the transition between irresponsible drug policy to a responsible drug policy. A responsible drug policy is one that works to reduce the harms caused to society by drugs.
Coming soon from NORML UK Harm Reduction Team?
- Know Your Cannabis
- Cannabis is medicine
- Methods of consumption
- Methods of production
- Harms of prohibition
- Cannabis and mental health
Matt is a musician and medicinal cannabis consumer who is part of the NORML UK Harm Reduction Team.