The Legalise Cannabis Alliance (LCA),
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The Issues: Ecological, Medical, Legal, Political
Until early this century, cannabis, also known as hemp and marijuana,
had been used throughout the world to produce much of its supply of
rope, canvas, paper, charts and clothes. It proved itself too as a
powerful and safe medicine. The seed was a source of nourishment (often
made into a porridge called gruel) and its oil was used in lamps and for
lubrication. Again, it was used for thousands of years as a sacrament,
to induce relaxed, meditative or elevated states of consciousness. The
uses of cannabis mentioned in these pages then are scarcely new.
Nor was its reputation during this long period dubious or problematic.
It would have seemed strange only a century ago to classify cannabis
with heroin, or even with alcohol.
This all changed, however, when the Geneva Opiates Conferences in 1925
and 1928, erroneously classifying hemp as a narcotic, banned it - along
with the opiates.
Any consideration of the sequence of events leading up to the ban must
prompt serious questions as to the motive for it, while we need only
contemplate our immediate neighbourhoods to learn what disastrous effect
prohibition has had through its initiating of the so-called 'War on
Every day, up and down the country, hundreds of people are searched and
homes and businesses raided by Drug Squads. People are stopped and
searched on the streets, and at parties and other events.
Those found in possession of cannabis are cautioned or taken through the
This entails the curtailing of human freedom. Often personal finances
are investigated, assets confiscated and private lives scrutinised. A
fine or imprisonment is imposed and a criminal record set up.
And for what? For a crime that cannot rationally be shown to be a crime,
since the possession of cannabis endangers no one and victimises no one.
Clearly the law is at fault and needs to be changed. The particular law
we refer to is the UK Misuse of Drugs Act.
We hardly need reminding by the Courts that a change of law is the
business of Parliament. This means the business of us as well. It is we
that must work this change.
We might begin by asking how a law that manifestly serves no social
purpose - indeed victimises those it purports to defend - ever came to
The answer can fairly be said to stare us in the face. That the urban-
capitalist cultures of our day should outlaw cannabis is a measure of
the degree to which their values are distorted by their own fossil and
nuclear- fuel-based economies. Our industrial giants flourish in
proportion as they strangle the life out of modes of production that
across the world and for thousands of years have been sustained
primarily by HEMP.
It is our object to expose this state of affairs - resist this scandal -
as vigorously as we know how.
It makes simple economic sense to do so, and it makes medical sense.
Moreover, in doing so we espouse the cause of justice, of Human
CANNABIS: LEGALISE AND UTILISE
A MANIFESTO AND INFORMATION DOCUMENT 2000
Produced and published by:
The Legalise Cannabis Alliance
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