Austerity V Prosperity

Researcher, Blogger, Activist

Researcher, Blogger, Activist

Mr Ron Hogg Police Crime Commissioner Durham

Mr. Ron Hogg Police Crime Commissioner Durham

When comparing austerity and prohibition politics to legalisation and prosperity politics, a week can be a very long time!

Last week started off with calls for legalisation of cannabis by North Wales PCC, Arfon Jones. A call which was dismissed as reckless by Conservative MP Darren Millar.

Mr Millar called it a “dangerous substance” which could have “catastrophic consequences” if it was legalised.



Mr. Afon Jones Police Crime Commissioner Wales

Mr. Afon Jones Police Crime Commissioner Wales

Clearly the voters of the area know better. As Mr. Jones points out, drug reform was part of his manifesto, inspired by the example of Durham Constabulary’s Ron Hogg. Mr. Jones pointed out that he had won the vote “with a significant majority”. This is something mirrored by Ron Hogg’s election earlier this year in which he increased voter turnout and vote share.

Politicians love to say that they’ll never get into office with a pro-drugs stance. The police are obviously proving them wrong!



Addictive Prescribed Medicines

gettyimages-481663349That same day, an article in New Scientist highlighted that only the week before, a group of UK doctors and politicians had said, “Addiction to prescribed medicines could be as big a problem in the UK as addiction to illegal drugs like heroin.”

“We are in the midst of a great public health disaster, which is killing hundreds of people a year and ruining the lives of millions,” Harry Shapiro, head of addiction charity DrugWise, said at a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence last week.


Mr Millar should really take a look at those figures. They’re quite an eye opener. Then again, he might upset some of his Tory chums if he did that seeing as 80% of them have links to health firms.

If cannabis is so harmful, maybe he would like to rebuke GW pharma for advertising for plant breeders this week, and British sugar for taking on a contract to grow 23 football pitches worth in Norfolk?


Given that he’s a Conservative, he’ll probably take great delight in having a go at Scotland for letting the side down and showing a modicum of compassion by voting for medicinal this week.

Who would want people in their communities making salaries, that in the American industry are the equivalent of six and seven figure jobs, at a time when UK salaries are lower than they were 12 years ago?

Grow Room ProsperityWhy on earth would us Brits with our stiff upper lips want any part of an industry that had an economic impact of $2.4 billion dollars, on the back of 18,000 jobs, in a state of five million people?

Or the projected $22.6 billion worth of industry that is predicted to eclipse combined sales of beer, wine, and spirits, of our Commonwealth cousins in Canada?

Apart from the fact that it might go some way to filling that £16 billion black hole in the UK budget due to lack of tax receipts that the treasury details in recently leaked documents.

But, no! We seem far happier with a doubling in homelessness, a sanctions system (Der Hungerplan) that drives people to food banks, and workfare (Arbeitscheu).

What can you expect when your MP’s openly advocate for legislation that pushes sick people into looking for non-existant jobs or the ‘elimination‘ of the victims of those policies?? And all while being cheer-led by their bible, the Daily Fail who this week condoned Philippine President Duterte’s brutal new drug war. Not in the least bit familiar at all that is it?

If they voted for legalisation and home grow more people could be like the Brummy ‘gropper’ featured in Vice documentary, High Society, who claims to earn £400k per year from growing cannabis…. Hmmm Prosperity??

I’m not going to condone her actions in fiddling electric etc, but with a legal regulated market, I have no doubt with that sort of money coming in she would do everything properly. The fear of going to jail is an understandable reason as to not wanting to be found out via the electric company. Still, if you’re making that sort of money, you should be paying your way and not making the rest of us look bad, really you have an opportunity to make us look good.

It’s not hard to make the cannabis community look good compared to the Tories. As their economic policy goes from bad to worse with another study showing that families will be thousands of pounds a year worse off by 2020 because of rising inflation, lower wage growth and Tory social security cuts, and NHS hospitals are forced to crowd fund to buy beds; we can at least rest easy knowing our taxes are well spent on subsidies to wealthy landowners to keep their grouse moors well maintained.

I’m sure the people of Northumbria, York, and elsewhere hit by flooding really enjoy the views from those lands…… as their latest 4×4 floats by.

They may enjoy them a little less with fracking rigs spoiling them. An industry with only 17% approval that can be replaced by hemp.

Seeing as the UK currently needs 64 million trees as it heads for deforestation, hemp could help reduce the demand for timber, replace those fracking rigs and act as a flood defence in one neat package.

Or with recreational and medicinal strains, farmers could really maximise the value they currently hold in their lands.

barton-moss-police-arrests-march-16th-2014-2I can’t say I’ve ever heard or seen any reports of expensive police operations around hemp farms to put a stop to protesters who wish to stop planting………… unlike say Standing Rock, Barton Moss, Tar Sands, etc where people are coming out in their droves to protest human rights abuses by the big energy corporations!

These objections are obviously having an effect. So far delays to fracking have cost Cuadrilla £15 million.

But in the meantime, Washington State sold $140 million in legal cannabis resulting in $26 million in taxes for the state in September. That’s $800,000 per day!! From an industry that people want, obviously!

And profits from this ever-burgeoning industry are being invested in developing the future with a huge one million square foot greenhouse and processing facility in Colorado with plenty of well paid professional jobs to go with it.

americanninc_24freedom01_bizVivek Wadhwa, a fellow at Stanford University’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance, director of research for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke, and a distinguished fellow at the Singularity University has written this week that, “We’ll Have A Century of Medical Advances in the Next Decade.”

As cannabis studies finally start to progress in Colorado, I would say that Wadhwa’s prediction is a certain bet, and facilities such as these will be at the heart of those advances!

Meanwhile for us here in the UK, for those of who know that there are better options available for us all, we have to sit back and wait for a backward looking government who are more concerned with, as Ken Loach pointed out this week, “political jargon and not much substance”, to catch up with what the rest of the world is already doing!