The UK is a regular feature on Smoke.io, mostly due to its ludicrous position on cannabis: exhibit 1, exhibit 2, exhibit 3. We wouldn’t have to use the internet — and our preferred privacy respecting search engine, DuckDuckGo — too hard to discover more of such idiot approaches to a healthy plant.
Just follow @indica on Twitter and you get your daily dose and some days even more.
This week the United Kingdom saw its new Prime Minister be sworn in, jolly good wheat fields running Boris Johnson.
So where does the Eton alumni stand on cannabis, and drugs in general.
The former journalist, and historically prominent Eurosceptic, Has regularly spoken about his past experiences and how he dabbled with drugs in the past. Which, of course, isn’t too big a surprise to most who have lived in the UK’s middle class and attended the more prominent schools or universities.
In 2007 Boris Johnson admitted during a GQ interview, with fellow bluster colleague Piers Morgan, that he frequently consumed cannabis in high school.
“ There was a period before university when I had quite a few. But funnily enough, not much at university.”
Since, the journalist and now politician has turned rather negative towards drugs though. He even promised earlier this year that he is pro a harsher approach, a more ruthless campaign on the ringleaders of drugs smuggling, while calling “drugs bad”.
“We need to be very very tough – particularly on the county lines gang that are bringing it out into the areas that have not known them before.
“ I would like to see a much more ruthless campaign to round up the ringleaders of these county lines – it’s causing terrible, terrible damage to young lives.”
“Middle-class drugs use in this country by kids is helping to encourage the dissemination of these drugs and gangs across the country and costing the lives of so many.
—Boris Johnson, while campaigning to become leader of the Tories
Ironically, the Prime Minister called for this crack down during his campaign to become the leader of the Tories, yet didn’t oppose the continued binge drinking in the UK. More so, Johnson is a proponent of removing many taxes on sugar drinks, loosening up the so-called “nanny state”.
Which, given the context of his own previous cannabis use — he even once tried cocaine — is rather ironic, especially also in the light of ongoing cannabis farming in the UK with illegally trafficked Asian children across the country.
A topic, which has occasionally made the news across multiple British news outlets, reaching spotlight status in today’s the Guardian long read Enslaved on a British cannabis farm: The plants were more valuable than my life’.
The article tells the haunting story of how a Vietnamese 16-years old boy was sexually abused and trafficked into the UK, enslaved on a cannabis farm, and eventually entered the criminal system being imprisoned for almost 4 years in total, sexually abused again, and later almost deported under the UK’s “hostile environment” policy towards immigration.
The article also mentions that it is estimated multiple thousands of such cannabis farms are operational across the UK. In last three years almost 500 Vietnamese children were identified as child-trafficking victims, many of which working on cannabis farms. Additionally, in 2018, more than 500 trafficking victims were in detention in prisons and across immigration centers in the UK.
Anybody hoping Johnson may change the situation, and implement a more free market — and legal — approach to cannabis is probably mistaken and a “War on Drugs” in the UK is the more likely outcome.
“I think drugs are bad, I really do. I hesitate before moving to some glib solution of legalization or deregulation.”
—Boris Johnson, to the Sun
Whether Johnson, and his new cabinet, intend to improve the ludicrous approach to medical marijuana is still unknown. Most regular Smoke readers do know about the current medical use situation on the British isles, in which marijuana is legal but getting affordable access and even a prescription is almost as difficult as winning the lottery.
Yet, Crispin Blunt, MP and endorser of Jonson during his campaign is confident he can convince the new Prime Minister — after Brexit — of improving the legal situation and the UK could even see legalized cannabis within the next five years.
Yes, just like you we also had to first look up who Crispin Blunt is. Blunt previously founded, and still chairs, the campaign group Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group in September 2018 with as aim to push for a government review of the UK’s cannabis laws. Blunt hopes that the UK’s business interest, and its current position as already one of the largest medical cannabis producers in the world — producers for export — could see the UK take a sizeable share of the global cannabis market.
We don’t know about you but we’re not holding our breath.
This post was initially posted on the Smoke blockchain