British politicians call for public to “break the law” and smoke cannabis
British MPs, Jeff Smith and Paul Flynn, called on British Parliament to legalise cannabis
Cannabis is still Schedule 1 drug in the U.K., meaning the British Government views it as having no medicinal value
Two British politician pleaded with the House of Commons to legalise cannabis this week, calling on the public to “break the law,” and use it regardless of the law.
“I don’t expect any quick progress on drugs policy, but I think we need to start reframing the debate.” – Jeff Smith MP
In a rousing speech in the Houses of Parliament, Jeff Smith, Labour MP for Withington, told the House of Commons that cannabis legalisation “inevitable.”
Smith also criticised the Conservative-led Government as “surely wrong” for criminalising cannabis users for a drug which is “less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco, that the overwhelming majority find pleasant, relatively harm-free and a rewarding experience.”
In an unprecedented move for a British politician, Paul Flynn, Labour MP for Newport West, went evencalled for members of the public to break the law:
“We know most of the countries in the world allow this most ancient of medicines. It’s been used for 5,000 years in every continent in the world, it’s used for medicinal purposes.
“Well I would call on people, I know we’re not supposed to do this as members, to break the law, to come here and use cannabis here, and see what happens!”
Slamming the British Government’s “cruelty,” Flynn continued his plea with the public to rebel: “I think we have to say to those who put up with the barbaric stupidity and cruelty of Government policy that denies seriously ill people their medicine of choice.
“We’ve got to call on those who are in this position to act in a way of civil disobedience.”
The heroic politician implored the public to use the late Elizabeth Brice, known to many as Clare Hodges from her medicinal cannabis activism, as inspiration for the protest.
The veteran MP has a history of protesting the U.K.’s antiquated cannabis laws, and actually aided Brice in her protest in the Houses of Parliament before her death in 2011. Smith reminded Parliament that Elizabeth Brice had once consumed cannabis tea, after he had supplied the cup of hot water, within the grounds of Parliament, a crime they both could have faced seven years in prison for.
Mr Smith added, “I don’t expect any quick progress on drugs policy, but I think we need to start reframing the debate.
“There are a limited number of us who are prepared to stand up and speak about this issue at the moment, I hope gradually the numbers will increase because we really need serious debate on this issue, not more of the same approach which has failed.”
The U.K. needs more brave politicians, like Paul Flynn and Jeff Smith, to stand up for what is right; the U.K. needs more politicians guided by compassion rather than greed or fear.
The U.K. also needs more heroes like Elizabeth Brice. Without her tireless efforts the case for medicinal cannabis may be even further behind that it already is.