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“The illegal sale of Cannabis in the UK contributes to global terrorism”. That’s a sentence I’ve heard many times in my life, spoken with no to little real evidence ever being provided to back it up.

But how true is this statement?

If you happen to of followed the rather remarkable life of Dennis Howard Marks (Mr Nice), then you’ll probably be aware of the term Nordle.

Nordle was the code word Howard used to use when smuggling Hashish from Afghanistan to Shannon Airport in Ireland then routeing it on to Milford, Wales with the help of James (Jim) McCann of the IRA back in the 1970’s.

Howard Marks

These events, shown in detail in the 2010 biopic Mr Nice, starring Rhys Ifans as Mr Marks, explain how prohibited drugs have been a means of raising funds and providing munitions to questionable organisations for decades.

So it may well be true that just a decade or so ago if you consumed Cannabis in the UK that at least a percentage of the money from its sale might have made its way toward funding some form of criminal enterprise or terrorist group abroad.  Most of the Cannabis consumed in the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s was smuggled into Britain from countries such as Afghanistan, Nepal, Lebanon, Pakistan, Iran and Morocco in the form of Hashish.

Is this still true today?

Partly from the dramatic increase in the number of grow shops, and the internet contributing significantly to consumers learning to grow their own cannabis, there has been a sharp decrease in criminal organisations smuggling these classic solids into the country.

Nowadays the police report that you are more likely to find criminal gangs who have switched tact and are now growing on an industrial level here in the UK – in any and every available space – they’re getting rather creative and smart with it too.

You may recall the “Cannabis Farm” found in Legoland, Windsor earlier this year, The cottage which had been used and filled with some 50 plants was being accessed via land owned by the Queen. 

How about the recent discovery of possibly one of the largest scale grow operations in the UK’s history in a former 1980’s Ministry of Defence nuclear bunker in Wiltshire?

What about the Vietnamese gang that had been using illegal immigrants to cultivate in a disused leisure centre, Doctors surgery, a former Barclays Bank and other buildings in Shropshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands, South Wales and Cumbria?

Or what about this massive half a million pound grow operation discovered by the anarchist group A.N.A.L (The Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians) right next door to Buckingham Palace?

The instances above show that as long as Cannabis remains illegal, there will always be those that seek to profit from this poorly planned and practised prohibition policy.

Ending cannabis prohibition would free up funds which could help to deter Britain and its allies from attempting to control global resources in foreign territories through military interventions. The kind of control that creates the kind of environment where extremist ideology flourishes and can take hold of those left vulnerable by our actions in their lands, thus creating the very thing we’re supposedly fighting in the first place. Yes, folks, I’m talking about terrorism.

Domestically produced Cannabis could provide more than enough Hemp oil once the draconian THC cap is lifted and the Hemp licence scrapped we’ll easily be able to satisfy our growing economic needs for generations to come.

As well as providing much-needed employment in new innovative industries such as Hempcrete, Graphene-like hemp alternatives have been found to be far superior to traditional graphene (read more here), making them a good contender for the next generation of energy storage.

There are also super computer quantum processors that we can produce from Graphene – there is yet to be a definitive answer on whether they can also be made using the same method as is used to make the Hemp Graphene.

There is potential for thousands, if not tens of thousands of jobs in hundreds of industries around cannabis cultivation: distribution, bud trimming, bud tending, financial management, security, research and development, geneticists, breeders, Glass blowers, traders, engineers and accountants to name but a few.

All of this, plus the incredibly severe blow that legalisation would inflict on the ability of criminal gangs to continue to exploit Cannabis drug policy for profit drugs too. Just look at Portugal, who decriminalised drug possession back in 2001. Now hardly anybody there dies from overdosing. (3 per million, compared to the EU average of 17.3 per million).

When grown in industrial quantities, the cannabis plant also sequesters a rather sizeable amount of Carbon from the atmosphere and can replace some highly carbon-dependent and pollutant industries. You can read more about the environmental benefits of Hemp here.

Hemp field, Canada Image: Hempoilcan.com

Given the effects of global warming shouldn’t the UK do whatever is necessary to reduce its carbon footprint?

Ultimately a Cannabis consumer walking down the street while in possession of a twenty bag of peace-inducing flowers should never have to fear that they’ll be actively targeted and treated in the same way as violent criminals and terror suspects. This approach to dealing with drugs only furthers the growing gulf between the authorities and the community.

I have had the personal pleasure of getting to know hundreds of Cannabis consumers in my lifetime, and the one trait that stands head and shoulders above the rest is by far their pacifistic tenancies.

Cannabis consumers are among the most peaceful, loving, accepting subcultures in our society to continue locking up nearly 8,000 of them a year and giving them criminal records for choosing a far safer recreational drug than Alcohol, Tobacco or Sugar is scandalous!

In Britain, we have the highest rate of drug use in Europe despite having only the 5th largest population in the area.

via GIPHY

As a country, we obviously enjoy consuming cannabis, so isn’t it time we legalised it?

So, in summary, legalising Cannabis in the UK would free up police resources, provide extra funding and help to rebuild community relations. It would also take money out of the hands of the new generation of organised criminals who are already exploiting the current system of prohibition to make massive profits without regulations.

Cannabis legalisation and regulation the best way forward for the UK.

By Simpa Carter.

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