This week on ISMOKE we’ll be continuing on from a theme we began laying out last week in this article, about how Prohibition is affecting the health and life opportunities of not just cannabis consumers but also their families and the wider community.
Each passing year has seen the UK deepening Austerity’s vicious cuts to vital services and as a direct result the worsening of the nation’s mental health.
We’re already seeing the disastrous results that this draconian policy of austerity is having on the youth as the number of young people arriving in A&E with psychiatric problems has doubled since 2009.
It is equal parts tragic and ironic that a by product of Austerity is poverty which is costing the UK government £78 billion a year in pressure on hospitals, social services and lost tax revenue
Austerity is making the poor poorer in the UK which now has 30% of children living in poverty with half of all single parent households now being poor, and with an estimated 1.9 million more children projected to be in poverty at Christmas 2030 than Christmas 2015 it seems this crisis will only get worse.
Meanwhile, the thousand riches families have doubled their wealth during this finical crisis. But don’t worry, we’re all in this together!
“The lower the income a family has, the weaker the brain connections a child has, the researchers found. This means that a child’s degree of poverty is directly connected with the way their brain functions”
Poverty physically damages the brain lowering IQ by weakening the connections between the Hippocampus and Amygdala, areas of the brain associated with learning, memory, stress regulation and emotions, causes premature ageing, depression and other mental health issues, it also effects employment opportunities and contributes to an early death.
This is especially damaging in children whose young brains are still developing.
Cannabinoids promote embryonic and adult Hippocampus neurogenesis and produce anxiolytic and antidepressant like effects helping to combat the damage done by austerity derived poverty.
“Poverty wastes peoples’ potential, depriving our society of the skills and talents of those who have valuable contributions to make. This drags down the productivity of our economy, hinders economic growth, and reduces tax revenue.” – Julia Unwin, Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation
How can we survive this rising tide of poverty before we all drown in this sea of forced austerity?
Well, a legal Cannabis marketplace would generate billions and negate the need for the most vulnerable in our society to continue to suffer the consequences of a fiscal collapse caused by banksters and their cronies.
Colorado’s current population is 5.7 million and it has raised $500milion in cannabis sales since 2014. The UK has a population of 65.5 million, over ten times larger.
Colorado has less than a million consumers. The UK has an estimated four million consumers which is about 6% of its population – and they’re just the ones who are open enough to admit to their consumption.
It’s therefore certain that the UK could easily generate billions of pounds a year in recreational sales alone (we Brits do enjoy a good smoke). In addition to this consumers could come out about their consumption without fear of recrimination from their employer, stigmatisation from family and peers or fears of persecution and incarceration by their government .
Then there are the thousands of industrial and commercial applications of cannabis, which with Graphene at the heart of a technological revolution, would revitalise and reinvigorate this country’s failing economy. This could help by putting millions back to work rebuilding infrastructure with technology like Hempcrete, Hemp oil based plastics like Hemplyne and a return to Hemp paper and textiles, with which we could also drastically reduce deforestation and global warming.
Prohibition perpetuates racism as well; you’re six times more likely to be stopped and searched in the UK if you’re Black and this is utterly unacceptable in the 21st century.
Prohibition also reaffirms classism which has long since been one of the main ways which our rulers have sought to divide us. Just look at the social cleansing program that a group of Liverpool’s housing landlords are attempting to enact, they together with police, fire, council and housing chiefs have launched a joint campaign called “Use it? Lose it!” and will distribute posters and leaflets across the region to highlight the crackdown.
This is a classic classist attack on social housing as by going after the most popular illegal drug in cannabis they can evict tenants easily, allowing landlords to sell off their homes for multi million pound gentrifying property development projects.
Targeting tenants who are in their own homes is a new low. Let’s be honest – they are harming no one, quietly consuming cannabis, which is a far safer drug than tobacco which kills 6 million people annually – yet tenants can consume this on their property.
This attack on their drug of choice incentives them to use other illegal drugs, ones that don’t have the oh so sweet but oh so telling smell which will not warrant them a visit from their local constabulary to be made homeless and by extension probably unemployed too.
Let’s be clear – it’s an attack on the poor, as it’s only poor cannabis consumers who’re being targeted and victimised here. No individuals who can afford to own their own homes are being targeted and would not be threatened with homelessness in this way. It is one of the more insidious incarnations of state violence inflicted on the most vulnerable in our society.
Prohibition causes the state and its enforcers to become the enemy of the cannabis consumers and their wider community by being a threat to their liberty and freedom leading to successive generations seeing the police not as their protector but as their persecutor simply for consuming the wrong drug.
Cannabis has NEVER killed anyone, unlike prohibition which by criminalising Cannabinoids has detrimentally and negatively affected the health and shortened the life expectancy of countless people.
This cannot be allowed to continue with cancer now being more common than getting married here in the UK something needs to be done to combat this epidemic, and legalising cannabis could go a long way towards doing that.
In summary, it’s a simple choice between cuts or Cannabis!
By Simpa Carter