A number of UK cannabis activists claim to be making massive strides in the fight against prohibition.
Specifically, two campaigns – one by Seed Our Future and the other by Outlaw, an anonymous activist – both reckon they have the government up against the wall with legitimate legal reasons why cannabis should be immediately decriminalised.
While it may sound like a pipe dream that has been heard many times before, there is reason to believe that they are onto something; using the legal argument that there is no evidence for the controlled scheduling of cannabis, at least one person has recently had possession charges dropped.
All this comes at a time when a couple of new initiatives have recently been launched to offer cannabis consumers protection from arrest and prosecution. These include Cancard and MediCannID – both of which aim to support medical users and those with legal cannabis prescriptions – as well as Medicancard, which has been created by Outlaw.
Additionally, there seems to be growing support for the decriminalisation from the police, with at least five forces throughout the country taking steps to deprioritise low-level cannabis crimes.
First of all, who is Outlaw? Well, he’s a masked activist who gives out free weed, money to the homeless, and got Manchester city centre closed down for 24 hours. He also wrote a book explaining how to deal with the police and claiming compensation from them.
His most recent campaign, however, is pushing the government for the decriminalisation of cannabis – which he believes will happen before the end of 2021. He seems to be going about this in a number of ways.
Firstly, Outlaw and his solicitors are finalising a” legal argument for the immediate decriminalisation of cannabis” that will make it “basically impossible to prosecute or charge any cannabis user.” Not many details about this legal argument have been made public yet but it may be similar to the argument laid out by Seed Our Future, which we will discuss later in this article.
Posting on Instagram, Outlaw states: “[On the] 2nd December the CPS will receive our final cannabis prosecution evaluation and evidence report, then I’m sending a legal liability notice to every UK police Chief.
“2021 I’ll be standing outside parliament in London announcing my decriminalisation of cannabis (if I haven’t already made them do it before that).”
His other endeavour is a Netflix documentary that he is currently working on with a team of producers. According to Outlaw, it will be all about “Outlaw, Cannabis, Corruption and Exposing them” and will feature “hidden camera evidence, police attempting buyin buds from ‘me’, multiple misconduct tip offs at high levels within the court system and recorded evidence. [Sic]
Seed Our Future’s campaign
The campaign by Seed Our Future is based on a legal argument that questions the evidence behind the controlled scheduling of cannabis.
Basically, they state that there is no evidence that cannabis should be considered a controlled drug and, therefore, any police officer who enforces these illegitimate laws is in breach of their attestation and the PACE (Police and Criminal Evidence Act) code, and could face civil claims for unlawful arrest and false imprisonment.
They substantiate their claim of lack of evidence for the scheduling of cannabis with a thorough report entitled ‘Cannabis and the Law – No Evidence, No Crime?’ The report details how the history of cannabis prohibition is based on ideology and racism rather than scientific evidence.
Freedom Of Information requests were also made by the Seed Our Future team to the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Home Office and the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. The organisations that responded failed to provide any evidence, and instead passed the buck to other bodies.
On 5th November, Seed our Future sent the report to every member of parliament, the Home Secretary, the Secretary of State, the Secretariat for the ACMD, the Attorney General and the Prime Minister, instructing them that “inaction on these findings would result in the implementation of legal action for misconduct in public office (an indictable offence which carries a maximum life sentence) amongst other possible criminal offences.”
On the Seed Our Future website, they state how, by sending this report, they hope it “creates a ‘truth explosion’ sufficient to collapse these unsubstantiated cannabis laws once and for all!”
While it might sound ambitious, there is some evidence to suggest that Seed Our Future has a legitimate argument. The letter below was recently sent to a person who was facing cannabis possession charges.
As you can read, it states that there is “no realistic prospect of a conviction” as the Crown Prosecution Service “couldn’t prove that the drugs were controlled.” As a result, the man was acquitted of all charges.
Medical cannabis cards
Cannabis was legalised in the UK for medicinal use two years ago. Despite this, prescriptions from the NHS have been hard to come by. Private prescriptions, meanwhile, are more readily available. The price of fulfilling these medical cannabis prescriptions has dropped to near street prices, although variety and quality are still lacking generally.
More recently, in September 2020, two new cannabis cards were announced that were designed to help medical consumers avoid arrest by the police. While they offer no legal protection, the cards urge police officers to use their discretion when dealing with cannabis patients who produce them.
Cancard – which was designed by medical cannabis patient Carly Barton in collaboration with senior police, MPs, doctors, researchers and a supporting legal team – is available to patients wh fit a number of criteria including having a diagnosis (confirmed by their GP) that is currently being prescribed for privately and being unable to afford a private prescription.
MedCannID has pretty much the same intentions but is for patients who have already been prescribed medical cannabis.
Medicancard, meanwhile, is designed to provide vital information and one-to-one legal advice for every UK cannabis user/grower to avoid prosecution and charges. It has been designed by Outlaw and basically advises the police and Crown Prosecution Service that your intent was to supply yourself with medical cannabis.
It’s 2020, medical cannabis is legal and the rationale behind any sort of cannabis prohibition is coming under much scrutiny.
We have a couple of promising campaigns that look to be shaking things up from a legal perspective, while masked activist Outlaw has what could be a damning new documentary in the works that could really ruffle some feathers.
This is on top of a number of a number of new cards to protect medical cannabis patients and growing police support for decriminalisation that has already seen a number of forces around the country deprioritise low-level cannabis crimes.
So, could 2021 be the year where cannabis consumers are no longer treated as criminals? It’s certainly possible…