Norman Baker MP has taken the unprecedented step of calling for a rethink of the medicinal utilisation of cannabis. Never before has the UK spoken in such unbridled terms. The government, however, wasted no time in reaching for the stock reply: "We have no plans, *insert generic harm statement* we're winning the war on drugs...blah..." -
When we address what drug law reforms mean in real terms, we can use this as a case in point. Seattle are in process of a rational, humane, affable conversation of responsibility, compared with that of V-Festival who are flailing in the wind and are arguably operating outside the laws that we do actually have.
Oh good, the obligatory news has broken that 'Super Strength Skunk' has invaded the isles and is wreaking havoc on UK shores. For those that work in drug policy, this story is similar to May Day: it comes round annually and leads to all kinds of pageantry - complete with bell ringing and the clashing of batons in a calamitous Morris-style jig.
David Nutt, Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London and Chair of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, has eloquently criticised the 'scientific censorship' imposed by the UN single conventions that restricts and chokes the study of controlled substances such as cannabis, MDMA and psilocybin in medicine.
On the US election night, there were a host of unprecedented referendums that included three states proposing full-blown reform and regulation of their marijuana laws, in essence, and to use the shorthand, marijuana would be legalised. Those who follow drug policy held their collective breath (if they were awake to see it) as the results poured in from Washington, Oregon and Colorado.
The film industry has had a torrid time over the last few years: Illegal downloads, the advent of home cinema, YouTube; they've all contributed to the waning affluence of the silver screen. Add to this mix the fact that documentaries are known financial quagmires, and you have depressive mix for any aspiring film maker.
There's an inherent danger in any sector of education: if the teachings fail to measure up to the truth, then we'll be paving the way for a deep distrust and a greater apathy. With this in mind, it is of tremendous enthusiasm that we welcome Professor Nutt's book: Drugs - Without the Hot Air: Minimising the Harms of Legal and Illegal Drugs.
Did you see the debate? A debate with a host of celebrities: Russell Brand, Sir Richard Branson; world leaders, and eminent opinion formers. Oh, and Peter Hitchens was in attendance. A debate of such magnitude would surely not creep under the radar? Especially given the gravitas of the contested subject?