To: The Home Office, The Cabinet Office, Rishi Sunak, Suella Braverman, The Department for Health and Social Care, The Parliamentary and Healthcare Ombudsman, The Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), and all MP's
Demand an Investigation into the Home Office's Cannabis Policy and Decision-Making
We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned about the Home Office's approach to cannabis policy in the United Kingdom.
We believe that the current stance on cannabis, including their refusal to engage in open public discussions on the matter and its selective adherence to expert advice, warrants a thorough investigation.
Since 2018 there has been an over 50% approval rating for a conversation about cannabis, and countless petitions have been created for that purpose, only to get rejected by the Home Office.
Then there is the reason why this petition exists: today an article in The Guardian showed that the Home Office has tried to hide recommendations from its own panel of experts (ACMD) that cannabis should be decriminalised.
That report is from 2016, the same year where the Home Office accepted advice from an ACMD sub-committee that raised the number of controlled cannabinoids from 7 to 12. That sub-committee was chaired by a representative of GW Pharmaceuticals called Prof Ben Whalley, who was appointed to that position by Theresa May in 2014, and did not declare his interests in his 2016 report.
It seems that the Home Office accept advice from GW through the ACMD, but won't accept advice from the ACMD that may jeopardise GW's dominance and control over cannabis.
It also seems that the Home Office has little regard for the public opinion, which then raises the question of who they are managing prohibition for.
Why is this important?
Lack of Public Discourse: The Home Office's refusal to engage in open, transparent, and inclusive conversations about cannabis policy denies the British public the opportunity to voice their opinions, concerns, and ideas on a matter that affects millions of citizens.
Selective Adherence to Expert Advice: The revelation that the Home Office disregarded the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs' recommendation for drug decriminalization while acting on other advice raises questions about the consistency and transparency of decision-making.
Impact on Communities: Current cannabis policies have real-life consequences, including criminalization, disproportionate law enforcement, and potential harm to individuals and communities. These policies should be reviewed impartially to ensure they are effective and just.
We are concerned about the perception that certain decisions regarding cannabis policy may have been influenced by interests outside the realm of public welfare. It is important that any investigation into Home Office cannabis policy includes a careful examination of the factors, including potential industry interests, that have influenced decision-making. This should be done to ensure that policies are developed and implemented in the best interests of the public.
We call upon the UK government to launch a formal investigation into the Home Office's handling of cannabis policy. This investigation should include, but not be limited to:
1 - An examination of the decision-making process regarding cannabis policy, including the factors considered and the extent to which expert advice is followed.
2 - A review of the impact of current cannabis policies on individuals, communities, and public health.
3 - An assessment of the Home Office's commitment to transparent and inclusive public conversations on drug policy matters.
We believe that a comprehensive investigation is essential to ensure that drug policies in the UK are grounded in evidence, promote public well-being, and reflect the values of an informed and engaged society.
By signing this petition, you join us in urging the UK government to conduct a thorough investigation into the Home Office's handling of cannabis policy. We believe that transparency, fairness, and evidence-based decision-making are essential in shaping policies that impact the lives of millions.
This petition aims to gather public support and bring attention to the need for a fair and impartial assessment of cannabis policy in the UK, highlighting the importance of open dialogue and adherence to expert advice, while remaining open to a wide range of concerns.