cannabis law reform

As many of you know, I had a court hearing to deal with an application filed by Peter Reynolds on the 11th April. The issue was whether Peter Reynolds had contacted the court on August 2013 when the case was originally struck out to get it reinstated. I turned up and within about five minutes Master Eastman said that he’d looked through the files and was satisfied that the original order had been made in error, so he was reinstating the case. Apparently it was the court admin’s fault. Annoying, but what can you do, really. And that was that. Nothing further has been ordered in terms of actually moving the lawsuit on because they’re going to await the outcome of Peter Reynolds appeal against Chris Bovey before determining directions.

Peter Reynolds naturally responded to this by publishing a blogpost making his usual fabulous interpretation of events. I meant to write up a reply to explain what actually happened, but, ah, I went to a party instead. And then I had a seminary training weekend. And then it was Passover, then 420 and now I have an essay due, so it didn’t happen because, really a blogpost that says “Court case is back on. Peter Reynolds made up some stuff. Nothing else new to report.” is the least important thing I’ve needed to do for the last two weeks. But he’s written another blogpost, so I guess I should get round to writing this one.

Funnily enough, though Peter Reynolds’ various emails, blogposts, and original application stated that I was a perjurer, Peter Reynolds singularly failed to mention this in his argument to the Court and the judge didn’t mention it.  And yet he’s gone back to claiming that I habitually make false statements to the court. Weird how he says that in public but not to the actual judge who could actually do something about it – if it were true.

Peter Reynolds also likes to make out that he’s somehow doing me a favour by repeatedly calling me mentally ill and trying to patronise me over the fact that I have a disability. I’d point out that this isn’t actually cool but I’ve already done that and he’s apparently has all of this compassion and concern and sympathy for my “mental health conditions” that doesn’t extend to not making out that I’m crazy and mentally unstable wherever possible. Stuff like this:

Sympathetic, isn't it?

Generous and conciliatory, isn’t it?

Just to briefly deal with this issue of the police and harrassment and service and things, as he complained about it at the hearing as well: I told Peter Reynolds to contact me by  a particular address. He’s been sending letters everywhere but there. It was stressing me out, so I told the police. They told him to knock it off. He’s been whinging about it ever since.

Anyway, the “five minute discussion” which followed the hearing was the most interesting bit. Master Eastman finished what he was saying with “and I notice you two have never actually gone to mediation – why don’t you just go out into the hallway right now and try to sort it out?” And  he said yes, and I said yes, so we both went outside and had a fascinating discussion in which it became obvious in about 90 seconds that the underlying issues that he sank all this time and money into suing me for aren’t really issues. So now I haven’t any real idea why he’s suing me. I realise that sounds bizarre and I don’t think it appropriate to go into any more detail than that right now, but  it has left me wondering why he couldn’t have had that 90 second conversation with me when I suggested mediation last year instead of having a temper tantrum and breaking off all communication. Which, you know, I was fine with, but it has dragged out this case for more than a year for seemingly no reason.

That conversation, incidentally, lasted five minutes because Peter Reynolds stomped off after that time. His version of events claimed I “shrieked” that he was a bigot after his retreating back, but that’s not quite what happened, was it Peter? I’ve never ‘shrieked’ at anyone on my life. I actually called you a bigot to your face, didn’t I, Peter? I was sitting chilling out on a bench talking to your son and when you said something along the lines that I knew my articles were lies, and I said “Well, I do think you’re a bigot”, didn’t I? And you went red, shouted “That’s just an insult!” and walked off. But who would let the truth get in the way of a good story. I bet his mates down the pub hear all kinds of tall tales about the women Peter’s made ‘shriek’.

By the way, Peter Reynolds also demanded I pay £4,000 in costs for the hearing, but when he brought this up Master Eastman politely told him to get lost. I point this out because Peter Reynolds appears to have forgotten it in his write-up, just in case you want to remind him.

Anyway, Peter’s son, Richard Reynolds, has now picked up the communication ball and appears to be a sane and rational human being, so I have been sent settlement terms that I’m going to respond to in due course. Now if you will excuse me, my essay beckons.

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So, CLEAR made a massive claim last month, that they had succeeded in opening a loophole by which UK residents could legally import Bedrocan, a branded form of herbal cannabis available in parts of Continental Europe. They put out a big headline:

"Legal Medicinal Cannabis In Britain Achieved" - CLEAR headline

Never one for understatement.

Peter Reynolds campaigning in the Corby by-electionTheir basis for this was a medical cannabis patient, codenamed Clarence, who had gone to the Netherlands, filled a prescription for Bedrocan, and then flown back and declared his haul at Customs. A Customs officer looked at his paperwork and decided to let him through. Bang! Legal medical cannabis now exists. (We’ll forget that Clarence’s home was subsequently raided by the police for now. Or that to access the only form of legal medical cannabis described in the article, you had to go abroad every three months.) Out went the press release:

CLEAR Press release - "Legally Imported Medicinal Cannabis"

Don’t know how many more times you could have shoehorned “legally” in there…

And then the most significant breakthrough in the cannabis campaign since the Dangerous Drugs Act 1925 just…didn’t break through. No-one picked up the press release, no drug policy organisation in the country or the world did anything. Wikipedia didn’t update its article on medical cannabis.

Perhaps it was because the entire thing is nonsense. [click to continue…]

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