Legalise Cannabis Alliance (LCA) Campaigner invited to advise Basque
During the last few years the demand for Legalise Cannabis Alliance’s
advice and expertise, regarding regulatory and legislative frameworks
surrounding the decriminalisation and legalisation of cannabis, has
increased with the realisation that harm reduction and human rights are
directly related to each other.
As part of a selected team from 6 European Countries and organised by
ENCOD, Alun Buffry from Norwich, a founder and delegate representative
of the LCA will attend a Basque Government consultation on their
forward-looking drugs policy model. The Consultation will take place
near Vitoria-Gasteiz, November 21-23.
Carmen Vicioso, Director of Drug Dependencies, Department of Housing and Social Affairs of the Autonomous Government of the Basque Country said:
“According to the Department of Housing and Social Affairs of the
Basque Government, we defend the participation of citizens as a basic
pillar of the construction of society, and we think participation should
be understood as a process that starts with the definition, continues
with the planning and the follow up of policies, as well as an
environment for reflection and collective decisions”.
In the Basque region they operate “Cannabis Social Clubs”, where a
collective of users are allowed to grow their own plants in a communal,
safe and secure effort.
The meeting and discussion will revolve around the H2R debate currently
hosted throughout Europe, human rights and harm reduction are accepted
as the only valid parameters in their relation to the Human Rights Act.
Europe’s Governments, as EU guidelines require, should involve user
groups more into decreasing harm and acceptance of human rights.
This is not the first time the LCA has given its advice to other bodies
and regional Governments. Previously the LCA were called to give
evidence to the Home Affairs Committee inquiry into UK Drugs Policy and
were also asked by the Conservative Party (Oliver Letwin) for advice on
cannabis and young people. The LCA also submitted a “Challenge” to the
Home Office to explain why they deem it necessary to punish cannabis
users who have done no harm: a Challenge that has in four years, never
In 2006, it was the LCA that warned drug users of the dangers of
grit/glass weed, long before the Home office came on board eventually,
warranting our concerns.
Alun Buffry, a founder member (1999) and long standing campaigner for
the LCA, said,: “I am pleased to be able to assist the Basque regional
Government with their cannabis policies. We hope that the Cannabis
Social Club (CSC) model is well received by users and society at
large. We must not carry on abusing the human rights of users or
certain drugs whilst allowing more dangerous drugs like alcohol and
tobacco to be used so widely. That hypocrisy must end and we have to
advance an alternative to prohibition that has clearly been shown as
more harmful than helpful,”
“Cannabis is too important to society to keep it illegal. It has
valuable properties and commercial applications and could be used to
help tackle many of our 21st century demands – from global warming to
better insulation. From healthier more effective drugs to nutritious
foods, for the production of many products from paints to fabrics, from
fuel to plastics – the scope for its applications is vast and ought not
to be ignored any longer.”
End of press release
LCA advice history and time line
1997: Howard Marks stands at an election: this was followed by the
Independent on Sunday Campaign to Decriminalise Cannabis and led to
their march and conference in London.
1999: Legalise Cannabis Alliance was registered as apolitical party by
Alun Buffry and Jack Girling and saw their first candidates standing in
local elections in Norwich.
At the 2001 general election, the LCA had 13 candidates and for the
first time advised the Home Affairs Committee and the Advisory
Committee on the Misuse of Drug (ACMD) on the downgrading of cannabis,
The same year the LCA received a welcome and much support at an invite
to the Oxford Union debate on legalisation, alongside MP’s Peter Lilley
(Conservative). Jon Owen Jones, (Labour) and Professor Iverson from the
University of Oxford..
In 2004, amongst LCA local election candidates, Michael Skipper in Great
Yarmouth received a vote from 18 of the electorate in an all-up local
In 2005 the LCA stood 20 candidates in the General Election and saw its
first Parliamentary Election Broadcast on TV and Radio in Wales
2006 The LCA submitted evidence to the ACMD – not upgrade cannabis and
thresholds again. After David Blunkett had downgraded cannabis to
class ‘C’ and then the new Home Secretary Charles Clarke invited the LCA
for a meeting to talk about legalisation, as our recommendations to
downgrade have been realised.
December 2006, LCA widened its scope for campaigning by becoming a NGO,
submitting to the ACMD our reasons for not upgrading again.
2007 saw the LCA join ENCOD ( European Coalition for Just and Effective
In 2008, the ACMD advice is ignored by the Government and Home Secretary
Jacquie Smith MP, going against all scientific advise, despite the
Government asking for their just and deliberate advise, announcing their
intention to upgrade cannabis again to Class B. This move is
condemned nationally and globally the advice is ignored and Ms. Smith
decides to upgrade again by Jan. 2009.
2008 The LCA has been s invited to advice and help the Basque regional
Government with their harm reduction policies and related issues of
Contact: Press Dept: Don Barnard: 07882414638
Legalise Cannabis Alliance
PO Box 2883