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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

OPEN LETTER TO ALL BERKS MPs - Including "Story"

With permission I have shamelessly plagiarised major portions of this communication from friend and fellow campaigner, Deej Sullivan, who simply just writes great stuff - See more of him here: The Domestic Extremist 
BIG THANKS Deej!
For my part, feel free to plagiarise any or all of it, though do switch it around, personalise etc...and thank Deej too. But do a version and send to your local MPs and your local press.
I think this is a really great idea and worth a pop?
Search Wiki for "List of Parliamentary constituencies in xxxxxxx"
Use Parliament Site to look up their email addresses.
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Dear local media,
I have written an open letter to all MPs in the Berkshire area. Please may I request that you print my letter in the appropriate page(s) within your publications?
To help you do so, I have included a little “story” for your use at the top, with the body of my Open Letter below, though you are welcome to juggle it around as you wish.
I have also attached a photo of me and United Patients Alliance, again, for your use as you see fit.
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A BERKSHIRE campaigner has written to all of the counties MPs to ask for their help in legalising cannabis.
Jonathan Liebling is Political Director of United Patients Alliance, who support over 8000 medical cannabis patients across the UK and campaign for legal access to cannabis therapeutics.
The campaigner, who has lived in Berkshire for over 10 years, demands that at the very least, the government immediately move cannabis from Schedule 1 of the misuse of drugs act 1971, which classifies it as having a high potential for abuse and no recognised therapeutic benefits, to Schedule 2, alongside other drugs like heroin, which would allow willing doctors to recommend it as a treatment option.
He has written to our local MPs ahead of a commons debate on Monday, which was triggered by an online petition signed by almost 221,000 people.
Mr Liebling said: ""What compassionate society would allow the criminalisation of patients for consuming something with their doctors blessing that helps them manage and treat their illnesses and improves their lives?"
"The government’s initial response was wholly predictable, and dismissive to people like myself who believe that this is something which needs to happen without delay and filled with the usual baseless assumptions and misinformation which can be dismissed as soon as you make a challenge”
“I genuinely believe that were you all to be in possession of the facts, rather than decades of fear-mongering and propaganda, you would come to the same conclusions as me and millions of others”
"The purpose of this letter is to urge you to attend the debate on the 12th.
"Regardless of where you currently stand on the issue, the 221,000 people who signed that petition deserve a proper debate.
"They deserve to have their views represented in Westminster by the people they chose to represent them.
"In last year’s debate some important issues and points were raised, but there were simply far too few people there to hear them and engage with them. Please don’t let this be the case again.
"The government of today may not have any interest in legalisation, but any one of you could represent the government of tomorrow, and you deserve to know the facts."
You can read Mr Liebling’s open letter in full below and you can find out more about United Patients Alliance here:

Twitter:      @upallianceuk
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JON LIEBLING’S LETTER IN FULL
Dear elected representatives of the county of Berkshire,
I am writing to you today as a constituent of Wokingham, and former constituent of Slough and Maidenhead. This probably means that all but one of you will not bother to read any further, as according to parliamentary rules you don’t have to. But I hope that you will cast that particular rule aside for a moment, as this concerns you all.
The reason for me writing to you today is that, as you are probably aware, there is to be a debate in the Commons on October 12th concerning the legalisation of cannabis. The debate was triggered by an e-petition which as of this moment has gathered just under 221,000 signatures, and follows a similar debate last year, also triggered by a petition, which called for an impact assessment of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. These two petitions are indicative of an ever growing number of people who are seeing the ‘war on drugs’ for what it is – a colossal waste of time, money, and lives which should be immediately abandoned and replaced with a humane system of regulation, rather than prohibition.
I have written extensively on this issue before, including in a previous letters to John Redwood MP, who I’m sure will be particularly thrilled to hear that I have no intention of boring you all with thousands more words. I will do my utmost to keep this brief.
The Conservative government have already released a response to the petition in which they state that they have no intention whatsoever of decriminalising or legalising the use of cannabis, due to it being, in their words, ‘a harmful drug which can damage human health’.
This response was wholly predictable, and dismissive to people like myself who believe that this is something which needs to happen without delay. The cynic in me gets the impression that the strength of the wording was also a ploy by the government to ensure that as few of you (by which I mean MPs) turn up to the debate as possible. After all, what’s the point in debating a motion that has already been rejected out of hand?
The purpose of this letter is not to try and convince you all of the benefits of legalising cannabis. They are many and varied, and I genuinely believe that were you all to be in possession of the facts, rather than decades of fear-mongering and propaganda, you would come to the same conclusions as myself and millions of others, not just in the UK but around the world.
No, the purpose of this letter is to urge you to attend the debate on the 12th. Regardless of where you currently stand on the issue, the 221,000 people who signed that petition deserve a proper debate. They deserve to have their views represented in Westminster by the people they chose to represent them.
In last year’s debate some important issues and points were raised, but there were simply far too few people there to hear them and engage with them. Please don’t let this be the case again. The government of today may not have any interest in legalisation, but any one of you could represent the government of tomorrow, and you deserve to know the facts.
There are a number of ways that the government can approach this, and whilst this debate is about the full legalisation of cannabis, I would like to focus on the fact that legal access to cannabis therapeutics can be achieved by moving cannabis from Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, which classifies it as having a high potential for abuse and no recognised therapeutic benefits, to Schedule 2, alongside other drugs like heroin, which would allow willing doctors to recommend it as a treatment option.
I am a medical cannabis patient suffering from anxiety and depression which I have been successfully managing for most of my life through my choice to consume cannabis. The criminal record that I have relating to this has done nothing but hurt me and many thousands of other patients in a similar position. The United Patients Alliance are a support and campaigning community of over 8000 medical cannabis patients who suffer from a range of conditions including; Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, Crohn’s, Anxiety, Depression, AIDS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, ME, PTSD, Epilepsy, Chronic and Neuropathic Pain all of whom have found that various types and strengths of cannabis consumed in a variety of ways has proven to be a more effective medicine than their legal and prescribed alternatives in improving their lives, reducing side effects and treating their symptoms. These patients are forced to either live in unnecessary discomfort and pain or risk dealing with criminals for their medicine and a criminal record for growing it or consuming it.

I will leave you all with this question: What compassionate society would allow the criminalisation of patients for consuming something with their doctors blessing that helps them manage and treat their illnesses and improves their lives?
Even if you can’t see your way to full legalisation at this time, please can you at least free those who are suffering from chronic and disabling conditions from the threat of criminalisation.
Yours hopefully,
Jon Liebling | Political Director
United Patients Alliance

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