Silenced by the Government
Have you ever broken the law? Asks Dan Collins. I bet you have
Obviously there are levels of crime; worlds separate a rampant, unapologetic serial murderer and the driver who accelerates above 20mph. All vice is vice, but not all vice is equal.
Similarly, we can categorise the crime based intention of the perpetrator, in the contrast between the man imprisoned for stealing something to feed his family and the young rogue shoplifting a four-pack of lager to share among under age mates.
I could wax lyrical about the injustice committed against humanity by the prohibition of this particular herb. Where most laws are written to protect people, the drug laws upheld by the UK Home Office cause more harm than they prevent, especially with regards to the largely benevolent cannabis plant.
I don’t merely argue for the legalisation of cannabis but also want to reverse decades of prejudice, deceit and willful ignorance as displayed by consecutive governments attempting to suppress nature. Today I’ll focus on a strange state of affairs, the regarding the sale of CBD products.
In case you don’t know, CBD is one of the compounds that make cannabis work. It won’t get you high, but it’s legal and there is a long list of reasons why you should take it. There are rules regarding what CBD products can be sold and there are even more rules about what cannot be said to sell them. CBD businesses have to be very careful not to make ‘medical claims’. It makes sense; I am not a doctor, and these are not medicines. So if an elderly woman asks if CBD oil will help her arthritis am I supposed to say I don’t know? If a young man says his CBD vape helps with anxiety do I smile, nod politely and bite my tongue? The rules are clear - No. Medical. Claims.
Is it ethical to avoid these topics? How does silence serve us? I have worked with thousands of customers in my Great Junction Street shop and without exception they have approached this food supplement with a view to using it as medicine.
“Do you have CBD for pain relief?”
“Can I use CBD to manage stress?”
“I can’t sleep, will CBD help?”
By law I can’t answer yes or no but I can direct you to your endocannabinoid system; it is the part of your body that uses the chemicals found in cannabis and its job is to keep your health in balance. I have mentioned it at least once in every one of my Leither columns. If you want to understand how cannabis, CBD and THC work, you need to get your head around the fact that they are tools used by neurological hardware you have had since before you were born.
Normally a spiel about this physiological system tells people what they need to know about CBD, but not everybody is great at reading between the lines. All I can do is ensure that everyone leaves more informed than when they entered.
My tied tongue is proof that our society’s approach to cannabis is unfit for purpose. If you come into my shop, it is technically illegal for me to tell you how these products might benefit your health. I can offer you serving suggestions, but can’t make reference to any of the thousands of individuals that I have served, let alone share any of their success stories. It is neither my lack of expertise nor the lack of evidence that restricts my language.
Put simply. I’m not allowed to tell you what I know about cannabis because it’s true.
I’m not entirely against the rules, there’s room for compromise but I insist that we hurry. There are a lot of sick, sad and sore people out there who don’t have time to sit around and wait for the tide to turn. Life is short but cannabis grows quickly.
So in my closing paragraphs I’m going to be very naughty. Prepare yourself dear reader because I am about to commit the cardinal sin of my profession by breaking the law, quite boldly. I’ll leave it to you to decide where the fault lies: The law, or me?
All cannabis is medicine; whether you understand it or not, all over the world CBD and THC are prescribed by clinicians who agree that it provides them with effective symptom relief and better quality of life.
Each variety of the plant has hundreds of moving parts, which predicate individual outcomes for individuals based on a combination of genetics and luck. The UK is lagging behind in medical cannabis provision because of government corruption and corporate obfuscation. There are billions of pounds of legal weed money in our economy already, yet our children, elders and vulnerable still suffer for the lack of a plant.
I am no salesman. I’m not here to fill your head with promises of eternal youth and vitality, but to offer meaningful choices and clarity in a busy marketplace. My business is a social enterprise; it exists to give you the support you need to get the most from your purchase, used correctly cannabis can save lives.
I see it everyday, but I’d never tell.