Pubdate: Sat, 21 Jan 2012
Source: Times, The (Malta)
Copyright: 2012 Allied Newspapers Limited
Author: Paul Smith


Malta is a signatory to the Schengen agreement, which it signed on 
joining the EU. For anyone who is not familiar with this agreement, 
it allows for the free movement of EU nationals.

It also allows for EU nationals to transport their medicines across 
borders. Schengen allows medical users of either Sativex (which is 
cannabis oil in a spray bottle) or Bedrocan to travel to another 
country that signed the Schengen agreement for up to 90 days. Any 
person harassed or detained would be looking forward to hefty 
compensation from that country.

So why are people like Daniel Holmes doing lengthy prison sentences 
for cultivation when any other EU national can enter Malta with a 
prescribed legal cannabis medicine? Or does Malta enjoy an exemption 
from this part of the agreement?

Why should someone who cultivated such small amounts of cannabis, 
which, obviously, were not for sale  as the quantity was so small and 
the effort involved so large  end up with such a long, draconian sentence?

There really needs to be a lengthy, educated discussion on this issue 
with all the science put on the table; not pseudo science from aging 
police medical doctors, which is mostly taken from studies that are 
heavily biased and paid for by prohibitionist groups and alcohol 
industry insiders.

If cannabis caused half the harm some paid-up prohibitionists say it 
does, then why was Sativex given a licence and why is Bedrocan legal?

Why have cases of schizophrenia dropped dramatically or remained 
static in so many European countries while cannabis use has increased 
threefold over the last three decades?

Governments can't just cherry-pick data that supports their own 
outdated prejudice. Any government that does not reclassify alcohol 
and tobacco to Class A has failed in its duty to protect its own citizens.

There are about 75 million cannabis users in Europe and we deserve 
the same rights as those who enjoy wine, spirits, beer and tobacco.

Those who use cannabis hold down jobs, pay tax and vote!

Paul Smith, Shropshire, UK
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom