Across the UK there are many cannabis activist groups and individuals who campaign for broadly the same goal: to make access to cannabis easier for those who want or need it. We caught up with some of the people fighting to change cannabis laws in the UK.
Founded by Phil Monk in 2018, We The Undersigned was born out of the founder’s decision to contact every solicitor in the UK in an attempt to gain legal support to battle the government in his fight to gain access to cannabis for health purposes. Phil is a father of three from Shropshire, he has complicated medical conditions for which he uses cannabis.
Phil told us “We The Undersigned Have a Human Sovereign Right to Cannabis are a grassroots CannaCommunity Campaign group seeking to challenge unfounded, unjust and disproportionate cannabis prohibition laws which infringe our fundamental human rights to the freedom of consciousness, association, private beliefs and practices with the much-maligned cannabis plant.
“WTU believes that the acts of possessing, consuming, preparing or cultivating all varieties of cannabis at home for personal use causes no significant harm to individuals or others.
People who carry out such activities, causing no harm to others, in the privacy of their own homes, should not live in fear of suffering the harms of criminalisation, as a result of UK drug policy.
“WTU, therefore, declare UK drug policy, in relation to the use, possession, cultivation, preparation and sharing of cannabis for private, adult purposes, to be incompatible with the rights to freedom of consciousness, private life, beliefs and practices, as defined in the Human Rights Act.”
WTU currently has over 6,100 members on its Facebook page. You can access their website here: https://www.wtuhq.org/
Seed our Future
Seed our Future (SOF) was started by Guy Coxall in August 2019. Their stated aim is to end cannabis prohibition, their website says:
“Seed our Future Campaign is a national movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to bring about mass awareness to the unsubstantiated and unfounded laws and regulations surrounding the Cannabis plant and how this affects us all.”
SOF’s campaign is focused on the claim that there is no foundation evidence available to show that cannabis should be an illegal substance. The law states that for a law to be enforced, there must be substantial foundational evidence for there to be a crime. SOF points out there is no substantial foundational evidence available to the public and has asked The Home Office many times for the said evidence.
“Camping in what some of us called the ‘activist corner’ at Product Earth, 2019 was the spark that started what is now Seed our Future. It was sheer serendipity that Phil Monk invited me to camp with them as at the time, I was far from an activist. I was mainly known as the Compliance Director at the Cannabis Trade Association and I was running HempTank, promoting our stand at the event. At the time I was disheartened at the way the CBD and hemp industry was stagnating, even moving backwards, and after hearing all the inspiring and heart-wrenching conversations over the weekend, something ignited in me. After scribbling down some ideas about possible protests and non-violent civil disobedience, 3 months later, I quit my job at the CTA and threw myself into SoF full time. What was the message? Access to cannabis for every purpose, for every person. It’s the only plant that can save our health, environment and economy and we only have those problems because of prohibition.”
You can visit their webpage here: https://www.seedourfuture.co.uk/
This black balaclava cladded cannabis activist has been taking the streets of Manchester by storm with his audacious stunts to help bring awareness to the cause. Outlaw describes himself as an activist, author, artist and a movement in its own right. His website states:
“The Manchester-based anonymous figure, who conceals his identity beneath a black balaclava, is well known for his outrageous political activism, primarily surrounding the decriminalisation of cannabis and fighting the injustices within the systems we live in.”
Some of his actions have gained notoriety around the world. When he gave out £800 worth of weed for free on the streets of Manchester in the summer of 2019 the stunt was reported on by publications around the world, including Australia and the USA.
Outlaw says on his website “I do what I do – the UK cannabis laws are proven to be counterproductive, a waste of time and resources, more damaging than the ‘crime’, based on outdated political aims and against our fundamental human rights.”
You can visit his website here: https://www.outlaw.ltd/
British Medicinal Cannabis Campaign
Since the start of COVID19 the British Medicinal Cannabis Campaign group have been focussing their efforts on social media, and by supporting individual members personally – mainly by informing them on the best ways to obtain prescriptions for medicinal cannabis.
On the group’s plans for the future, Peter Reynolds from BMCC said “Strategically, when lockdown ends we will be focusing on adult-use legalisation as the medical argument has been won. We will continue to support members on medical access and continue to lobby the medical profession as that is where the obstacle now is.
“Full legalisation is the only way to enable access for all those who need cannabis as medicine as the medical establishment is prejudiced, poorly informed and refuses to accept the huge evidence base that already exists.”
Peter also added, “BMCC was formed in 2011 and is run by CLEAR Cannabis Law Reform, initially to focus on medicinal but groups work so much better for discussion than pages that it is now where most CLEAR discussion about all aspects of drugs policy goes on.”
The campaign holds a strong presence on social media, with nearly seven thousand members, you can visit their Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/303519023036856/