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Let the GREEN pound speak! Weed World article.

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
I was asked by Phil @ Weed World magazine to do 700 words on the boycott HSBC campaign, it will be in the August issue - and here's your preview!

Let the GREEN pound speak!

International boycott HSBC Bank – the cannabis unfriendly bank!

I, like many in the campaign, see the ‘normalisation’ of cannabis in society as an important part of the move towards total legalisation, and that means in all sectors of society including business.

Now I am sure many of you have heard of the ‘Pink Pound’, which is a term used to describe the ‘Gay Community’ – companies target the community, because there’s a higher percentage with no children and two incomes, and therefore more disposable income.

Now with re-classification just around the corner, it’s time to let the GREEN pound speak, with an estimated 6 million regular cannabis smokers in the UK alone, the ‘Cannabis Community’ needs to be shown to be powerful to the ‘business world’.

Some readers will be aware from past issues of ‘Weed World’, how difficult it is for people in the ‘Canna-business’ to supply you with your seeds and other related goods, because credit-card firms will normally refuse facilities. Most Canna-businesses accepting credit cards have been able to avoid letting the banks know the true purpose of their businesses.

The trouble is, if they catch you out and withdraw credit card payments, your whole online business disappears overnight, and if you are retail, it can hit you hard enough to have the same result – to me that is totally unjust!

Now, I can’t ‘pretend’ I am not doing what I am doing, perhaps I’ve announced plans for standing at the next general election for the Legalise Cannabis Alliance, and as part of a group to set-up a cannabis café in Taunton, Somerset (delayed because of the delay in re-classification) – so, I am in the local/regional rags and on radio & TV a lot!

At the end of June I received a letter from the new branch manager, asking me to call him, where upon I was accused of being involved in ‘criminal activities’ and given notice of closure of the account!

And this, ironically, from a bank founded by Opium traders, and financed by the misery of millions addicted to that drug!

Now everything I sell is TOTALLY LEGAL cannabis related products. The only complaint the police have received concerned the sale of cannabis seeds, on the basis that producing these in the UK would be illegal. Once the source (European imports) was confirmed, the police were happy that I was working WITHIN the law.

A retraction and full apology or evidence to support this slanderous claim was requested by way of complaint to both the manager and the Chief Executive – and they have refused to respond to this request.

Furthermore, by closing the ‘business’ account, HSBC threatened the future of WHSpliff.net and therefore my basic human right to earn a living, a right enshrined within the Human Rights Act.

In addition this action is undermining the basis principle of a free press, to be able report and campaign on important issues - as WHSpliff.net is not just an electronic magazine but a printed newsletter too.

So, here we have our first commercial target – HSBC Bank, the bank that is happy to provide you as a member of the ‘Cannabis Community’ with services, but will close accounts of businesses you may wish to shop with, despite those businesses being totally legal. I am sorry, that is totally unacceptable.

Therefore, WHSpliff.net has launched an international boycott HSBC campaign, which is spreading via the internet, publications such as this, word of mouth and our small team (the two of us) will be starting demos outside HSBC branches in Somerset, whilst recruiting for the Legalise Cannabis Alliance (Somerset).

So, I beg people, if you have accounts with HSBC – please close them and if you feel you would like to sight WHSpliff.net, mention their Chief Executive is responsible for this boycott!

This boycott will continue until the Chief Executive confirms, in writing, a change of policy – even than it will have spread so far, it’ll be hard to stop!
What amuses me about this boycott; is that via the Internet it is being spread worldwide – and HSBC will never know the full cost of their action!
So it’s hello to 'the world’s local bank', from the world’s local cannabis campaigner!

- Mike Cottee, Webmaster, www.WHSpliff.net

** WHSpliff.net has now made alternative banking arrangements.
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