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And he wants to teach kids about drugs?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
STOP IT! – Before it starts.

The heading chosen by the Gazette in it’s campaign to support the Life Education Centre in raising funds to provide a mobile classroom to educate children to the dangers of drugs – which at first appears a very worthy cause.

However, I must raise concerns over what the LEC is planning to teach the children, will it be the truth based on facts, or will it be lies based on ignorance – as demonstrated by Mr David Baker, the local LEC Chairman in last week’s Gazette.

Mr Baker, stated, “There is an increased risk of hard drug use amongst cannabis users than those who have not tried the drug.”

Whereas the government’s experts – The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, basing their findings on FACTS, and commenting on the ‘gateway theory’ said in their March 2002 report, “The risk (if any) are small and less than those associated with the use of tobacco or alcohol.”

Mr Baker further claimed that in country’s like Holland where the cannabis laws have been relaxed it has led to increased use – which is certainly not the view of the Dutch government, nor indeed the majority of the EU countries. The Dutch model is being held up as an example to others of how to deal with cannabis, and country-by-country the laws are being relaxed.

Hasn’t Mr Baker heard, that the party that controls both of our local councils, voted at their Spring 2002 conference to adopt legalisation of cannabis as official Liberal Democrat policy? How can Mr Baker justify the idea of going into schools sprouting his prohibitionist views against the wishes of our elected representatives?

Garbage sprouted by the likes of Mr Baker over the years has CAUSED the hard drug problem in this country, by;

1) Labelling all ‘drugs’ the same, so when children discover that cannabis is less harmful than tobacco and alcohol, they tend to disregard the warnings concerning hard drugs.
2) Leaving the supply of cannabis in the hands of the black market, where certain dealers will also be offering more serious drugs.

So, are we to believe Mr Baker or the true experts, and do parents want their children educated with truth or lies?

I will be writing to the County Council, to obtain assurances from them that the work of this group is carefully monitored to avoid them spreading misinformation to the children, causing far more harm than good.

I would also question the Gazette’s headline, “Split in poll vote on law”, this seems somewhat bias – although true, the same could be said of ANY poll. 58% in favour of relaxing the drug laws gives a massive lead of 16%, something any government would be very happy with. Surely, a more honest headline would have been, “Majority supports drug law reforms”?

Mike Cottee
Prospective Parliamentary Candidate
Legalise Cannabis Alliance (Somerset)


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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd aggree that the current situation does lead people who use cannabis to go onto 'harder' drugs, that is true but its also why we need to change the current situation.
    In Holland there is a large gap between soft and hard drugs, and less cannabis users go onto other things.
    The main reason you get offered charlie, pills and weed on the street of the 'dam is the tourists.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    bongbudda - total agreement bud!

    My letter was a reply to an article, here's my mate's reply to a letter in the same paper:

    I must take to task M Phillip on the statements regarding cannabis in last week’s postbag.

    Whilst the claim was made that relaxing the cannabis laws in Lambeth shows the idea is crazy, the Metropolitan Police doesn’t seem to agree, to quote their report;

    The scheme has NOT transformed the district into a haven of drug dealing, as critics have claimed, however class A drug arrests increased substantially [because resources were targeted] -159 compared with 96 for both cannabis and class A drugs, in a similar period last year. The levels of street crime were cut by 35% and burglaries by more than 8 per cent!

    Is it crazy to want Class. A drugs cleared away, resulting in a reduction of crime?

    As for Keith Hellaway, who in a prior life as a senior Police Officer supported reform of the drug laws: he has long since been discredited.

    He is coming down from a five-year-long trip in which he was removed from reality and everyone told him he was a tsar. He suffers from the hallucination that he's an expert on the effects of this substance he's proud never to have taken, whereas the millions who have taken it know nothing about it.

    Resigning a few weeks prior to his intended leaving date was for no other reason than for self-publicity for his forthcoming book – then he wonders why no one took him seriously!

    I think the funniest I’ve read on the issue was one ‘expert’ saying that although cannabis isn’t additive, those with additive-personality could move on to harder drugs. The same could be said of Mother’s milk! So now they are saying cannabis should remain illegal, because it ISN’T additive.

    Personally, I think someone is on drugs!

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The government claims that legalizing cannabis would mean that more people would be tempted to try harder drugs. However, something that strikes me as being quite ironic is the fact in most cases, individuals would experiment with smoking/drinking alcohol before trying cannabis in the first place...

    In my opinion, alcohol is much more dangerous than cannabis. The fact is, if alcohol was discovered today, under no circumstances would it be legal.

    Sometimes you have to wonder exactly whos best interests the government is looking out for...
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think the phrase which came to me in the middle of a stoned rant was educate, don't defecate
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    REPLY IN THIS WEEK’S TAUNTON TIMES, to my letter (above) from a Tory Cllr. – my reply follows on;

    Value of Life Education Centre

    I was surprised by the stance taken by the prospective parliamentary candidate Mike Cottee with regards to the Life Education Centre.

    I accept he has his own view with regards to cannabis but to attack a service which is aiming to try to educate our children with regards to the damage of all drugs and encourage healthy living is extremely disappointing.

    The Life Education Centre concept has already been enormously successful in educating more than three million children across ten countries. I believe our children deserve to benefit from this facility and they can then decide for themselves what the dangers are.

    The message is confused enough for children today and I hope he will recognise that ultimately all drugs, whether state-legalised such as cigarettes or illegal such as cannabis and heroin, are dangerous.

    Children need to be made aware of how their bodies work and the damage that can be caused by any substance. This is what the Life education Centre is trying to achieve and he needs to recognise the important of that message to society.

    The children of Taunton Deane should be educated with regards to the dangers of drugs and other substances and fully understand the real benefit of healthy living.

    That is why I will endeavour to assist the LEC in their aims to make this facility available to all. I would hope that as many individuals and organisations will dig deep as this facility for Taunton is still a wish and not a reality and a great deal of money still needs to be raised.

    Cllr. Mark Edwards
    Conservative Group
    Taunton Deane Borough Council.


    Judging by Cllr Mark J. Edwards’ letter last week, he is happy to blindly allow any good meaning group to go into our schools and teach discredited information, that has failed to work, failed the country, failed the children and led to Britain having one of the worst drug problems in Europe.

    His attempts to demonise me, when I raised genuine concerns over the message that the Life Education Centre intends to preach to the children, is a political smokescreen, which I am sure most people will see as such.

    He mentions the ‘confused message’ the children are getting, whilst backing a group that appears to want to send out a message that will differ from the government’s expert reports, that are readily available on the Internet!

    How can the children decide for themselves what the dangers are, when they are being hold cannabis leads to heroin, only to find out later it doesn’t – just how confusing would Mr Edwards have the message be?

    I totally accept the children need to be educated regarding drugs, but ‘education’ means providing the truth and facts, not ‘reefer madness’ scare stories – and I am sure most parents would agree with me on that.

    It’s all a matter of what is right and what is wrong, perhaps Mr Edwards could do with a bit of education himself, on that principle!

    Mike Cottee
    Prospective Parliamentary Candidate
    Legalise Cannabis Alliance (Somerset)

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i think the advice given to us by schools etc is all given out by the government as way of ending the 'drug problem' [a.k.a people going out and having a good time] so that other countries look up to them. The government needs to wake up and realise that if someones idea of a good time [and my own] is to go out and take drugs [cannabis for me] then that is their choice. The gateway theory is bullshit, if youve got access to loads of different drugs, but not cannabis, then youre still going to take them, youll just skip cannabis.

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    SkiveSkive Posts: 15,287 Skive's The Limit
    The government announced today that it is changing it's emblem to a condom because it more clearly reflects the government's political stance. A condom stands up to inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch of pricks, and gives you a sense of security while it's actually screwing you.
    Weekender Offender 
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    genious, pure genius :D
    i only realized it was a joke about 3\4 of the way down lol
    wherd u get that from or did u make it up yoself? haha, im still laughing now, good one mate :D
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Skive - LOL


    Reply in the Somerset County Gazette to by letter, from the local LEC chairman – my reply follows – enjoy!

    Children need facts & Skills

    I have no wish to become embroiled with Mike Cottee on the issue of legalising cannabis. Both sides in such a debate can quite easily cite ‘expert opinion’ in support of their argument, and in the end it depends on your point of view and which opinion you wish to take.

    It would be interesting to know what Mr Cottee would have us tell children about cigarette smoking. Would it be ‘it’s legal and therefore it’s harmless?’

    The task for Life Education Centres is the same whether cannabis is legal or illegal, and that’s to make young people aware of the potential risks involved with the use of any drug, legal or otherwise.

    We don’t need to continue the debate about whether cannabis leads to the use of another more harmful substance. We need to let our children know that the use of any drug has the potential to do harm, and that’s what a specially trained educator, not I or Mr Cottee, tells them.

    We prefer children to be better informed with better health education. We let them know the facts from which they can make their own choices, and we give them the skills so they are free to effect these decisions.

    We certainly never preach or force our views on children, as implied by Mr Cottee. What a pity he didn’t try to find out the facts from us about Life Education Centres before making his comments as a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate it’s the first thing I’d have expected from him.

    Life Education Centres is a health education charity and 750,00 children across the country are already benefiting from its programmes.

    David Baker,
    Chairman, LEC Steering Group,


    In response to the genuine concerns I raised concerning the message the Life Education Centre intended to send out to children regarding cannabis, it’s chairman Mr David Baker seems to have dug himself into an even deeper hole, with his response.

    Yes, it is true that we can all quite easily cite ‘expert opinion’ on this issue, indeed in the original article Mr Baker was quoting ‘expert’ research carried out by, yes you guessed it, the LEC itself.

    I, however, quoted the Home Office appointed Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, which pulls in evidence and research from all sources before reporting. As he says; depends on your point of view - which would you trust?

    I pulled him up on his quoted ‘facts’, which I discredited and instead of responding; he provides a smokescreen by suggesting I would tell children that tobacco, as a legal drug, is harmless.

    No, Mr Baker, I believe in the truth, I would tell them the facts – in terms of drugs; tobacco is the biggest killer worldwide, followed by alcohol, whereas there has not one recorded death from cannabis.

    ‘We don’t need to continue the debate about whether cannabis leads to the use of another more harmful substance’, he says - oh yes we do, when people continue to make claims that fly in the face of all the reliable evidence.

    Perhaps if Mr Baker would like to end this debate, he could provide me with ‘expert’ evidence, that at the very least counters the weight of the research the government has done?

    I didn’t look into the LEC further, before airing my concerns as he suggested I should have – I had no reason to do so, I was after all responding to views expressed by its local Chairman, which I assume to a representative and spokesperson for the group.

    I have NO problem with education concerning drugs, if the truth is told, but to be still pushing ‘reefer madness’ scare stories, when they have failed this country and it’s youth, by giving us one of the biggest drug problems in Europe, is madness in itself.

    Mike Cottee
    Prospective Parliamentary Candidate
    Legalise Cannabis Alliance (Somerset)


    Legalise Cannabis Alliance (Somerset) www.LCAsomerset.org – coming soon!
    Aims to establish a branch in Somerset & help other West Country counties!
    Interested, register your interest; send an e-mail to: LCAsomerset@WHSpliff.net
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    SkiveSkive Posts: 15,287 Skive's The Limit
    Originally posted by duffy_2k
    wherd u get that from or did u make it up yoself?

    Glad you thought it was funny but unfortunately I can't claim credit for it. My mate told me it down the pub the other night, I'm not sure if it's as exactly as he told it but it's damn close, and I'm pretty sure he didn't make it up either!
    Weekender Offender 
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