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    DAY


    24 July 2018

    This event repeats every year forever


    The 1960s are often described as a decade of great social change. Attitudes of society to many things changed in that decade. One item that is indicative of this change in attitude was a full page advertisement that appeared in The Times in the summer of 1967. The advertisement championed the legalisation of cannabis. It is inconceivable that such an advertisement would have been published by the newspaper in the prior decade. While still shocking to many, attitudes in the permissive sixties meant that even someone such as William Rees-Mogg, the editor of The Times felt that the readers of the esteemed newspaper could cope with such a shock.
    The advertisement (The Times, July 24, 1967) was headed “The law against marijuana is immoral in principle and unworkable in practice.” As well as a large amount of text used to justify the argument, part of the advertisement contained a petition to the Home Secretary signed by many. It is that petition, together with the list of signatories,  that I copy below.
     
    The signatories to this petition suggest to the Home Secretary that he implement a five point programme of cannabis law reform:
     
    1) THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD PERMIT AND ENCOURAGE RESEARCH INTO ALL ASPECTS OF CANNABIS USE, INCLUDING ITS MEDICAL APPLICATIONS.
     
    2) ALLOWING THE SMOKING OF CANNABIS ON PRIVATE PREMISES SHOULD  NO LONGER CONSTITUTE AN OFFENCE.
     
    3) CANNABIS SHOULD BE TAKEN OFF THE DANGEROUS DRUGS LIST AND CONTROLLED,RATHER THAN PROHIBITED, BY A NEW AD HOC INSTRUMENT.
     
    4) POSSESSION OF CANNABIS SHOULD EITHER BE LEGALLY PERMITTED OR AT MOST BE CONSIDERED A MISDEMEANOUR, PUNISHABLE BY A FINE OF NOT MORE THAN £10 FOR ANY FIRST OFFENCE AND NOT MORE THAN £25 FOR ANY SUBSEQUENT OFFENCE.
     
    5) ALL PERSONS NOW IMPRISONED FOR POSSESSION OF CANNABIS OR FOR ALLOWING CANNABIS TO BE SMOKED ON PRIVATE PREMISES SHOULD HAVE THEIR SENTENCES COMMUTED.
     
    Jonathan Aitken
    Tariq Ali
    David Bailey
    Humphrey Berkeley
    Anthony Blond
    Derek Boshier
    Sidney Briskin
    Peter Brook
    Dr. David Copper
    Dr. Francis Crick, F.R.S.
    David Dimbleby
    Tom Driberg, M.P.
    Dr. Ian Dunbar
    Brian Epstein
    Dr. Aaron Esterson
    Peter Fryer
    John Furnival
    Tony Garnett
    Clive Goodwin
    Graham Greene
    Richard Hamilton
    George Harrison, M.B.E.
    Michael Hastings
    Dr. J.M. Heaton
    David Hockney
    Jeremy Hornsby
    Dr. S. Hutt
    Francis Huxley
    Dr.Brian Inglis
    The Revd. Dr. Victor E.S. Kenna, O.B.E.
    Herbert Kretzmer
    Dr. R.D. Laing
    Dr. Calvin Mark Lee
    John Lennon, M.B.E.
    Dr. D.M. Lewis
    Paul McCartney M.B.E.
    David McEwan
    Alisdair MacIntyre
    Dr. O.D. Macrae-Gibson
    Tom Maschler
    Michael Abdul Malik
    George Melly
    Dr. Jonathan Miller
    Adrian Mitchell
    Dr.Ann Mully
    P.H.Nowell-Smith
    Dr. Christopher Pallis
    John Piper
    Patrick Procktor
    John Pudney
    Alistair Reid
    L. Jeffrey Selznick
    Nathan Silver
    Tony Smythe
    Michael Schofield
    Dr. David Stafford-Clark
    Richard Starkey, M.B.E.
    Dr. Anthony Storr
    Keneth Tynan
    Dr.W. Grey Walter
    Brian Walden, M.P.
    Michael White
    Pat Williams

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