Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more!
This message will be removed once you have signed in.
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.
Dr. David Copper
Dr. Francis Crick, F.R.S.
Tom Driberg, M.P.
Dr. Ian Dunbar
Dr. Aaron Esterson
George Harrison, M.B.E.
Dr. J.M. Heaton
Dr. S. Hutt
The Revd. Dr. Victor E.S. Kenna, O.B.E.
Dr. R.D. Laing
Dr. Calvin Mark Lee
John Lennon, M.B.E.
Dr. D.M. Lewis
Paul McCartney M.B.E.
Dr. O.D. Macrae-Gibson
Michael Abdul Malik
Dr. Jonathan Miller
Dr. Christopher Pallis
L. Jeffrey Selznick
Dr. David Stafford-Clark
Richard Starkey, M.B.E.
Dr. Anthony Storr
Dr.W. Grey Walter
Brian Walden, M.P.