After lunch, Day 08 of the Trial of the Plant was riddled with obfuscation by the state’s legal troopers meddling with definitions of scientific terms.
The state made sure to pick out the bad parts of existing regulation while ignoring other countries and states that have legalised the recreational or medical use of cannabis. Germany’s medical cannabis program was brought into the light where medical cannabis available for 58 conditions.
Even though the state troopers had felt that the limitation set out in the pre-qualifying conditions was enough to curb a recreational discussion, in the sense that if Germany, a first world country, only legalised medical cannabis, they would have already considered the harms associated with recreational cannabis use, and legalised such.
Reg Willis asked Prof Nutt if Germany’s limited availability of medical cannabis to conditions needing exceptional circumstances is enough to qualify it to not being safe, to which Prof Nutt replied: “To my mind, that is evidence enough that cannabis is a medicine.”
The state attacked Prof Nutt saying that his answers are fast and loose with the facts (<-we’ll get back to these facts later), very anecdotal, nonspecific, ambiguous, ambivalent and calling that all of Prof Nutt’s evidence be rejected on the basis that he relied on evidence that is not relevant before the court for the matter at hand.
“I am perfectly happy to defend them all” Prof Nutt
New evidence was presented to Judge Ranchod by the plaintiffs to support expert testimony from Prof Nutt that relied on studies outside of his summaries. The state has still not as of today handed in all of their evidence to the plaintiffs, their file 9 of the Trial bundle is empty, possibly to be filled with ‘evidence’ they will rake together the next few days in response to the plaintiffs’ expert testimonies.
State: “There needs to be more research?
Prof Nutt: “There clearly needs to be more research.”
State: “Why isn’t there more research?”
Prof Nutt went on to say that only 4 hospitals in the US had a license to research smoked cannabis and that any evidence presented thus far has taken a considerable amount of legislative arm wrestling to conduct research.
Prof Nutt: “Immediate legalisation is one way to do research and find out what impact it has. “
State Reg Willis: “For the sake of research, you want to put the interest of society at risk?”
Traditionally, research was undermined by American policy, worldwide. Every country in the world caved into the American pressure. The Dutch he said, were the first to revolt against this. After being interrogated about the perceived lack of research, Prof Nutt quickly corrected the state by saying: “It is the banning of cannabis as a medicine that is the problem. It’s the banning of cannabis that prohibits further research…. Doctors have a responsibility to test if their drugs are working.”
“Criminilisation of cannabis users is inappropriate. When you decriminalize cannabis, people seek help easier. … The worst thing any society can do is give someone caught with possession, a criminal record.” Prof Nutt
Adv Reg Willis leading the state troopers emphasised that in South Africa’s constitution, the interest of the children comes first, to which Prof Nutt replied:
“The only bad thing children face, is a criminal conviction.”
Prof Nutt explained that recent population studies have shown that liberation of cannabis laws does not show an increase in traffic accidents. It’s not necessarily that a liberation of cannabis laws will lead to an increase in traffic accident deaths, even though there are dangers of cannabis consumption and driving under the influence thereof.
- You are 4 times more likely to have an accident when under the influence of cannabis
- You are 8 times more likely to have an accident when under the influence of alcohol
- You are 16 times more likely to have an accident when under the influence of both cannabis and alcohol.
Colorado’s regulations are only about 4 years old with the state putting emphasis on the fact that there was a diversion from the medical cannabis market to the recreational market, even with state control.
Prof Nutt read out a study on second-hand smoke where they locked people in a sealed room and were administered second-hand cannabis smoke (some call this a hotbox and would volunteer anytime.) In these cases of extreme exposure to second-hand cannabis smoke, the passive smoker can test positive for cannabis in their urine. (…and lose a job, University Degree, access to Visa, children, etc.)
When asked by the state where the problem is with cannabis as a researcher, Prof Nutt replied that it takes at least a year, up to two years to obtain cannabis cigarettes via the FDA researcher cannabis supply chain and traditionally, NIDA research is only funded to find problems with cannabis.
Passive second hand smoking is problematic in countries where cannabis users can test positive for cannabis and face criminal sanctions.
Adv Reg Willis brought the ‘parents have failed to stop exposure of their children to secondary smoke’ argument into play, but Prof Nutt feels that new tobacco smoking regulations have lowered that exposure. Prof Nutt explained that his understanding is that in the United States, alcohol and tobacco are illegal under a certain age, and in effect, under age drinking and smoking should count as part of illicit drug use along with other barred substances at that age.
State: “It would be irrational of the gov to change the prohibition stance until it knows better and more.”
(Our comment: “It is irrational for the government to continue its stance on prohibition without being able to rationalise
or give evidence for the creation of prohibition in the first place.”)
Adv Reg Willis corrected himself by saying Prof Nutt was fast and loose with statistics, and not facts. His over confidently delivered statistic, explaining that his 13.8 million total global cannabis consumers figure he punted earlier, was, in fact, wrong and that it’s more like 183 Million. He said that it doesn’t change his argument, that there’s a vast difference between 3 billion odd global alcoholic drinkers and call it ‘200 million’ that use cannabis (If you had to kill 170 million people, it would be called genocide.).