Isle of Man Examiner letters, May 20, 2014

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World series does not make sense

How can a TT world series possibly be of benefit to the island?

Not only are the TT races unique to the island and the reason so many take the pilgrimage every year here but providing alternative venues will only allow those who come here to see the best road races in the world to go to venues closer to home.

Will it increase the island profile on a global stage ? Possibly.

Will it stop those who come by going to a closer venue ? Possibly.

Will it result in a loss of spend on the island ? Most definitely.

When you have 100 per cent of something unique why would you volunteer to share it ?

See if Scotland fancy a Highland games away from Scotland or equally the Germans wanting to have to October fest on the island.

Not to mention the unnecessary prospect of being forced into EU/world safety legislation.

Surely the government would be better off spending money and time looking for other events to attract people to the island, not watering down an already established event.

Furthermore, if they want to look at the TT, maybe they should consider freshening it up – the funfair, Red Arrows and Purple Helmets are all entertaining, but year after year?

What about the Blue Eagles helicopter display team, or a local enduro showcase as we seem to house some of the world’s very best here in the island ?

That’s just two very simple ideas, maybe the organisers need to look at themselves and wonder if they are out of touch or simply need to inject some fresh blood into organising island events.

The non-supported music festival was due to be shown on MTV, a channel that 378 million households have access to – now that’s putting the island out on a global scale and without watering down our very own TT.

Name and address supplied.

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Cannabis law in need of overhaul

The reform of the so called ‘Misuse’ of Drugs Act is long overdue, particularly with regard to the extremely beneficial plant, namely cannabis. The benefits are so numerous that to include them all in a single letter is virtually impossible and to present truths against the many long years of propaganda, misunderstanding and lies is equally daunting.

So to educate people on this subject we need to dispel some of themyths:

Cannabis use does not lead the user directly to ‘harder drugs’. Some people who use cannabis, however, also choose to use other drugs, but that is their personal choice; yet of the many thousands of regular and casual cannabis users, the overwhelming majority chose not to use the ‘harder drugs’. The primary cause of any progression towards harder drugs is the the combined illegality of the drugs themselves, once a person has breached the law on a ‘soft’ drug it becomes easier for that person to breach the law upon a ‘hard drug’. This is because that ‘soft drug’ person becomes a criminal at the point of first use, and the criminality disposition accrued acts as a catalyst for furthering more criminality through the harder drugs.

This is the failure of the law in its group illegal categorisation of drugs, particularly where cannabis is concerned.

Another reason for progression is simply the user’s own choice. Cannabis use does not lead to crime. Some users are criminals, but the vast majority of cannabis users are not criminals.

Whilst the experience of smoking cannabis tends to encourage continued usage, it is nevertheless among the least addictive of many drugs; and because it is fundamentally harmless, this in turn renders any ‘addiction’ to it harmless also.

There are extremes that may prove otherwise, but such extremes, e.g. if one drinks two bottles of brandy or smokes two ounces of strong cannabis all at once, then, naturally this would cause problems!

The reason for any mental health problem that may accrue from the use of cannabis is again its illegality. Why? well, because the user instantly becomes a criminal after the first puff. This in itself is sufficient to give the user a mental health problem because of the consequences of breaking the law.

Cannabis use does not cause paranoia. Again, its illegality can make the user paranoid, simply because the user has to put up with the thought of facing criminal proceedings and the social consequences of the illegality.

Cannabis does not cause memory loss, in the short or long term. While it’s true that during a strong cannabis high, some attributes of the memory of literally anything are rendered too mundane to be bothered with, during the pleasurable experience. Similar to the forgetfulness after a strong dose of alcohol, the next day, the memory is fine, albeit the forgetfulness is different with cannabis. One has to experience cannabis to notice the subtle difference. But again, the main point is: no long or short term memory loss during daily life.

It is this same illegality, particularly so with cannabis and its persistent popularity, that causes endless widespread division and resultant prejudice amongst citizens throughout society, even among families and friends.

The illegality of cannabis is among the most ludicrous and damaging laws ever enacted.

So to move on from some of the myths, the benefits of its use are far reaching as it is perhaps the most powerful healing herb known to man.

From cancer to period pains, cannabis is the cure and relief respectively, and the list of its healing properties are highly extensive.

The list of its industrial uses are also highly extensive, to name but a few are paint, plastic, cement, (yes cement) paper, rope, fabric, insulation, fuel – the list goes on, but it is important to realise also how environmentally friendly and sustainable it is when compared to the mineral based equivalents.

This plant, the cannabis plant, absorbs amongst the maximum amount of carbon dioxide that any plant is capable of. It truly is the plant of and for humanity, the earth and the atmosphere.

We in the West have been bombarded for roughly 60 years with the psychopathic lies and propaganda of a misguided fascist control freak mentality that needs to end. The above is but a very brief outline of the benefits of cannabis and what people need now is to be reminded of this on a regular basis, in the press and TV to re-educate people away from what has become their belief system about cannabis, based upon lies.

To cite one of many examples, even its name was bastardised by the fascist mentality of the American psychopath (surname Anslinger) who called it ‘marijuana’, the name of a poisonous Mexican plant, in his insane quest to discredit cannabis.

The island still needs a substantial alternative to its economic dependency upon the financial sector, particularly so now as the entire world is facing financial catastrophe on a scale hitherto unknown in all history. The decriminalisation of cannabis combined with the introduction of cannabis coffee bars, cultivation for light industry, medicine, etc, would provide so many economic benefits for the island, for employment, for tourism, for farming, for festivals, for music and the arts – to inject some life back into the island, since we lost most of our tourism industry.

Look at Amsterdam – it’s prosperous, thriving and centered around cannabis.

Name and address supplied.

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£775k outlay was unnecessary

The decision to spend £775,000 on consultants to review the National Insurance Fund must qualify for the Award of the Year from our so-called parliament.

Facebook will have a field day on how an elected Government has employed outside brains on law to run our economy.

Have they heard of ‘means testing’, considering the wealth and prosperity the island is credited with?

Thank goodness we have one or two elected officials who have the guts to question these outlandish actions but regrettably the ‘motto’ of the day is still ‘pass the buck’.

Hopefully in the forthcoming elections all candidates will be checked for brain power.

Name and address supplied.

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Signs indicate it is not that rosy

Copy of email sent to Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK

I write in connection with today’s article in the Financial Times written by Andrew Bounds and your comments on local radio yesterday of how an independent journalist writing an editorial was good for our island.

I applaud you with various governmental attempts to stimulate our economy via schemes like whereyoucan.com which obviously are again good for growth because recently we have had an abundance of government indicators showing our economy is in nearly perfect economical order, however, this contradicts my view on how our real economy is doing.

I’m well known in the community of Douglas West as my MHK Chris Thomas will confirm and see no signs of blanket prosperity, by which I mean:

– To Let signs in abundance for both commercial and private accommodation;

– Bus stops empty of people while taxi ranks are full of drivers;

– Flight services diminishing every year;

– Car sales down;

– Downturn in retail business;

– Spiralling debts within domestic and commercial sectors.

It is my view that the Isle of Man is in deep financial trouble across the board because of a diminishing population.

I sincerely hope your recent measures work, and work fast, because while it is never a straight line up to become successful while fragile economies like ours can fail very very fast.

I would welcome a chance to hear from you regarding my views but understand you’re a busy man so a short reply will suffice.

Michael Stoker, address supplied.

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