Northern Ireland Election Candidate Calls For Cannabis Reform

by Olivia Rutter

Yesterday, Barry Brown submitted his nomination paperwork to stand as the CISTA (newly rebranded as the Citizens Independent Social Thought Alliance) MP candidate for West Tyrone.

He is the only candidate in the upcoming General Election running with a platform to legalise and regulate cannabis. He doesn’t expect to win, but he is confident that his constituency is firmly behind medical access to cannabis, especially following the widely reported sale of cannabis oil to Charlotte Caldwell for her son Billy.

“The Sinn Fein Candidate who will become my MP with at least a 10,000 majority was pictured with Billy and Charlotte Caldwell receiving the first cannabis medication from the local pharmacy recently. So, our future MP in this constituency is behind the Medical Access. I would safely say all candidates in my constituency would support Medical access.”
Generally, Brown and the CISTA party are advocating for an evidence based review of current drug laws in the UK, something that is direly needed as drug-related deaths have hit record levels in England and Wales. As the many negative and destructive effects of Psychoactive Substances Act become more apparent by the day, the spread of SCRAs like Spice being called an epidemic, and the arrival of deadly Fentanyl on UK shores, reforming drug policy needs to be a priority for any candidate standing for MP. Although CISTA, only three years old, is unlikely to beat out the bigger parties in the election this year, it is welcome news that their campaigning is leading to a shift in thinking about drug policy within the other parties.

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