Cannabis reform is one of the most popular political issues on earth right now, particularly in North America and Europe. At a time when it seems like people rarely agree on anything, cannabis is one area of public policy where support is strong and cuts across party lines. Unfortunately, that support does not appear to extend to the office of the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, with the UK announcing this week that it is officially blocking a cannabis reform measure that was previously passed by lawmakers in Bermuda earlier this year.
Liz Truss took over as Prime Minister in the United Kingdom this week, and shortly after taking office her government announced the official blockage of the cannabis reform measure in Bermuda. Cannabis policy observers around the globe were hopeful that upon taking office that Truss would pursue a new era for cannabis policy in the UK, however, being that she is blocking cannabis reform elsewhere it’s very clear where she stands when it comes to cannabis policy.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Truss, like many politicians, has a checkered past when it comes to cannabis policy. Leading up to the Prime Minister transition in the UK, Truss was criticized by opponents for her previously expressed support for cannabis reform. Apparently, a leaflet edited by Liz Truss when she was a leading Lib Dem at Oxford University surfaced in which it was asked if cannabis should be legalized, a position that Truss reportedly supported back then.
The newly installed Prime Minister has been criticized by both cannabis supporters and opponents for ‘flip flopping’ on the issue, with many asking the logical question, ‘where does Liz Truss really stand when it comes to cannabis reform?’ Unfortunately, we found out the answer to that question this week, and it wasn’t a favorable answer.
Politicians of all backgrounds and at all levels will often tell voters what they think they want to hear. It is no secret that many people who seek public office will say whatever it takes to get elected, even if what they are saying to one audience completely contradicts what they are telling a different audience. That is politics as usual, and the real measure of a politician on any given issue is what actions they take (or do not take) once they get into a position to actually do something regarding the particular issue.
Colonization on Full Display
In order for cannabis reform to move forward in Bermuda, the measure has to receive blessing from the United Kingdom in the form of ‘royal assent.’ It’s a concept that is born out of the United Kingdom’s (Britain) colonization of Bermuda centuries ago. Bermuda remains the oldest British colony in existence, which in itself needs to be addressed.
Lawmakers in Bermuda deserve to set their own laws. No one in the United Kingdom should be able to prevent a law from taking effect in Bermuda, whether it’s related to cannabis or anything else. Citizens in Bermuda elect their own representatives, and those representatives should be able to carry out ‘the people’s work’ without interference from countries across the Atlantic Ocean.
Fortunately, it sounds like lawmakers in Bermuda are going to proceed forward with their plans despite the opposition by Liz Truss’ government. It sets up a constitutional showdown between the UK and Bermuda, and in the first week of Truss’ tenure as Prime Minister no less. With all of the problems out there in the world, it’s a shame that any time and effort is being spent on preventing the will of Bermuda’s citizens. The only ‘benefit’ to the saga is that it makes clear where Liz Truss stands on cannabis policy, for better or worse.