By Cannazine, UK
Cannabis E-petition rejected by 10 Downing Street
An E-petition created on the official Home Office website , which called for the release of jailed medical cannabis grower Roderick Cotton, has been rejected by Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s office, just days before Christmas.
The Home Office E-Petition website states “Downing Street is working in partnership with the non-partisan charitable project mySociety.org to provide a service to allow citizens, charities and campaign groups to set up petitions that are hosted on the Downing Street website, enabling anyone to address and deliver a petition directly to the Prime Minister.
According to an e-mail received from 10 Downing Street, “Your petition was classed as being in the following categories: Issues for which an e-petition is not the appropriate channel. This is a matter for direct communication with the Home Office.”
Roderick Cotton was sentenced to 1 year in prison back in November 07, for growing cannabis plants. According to the police evidence which secured the conviction , the plants in question were destined for medical patients who use cannabis to alleviate the symptoms of various medical conditions.
In sentencing Cotton, Judge Marten Coates made it quite clear he was not necessarily incarcerating Mr Cotton as a result of the plants he grew at his home in Rugby.
Judge Coates said “I considered passing a non-custodial sentence but you have ruined that now”, which was a result of Mr Cotton’s refusal to give assurances that he would no longer grow cannabis on behalf of his “care-group”.
A spokesman for pro-reform website the ‘Canna Zine’ said “Roderick Cotton should never have been sent to prison in the first place.”
“Evidence provided by police clearly showed Mr Cotton was not involved in any “criminal intent” over and above actually growing the plants. Whilst we realise this in itself contrevenes the law as it stands, cannabis is a prescribed medicine in many countries within the EU, as well as in Canada and North America, making cannabis laws nothing more than a postcode lottery.
“Judge Coates clearly had the option NOT to impose a custodial sentence, but chose not to excercise that right as Mr Cotton refused to be coerced into making a statement which goes against everything he believes in and on the face of things it looks like Mr Cotton was imprisoned for contempt of court, rather than growing cannabis.”
“Clearly Mr Cotton is a man of extremely high integrity, who refused to lie to the courts in a bid to escape a custodial sentence. He has been imprisoned as a result of a wholly altruistic act, which he believes to be “right and just” with every ounce of his being.”
“Whilst the Canna Zine absolutely respects the laws of the land, in this instance, perhaps a non-custodial sentence may have been a more fitting (and humane) punishment?”
“The prison system in the UK is already full to bursting point. A 1 year prison sentence costs the Exchequer in excess of £60,000 to enforce and in the case of a crime which has no victim this is surely spending public money and filling difficult-to-find prison “berth’s” which should be reserved for violent criminals, just for the sake of it.”
“Add to this the cost of the trial and this prison sentence is costing the British tax payer close to £100,000, and all as a result of Mr Cotton’s refusal to say what the judge wanted to hear, and thats just not right.”
According to the Canna Zine, “Mr Cotton is absolutely no risk to the public, and should be released immediately. In an era that’s seen calls for legislation from Chief Constables, from medical professionals and from MP’s, who are all “front line troops” who deal with the “aftermath” of drugs on a daily basis, a person who is NOT involved in selling cannabis for personal gain, should not be imprisoned.”
The Canna Zine plans, as instructed, on communicating directly with the Home Office.
Set up in February 2007, the Canna Zine is the first-in-the-world news agency dedicated to the global issues surrounding cannabis and hemp. To post your free cannabis or hemp press release, sign up for a free account on http://pr.cannazine.co.uk , post your release, and let PR.Canna Zine do the rest.