CISTA Party qualifies for a PEB in Northern Ireland…

Remember CISTA? You likely heard about them on Slugger first. They broadcast on UTV tonight

The first-ever party political broadcast by a party campaigning solely for reform of Britain’s drug laws will be shown in Northern Ireland on Thursday night.

The Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol party (Cista) has registered 32 candidates for the general election, including four in Northern Ireland, enough to qualify it for a five-minute slot on television there.

The four-and-a-half minute film airs on UTV and focuses on the medicinal qualities of cannabis, which patients say prevents seizures, relieves nausea and eases pain.

“These are qualities which can enhance my daily life and counter some of the effects of the pharmaceuticals which I am prescribed,” says Glenn Donnelly, a Cista candidate and one of the voices in the broadcast.

Cista’s chair, Paul Birch, who made millions from the sale of the social network Bebo and who has invested £100,000 in the party, said the party had decided to focus on the medical uses of cannabis because “we felt like it was the easiest thing to get through”.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • SDLP supporter

    Can you get DLA if you are on cannabis? I’m thinking of forming a party called PLDRR BBPDA (Paragliding is Less Dangerous than Russian Roulette But Both are Pretty Dumb Activities), I can sympathise with the proposition that cannabis may have medicinal qualities but I would guess that most of it is taken for recreational use. Neither cannabis nor alcohol, I suspect, is particularly good for you. Try music if you want to change your mood.

  • Zig70

    I’m not sure you can argue with the premise that Cannabis is safer than alcohol. The only sensible thing you would conclude from that there should be more controls on alcohol. I remember going to England as a young lad and surprised the pubs weren’t opened late mid week. My Dad’s assertion was that the NI licensing laws were to keep us down. I do like the joke that cannabis doesn’t lead to hard drugs, it leads to carpentry. The ‘drugs kill’ message is out of touch and teenagers find peer experience quickly undermines it.

  • guet

    i would hazzard a guess about 1 in 10 people are recreational users

  • GG

    Shows how depressingly out of touch so many people are with the actual truth and who haven’t done any proper research yourself into the actual benefits, medicinal or otherwise. Also missing the bigger picture here. like alcohol, marijuana consumption should be treated as a public health issue rather than a criminal one. I, like others, want to take the issue of drugs out of the hands of the criminals and paramilitary gangs. Money that is going into the pockets of criminals and thugs could be going into government coffers. Rather than spending millions on putting people in already overcrowded prisons for possession of a couple of grams or 2 plants which is a waste of police time and public resources we should be dealing with hard drugs and actual criminality. Lack of knowledge, poor education and denial are more dangerous than cannabis. How many prescription drugs have you taken in your life? How many paracetamols have you consumed? That kills thousands of people every year but I don’t see people trying to ban it or prevent circulation. Alcohol kills thousands every year, where is the campaign to ban that? Instead we promote alcohol with the glitz and glamour of a red carpet event, drink this and you will be happy, pretty and have lots of friends and dance and everything will be lovely ( until you are vomiting on the side of the road, or get beaten or knocked down, or kill someone drink driving or get alcohol poisoning etc etc) Oh that’s right, they are ‘legal’ … Must be ok then! Next to heroine the most highly addictive and deadly drugs killing or permanently damaging are manufactured by big pharma but oh wait, that’s right LEGAL!! and handed out like sweets making billions for the companies… Who cares if a few thousand people LEGAL! But no can’t possibly even support an open honest and TRUTHFUL!!, evidence based mature adult discussion. Deaths due to marijuana? BIG FAT ZERO. ZERO, ZERO, ZERO!

    You are an idiot if you think marijuana is a gateway drug. Oh please!!! Alcohol is the biggest gateway drug. However, The drug dealers/pushers are responsible for this, are you niave enough to think they are all good honest Middle men only selling one product? Don’t be daft. No, they are ‘business men’. they are in the business of selling drugs, they want you to spend money, they want you to buy ‘pills’ or ‘coke’ as there is more money in it, they are manipulaters and drug merchants… It is in their interests to get you into something stronger…Although no worse than any pharmacist…Why have this drug with 20 side affects when you can have this more powerful yet double the price wonder drug with 40 side affects including death… Well if the doctor thinks it’s ok and the government approve of it how can it be bad!!! Oh WAKE UP!!

    If you want to get involved in an ‘informed’ educated debate then do but don’t waste people’s time with nonsense and lies because you are unable to comprehend the bigger picture and positive impact of reviewing our current drug laws to the benefit of people who really need it and so what if people want to use it recreationally, better that than a litre of vodka or 2 glasses of wine. It’s time for change and let’s face it, given the financial situation caused by the banks, the defrauding of the public purse by expenses fiddling MLA’s and MP’s, tax dodging businesses and a whole myriad of other examples of inappropriate financial behaviour … We could do with the money. But if you’d rather fund organised crime, gun running, human trafficking, murder, torture, child labour and slavery than welfare, health and education then we are screwed! STOP TALKING BULL CRAP AND STARTING READING, TALK TO PEOPLE, YOU MIGHT ACTUALLY LEARN SOMETHING AND REALISE YOUR PREJUDICE AND ILL INFORMED JUDGEMENTS ARE THE PROBLEM NOT THE POT!!

    Check out any number of studies from America, Canada, Egypt, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain etc etc… I can send you a list. Our politicians and voters alike just don’t realise the power they have to help people with one very simple thing that would change their life forever…. Or continue to persecute people for choosing natural over man made synthetic poison.Maybe our politicians should meet the people who have been truly helped by this substance and then they might understand a bit more what is being asked for.