CISTA announces new candidate for Holborn and St Pancras

I keep reading that people are cynical about politics and ambivalent about the General Election. Me? I am the exact opposite. I am standing as a candidate for a new party and a great cause. CISTA talks to me and my life experience and my passion. It is a new party that has one concrete manifesto promise; we will convene a Royal Commission to review the government's drug policy relating to cannabis, and we will legislate based on the results. The so-called 'War On Drugs' has turned into a 'War On People" criminalising social consumers, and facilitating gang culture. We need to build a national consensus for change. I am committing the next 10 weeks to take the CISTA case to the constituents in Holborn and St Pancras. Please set in touch with me if you can volunteer your support. 

I am on Twitter give me a follow and join CISTA today right here and WATCH me here.

Gallery of Supporters

At CISTA we are constantly inspired by how campaigners in Colorado and other US states managed to build public support for reform. A significant part of the success came from their ability to draw on supporting attributions from a broad, diverse range of respected people from celebrities to politicians and academics.

CISTA are currently building a wall of people who support drug reform and an end to the war on drugs that has turned into a war on people. But we need your help to identify more British people, more women supporters and more from ethnic minority communities.  So please get in touch with us on Twitter, Facebook or with appropriate links.

Our Election Strategy - Collaborating with Lib Dems & Greens

Many of you have expressed concern with regard to CISTA candidates standing against Green and Liberal Democrats in May. After some consideration, we have decided not to stand in constituencies where Liberal Democrats and Greens are the incumbent MPs. Both of these parties have expressed their support for the reform and review of Britain’s drug laws relating to cannabis and other drugs.

We are making steady progress with regard to recruitment of candidates and expect to be fielding at up to 100 candidates in May. With this number we'll get a Party Political Broadcast ! 

Please do keep encouraging people to join the party and #StandInMay. 

CISTA in The Huffington Post

This morning party Chair, Paul Birch, outlined CISTA's key aims in The Huffington Post.

Putting forward our plans to convene a Royal Commission to review UK cannabis laws, the article gets to the heart of why the government’s current policies need changing.

On medicinal consumption:

“Beyond safe recreational use, cannabis legalisation would be an enormous step forward for people who use cannabis for pain relief and help with symptoms from a variety of conditions, from epilepsy to multiple sclerosis. […] Criminalising MS sufferers for a few joints to relieve the pain is regressively Victorian. Legalisation would be a great help to people living in difficult circumstances.”

Cannabis’ recent coverage in the press:

“The harm from cannabis stems directly from its current legal status. Recently, the news has been filled with stories of the detrimental effects of so-called "skunk" - high-strength THC, produced for the illegal market. This can of course have detrimental effects: the recent experiment where Channel 4 News journalist Jon Snow took vast amounts of skunk resulting in him feeling "as if his soul had been wrenched from his body" was akin to forcing a teetotaller to down a bottle of illegally distilled moonshine. But in a regulated industry, the risk to consumers can be considerably reduced.

The British public’s appetite for change:

"Over 80 per cent of the population of Britain already believes that the "war on drugs" is failing: innocent people are criminalised, while criminals profit. These are not the hallmarks of a just system. This alone is reason enough to look again at how we treat people who consume cannabis"

Head over to The Huffington Post website to read the full article.

Welcome to CISTA: Stand in May

We're heartened and thrilled that hundreds of people have joined us in the first week. CISTA has emerged as a real political force.

The focus for us now is continuing to field candidates. If you're interesting in standing you can sign up here.

Over the last week we've had people of all ages and backgrounds coming forward asking to stand and explaining why cannabis legalisation is important to them. All candidates will be standing locally where they live or work.

We are building a diverse party that really represents the UK. Our candidates aren't career politicians - most will be in full time work or study - so we'll be providing a support network and training for whatever needs they have. Whether it's public speaking, social media or crowdfunding.

We will be supporting MPs from all parties who have proven their committment to reforming Britain's drug laws. So we will not stand candidates in constituencies with an existing MP who supports cannabis legalisation - so that means not challenging seats with current Lib Dem and Green MPs.

Please do get in touch if you have any questions, and share widely!

Paul Birch,