Despite it being a short week what with the two bank holidays for the Platinum Jubilee, ECPJ met with 5 election candidates to present our recommendations for reform.
On Tuesday, End Cannabis Prohibition Jersey met with Steve Pallett who is seeking re-election in St Brelade (District 2) on behalf of The Progress Party, together with Malcolm Ferey who is standing for Deputy in St Saviour (District 7) for the Jersey Liberal Conservatives. This was followed by a meeting with Mary Venturini who is standing for election as Deputy in St John, St Lawrence and Trinity (District 3).
On Wednesday, we held meetings with Inna Gardiner who is seeking re-election in St Helier North (District 4) and Lee Cornick who is standing for Deputy of St Saviour (District 7).
End Cannabis Prohibition Jersey has now met with 24 candidates and we have corresponded with a further 15 candidates to understand their stance on cannabis reform. All of the responses to our campaign have been positive.
Having now met with all 4 of the political parties, we can extrapolate the opinions of the party leaders to their members and so we believe that there are currently 63 candidates who would at least be receptive to taking a progressive approach to cannabis if elected.
There are 30 independent candidates that have yet to respond to our emails. As time is running out to hold meetings with the remaining candidates, we hope to engage in correspondence with most of them before the elections to discover their positions on cannabis reform.
Following our interview with the Jersey Evening Post last week, an article was published on Monday covering the candidates' responses to our campaign: More than half of election candidates 'would support a progressive approach to cannabis' in Jersey.
The wording of the online headline differed to that of the print version, which more accurately reflected our perspective:
"Cannabis campaigners hopeful of more progressive Assembly".
At this time, ECPJ can only state that members of Reform Jersey are supportive of cannabis reform as they have included it in their party manifesto. We ascribe the other candidates that we have met and corresponded with, or extrapolated from their party allegiances, to be receptive to undertaking a progressive approach to cannabis reform.
Also this week, the Coordinator of End Cannabis Prohibition Jersey spoke on the subject of the cannabis industry at Better Way's Let's Talk event on the future economy. There was a small audience with several candidates in attendance, along with a couple of people who work in the industry that we had invited to the event. There were also talks given on the digital economy, sustainability and the creative industries, with all speakers emphasising the value of entrepreneurship, innovation, agility and appropriate regulation.
In the course of our meetings with election candidates, End Cannabis Prohibition Jersey has been represented by 2 members of the team, with 6 of us having participated in the different meetings.
We had our photo taken on Wednesday for a further article in the Jersey Evening Post to be published in the coming days. Unfortunately, one of the team couldn't make it so we'll have to get one taken with everyone in due course for posterity.
This campaign has already been more successful in reaching the election candidates than we could have hoped for. The response we have received has been varied but overwhelmingly positive.
Having now started this conversation, we hope that those who are elected to the Assembly later this month will be able to look around at their fellow representatives and find common ground on this subject.
À bétôt et à la préchaine,
The ECPJ Team.