End Cannabis Prohibition Jersey
for Reform.


ECPJ Campaign Update #15.

Taking stock.

It's been a relatively quiet week for the End Cannabis Prohibition Jersey election campaign.

With postal voting underway and pre-poll voting open next week, the electorate are now refining their choices to the candidates who best represent their interests.

ECPJ are no longer requesting meetings with candidates as they are all busy with their individual campaigns, canvassing their districts and attending hustings events. We are however continuing our attempts to engage with election candidates to gauge their stances on cannabis.

Responses from the remaining candidates is proving elusive. Considering the illicit nature of the subject, it is quite feasible that our emails may have been flagged as spam. Alternatively, some candidates may have intended to provide a considered response and have yet to find the time to do so. Others may be opposed to cannabis reform and have therefore decided not to engage with us.

In order to ascertain the stances of candidates who have yet to provide us with their opinion directly, we have looked at their responses to related hustings questions and their engagement with other lobby groups.

The Jersey Evangelical Alliance has undertaken a survey of the election candidates, which included the question: "Are you in favour of legalising recreational cannabis use?"

There were 19 individual responses to the JEA survey, the majority of which from candidates we have already engaged with. It is interesting to note that some of those responses were more conservative than the views expressed privately to End Cannabis Prohibition Jersey.

Questions relating to recreational cannabis have been asked at two of the hustings events so far, the Grouville & St Martin Deputies Candidate Question Time and the St Mary, St Ouen & St Peter Hustings at St Mary's Parish Hall.

Notably, both Ian Gorst and David Benn expressed their objection to cannabis reform at the St Mary, St Ouen & St Peter Hustings. We have therefore classified their stance as opposed in our candidate listings for District 1.

As things currently stand, End Cannabis Prohibition Jersey has met with 24 candidates and interacted with a further 17 to confirm their individual stance on cannabis reform.

From candidates' responses to the JEA Election Survey and hustings questions, and also recent social media posts, we have discerned the opinion of a further 6 candidates.

We are therefore confident in the opinions of 47 of the 92 candidates (51%) on whether they would consider undertaking a progressive approach to cannabis if elected – including 15 party members.

Based upon the party allegiances of the remaining candidates, we believe that the 7 other Reform Jersey candidates will be supportive of cannabis reform due to the inclusion of decriminalisation in their party manifesto. The 15 other members of the political parties we assume to be receptive following meetings with their party leaders. However, we are less certain of the stances of these candidates, especially given that David Benn's recent statement contradicts our understanding of the position of the Jersey Liberal Conservatives.

ECPJ is therefore of the understanding that 14 candidates are supportive of decriminalisation/legalisation, 38 are receptive to considering a progressive approach, 15 are likely be receptive based upon their party allegiances, and 2 are opposed to cannabis reform – which is 69 of the 92 candidates (75%).

The stances of the other 23 candidates remain unknown at this time.

See the elections section of our website for listings of all the candidates along with what we understand to be their stance on cannabis reform.

It is interesting to note the number of different organisations vying for the attention of the election candidates, whether that be by holding large events for all candidates, individual engagement or the sending out of questionnaires.

There is evidently a desire for these organisations' concerns to be heard by the candidates in the hope that they may be addressed in the next term of the States Assembly.

The sheer volume of these actions also implies a lack of communication and engagement over the course of the current Government to address these concerns, which ECPJ can attest.

We sincerely hope that communication with States Members and Government departments becomes easier for everyone following the general elections.

It is simply poor etiquette to not at least acknowledge receipt of a message.

À bétôt et à la préchaine,
The ECPJ Team.