Following the general elections last week, Jersey's new States Assembly was officially sworn in at the Royal Court on Monday.
End Cannabis Prohibition Jersey has contacted all States Members to congratulate them on their election to the Assembly, and has invited those we did not meet or engage with during our campaign to meet with us over the summer to advise them on cannabis issues.
With the upcoming elections of the Chief Minister, the Council of Ministers and the Scrutiny Panel Chairs, we shall be lobbying the candidates on matters specific to their portfolio, as well as suggesting questions to other States Members to ask of the candidates.
This blog post shall be the last in our weekly series relating to the ECPJ election campaign, to be replaced with an ad hoc series recording our lobbying efforts with the new Government and Scrutiny Panels.
Reflecting on our election campaign, the ECPJ Team are delighted with the outcome of our efforts.
We focused our campaign on engaging with the election candidates rather than the electorate, on the basis that cannabis reform is the right thing to do and not a populist issue.
End Cannabis Prohibition Jersey engaged with the majority of the candidates and ascertained the opinions of three-quarters of them on the subject of cannabis reform.
Of the new States Members, we believe that over two-thirds are at least receptive to considering a progressive approach to cannabis in the coming term of the Assembly. See the elections section of our website for further details.
Cannabis featured in Reform Jersey's party manifesto, as well as that of Piers Sangan and also Moz Scott's How Proposition List – all as a consequence of engaging with our campaign.
There were a number of candidates who did not respond to our messages, which in hindsight we should have attempted to contact by phone. Perhaps we should have clarified in our emails that End Cannabis Prohibition Jersey is registered with the Jersey Data Protection Authority to allay any concerns that they may have had with engaging with us.
Our presentation outlining End Cannabis Prohibition Jersey's key recommendations was well received by all of the candidates we met.
We are particularly grateful to the Santander Work Café for it's provision of free meeting rooms and for accommodating us in the downstairs meeting room on occasion, which allowed us to maintain zero expenditure on our campaign.
The End Cannabis Prohibition Jersey Twitter account received a good response throughout the campaign, with daily tweets highlighting our recommendations for reform and numerous retweets of pertinent content. We could have perhaps done more with our Facebook page, which we neglected in favour of our existing Facebook group.
ECPJ was featured in 3 articles in the Jersey Evening Post, including the front page story on the . It would have been nice to have received further attention from the local media, but we're happy with the coverage provided by the JEP.
From the outset, we considered it necessary to maintain a clean and focused campaign due to the subject matter. A chink in the armour could have detracted from our message but we kept on point throughout.
We have shifted the Overton window on cannabis discourse. In the coming weeks and months, we shall be lobbying States Members to continue the conversation and advance cannabis reform.
States Members in Guernsey debated the Government Work Plan this week, which included a proposition to undertake the scoping work for a review of the legal status of cannabis in Q1 2023.
A great deal of lobbying occurred ahead of the debate both in favour and in opposition to beginning work on the cannabis review, which included our response to Deputy Rob Prow's open letter in Monday's edition of the Guernsey Press.
Amendment 10 to remove the proposition on cannabis was withdrawn at the last minute, while Amendment 9 was adopted to ensure sufficient resources are made available for this workstream.
The proposition as amended was adopted by the States of Deliberation yesterday, with 20 votes pour, 14 votes contre and 5 members absent.
The resolution to undertake the scoping work for the review of the legal status of cannabis in Guernsey is a momentous step forward for the whole of the British Isles.
There is a great deal of overlap in the issues relating to cannabis reform in Jersey and Guernsey, some of which we have addressed in our presentation:
We shall be actively encouraging our new Goverment here in Jersey to cooperate with Guernsey on this workstream.
Keep an eye out for the first update of End Cannabis Prohibition Jersey's lobbying efforts, coming soon.
À bétôt et à la préchaine,
The ECPJ Team.