Three more police forces have signalled that those who grow cannabis for their own consumption would no longer be targeted.
Those caught smoking or growing the substance on a small scale in Derbyshire, Dorset and Surrey, can expect to escape with little more than a caution or a slap on the wrist as police chiefs signal that they are no longer their priority.
The latest reports follow a declaration by Durham’s Constabulary last week that users who grow for their own consumption would no longer be targeted by the police as the illegal activity was no longer a priority.
In the wake of the Durham Constabulary announcement an e-petition was set up to legalize marijuana in Britain. It has gathered more than the required 100,000 signatures to trigger a parliamentary debate. You can view the petition here
The Mail Online report:
Anti-drugs campaigners are concerned a soft stance on cannabis sends out a dangerous message and could lead to its decriminalisation by the ‘back door’.
And it flies in the face of the law and Government policy which makes clear the drug remains illegal and its use should carry significant penalties.
Police and crime commissioners (PCCs) across England and Wales are under pressure to set out their priorities to chief constables.
They face a vociferous pro-cannabis lobby which argues that people smoking the drug in their own home are doing no harm. But there is evidence super-strength modern skunk cannabis can lead to mental illness and act as a ‘gateway drug’ to more dangerous substances.
In Derbyshire, PCC Alan Charles said he no longer expects officers to chase people growing cannabis for personal use.
Stressing that he does not support legalisation, the former Labour councillor said: ‘When we are faced with significant budget cuts we cannot keep turning out to every single thing reported to us,’ he said.
Surrey’s PCC Kevin Hurley branded the row a ‘pointless debate’, adding that answering 999 calls and catching dangerous criminals must come first.
He said: ‘On the list of priorities cannabis moves a long way down the chain.’
The third PCC, Martyn Underhill of Dorset, said he supports Mr Hogg’s stance and is keen to investigate further.
The shift in the enforcement of cannabis laws creates a problem for the Government, which is keen to give forces the discretion to establish their own priorities.