For as long as I’ve been alive, it’s been illegal to smoke cannabis in this country but that hasn’t stopped pretty much everyone I’ve ever met from smoking it at least a couple of times in their life.
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I’m not really sure how many of those people would be actively worried about being arrested by the police for indulging in the herb, but if anyone out there is then this article should be music to their ears. It turns out that the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) is now encouraging British police officers to soften their approach towards cannabis users, giving the individual the choice to arrest, caution, warn or simply let go those caught in possession of the drug. They’re also told to recommend users seek treatment rather than prosecuting them, in the hopes that it would lower re-offending rates.
Cleveland assistant chief constable Jason Harwin thinks there’s a lot of evidence that shows that this approach will work to deal with the problem:
There is strong evidence to suggest that recommending minor offenders for early intervention treatment instead of pursuing convictions can prevent re-offending and result in the best outcome for both the user and the criminal justice system.
It is a matter for chief constables, in liaison with their police and crime commissioners, to determine operational priorities.
There are a range of options for dealing with those found in possession of cannabis or who cultivate the plant that are proportionate to individual circumstances – these include out-of-court disposals and cannabis warnings, as well as prosecution.
Cool – sounds really convincing. Obviously this is a great idea though because everyone knows that smoking weed or even selling weed isn’t really a crime that’s going to hurt anyone of even affect anyone, except maybe the person smoking it if they whitey or get really fat because they’ve got the munchies all the time.
About time this happened and hopefully it can free up the police to tackle some serious problems like knife crime or whatever. Probably not though because they’re already understaffed. So it goes. At least this is progress though.
For more weed, check out this stoner attempting the most insane weed challenge ever. Seriously crazy.