Avon and Somerset Constabulary Receive On-line Backlash Over Pointless Cannabis Raid

On 30th of July Avon and Somerset Constabulary posted  a picture to their Facebook page boasting of a “successful Misuse of Drugs Act warrant” being exercised and it didn’t go down too well. 

The picture, presumably a still taken from a helmet cam worn by one of the officers due to the image quality, shows three visible officers in full protective riot armour. Stab proof vests, helmets with full face protection and elbow length protective gloves similar to Batman. One of the officers is smashing in the front door with a one man battering ram, several blows must have already been made to the door as you can see circular holes punched through the panels.

The post reads:

Bath officers carried out a successful Misuse of Drugs warrant at a house in Upper Bloomfield Road, Odd Down this morning. A small amount of cannabis resin was seized and drugs equipment found. A 43-year-old woman was given a cannabis warning. Call us on 101 if you’re concerned about drugs activity in your community.

Needless to say, the reaction the disturbing image provoked was high in emotion but probably no match for the terror that the poor 41 year old woman who lives behind that door must have felt.

The picture has found itself shared 194 times at the time of writing this and had 495 comments expressing thoughts on the police forces actions on this supposed “crime”. What we at the UK Cannabis Social Clubs found quite sad is that they posted this image looking for support from the public and to show that they are doing a good job. It could not have gone worse for them.

There was nothing successful about this raid. No one was protected, no victim was saved. There isn’t even a positive outcome for the police. What is the cost of dressing up your officers like storm-troopers for the day, taking out the van, possibly the dogs, filing for the warrant etc etc… seems like a pretty ridiculous amount of work just for a bit of hash only to give out a slip of paper saying “Cannabis Warning”.

Another way of looking at it is a group of men got riled up with adrenaline and used heavy equipment to invade a woman’s home for enjoying herself with plant matter.

We spoke to a representative from the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws UK (NORML UK) Women’s Alliance, Michelle Anne X, 49 who uses cannabis medically to treat MS. She knows what it is like to be on the other side of the door in this situation.

“Quite terrifying because you don’t know how they are going to be. They could be nice or they could decide to treat you like some kind of street thug gangster – I’m just a sick person that grew a plant to not be sick though.”

About her cannabis use for MS Michelle said “It’s a feeling like you have no control over your physical capabilities and this is the daily battle of MS. Finding a treatment for that debilitating condition is like a miracle…. to have the police destroy and take away my relief is beyond belief.”

Watch her video statement snippet from Grassroots The Cannabis Revolution documentary about her latest arrest.

She has recently been raided for the second time by Oxfordshire Constabulary for growing her own medicine. The first time she opted for a Crown Court Hearing as she believed she stood a very good chance of getting the case thrown out on the grounds that she had been treated in legal medical cannabis trials successfully. A day before Michelle was due to go to Crown Court an Oxfordshire Police Officer phones her and asked her if she would take a caution for growing over 40 plants.

Here’s the head of Oxfordshire Police saying they have a tight budget and will only investigate real crimes.

Both of these examples raise an important question. What on earth is the point in prosecuting people who use cannabis and why does it matter if they are using it medically or not? And if we aren’t going to prosecute them, why in the green grass of Gloucester are we still executing raids on people for it?

On the 5th of August Liam Smith posted

Is it possible to launch a public formal complaint about this? Seems like a lot of wasted tax money and time that could of been used to police real matters? Or is this an attempt to show you guys want more people to sign the goverment petition to legalise and regulate cannabis to prevent more wasted money and time?

Another post by Steve Clements said

The war on drugs destroying people’s lives and the reputation of the police, well done Avon and Somerset constabulary, even more communities destroyed by your actions, congratulations”.

But they were two of the kinder ones. It’s a shame – but what do you expect when it’s an issue people feel so passionately about?

If the police want to use Facebook as a tool for building public relations they should stop demonising cannabis consumers on their page for a start, and if they want to extend that to their entire philosophy of policing that would be also do everyone a favour. Drug laws as they stand are one of the main key drivers in causing bad police/public relations and even independent police reports have highlighted this to them.

For the best information on how to deal with the police in a stop and search situation read Releases Y- STOP card and other great leaflets on your rights and the law.

The Sensible Cannabis Consumer

Like Somerset Cannabis Community and Bristol Cannabis Club on Facebook and visit their website.

Comments (10)

  1. I do not need weed, however I have no argument with its use, barring the stench from 2 doors away from my house, and I have to close my patio doors because of the smell of skunk, not sure why some people need it every day and when they wake up.
  2. IF THE GOVENMENT, spent as much time monitoring the invaders from france like they do a petty bit of draw, we might just might save a fortune on them infadels scamming into the UK to live of benefits and illegal acitivities, because they wont conform, they need to spend more effort stopping this cancer creeping in. WERE BEING OVER RUN, AND THE CAMERON PUSSY AINT DOING JACK SHIT ABOUT IT
  3. The Charges Against Prohibition 1 - To deny cheap, safe, effective medication to sick and dying people the world over is mass torture and mass murder and it happens as the result of persecution and mass incarceration of minority groups and the poor for the purpose of dividing the community and leaving the people politically powerless against the industrial, military, police, war state. The Drug War is a “Crime Against Humanity”. 2 - The drug war has stolen traditional crops grown by people across the world for food, fiber and medicine and as a staple of economic trade. The brutal destruction of these crops of universal utility has seriously degraded living conditions for millions of people around the world, especially for people and nations of colour. The drug war has impoverished and criminalized them, while funding organized crime, corruption, militia and terrorism and has left the world's poorest people at the mercy of the world's most ruthless people. The drug war is an attack on the rights of people to live with the land and live by their own means and labor and by the fruits of the Earth. The Drug War is an act of “Genocide”.
  4. The most disgusting part is that they are under no obligation at all to listen to anyone who disagrees with their actions, let alone change anything about the way they operate. The law (that if anyone disagrees with surely must be inherently evil and a detriment to society hurr hurr) says that if you've got even just a single leaf of the plant you've gotta be arrested, no matter your circumstance or justification. It makes my blood boil.
  5. What a waste of time and money - Would be better spent catching rapist, pedophiles and Burglaries.... You know "real" crimes. The fact that the "police" caused major criminal damage for no actual reason is tantamount to hired thugs going round to someones house and stealing from them. Essentially that's all the so called "police" did. There was no justice in this, in fact they caused this woman harm and according to common law that is illegal and all involved should be prosecuted for such.

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