The Telegraph has followed up yesterday’s story on anti-prohibition police commissioners and UK Cannabis Social Clubs after Arfon Jones (pictured above), Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales, signalled his support for Spanish-style collectives where users trade home-grown cannabis products with each other.
Jones told the Telegraph he was “sympathetic” to the clubs allowing users to grow their own cannabis for “regulated consumption by their members”.
He added that authorities should focus instead on the “legal regulation of cannabis for medicinal and recreational use”.
Durham Constabulary said its officers would not be likely to search homes even if the occupants were known to be cultivating cannabis. A spokesman for the force said: “Anyone who is seen by a police officer to be smoking cannabis in County Durham and Darlington will be arrested.
“However, our officers are unlikely to apply for a warrant to search a house if they learn there is a single plant inside which is being grown for personal use.”
UKCSC chairman Greg de Hoedt told the paper that their thousands of members include magistrates, bank managers, NHS nurses and television soap actors, and that they have provided cannabis oil to the wife of an MP for medicinal purposes.
Greg de Hoedt and Sy Dignam of Hampshire Cannabis Community and CannafamUK at Green Pride UKCSC
He pointed out that firefighters suffering from PTSD use the drug as well as ex-military members and magistrates in Sussex and Surrey.
In Middlesborough, cannabis club chairman Michael Fisher admitted members openly buy and sell the class B drug, because being in a collective “keeps the price down”.
“Cannabis will be traded between members for anything from £100 an ounce to £150 an ounce,” he said. “Street value is £200 to £280 an ounce.
“Our members in Teesside have a few collectives that they grow amongst themselves, and we have a collective that we work with as well, that grows cannabis for the members.
“The average age of our current members is around 45 years old. We have a couple of gentlemen in their 60s and one in his 70s. We have a lot of people that own their own businesses – everything from furniture to car sales to mechanics.
“In four years of operating we have only had one caution by police and that was for a noise complaint at the cannabis festival.”
Sy Dignam, chair of the Hampshire Cannabis Club, organised a meet of 150 people on a beach in Portsmouth last month. “The Police didn’t turn up, they never do,” he told the paper.
“If someone complains they have to come down, but the last time they came, they had a look at my stall, with my grinders and all my merchandise and said ‘We can’t smell cannabis’ and walked off.”
Cannanis Social Clubs are continuing to form in every part of the UK and an National Cannabis Social Club conference will take place in London in November this year.