A cancer survivor has slammed the claims of a police crime commissioner that cannabis cannot be legalised because of its “anti-social smell”. Appearing on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire Show, Jack Morgan, a 21-year-old student at Bristol University, said: “I don’t understand how a smell can be anti-social compared to the anti-social behaviour caused by alcohol. People drinking alcohol become aggressive, get into fights; people who have smoked cannabis are the opposite, they’re very relaxed, they don’t cause harm to anyone.”
Devon & Cornwall Police Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez – an apparent proponent of vigilante justice who has admitted to smoking cannabis in the past, amid other controversies – had said that in eight years not one community suffering from high levels of drug abuse had demanded decriminalisation. “This is a moral argument, not just a legal argument,” she said. “The important thing for me is the anti-social smell of cannabis, the users don’t even consider the harm it is causing to a wider community. I’ve had people claiming to me that their neighbours are constantly smoking it and the smell is so anti-social and it is affecting their lives.”
Ron Hogg, Labour Durham Police and Crime Commissioner, reminded Hernandez that two-thirds of the British population want a review of cannabis policy, rebuking the idea that most people find it anti-social. Meanwhile, six PCCs have come out in favour of the UKCSC model.
UK Cannabis Social Club spokesperson Edouard Desforges made the point that “edibles don’t smell… if we had regulated products then there would be a diversity of products and that might lead to situations where people were taking safer, for them, forms of cannabis.”
He also pointed to statistics that showed lower levels of both violent crime and use of stronger drugs in the US states that have legalised cannabis.
Jack was was diagnosed with cancer in October 2017, and started using cannabis medicinally “to help alleviate symptoms of chemotherapy,” he said. “It had really good anti-nausea properties, it gave me an appetite, and psychologically it made me feel relaxed.”