Duty Of The Police – “I’m just doing my job”
A majority of police forces in the UK maintain the Government policy of outright prohibition of cannabis and exercise the Misuse of Drugs Act when a cannabis offence takes place in their jurisdiction. Until such a time comes where legislation changes, cannabis consumers continue to be at risk.
A police officer is not permitted to allow personal feelings towards a law to interfere with their ability to carry out their duty towards the law. Arguing with the police over cannabis will have no impact on the law but it could land you in more trouble.
UK Police Budget For Cannabis
Each year roughly £1.25 bn is spent by the police trying to eradicate cannabis.
UK Arrest & Prison Statistics
2017 statistics coming soon.
Cannabis Postcode Lottery
There are some areas of the country where catching a distinct whiff of cannabis out in public is an all too common occurrence. The police are well aware members of the public and residents of these towns and cities use cannabis but they also know there is no way to arrest our way to a drug free society.
What you may get away with in one area of the UK may not be tolerated in another area. Some forces in the UK put out public information campaigns requesting neighbours grass in any cannabis growers they know of in their street.
Personal Use Vs Commercial & Criminal Intent
While possession for personal use will get you a written warning or a fine (Penalty Charge Notice – PCN) before criminal sanctions become a real option, when it comes to selling cannabis, or producing it to for distribution the law takes a much harsher stance on the offender.
Police forces are still interested in and actively investigate leads called in by members of the public and want to stop commercial grows by organised crime gangs that use domestic premises, steal electricity and use internationally trafficked children to tend the plants.
A Different Approach – #SensibleNotSoft
Since the introduction of Police Crime Commissioners to the UK in 2012, a number of forces have opted to divert their resources away from active investigations into personal drug use. This includes cannabis possession and personal or medical cultivation. While this should not be seen as an endorsement by the police force it is widely recognised as a step towards de facto decriminalisation of cannabis in these counties.
Forces such as Durham, Cleveland and North Wales have taken recognition of the UKCSC model and clubs that are active in their jurisdiction. Several other forces have followed a road similar to these icebreaker forces.
Some Police Crime Commissioners have even been to visit some UKCSC clubs out of their own county under recommendation of another force with one operating in their area.
While this is allowing some clubs to flourish, it depicts a test model image in the UK for Cannabis Social Clubs and is not a general representation of the whole UK.
Cannabis Social Clubs have played an integral role in helping change the way cannabis is viewed in the the UK. Through continued activism and campaigning in their local areas they have helped challenge the stigma and open up a public dialogue enabling new language and ideas to enter into the mainstream.
UKCSC have previously campaigned to work with Police Crime Commissioners and have kept an open relationship with a number of forces that recognise the value of our model and can see the benefit it is having on the local community. Building stronger ties between the police and ordinary people who use cannabis is of benefit to society.
UKCSC and local cannabis clubs have been invited to attend police symposiums on drug policy.
LEAP UK – Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
This organisation is mainly composed of ex police officers and figures of authority who feel that the current model of prohibition isn’t working, and it was once their job to enforce it. When the police are saying it’s time to legalise, then you know that something isn’t working. Upholding parts of the Drug War has been their job and now they have made it their job to try and end it.
UKCSC encourage everyone that interacts with the police about cannabis to make mention and reference to LEAP UK to help spread awareness that there is support for police officers that want to find a different opinion on cannabis than the one they are ordered to enforce.