back to article Police likely to ignore Brown's cannabis changes

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) wants to keep flexibility in how it deals with people caught in possession of cannabis, despite Gordon Brown's apparent desire to reclassify it. In a statement today, ACPO said: "We would seek to retain the flexibility in dealing with instances of simple possession on the street, …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Anonymous Coward

Leaving cannabis as a class C drug.

Is just a drug dealers charter, legalise it or ban it.

Bloody Brown's incapable of making a sodding decision on anything.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Its election time

I suspect that Broon's hints are from a genuinely held Calvinist distaste for pleasure, especially cheaply obtained and in others. However, mercifully one man does not a government make, and once middle England has voted (today) it will all quietly be forgotten.

More lethal, indeed... does the man "do" grammar? or truth for that matter.

PS Gordy - what's all that UK Gold you sold worth now?

0
0
Flame

In other news

Police also likely to ignore theft, assault, fraud and gross violations of RIPA because it's too difficult and doesn't being in enough revenue.

It would be nice to put a positive spin on this, nice to believe that those who enforce the laws have sense even if those who make them don't, but meh, who are we kidding.

Flame icon for more than one reason.

0
0
Silver badge
Coat

Kids today!

"At that time aggravating circumstances included public disorder, blowing smoke in a police officer's face, or being under 17 years of age."

How is being under 17 an aggravating factor? I suppose there's only limited scope for repeat offences as the kids will eventually grow out of it...

Mine's the grey one with the arrow print.

0
0
Silver badge
Gates Horns

Common Sense Prevails ..... now there's a Novelty/First 42 Prevent a National Disobedience

And there again, some are not likely to ignore Brown's cannabis changes..... which introduce an unworkable situation, with no clear guide lines, only subjective interpretation. It is therefore best that things remain as they are then, with no unnecessary changes, so that it is still technically illegal but not criminalised when for discrete personal use/possession ... with confiscation and a warning accompanying the identifying receipt?

Which shouldn't be a problem for the new listening, man of the people, Mr Brown. If he wants something more helpful to do, he could always make the possible and probable dangers of drugs abuse and misuse known to everyone, so that solid practical experienced information cannot be said to be lacking.

And Bill with horns because Windows is Cracked and a Phisherman's Friend?

0
0
Silver badge

Selective enforcement

"including the discretion to issue warnings in appropriate circumstances."

Such as if the user is rich and white?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Am I understanding this right?

The police are going to ignore the man that is going to ignore the scientists that think that everything is fine as it is.

What's the betting that U-turn Brown does his U-turn before Monday, and announces that he is going to listen to the scientists after all? Probably slim, but seeing as how it'll be the one decision (so far) that he hasn't retracted, he *could* use this as an oppurtunity not to have his mind changed for him.

0
0
Paris Hilton

@Gordon Brown

Brown told breakfast telly show GMTV he was concerned about "skunk, this more lethal part of cannabis".

Pardon?

Since when was skunk lethal? I know loads of dope smokers, who smoke nothing but skunk. None of them are dead.

Paris, as an intellectual companion for Brown on this one...

0
0
Alert

why?

why the hell is brown bothering even considering reclassifyin this drug when they are far more important things to worry about ie. tax and catching real criminals its pathetic they're not doing any harm to the general public!!!!!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@JonB

"legalise it or ban it."

I fear you are missing the point.

Cannabis is already banned. Reclassifying it as a Class C drug didn't make it any less banned or any less illegal than before - it just changed the penalties that went with ignoring that ban.

Reclassifying cannabis back to a Class B will not make it any more illegal or any more banned - it will simply increase the penalties that come with ignoring said ban.

If people continue to sell, buy, and smoke cannabis after already being aware of the consequences, then it's their own fault if the get caught and penalised for choosing to ignore the law.

On a side note, was it not the police who have been calling for cannabis to be upgraded to a class B?

0
0
Go

Good for dealers

Either relax the laws and stick it in the same bracket as alcohol or smoking, which would help educate users as to it's risks and rewards, or increase the risk for posession, production and supply. At the moment, looking at sentencing guidelines, in 2004 97% of cultivation of cannabis cases were dealt with in a Magistrates court, or about 1 every day.

Discharge, Community service, Absolute discharge and Fine were 98% of the total, 1% Suspended Sentence Order, 1% taken into Custody.

Only commerical cultivation is referred to the Crown Court, 1 or 2 plants, only personal use results in fines, "Small scale cultivation for personal use AND non-commercial supply to friends"

carries a maximum 12 weeks custody, which in 98% of cases never gets used.

Simple point there is no link between policing guidelines, magistrate sentencing guidelines, the report by the drugs advisory commity and Gordon Browns ideas on Class C and B drugs.

Good to see the police are ignoring him on this.

0
0
Thumb Down

Police discretion.

Is the same as discrimination. As the first commenter said, legalize it or ban it. And if you ban it, ban smoking an alcohol too. And possibly caffeine. It's the only consistent thing to do.

The UK and US government(s) need to get over this fixation.

0
0

Aren't we good sheep...

Broke my own ban, oops.

I fail to see why law/government stories are reported -- just tow the party line, nobody cares enough to string our dictators up.

0
0

"lethal"? What's he been smoking?

Let him show one death from "this more lethal part of cannabis" first. Not driving while stoned, which can and should be regulated, but lethal pot use.

From the handy-dandy internets thingie:

"According to which US Government authority you want to believe, the lethal dose of marijuana is either about one-third your body weight, or about 1,500 pounds, consumed all at once.

"In summary, enormous doses of Delta 9 THC, All THC and concentrated marihuana extract ingested by mouth were unable to produce death or organ pathology in large mammals but did produce fatalities in smaller rodents due to profound central nervous system depression.

"The non-fatal consumption of 3000 mg/kg A THC by the dog and monkey would be comparable to a 154-pound human eating approximately 46 pounds (21 kilograms) of 1%-marihuana or 10 pounds of 5% hashish at one time. In addition, 92 mg/kg THC intravenously produced no fatalities in monkeys. These doses would be comparable to a 154-pound human smoking at one time almost three pounds (1.28 kg) of 1%-marihuana or 250,000 times the usual smoked dose and over a million times the minimal effective dose assuming 50% destruction of the THC by smoking.

"Thus, evidence from animal studies and human case reports appears to indicate that the ratio of lethal dose to effective dose is quite large. This ratio is much more favorable than that of many other common psychoactive agents including alcohol and barbiturates (Phillips et al. 1971, Brill et al. 1970). "

0
0
Coat

What Prime Minister?

Ah, good to see the Fuzz are ignoring Gordon. Everyone else is.

Gordon, get your coat.

0
0

Lethal?

The last time I remember being particularly concerned by this was at the IOW Festival, the year Jimmy died.

Based on the published figures I worked out that a lump of hash the size of a telephone box would be needed for everyone to have a quid deal.

At the same time it was widely accepted that the only way for hash (Good knock-out sticky Afghani or Nepalese temple balls) to kill you was for an elephant to sit on your head.

P.

Love and peace all.

0
0

Dear Mr Brown

Don't you realise you're missing a trick here? Legalise the damn stuff and think of all the tax £££'s you could rake in! For a man so obsessed with taxing us all till we squeek this should be a no brainer.

0
0
Happy

Ironic

Isn't ironic that our Prime Ministers last name is a slang name for heroin.

0
0
Go

Keeps the boyz in business...on both sides of the fence.

There is a not-altogether implausible argument that neither dealers nor the cops want the present situation to change. Illegal drugs mean high prices, keeping dealers in profit and making smuggling economically viable. At the same time cops are in no danger of losing their jobs as long as there are dealers to catch. So, everyone on both sides of the Law is kept happy.

Except for the non-drug-using public that is, who have to suffer the endless cycle of crime, theft and violence associated with drug dealing. In this context it has been estimated that a high proportion of all crimes of larceny are drug-related.

As one of the latter, I say legalise all drugs. I won't get into the arguments over whether or not cannabis is harmful. If people want to ruin their health they can in any case do so perfectly legally -and probably more effectively- with alcohol. There is also an argument that people 'get into' drugs precisely because of the dealers' hard-sell tactics. Legalising drugs would make the criminal rackets unworthwhile, and that would be a huge benefit to society.

0
0
Alien

Absolutely out of touch

Since the rise in busts of the so called Cannabis factories, the streets of this country (and you only have to read the countless forums on this subject matter to know) are flooded with contaminated cannabis - adulterated to increase the weight and hence profits. Just surf the web and you'll find countless stories of glass, sand, wax etc being added to Cannabis by unscrupulous dealers to increase the profits.

It also seems that if someone is determined to consume Cannabis, then they will. And who can blame them considering that it is everywhere, and those who consume it generally consume it because they have their own free will and make their own choices in life. I bet 99.9% of dope smokers don't break other laws and as such they do have faith in their own morality regardless of what a total immoral politician says. A quick straw poll around our office says that everyone has smoked cannabis at some point in their life and around half would accept a joint if offered one.

Property prices are falling while the street price of marijuana is going through the roof, allowing organized crime to make even bigger profits and expand at an even faster rate - and these are probably the same guys contaminating the product - making it milder in the process which increases consumption which hence increase profits which will in turn increase the number of cannabis factories which in turn will increase the amount of cannabis on the streets which will increase profits which will increase the number of cannabis factories.

I have reduced the process as I see it to the following pseudo code:

public smallint outlayPerFactory;

private bigint profits;

public static void MarijuanaPolicy (bool isProhibited)

{

try

{

while(cannabis is prohibited )

{

outlayPerFactory = averageHousePrice / 4; // based on current bank lending of 25% of the value of the property.

int numberOfFactories += profits / outlayPerFactory ;

profits = numberOfFactories * veryLargeAmountOfMoney;

}

}

catch (houseFullOfWeedException e)

{

if(!e.house.IsEmpty() && grower == haplessButMorallyInnocentImmigrantTrickedIntoGrowingAndTooScaredToLeaveTheFactoryForThreatOfViolenceAgainstThemselvesAndTheirFamily )

{

Prison.Add( grower );

BrainsBehindTheOperation.Visible = false;

}

}

finally

{

if(isProhibited)

{

MarijuanaPolicy( true );

}

else

{

MillionsOfPeopleCurrentlyClassedAsCriminals = false;

HugeShotInTheArmToTheGovernmentCoffers = true;

ReduceExistingTaxes = true;

DirtyCannabisMoneyHemmoragingFromTheUKEconomy.Stop();

AdulteratedCannabisFloodingTheMarket.Remove();

PersonalAndCivilLiberties.Add(this);

}

}

}

Apologies for any undeclared local variables - I must have a short memory due to massive cannabis consumption as a student.

These days I don't partake - but that is not through choice - it's a combination of the missus' choice and that I work in a mission critical IT sector and I simply don't have time. Plus the fact that all the so called 'Skunk' on the street hasn't even been worth it's highly inflated price for some considerable time. Every once in a while I meet up with the old mates from Uni - and most of them still smoke! And we left uni over a decade ago - they are mostly repected professionals commanding high salaries in the city.

In addition to all of this, GB's shooting himself in the foot - If you look at a cross section of all Smokers - he'll have far more votes to lose. How many Tory voting builders puffing on a joint at lunchtime do you see each day? None - coz they all vote labour.

The Tories will make it class B regardless of what Labour do - so it's all irrelevant anyway - unless that is GB does his usual U-Turn and legalises before the next general election - which let's face it is just about the only thing left for him to do that realistically will get him voted back in. That's his last opportunity to be a political hero - only by doing something as liberating as the removal of cannabis prohibition will he be remembered in any favourible way - otherwise he's doomed to the history books as being one of the worst politcal charlatans of all time - and those books will be written by his own backbenchers in years down the line as they are trying to make a name for themselves - they'll be the ones rebuilding 'new improved labour' blotting out and distorting the abominations that have been carried out and endorsed by our esteamed leader.

0
0
Alert

Be honest...

Who thought the story was entitled "Police likely to ignore Brown's cannabis chaRges" on first reading?

Nearly choked on me lunchtime (long one) pint.

0
0
Flame

Lethal? I though that was alcohol... :P

Well, in the Intensive Care Unit where I work we have had about 4 deaths and a few severely ill survivors due to alcoholic liver disease in the last 3 months.

Funnily enough we didn't get any cannabis-smoking patients. None that were there for that reason anyway.

Could it possibly be that the government derives massive profits from a certain lethal kind of drug and therefore chooses to focus on one that so far is not indisputably proven to cause significant harm?

And no, I don't and never have smoked cannabis.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

"skunk, this more lethal part of cannabis".

Gimme a fu&%ing break! I believe research supports this: There are no documented cases of cannabis use EVER being fatal, no matter how much was consumed. True, there could be secondary lethality, such as the idiocy of doing 10 bongs and driving, but that is a little outside the scope of this.

Pretty much the most nontoxic 'drug' ever discovered.

0
0
Thumb Up

The most dangerous thing...

...I've ever seen anyone do on smoke is go to the shop for some Jaffa Cakes.

It's not like they rampage round the town on a weekend smashing windows, fighting and pissing in the streets.

0
0
Paris Hilton

@William

Equally ironic that his first name is an anagram of "drongo".

The bowl of dicks that is NuLabour has passed more legislation than any other gubbinsment in history, to the extent that neither they nor the polis seem to know what's legal any more. I'd like to think that should the Monster Raving Tory Party win the next general election, the first thing they'd do is can 2/3 of it, but that would be a prime case of hope triumphing over experience.

Paris, coz she's a Class A intellect in comparison with the average member of the gubbinsment.

0
0
Coat

Re: Lethal? I though that was alcohol... :P

"Funnily enough we didn't get any cannabis-smoking patients. None that were there for that reason anyway."

Surely it's obvious why you didn't get any. It's just like after an armed robbery - the countless victims didn't seek medical attention for fear of going to jail.

Sorry, I seem to have pierced my cheek with my tongue.

Of course, back in my day it was easy to make fake skunk by painting a white line down the back of a cat...

0
0

RE: JonB

It's not to do with illegality, it's to do with sentencing! How ever, the problem in my eyes is that they are only increasing the punishment for possession. Class B drugs can land you 6 months / upto £2500 max fine in magistrates or 5 years / an unlimited fine in crown court. Where as Class C is 3 months / upto £500 fine in magistrates and 2 years / unlimited fine in crown...

See where the problem rises, imo, is that the same does not happen for supply. The max sentence for dealing Class B and C drugs in crown court is 14 years / unlimited fine. In magistrates there's a change (3 month/£2000 to 6 month/£5000.

You have to realise that this isn't going to do ANYTHING to the suppliers. All that it'll do is allow the government to send the users to prison for longer, much longer. Considering that our prisons are already overflowing to the point that there are BAIL HOUSES in residential areas...Is that really a good idea? Also, If the government really wants to kill a drug problem in the country, don't get the users. Focus on the supply.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@AC - I fear you are missing the point.

Unfortunately I'm not, this meddling around the penalties associated with it, and the likelihood of a prosecution, is different to banning it. Banned should mean you are in trouble for possession of any quantity. Simple and understandable.

It's currently a sort of quasi legal thing that's the worst of both worlds, people doing things that won't get them prosecuted are technically criminals and otherwise law abiding people are afraid of the police and that fear breeds a general distrust.

The truth is that a lot of people don't know whether it's allowed or not, especially in the circles that use most cannabis, where the average education attainment is pretty poor.

Does anyone actually know how much you can carry before you get prosecuted rather than cautioned? Without googling it?

0
0
Unhappy

Political stunt and personal prejudice.

The re-classification against expert advice is simply a pointless political stunt that will change nothing. Brown is simply showing his puritan, Presbyterian, he has a deep and abiding fear that somewhere people are having a good time. What ill-informed, scare-mongering rubbish he spouts, the idea of "killer skunk" is rubbish although killer alcohol and killer tobacco are real and rightly legal.

The move from Class B to Class C changed little, other than reducing usage amongst the young by making it seem a bit less glamorous and dangerous. So moving it back won't change anything accept but consumption up a bit. Unfortunately the prohibition on supply causes real harm ; weed adulterated with glass, no strength controls, no age restrictions and a multi-billion pound industry given tax free to criminals. If Brown was really worried about "killer skunk" he would be legalising and controlling the trade, rather than supporting criminals and wasting police time.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@Justin Stone

>It's not to do with illegality, it's to do with sentencing!

Yes, that's what I said, by dicking about with classification they blur the legal boundaries. There's nothing achieved by making cannabis illegal but unpunished.

>The max sentence for dealing Class B and C drugs in crown court is 14 years / unlimited fine.

Doesn't that strike you as a fairly hefty punishment though?

Do you think that a person convicted of dealing a class B drug will get the

same sentence as one dealing a class C drug under those rules?

>You have to realise that this isn't going to do ANYTHING to the suppliers.

I do, that's why I believe it has to be legalised, if you can't restrict supply in an environment as locked down as prison then it isn't going to work in the general population.

>If the government really wants to kill a drug problem in the country, don't

>get the users. Focus on the supply.

There's always another dealer, a user will always be promoted to fill the need. You have to target the users to choke off demand.

Whether the consequences of doing that are desirable is questionable.

0
0
Tom

Ahhhhh, yes....

The old lethal variety of cannabis, what the fuck is he talking about, there is no lethal dosage of dope. I think i've had my fill of this dope, so happy they lost my locals by a good fair margin.

0
0
Nix
Thumb Up

Ban It

If we ban it maybe the one fifth of the country that regularly smoke it would have to stop. Give it three weeks that'll be one angry 5th of the country, just enough people to kick start an army and then we can take over the country, heads on stakes style, and then make it illegal to not grow cannabis.

Of course that wont happen, cos the bill and the labour are making far too much sending confiscated drugs back onto the street after upping the weight of the product. They dont need tax, there killing our lungs and then they smile as they refuse us health care.

Blaze 2 and ignore the bullshit, arrest me, send me to jail (oh no you cant there full). So instead lets all waste police time.

0
0

More lethal?

OK, let's assume that Skunk is more DANGEROUS than "normal" hash. Not "more lethal". *snigger*

If it's readily identifiable as a separate substance, why don't they upgrade SKUNK to Class B, and leave ordinary hash/resin/grass at Class C?

0
0
Coat

@JonB

"Does anyone actually know how much you can carry before you get prosecuted rather than cautioned?"

Legally I don't, but experience suggests that in practice it depends on the officer(s) involved, why they stopped you or entered the premises, and weather or not they have anything better to be doing. Which rather suports you "quasi legal" argument. Also the setting, I mean if you were to decide to bust every single possession case at (say) Glastonbury, or a typical university hall of residence, you'd be bussing them off site for days, have no where to keep them, and need a lorry load of stationary on which to do the paperwork.

And of course you would have tied up most of your local force for however long it took to process all that, during which time they would be unable to focus their attention on things which actually harm society like burglary, vandalism, rape, assault, fraud, vehicular manslaughter of lollipop ladies, etc, etc.

What ? What's that you say ? Given the scale of cannabis use in the UK that's what actually happens when you actively attempt to prosecute possession ? Well fuck me!

Mines the one with the King Size Rizla in the pocket, ta.

0
0

Peanuts

Slap in the face for Charlie Brown from Snoopy then.

0
0

Prohibition does not work

I thought that we were supposed to learn from history. Prohibition in the states pretty much created organised crime there. Also I will say from personal experience that having worked 5 years as a bouncer that I would rather deal with a room full of stoned people that 2 or 3 really drunk people any day of the week.

I think the reason they dont legalise it is because they already get a cut of the major profits from higher level drug dealers in the UK since to legitimise their cash they have to pay tax on it.

It would be safer for all if it was legalised and produced either by the pharmacuticals or tabacco industry as then people who choose to take weed by whatever method would know the strength of what they are using and could be sure it has not been tampered with.

0
0
Pirate

Gordon Brown is either ignorant, lying or insane.

"Lethal", he said, over and over again. What an utter moron. It's not remotely true and doesn't even bear a metaphorical resemblance to anything in reality. He's either completely ignorant of the health effects, or he's consciously lying about them, or he has some kind of mental illness that gives him delusional beliefs that spontaneously arise in his brain without any reason or sensory evidence and he's unable to think rationally about them. He looks and sounds like one of those "Reefer Madness" movies from back in the '30s.

YES YOU WILL DIE IF YOU EVEN LOOK AT A REEFER AND FIRST YOU WILL GO MAD AND THEN BECOME A THIEF AND PROBABLY A RAPIST TOO AND THEN YOU WILL DIE IT'S INEVITABLE IF YOU EVEN EVER GO NEAR ONE OR THINK ABOUT THEM IN A NOT TOO BAD WAY OR IF YOU EVER FORGET TO BE VERY VERY SCARED FOR AS MUCH AS A SINGLE SECOND.

He should be taken away in a white coat. It's an embarassment to the entire nation to have a thick delusional moron for a PM. (A liar, we're used to... )

0
0
Stop

@william

No, Alanis, it's a conicidence.

0
0

@Paul Williams

"It would be safer for all if it was legalised and produced either by the pharmacuticals"

I'd rather eat my own faeces than smoke dope produced by the pharmaceutical industry, the big joke on GB and the "Drugs are bad, mkay ?" crowd is that most of the stuff produced by big pharma has far worse side effects* than virtually anything you can buy "on the street" (discounting for moment death by overdose or other self induced stupidity).

God knows what would come out of the other end of AstraZeneca et al if you put hemp in as raw material.

Besides which, big pharma are not set up for agriculture, for that you want a Big _Farmer_. Imagine the smell of that on a summers afternoon. Best Hayfever Ever!

*yes, I know this for a fact, because I once did some system design work for a big pharma's medical information group, but I can't, sadly, PPOSTFU because I had to sign an NDA. You'd be horrified, really you would. Lets just say that for the average commercial "drug" the packaging has one small list of possible unpleasant side effects, your doctor probably has another, much longer one, and the people responsible for it's manufacture have a filing cabinet (well, it's not a filing cabinet now, it's a previously filing cabinet sized entry in a document management system, but you see what I mean)

0
0
Coat

I Smoked Lethal Skunk

Now i'm dead stoned

0
0
Black Helicopters

Because...

...law enforcement just doesn't have enough "flexibility".

Hell, we should make everything illegal, just to be on the safe side.

0
0
Paris Hilton

Useless ar&e just looking for easy wins

As a lifelong labour voter I am now at the point I was in 1995 with the tories, I know they're lying because their mouths are moving. Sadly the tory leader is less charismatic, or believable than Blair - so god help us. Bring back Charlie Kennedy you foolish Liberals, we all liked him.

Rant over; Anyway...

Brown thinks he can win back a lot of votes on the re-re-classification of dope issue. He's wrong! The obscene tax on fuel/ cars/ beer/ fags/ pensions, the cock-up on the 10p tax band and on and on.

And, then there are the revelations that our then 'Iron chancellor' was in fact just sitting back and letting the markets and Greenspan run the economy, & don't get me started on the sale of our gold reserves for $245/oz.

He's just a waste of a leather arm chair, I don't se "him" getting a job at E&Y do you.

Ranting again.

I do agree that the illegal supply chain of Cannabis is a problem; solution legalise it. Allow people to grow it in their gardens, raise some taxes and boost my BAT shares by getting them to sell it in a controlled way alongside the fags. Except you cannot smoke anymore because "it's fun" and that's bad.

Gordon Brown - go away - go away now! You muppet!

Paris, because she and Nicole Richie would do a better job of running the country.

0
0
Black Helicopters

"Hell, we should make everything illegal, just to be on the safe side."

They've already done that one. In Scotland there are no laws as such, a copper can charge you with literally anything that takes his/her fancy.

In the land of kilts and haggisses, Mr Bean's comic sketch of being arrested for 'looking at me in a funny sort of way' or 'having an offensive wife' is no joke. It's fact, and since it's totally unclear as to what is legal and what isn't, you have little chance of defending yourself in court if a copper decides your wife is a tad offensive-looking.

0
0
Flame

Grow your own

well next week while the fat smarmy b***tard and his side kick are making millions of people hardcore criminals. I'll be sitting in my loft under the the glow of 2x200watt eco-lights. Watching my 7 girls rippen into the fattest nugs this side of amsterdam.

we all have a moral duty to disobey unjust laws

flame cause i know its coming

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums