Pin It
weed jarlos
via @jarlos420

It’s official: police in the UK have ‘given up’ on weed

Arrests for possession have fallen by nearly 50 per cent since 2010, with only one in four users now being charged

In news that probably won’t shock anyone, police appear to have officially stopped giving a shit about cannabis. According to new figures obtained by both the BBC and The Sun, just one in four people caught with the drug in the UK are now charged – with arrests falling by 46 per cent since 2010.

The stats, pulled from 31 forces, reveal a shockingly sharp drop in police interest in the drug. They confirm that, on average, 27 per cent of people caught with weed are charged, with 40 per cent walking away with just a caution.

Some forces in the country even admitted that personal weed users were no longer being proactively “sought out” or targeted. In Cambridgeshire, for example, as few as 14 per cent of people caught with cannabis are charged. However, in areas like Hampshire and Cheshire, that figure rockets up to around 65 per cent. 

Speaking out on the subject last July, Durham’s Police and Crime commissioner Ron Hogg claimed that his force was “not prioritising” people who have a small number of cannabis plants for their own use. “In low-level cases, we say it is better to work with them and put them in a position where they can recover,” he explained.

Durham’s Chief Constable Mike Barton also said that the force’s growing leniency to the drug had “freed up” staff to deal with “more important” things. “I'm not condoning drug use. I never have,” he added.

The Centre for Policy Studies’ Kathy Gyngell was less optimistic about this shift of interests, though. “These figures show the police have given up on cannabis,” she told The Sun. “It represents a total failure to protect the interests of young people. The correct sanction at the right age might just save them from a dangerous drug.”