Monday, 4 June 2012

Child, 11, among children in Norfolk caught with cannabis - comment

Whilst congratulating police for doing their job I must ask is this really necessary to protect society?  The present law whilst aimed at reducing cannabis use has in fact merely attracted criminal profiteers and street drug dealers and even enabled children to buy cannabis and maybe even hard drugs.  At great expense to the taxpayer we have sen this getting worse and worse over the years, achieving next to nothing apart from criminalising users.

What is needed is a new approach - along the lines of the Dutch Coffeeshops, outlets for adults, supplies quality controlled, consumer protections, separation from hard drugs and taxation on profits.

Face the facts, people will grow and use cannabis - the cultivation and possession for own use are victimless "crimes" and if nobody is harmed then nobody should be punished.

The law needs changing to recognise that in fact cannabis users that do no harm to others deserve the protection of law like those that drinkers have, not punishment by it.

Otherwise this will go on and on with more and more people being criminalised and alienated.

Child, 11, among children in Norfolk caught with cannabis

Evening News, June 4 2012

A child aged just 11 was among more than 3,500 people hit with police street cautions for cannabis possession in Norfolk over the past six years, new figures have revealed.

Norfolk police say an increase in such cautions in the past 12 months, along with a hike in fixed penalty notices for cannabis possession, shows police takes the use of the Class B drug seriously.

Police have the option of using a street caution when someone is caught for the first time with a small amount of the drug for personal use.

Figures revealed using the Freedom of Information Act shows that since 2006, 3,683 street cautions have been issued, with 618 issued in 2011, up from 567 on the previous 12 months.

Eighteen-year-olds were the age group hit most often with street cautions, with 519 dealt with that way, including 87 last year.

But there was also an 11-year-old who was issued with a street caution in 2010, while 11 other children aged 16 or under were caught with the drug.

If people are caught with cannabis for a second time, then police can issue a fixed penalty notice of £80.
Since their introduction in 2009, 378 people in Norfolk have been issued with penalty notices for cannabis possession.

Last year, 177 were issued, up on 133 in 2010. The youngest fined was 17 and the eldest 72.

Since 2010, a further 1,186 people have been dealt with through other cautions, the youngest being 13 and the oldest being 66.

A spokeswoman for Norfolk police said: “Cannabis use is often associated with anti-social behaviour and other criminal activity, and we are committed to tackling these issues in our communities.

“Cannabis misuse is harmful. The constabulary continues to take cannabis possession seriously, as indicated by the number of interventions and appropriate case disposals.

On the tender age of some of those dealt with, she said: “It is always a cause for concern when young people choose to misuse any drug.

“The constabulary continues to work hard with its partner agencies, through the Norfolk Drug and Alcohol Partnership to deliver harm minimisation messages.”