Manchester (UK): ‘Our cannabis laws are knackered’: Ex-cop councillor says it’s time to end the ‘status quo’ and legalise marijuana

Never a truer word spoken by yet another person who knows


An ex-cop councillor has called for cannabis to be legalised, claiming the current laws for tackling the Class B drug are “knackered”.

Coun Matt Wynne previously served with Cheshire Police, but now represents the people of Edgeley and Cheadle Heath, while studying for a graduate diploma in law.

He recently accompanied police on a raid of a Stockport house where cannabis was being grown on a ‘commercial scale’.

While the warrant – part of Operation Avro – threw up few surprises for Coun Wynne, it did reinforce his belief that an overhaul of the law is long overdue.

“I have increasingly thought for a good number of years that how we ‘deal’ with cannabis in this country is knackered,” he told the Local Democracy Reporting Service .

“ In the living room was a lad in handcuffs, mustn’t have been much over 20, every room bar the living room was full of cannabis plants near ready for harvest.

“As a former police officer back in my salad days I regularly went on such warrants so wasn’t too surprised by what I saw.

“Ten years on nothing has changed except the technology for growth seems to have advanced, bar it seems common knowledge that the business operation is much more lucrative.”

The 30-year-old travelled to Montreal in September to visit his partner, who was working out there at the time.

Canada legalised cannabis in 2018 and Coun Wynne says it was ‘impressive’ to see the system the country now has in place.

“A quality controlled product regulated by the government, licensed by the government, sold by government employees out of the hands of organised crime gangs,” said Coun Wynne.

The Edgeley-based councillor also says he never encountered anyone smoking cannabis on the streets, or caught the smell of it while going about his business.

“It is working over there,” he said.

“That is the reason I think its so prolific here on street level – which I detest by the way – it’s anti-social.

“People smoke it as they know it’s a taboo, it’s an act of obtuse subversion. It feels like you can’t walk down many streets in Greater Manchester without smelling it.”

And he believes the UK is taking a backward approach compared to countries such as Canada, Portugal and the Netherlands ‘that have realised the war on cannabis is lost’.

“Even one of the more conservative European nations Germany announced the intention to legalise it in December 2021,” he added.

“Here successive governments have stuck their head in the sand, hoping it all goes away, terrified of voter repercussions for daring to mention it whilst organised crime gangs grow richer from it every day.

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