Here’s some of the report illustrating that UK polices neither have the time nor the resources to cope with the increased production of illegal cannabis in the UK
Additional data from 20 police forces in England, obtained using Freedom of Information laws, reveal that just 22 per cent of cannabis production crimes in 2018 led to a charge – down from 32 per cent the previous year.
West Yorkshire Police said only 10 per cent of cases led to a charge. In Durham, the rate is 11 per cent.
David Green, director of the think-tank Civitas, said: ‘These figures provide even stronger evidence that the police have unofficially legalised cannabis in many parts of the country. Many police leaders want to legalise cannabis. Some are openly in favour of changing the law, while others turn a blind eye.
‘The tragedy is that they are doing so at a time when doctors are increasingly worried about the impact on the mental health of cannabis users, and especially our young people. Modern forms of cannabis, such as skunk, are at least twice as potent as varieties that were available in the 1970s.’
Mary Brett, of charity Cannabis Skunk Sense, said: ‘There’s a law there and it’s the police’s job to enforce it. It’s counter-productive and kids know they will be let off with a caution or a warning.’
David Raynes, of the National Drug Prevention Alliance, added: ‘It’s just stupid and irresponsible – an encouragement to break the law.’
But Norman Lamb, health spokesman for the Lib Dems, said it was wrong to give users a criminal conviction, adding that an ‘increasing number of police chiefs recognise that our outdated drug laws do far more harm than good’.
The Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, said forces were having to ‘prioritise resources’ in the face of government cuts.
Spokesman Simon Kempton said: ‘There has been a shift away from prioritising people in possession of cannabis in some force areas.’
Assistant Chief Constable Jason Harwin, the lead for drugs at the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: ‘The law provides a range of options for dealing with those found in possession of cannabis that have to be proportionate to the individual circumstances.
‘Charging is one outcome and police officers can use professional judgment to make use of others.’
The Home Office said: ‘Possession of cannabis is a criminal offence and cultivation an even more serious offence. How police choose to pursue investigations is an operational decision for chief constables, but we are clear that we expect them to enforce the law.’