09 Apr Crimestoppers Scratch ‘N’ Sniff Cannabis Campaign. An Update

snsLast week I was invited to meet with Crimestoppers to discuss the scratch ‘n ‘ sniff campaign. I was received by Roger Critchell, Director of Operations, Lucy Reid, Campaigns Manager and Heather Broughton, Communications and Digital Manager.

We had a long discussion and covered every aspect of the campaign and the concerns of CLEAR members and supporters. In particular, I explained how we believe that the effect of the campaign will be to drive the market further into the hands of organised crime as people growing a few plants for themselves are scared into giving up and returning to street dealers.

I explained how organised crime gangs use sophisticated ventilation and filtering equipment to prevent any smell escaping and that it is the small grower who is likely to be caught as a result of the campaign. Obviously, I didn’t expect Crimestoppers suddenly to reverse their position but I was listened to with great courtesy, even on the wider subject of how cannabis prohibition actually increases crime and creates victims. I also explained how important access to cannabis is for many people who need it as medicine and how the Sativex scandal denies this to all but a very few.

In turn, Crimestoppers explained the aim of their campaign being to find criminals involved in commercial cannabis cultivation and using it as a means to fund serious organised crime which devastates the safety of people and their communities.

We agreed to exchange information in about three months time on how the campaign has worked. That means that CLEAR needs feedback from you. We need to know any information you have on the impact of the campaign. Do you know of anyone who has been caught growing as a result of someone reporting them having used the scratch ‘n’ sniff cards?

Any information you can provide will of course be treated in confidence and no identity information will be revealed but providing feedback could be helpful to our cause.

This is the intelligent and constructive way forward to reform. We must work within the system to overturn the cruel and irrational laws against cannabis. That won’t be achieved by marching in the streets or by rallies. However much fun they are, that’s all they are. The serious work of law reform is about engaging with agencies such as Crimestoppers and educating them about the reality of cannabis.

Please contact CLEAR with any information you have.