20 Jan This Absurd Waste Of Police Time And Resources

Originally published 9th February 2011

The spectacle of police officers breaking down doors all over the country is ridiculous. It is the most disgraceful waste of police time and resources. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) said the total number of “commercial cannabis factories” found in 2009/10 was 6,886 – more than double the 3,032 discovered two years ago, and more than eight times the annual average between 2004 and 2007.

What does this cost? What does it achieve?

The prohibition of cannabis is a major error in government policy. It is prohibition that has made cannabis-growing so attractive to organised crime and with that has come violence and human trafficking. It is the law that puts police officers in harm’s way, that creates violence on our streets. It is the same stupid law that sends the same police officers using the same tactics into the homes of responsible citizens. People who are growing a few plants for themselves, who have real medical need, are treated as if they are violent criminals.

Prohibition is the most inane, discredited, intellectually redundant idea there ever was! Yet our poodle politicians whimper along behind it without the courage to grasp the nettle and undertake the reform that is desperately needed.

This is no minor issue. It should be high in priority because, aside from the cost to human life and liberty, in Britain it means that up to £9.5 billion per annum (source) is being recklessly and uselessly discarded every year. Police officers are put in danger. Innocent citizens are terrorised. Organised crime profits. Ministers won’t even discuss it.

I remember last year I heard the story of a police officer involved in a raid who had both arms nearly severed by falling glass. What ludicrous system is it that puts citizen against citizen like this, and endangers life on all sides?

And so the crooked circle turns, around and around. There is no excuse. All the intellectual, moral, health and scientific arguments have been won. The government’s policy is manifestly wrong, fundamentally immoral and a huge waste of money.

This is a scandal of neglect, cowardice, wasted lives and wasted money that shames our nation.