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  1. john-hogg

    Police force gives cannabis users green light to grow drugs

    21 July 2015
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    Durham Police has given users the green light to grow cannabis at home after declaring that officers will no longer proactively target small scale producers. In a move, which will be seen as a step towards decriminalisation, Durham's Police Commissioner Ron Hogg said it will only go after people if there is a complaint or if they are being "blatant", while the force will continue to tackle large scale cannabis farms. (See also: Cannabis users won't be a priority for County Durham Police | Durham police stop targeting pot smokers and small-scale growers)

  2. Drugs in the UK: Why we need to talk about regulation and decriminalisation

    30 January 2015
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    Fighting the war on drugs in the UK costs an estimated £13 billion annually.

  3. Punitive drug law enforcement failing, says Home Office study

    30 October 2014
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    There is no evidence that tough enforcement of the drug laws on personal possession leads to lower levels of drug use, according to the UK government’s first evidence-based study. Examining international drug laws, the groundbreaking Home Office document brings to an end 40 years of almost unbroken official political rhetoric that only harsher penalties can tackle the problem caused by the likes of heroin, cocaine or cannabis. It is signed off by the Conservative home secretary, Theresa May, and the Liberal Democrat minister Norman Baker. (See also: Government’s drug laws survey was suppressed, Lib Dem minister says)

  4. Prohibition is not working: the case for sanity in the war on drugs

    29 October 2014
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    The House of Commons will today debate whether to rethink the war on drugs. While it is only a backbench business debate, and is therefore not binding, it still represents a step towards reviewing the UK’s drug laws. There is a simple reason why the UK’s drug policy is so expensive and ineffective: the law is so old. Policy is still dictated by the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, signed into law shortly after the 1971 UN Convention on Drugs. In 43 years since, the approach has failed catastrophically.

  5. Green green grass of home: police crack down on cottage industry of cannabis

    10 April 2013
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    Across the UK, 7,865 cannabis farms were discovered in 2011-12, an increase of 15% on the previous year's figures and over double the number for 2007-8 when police found just 3,032. Previously cannabis cultivation was done on a larger scale by gangs, who would fully convert terrace houses, knocking down walls to make larger growing areas, taking electricity direct from the mains, to avoid triggering the suspicion of the energy companies over unusually high consumption. Recently, there has been a shift towards smaller-scale farms, in line with a national trend, identified by the Association of Chief Police Officers' 2012 report into the commercial cultivation of cannabis .

  6. Britain's drug policies could be wasting billions

    Ruth Runciman, Chair of the UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC)
    15 October 2012
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    Despite the successes of recent years, there are still approximately 2,000 drug-related deaths in the UK every year. Nearly 400,000 people have serious drug problems and the annual cost to society is estimated to be about £15bn. There is little or no evidence to support much of current expenditure on law enforcement and education in schools. We spend billions a year without knowing if it does any good. In boom years this was objectionable; now it is unsustainable.

  7. UK police find 20 cannabis farms a day

    29 April 2012
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    Police discovered more than 20 cannabis farms and factories in the UK every day last year, seizing drugs worth up to £100 million, according to a report by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). Criminals attempt to reduce risk and minimise potential losses by employing a large number of so-called "gardeners" to manage smaller farms across residential neighbourhoods. A total of 7,865 farms were found across the UK in 2011/2012, an increase of 15 percent from the 6,866 found in 2009/2010 and up more than 150 percent from the 3,032 found four years ago, the ACPO study found.