The Police and Crime Commissioner of North Wales, Arfon Jones, has called for changes to cannabis laws following the bodged and limited implementation of medical cannabis laws in the UK.
We spoke to him to find out just what that means for cannabis growers in North Wales.
Jones, a very progressive and outward looking police officer recently travelled to Uruguay, the first country in the world to legalise recreational cannabis, to experience the reality of cannabis regulation – a regulation that has not had a negative effect on the local population. Quite the opposite.
Jones thinks that a similar licensing system should be introduced to the UK and that cannabis could be sold through shops or pharmacies. Something already happening in many part of the world.
He believes that the drugs laws don’t work and has been vocal in pushing for change over recent years.
Grow Your Own (GYO)
He also thinks that people should be able to grow their own cannabis as it would give immediate access to those in most need the plant. Something that is definitely not happening right now.
Here’s what he’s said:
“It is a nonsense to criminalise people who take cannabis for recreational use and cause no harm to anybody else.
“The best way to reduce the role of organised crime in the supply of drugs is to put it in commercial hands and to price it appropriately so people don’t need to go to the illegal market.
“My view is that people should be allowed to grow a limited number of cannabis plants for their own use.
“Let’s face it there are probably hundreds of thousands of people in this country who grow cannabis in their own homes now.
“They’re not harming anybody else and there is no reason why they should be punished through the criminal justice system.
The decorated civil servant also blamed big businesses for driving the costs of cannabis medicines so high.
“Commercial organisations have taken over the medicinal cannabis market and are selling prescriptions at a vast cost even though it is cheap to grow. That’s just exploitation in my book.
“It would be sensible to follow the example of Spanish cannabis clubs where people are allowed to grow seven or eight cannabis plants in the club.
“If you were starting from scratch I think cannabis would be more lightly regulated than alcohol is now because I think everybody agrees that alcohol is far more harmful to individuals than cannabis is.”
What does this mean for growers in North Wales?
With such progressive and sensible views coming out the mouth of a serving senior police officer we thought it would be an idea to verify a few facts with him, and Arfon was happy to oblige.
‘Does this mean genuine patients in North Wales growing their own are now safe to do so?|’
To which Arfon said:
‘No they aren’t. They shouldn’t take anything for granted. I cant give any assurances. There is a difference in my role and the operational role of the Chief Constable.’
‘Is there a policy of generally pursuing small scale growers in North Wales?’
‘Pursuing users is not a priority but NWP will act on complaints.’
So progress is slowly being made in the UK thanks to the police.
We have some good and honest leaders in the police police who are suggesting intelligent and humane solutions to the cannabis issue. Let’s hope our politicians listen to them.