PCC attack on 'cloud cuckoo land' cannabis campaigners
- 14 March 2014
- From the section England
Campaigners calling for the legalisation of cannabis are living in "cloud cuckoo land", according to Humberside's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).
Matthew Grove has rejected claims that police resources are being wasted targeting cannabis growers and dealers.
Some cannabis users believe they are being unfairly criminalised.
I met multiple sclerosis sufferer Sue Lunn, who admits to smoking cannabis on a regular basis at her home in Hull.
She says it eases the pain caused by her condition.
In April 2013, the former police special constable received a conditional discharge when she appeared in court charged with possession of cannabis.
Speaking to the Sunday Politics in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, Sue Lunn said: "I think the law is very unjust.
"I don't feel like a criminal and most people who know me don't consider me a criminal."
War on drugs
The deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has reopened the debate by claiming that governments across the world are losing the war on drugs.
Campaigners point to the growing number of countries and US states - such as Colorado - which have either legalised or decriminalised the use of marijuana.
Some suggest there is evidence that ending drug prohibition would reduce crime.
But the Humberside PCC has ruled out a "softly, softly" approach to drugs.
Matthew Grove told me there would be no liberalisation of police tactics "on his watch" and claimed that cannabis was the source of widespread misery in many parts of his force area.
Mr Grove said: "To pretend that criminality will disappear because cannabis is legalised, whoever is suggesting that is living on cloud cuckoo land."
In 2004, the Labour government allowed cannabis to be downgraded to a less harmful class C drug.
It was a move which was designed to free-up police resources to deal with more serious drugs such as heroin and cocaine.
However, cannabis was reclassified as a class B drug in 2009 due to fears about the impact stronger varieties were having on mental health.