On October 3, at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, police commissioners called for a reclassification of cannabis and the creation of stricter penalties for those who possess and sell it, according to local media.
The commissioners argued that the current classification is not appropriate given new data showing that cannabis is more harmful than previously thought. They want to re-schedule cannabis as a Class A drug and raise penalties for those who possess and sell cannabis.
If a person is caught in possession of Class B drugs, such as cannabis, speed, and ketamine, they can face up to 14 years. Those caught with a Class A drug, like heroin, cocaine and ecstasy, can be jailed for life.
David Sidwick, the police and crime commissioner for Dorset, said if you look at the young people in treatment, the number one drug they are in treatment for is cannabis. There are so many crimes linked to drugs that by addressing this, and giving us this clarity, it makes it clearer for our police to be able to do what they need to do. A Home Office spokesman said there was no plans to reclassify cannabis, which is currently controlled as a Class B drug in the UK on the basis of clear medical and scientific evidence of its harms.
Peter Reynolds, the president of CLEAR, an organization that opposes the prohibition of cannabis, called the proposal crazy. He said that the Commissioners were promoting ideas that will increase crime, violence and child exploitation.
The idea of doing more of the same as the past 50 years is ridiculous. I'm crystal clear about that, Reynolds said that the only people who want this are the ignorant politicians and the people who sell illegal drugs.
Weed is not legal in the UK at the moment. The medical cannabis program has yet to take off, and the possession of personal amounts is not decriminalized. A sober analysis of the history of cannabis prohibition and the recent changes in British laws shows that the legal status of cannabis may change in the not-too distant future.