Cannabis Campaigners' Guide News Database result:
UK: Police 'have given up on cannabis' as just one in four caught with the drug are charged
Tuesday 23 Aug 2016
Many forces have a lax approach to cannabis use and some virtually ignore it, with as few of 14 per cent of offenders charged in some areas.
Even hardened users who grow cannabis themselves for personal use will no longer be targeted, according to leading chief constable Mike Barton.
Barton plays an influential role at the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) - but believes all class A and B drugs should be legal and, sometimes, even given to addicts for free.
Now, just 25 per cent of people caught with the drug are charged and 40 per cent escape with just a caution, reports The Sun's Tom Wells.
The cautions will not show up on many enhanced checks carried out by employers, including schools, meaning offenders face virtually no consequences.
Kathy Gyngell, of the Centre for Policy Studies, told The Sun: 'These figures show the police have given up on cannabis.
'It represents a total failure to protect the interests of young people. The correct sanction at the right age might just save them from a dangerous drug.'
Even users who grow it for personal use will no longer be targeted, according to leading chief constable Mike Barton (pictured)
A fifth more 16 to 24-year-olds admitted using cannabis last year compared to two years before, with 2.2million adults aged 16 to 59 admitting using it - up 7 per cent.
Yet between 2011 and 2014 the number of people taken to court for growing marijuana fell by 87 per cent, from 944 to just 127.
Arrests for possession almost halved, from 35,367 in 2010 to 19,115 last year, according to statistics uncovered in a Parliamentary question from ex-Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg.
The Sun revealed that Staffordshire will only prosecute people who either cultivate cannabis for sale or smoke in front of schools or young people.
Avon and Somerset's force admitted that they do not 'proactively' seek out cannabis users, despite that fact that it is still illegal.
In 31 out of 43 England and Wales forces that responded to freedom of information requests, there were 471,202 cases of cannabis possession between 2011 and 2015.
But they brought charges for just 27 per cent - a total of 126,789 - of those offences, with 41 per cent getting warnings instead.
Of the remaining 32 per cent, 22 per cent walked away with just police cautions or a fixed penalty notice - leaving only ten per cent facing the full force of the law.
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