Brian Paddick of the “softly softly” approach towards cannabis will not be happy. A “zero tolerance” crackdown on its users has just been decided by police and lawyers, who believe tough action to be the only solution.
The policy shift will first take the form of a three-month operation in the crime-ridden Latchmere area of Battersea. Those openly dealing the drug will no longer be given merely a warning, rather will be arrested and then face anything from a criminal caution, which would entail attendance at drugs project sessions, to prosecution. At the end of November its effects will be appraised to determine whether it should become a permanent fixture.
Such moves constitute part of a wider campaign, as Brown ponders whether to re-classify cannabis as Class B once again, worried about the drug’s increasing potency and reported links between its use and mental illness. Londonist is sceptical however, unsure of the effectiveness of such a policy shift – will a change in its classification really deter people from consuming it? And surely where there is demand there will always be people willing to supply, whether there be a zero tolerance policy or not. Tell us what you think ...
Photo from dermo's flickr photostream