For those people who have spent any time in the capital of the South West that is Bristol, they’ll know the attitude to cannabis is somewhat relaxed.
The city has more cannabis smokers than almost any other in the UK relative to its size. Perhaps that’s why Avon and Somerset police, which cover Bristol and large parts of the surrounding area have admitted that they don’t target personal use of the drug.
There are caveats of course, if you’re stupid enough to smoke around children, schools or colleges then expect to be taken away. For those people who are smoking a joint at home though, the good news is that they’re going to keep leaving you alone.
This outlook mimics the attitude of Durham police force and its Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg of not targeting people who are only using or producing cannabis for their personal use.
This is effectively de-facto decriminalisation mostly due to shortages in funding for police, meaning that Police and Crime Commissioners, the democratically elected head of police forces in the UK are deciding which crimes to target.
That’s good news if you’re in places like Bristol and Durham, but bad news if you’re somewhere like the midlands which has traditionally had a very backwards view towards cannabis.
Read their statement below: "unless that use is in itself creating a more harmful situation and endangering vulnerable people (i.e. the smoking of cannabis around children or close to educational premises).”
It goes on: "We do receive information from the public about suspected cannabis cultivation sites on a daily basis, so the growing of cannabis is clearly a concern for many within our communities. As the public would expect that intelligence is researched and when appropriate, a warrant is applied for and executed.”
"We do however target organised groups who are responsible for the supply and production of cannabis on a commercial scale and some of the tactics used by these groups can involve small grow sites consistent with 'personal use’."