Today is election day across almost the entirety of the UK. Londoners are voting for their new Mayor, councils are being voted for across England, Wales and Scotland. More importantly though, Police and Crime Commissioners are standing for election across the country.
Police and Crime Commissioners are democratically elected heads of police forces, with control of police budgets and the power to hire and fire chief constables in their county. That is an absurd amount of power.
The first PCC elections that took place 4 years ago had some of the lowest turnout of an election in the UK for almost a century. People didn’t feel like it was necessary to vote for something to do with their police, many people thought that politicians shouldn’t be interfering with policemen. The PCCs are still elected though, and because turn out is so low, your vote really does make a difference to how the police work in your local area.
Many PCCs have come out recently to announce that they were no longer targeting personal cannabis use. You can go out today and vote for someone who will make sure the police do not arrest you if you’re caught with cannabis, that is something you should care about. This is an election that directly affects you and the way you live your life. My polling station was 100 yards away from me, I got up, walked down there, and voted for a PCC that knew that cannabis users do not need to be thrown in prison.
We might not have politicians willing to look at cannabis reform right now, but we do have normal people standing for police and crime commissioner that are willing to be realistic about cannabis and how best to treat the use of cannabis in our communities.
Go online, read about your PCCs here: https://www.choosemypcc.org.uk
Choose someone who will make sure you’re not a criminal just because you use cannabis.