Article by Steve Doughty, Daily Mail
Police forces across the country were yesterday given the green light to stop arresting cannabis users.
Individual chief constables can now decide whether to arrest and charge, caution or warn those caught with the drug – or simply let them go.
The softening of approach was announced by the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the body that develops nationwide operational policies.
The organisation’s spokesman on drugs, Cleveland assistant chief constable Jason Harwin, said that asking cannabis users to go for treatment rather than prosecuting them could prevent re-offending and provide the ‘best outcome’.
The news follows last week’s disclosure by the chief constable of the West Midlands force, Dave Thompson, that his officers do not even give official warnings to young cannabis users because it would be ‘disastrous for their life chances’.
Mr Harwin, who is NPCC ‘lead for drugs’, said: ‘There is strong evidence to suggest that recommending minor offenders for early intervention treatment instead of pursuing convictions can prevent re-offending and result in the best outcome for both the user and the criminal justice system.