Pubdate: Wed, 29 Jul 2015
Source: Independent  (UK)
Copyright: 2015 Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd.
Author: Victoria Ward


THREE more police forces have signalled that people who grow cannabis 
for their own consumption will not be targeted.

Earlier this month, Durham Constabulary stated it would only go after 
people using the drug if there was a complaint or if they were being "blatant".

Now police and crime commissioners (PPCs) in Derbyshire, Dorset and 
Surrey have indicated that those caught smoking or cultivating the 
drug on a small scale can expect little more than a caution.

The change in attitudes will be seen as a further step towards 

However, the Government insists it has no intention of relaxing the 
laws on the Class B drug. PCCs are also understood to be coming under 
pressure to outline their priorities to chief constables.

Alan Charles, Derbyshire's PCC, said he did not support legalisation 
but no longer expected officers to pursue those growing cannabis for 
personal use. He told the Daily Mail: "Faced with significant budget 
cuts, we cannot keep turning out to every single thing reported to us."

Kevin Hurley, Surrey's PCC, branded the row a "pointless debate", 
adding that answering 999 calls and catching dangerous criminals must 
come first.

The third PCC, Martyn Underhill of Dorset, said he supported Durham's 
stance and was keen to investigate.

Steve Rolles, a policy analyst with the drug reform campaigners 
Transform acknowledged last week that the situation varied widely.

He said: "There are other police authorities that are doing similar 
things but they are not shouting about it.

"I do not see this as an ideological position but a resource issue, 
directing their limited resources towards where they are needed."

A gang which used a stately home to cultivate a UKP5 million cannabis 
farm have been found guilty of conspiracy to supply the drug.

The owner Paul Davies, 64, was paid rent for Flass House near Maulds 
Meaburn, Cumbria, by other gang members. Three of the group were 
yesterday found guilty at Carlisle Crown Court. Five other members, 
including Davies, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to their part 
in the conspiracy.
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