Police decline soft approach to Hertfordshire dope growers

PUBLISHED: 12:14 03 August 2015 | UPDATED: 12:14 03 August 2015

Cannabis growing openly in Welwyn Garden City

Cannabis growing openly in Welwyn Garden City

Archant

Hertfordshire will not be following the example of a police force taking a more lenient view on cannabis growers.

David Lloyd, Hertfordshire’s police and crime commissioner, said officers would continue to take a firm line on people who grow the plant.

The news comes after his counterpart in Durham, Ron Hogg, said officers would focus on “blatant” growers, and not clog up the justice system with small-sale growers.

In recent weeks, protest group the Welwyn Garden City Cannabis Club has planted the drug in flowerbeds across the town, calling for it to be legalised.

Last week, Commissioner Lloyd said: “I believe the vast majority of Hertfordshire residents want to see the laws on drug cultivation enforced and my police and crime plan echoes that.

“You only have to speak to the families of young cannabis users to understand the real harm that supposedly ‘low level’ or ‘personal use’ can cause.”

Asked about the group, he said: “If criminal offences come to light involving the group then I would expect the police to enforce the law.”

Equally unimpressed was MP Grant Shapps, who said: “Whilst everyone is free to campaign for whichever changes in the law they want, planting cannabis in public flowerbeds is not the way forward.

“Apart from anything else, making cannabis widely available to everyone, including potentially vulnerable young people, cannot be a smart idea.”

The cannabis club has branded the drug “the plant that could save our economy”.

Do you think police are right to take a strong view on cannabis, or should it be legalised? Let us know below, or email letters@whtimes.co.uk


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