This is the official blog of Sgt Ellie Bloggs, a real live police sergeant on the front line of England. It's not the official opinion of my police force, but all the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't pay my salary.


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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Class of Its Own

Let's hear it for the triumphant return of Cannabis to its former Class B Glory!

For those of you new to the wild and wonderful world of drug classification, Class B drugs achieve slightly higher sentences in court than Class C drugs. When cannabis was de-classified to Class C in the first place, Blandshire Constabulary acknowledged the reduction in severity by lightening the penalty for those found in possession of it. The following options became open to us:
  • Anyone who hadn't been caught with cannabis before could receive 2 informal street warnings before being arrested.
  • Negligible amounts could be just disclaimed and destroyed by the police without any penalty.
  • Quite large amounts could be written off as "personal", even with a grinder and a few sets of scales present (for weighing the drugs).
Under the harsh criteria applied to Class B drugs, Blandshire Constabulary has issued the following strict guidelines:
  • Informal street warnings can still be issued.
  • We are not interested in negligible amounts.
  • Unless it's a big-time drug dealer, a few wraps will just get treated as "possession" (rather than supply).
I am not a magistrate, but I have little doubt that the sentencing criteria will undergo the same radical changes, and that it will be applied in a similarly severe manner.

The government's decision on re-classification was not taken lightly. A great deal of research was commissioned into whether cannabis should be a Class C or B drug, and I think you'll agree the conclusions spoke for themselves. Whatever you think about the merits of such research, at least the government is consistent in how it approaches such serious matters.

The War of the Words continues.

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'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.

30 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same shit, different......

A. Sentence (or lack of).
B. Prime minister
C. Day.

PC. A. Hunn

28 January, 2009 20:09

 
Anonymous Mac said...

Never been a better example of a big announcement of Government decision that will make absolutely no difference to what will actually happen at ground level.

29 January, 2009 11:59

 
Blogger Hogday said...

Cannabis will be BACK to class A, where it started out, before you know it. Here we go round the mulberry bush. ZZZZZzzzzz

29 January, 2009 12:05

 
Blogger Sgt. Custerd said...

Changing the classification back means...

more work for crime inputters to correct wrongly submitted crimes...

more work for evaluators, to request re-work on incorrectly recorded crimes...

more new policies and procedures - and a drive to push up issues of PND's for simple possession...
(for non-police - this means giving out penalty tickets on the street for possession)

(Which presumably means, that the cannabis warning is dead - long live the PND for possession?)

Given that we are now in recession, anything which creates more work and spends taxpayers money is nothing short of responsible government.

29 January, 2009 15:22

 
Blogger quixote said...

My outside-of-blogspace hat is university prof of biology (lecturer that would be in GB), and aspects of cannabis are part of my research specialty. The most recent major scientific assessment of drug harm that I've seen is a Mar 2007 article in The Lancet (full pdf requires free registration). Cannabis falls well below tobacco in overall harm, which includes social effects. Partly that's because it is illegal and therefore not as widely used. If it were as widely used, it would probably fall just below tobacco if cannabis was smoked, since smoke (rather than cannabinoids) has so many physiological effects. Taken orally, my guess is that cannabis would fall somewhere below coffee in harmfulness.

Yes, "potheads" have a recognized syndrome after many years of heavy use. People who chain smoke tobacco to a similar extent or drink vast amounts of coffee also have neurological effects.

The legal classification of drugs -- at least based on overall harmfulness -- really does need a complete overhaul if anyone wanted it to be rational.

29 January, 2009 16:11

 
Blogger Dark Side said...

You couldn't make it up really could you?

Just wanted to say just started the book after completing Guv's and I am still laughing at the paperwork in the dog kennel after completing the lost dog book instead of the lost property....keep it up girl you rock!!!

30 January, 2009 14:08

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

quixote, please stop being facts into this! Everybody knows you can prove anything that's even remotely true with "facts". What we need is less thinking, more action!

So far we've got smoking, pot and "extreme" porn covered. Next up, drinking, talking loudly and having ginger hair...

30 January, 2009 15:47

 
Blogger Hogday said...

Quixote has a point. Look at the damage, socially, healthwise, disorderwise etc that is caused by alcohol. I've never been assaulted by anyone under the influence of cannabis, but countering my own point, I wonder if we're ready to have another `recreational drug` legally released into circulation? I can see it coming, especially with the tax bill Gordo and Co have landed our children with.

30 January, 2009 16:28

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm all for PNDs for cannabis possession - we should have had it from the start of pnds.

Anyone disagree - they can pay my tax on a bottle of scotch or 5 pints of beer !!!!

Cannabis mashes the brain - at least the skunk does and the confusion about classification only served to confuse the kids!!

Anyone had this latest "management bollox" on a form/appraisal to complete.....
"How do you try to engage with hard-to-reach community groups in your area ???"
My boss wasn't impressed when I told him, with all my paperwork and bureaucracy - that I found "criminals" the "hardest-to-reach" group!!

Ha ha !!

Spread the word - counteract the management bull!!!

30 January, 2009 22:29

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A RECENT Royal Commission into the harmful effects of numerous substances, placed Cannabis right at the bottom of the list, Tobacco and Alcohol being at the top, along with Heroin. I'm sure it recommended that Cannabis be legalised, which Gordon Brown dismissed and carried on with his own personal "crusade" against it.

It was the success of Customs in stopping a lot of the cannabis coming into the country, that resulted in the creation of the hybrid, genetically modified Skunk which can be grown here. That can have adverse effects, and also has an addictive quality to it, unlike the original variety.

The Daily Mail reported a couple of weeks ago, that the government were going to change the rules, and that people who were caught with cannabis would no longer get a criminal record, just an on the spot £80 fine. That posession of it will no longer result in a criminal record is a positive change.

Gordon Brown does not like to admit that he got it wrong. This "change" is all about saving face [his] and grabbing more money for the Treasury, rather than doing what a Royal Commission recommended - LEGALISE IT.

Cannabis should be legalised. Skunk perhaps should not be, and that would see the end of the potentially harmful strains of the herb removed from production and supply. It's not rocket science.

It was the alarmist "ban everything" brigade who put the blocks on the legalisation of Cannabis a while back. Because of the opinion of certain experts, that Skunk can cause mental health problems, and/or make an existing problem worse. But so does Alcohol.

The valid point that many appear to miss completely, is that people often use Alcohol and other substances to numb mental and emotional pain/distress. People use Cannabis to relax, unwind and feel at peace with themselves and the world. Unfortunately Skunk does not have the same affect upon people as the original cannabis.
However both are far less harmful than Alcohol, which the government are now having a campaign against.

So, rather than do the right thing by those who use Cannabis to relax, rather than Alcohol, which provides tax revenue; posession of the most least harmful substance will now provide tax revenue.

It is good news that teenagers and young adults, [and some grannies] will no longer be turned into "criminals" because they use a natural God given HERB.

Perhaps the government might find some generosity of spirit and legalise the growing of the original herb for personal use.
And that WOULD get rid of Skunk.

31 January, 2009 06:28

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never been assaulted by someone as a result of them being stoned but
I have sat through many court cases where the defendants "heavy addiction to cannabis" has been hauled out as mitigation to everything from theft to serious assault.

31 January, 2009 19:35

 
Blogger blueknight said...

Anonymous said 'I've never been assaulted by someone as a result of them being stoned but
I have sat through many court cases where the defendants "heavy addiction to cannabis" has been hauled out as mitigation to everything from theft to serious assault'
The question is .'Have you ever been assaulted by anyone who smokes cannabis? If the answer to that is yes, the next question is has the cannabis use affected the person's mentlity/personality and made him more likely to use violence

01 February, 2009 00:13

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

""""It was the success of Customs in stopping a lot of the cannabis coming into the country, that resulted in the creation of the hybrid, genetically modified Skunk """"

Ahhh so it's HMRCs fault we have super-skunk.....

And I suppose it is Ford Vauxhalls and other motor manufactures fault - that as they have made the vehicles harder to hotwire - we now have an increase in burglaries for keys and robberies for keys..

Your twisted logic in apportioning blame is amazing....
You must be a Probation Officer or Social Worker...

01 February, 2009 15:45

 
Anonymous Nichevo said...

Cannabis is not a "smart drug" and it' s getting stronger year after year, considering the competitin between Holland and Maroco.
Adversising young people doesn't work.
Now we found à strong "skunk" with 19 percent THC in the streets and héroin is coming back in France.
The old cannabis has disapeared.
There is no doubt we need to fight against "skunk, caramello, or any else products these countries; we need to inform people.
"skunk" is dangerous for our children.
Of course alcohol is also a poison but i don't think it will be fair to legalize cannabis just because alcohol "is legal". Don't forger that some people are making more and more money with cannabis.
There is a demand.

I don't want to see à "legal cannabis" in our stores.
Selling death is not a progress.
Soma doesn't exist...
Best regards from France.

01 February, 2009 16:29

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @15.45....You misinterpreted what I said. NO, I do not "blame" HMRC for being successful at their job, doing the government's bidding. I am neither a social worker, nor a probation officer. It doesn't matter to this debate "who" I am. But clearly you are upset by my "none party line", my opposing view and my insight into the history of this "problem".

If anyone is to be "blamed" it is the U.S.A and their "War on drugs" that they started in the 1960's, and with zeal in the 1970's, against Muslim countries that produced and supplied cannabis resin. Lebanon in particular, which in the 70's supplied the best quality cannabis available.

Pakistan and Afghanistan were also big suppliers, as was Morocco, but nobody declared war upon Morocco!

Because of the U.S.A's government policy of a "War on Drugs", the U.K and Europe followed their lead and cannabis got lumped in with Heroin, which was coming from Afghanistan and also via Pakistan.
Quite rightly heroin is bad news, a dangerous drug and it does do a lot of damage to people's health and to society. So the efforts to get Heroin supplies stopped, also affected the supply of cannabis into this country. [But it is a total myth and a LIE, the old U.S.A. "spin" that smoking cannabis, even just one time, leads to the slippery slope of Heroin addiction. That's bollox.]

The end result of "The War on Drugs" was the genetic modification of the old type of cannabis plant into Skunk, which could be grown indoors in this country, to meet DEMAND for the herb. Cannabis in its original form, IS a God given herb, which is far less harmful than Alcohol. The press, driven originally by U.S "spin" started a witch-hunt and the public became brain-washed about cannabis.
Used in moderation, like ANYTHING it can be a beneficial herb.

Some strains of the Skunk however are very strong and it does have an addictive quality, in that the person will just smoke joint after joint, after joint, until there's none left, and then they crave for more. The old type cannabis was NOT like that, It did not have that affect upon people.

If the governments, including the EU, want to get rid of Skunk, they should ALLOW the lawful growing of the old type cannabis. People have used it for thousands of years.

If people can legally brew their own beer and wine at home, it makes no sense if they cannot also grow their own beneficial herbs.
That is a simple solution to the problem, plus the destruction of ALL Skunk seeds, to get rid of it.
Governments will never "win" in the so called "war" against drugs, but they certainly could control the use of them a damn sight better than they have done in the past.

If there was a "poison product" flooding the market, the appropriate authorities spring into action and protect the public.

This could be done, and NEEDS to be done regarding cannabis plants and seeds, to get rid of Skunk, completely, to protect people from it, especially teenage "rebels", who are the most likely ones to use it. It's not rocket science.

02 February, 2009 00:45

 
Blogger Lucky Seven said...

I have a shock idea.

Sod all the stupid pnds/warnings

Nick / charge / place in front of court


Move on ... next

02 February, 2009 06:30

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have an even greater idea.....
Instead of harassing people who prefer to use cannabis to relax with, or EVEN as self medication for PAIN relief, by arresting them, and humiliating them before the courts, and tagging them with a criminal record, for life.....

Why don't the police do a REAL "service" to this country and the public and actually arrest and haul before the courts, [and the press] ALL the paedophiles that hide behind their "professions" of so called Law and Order? And best not forget those hypocrite corrupt politicians, paedophiles or not, as the case may be......

That sort of clean up of the scum that blight this country, would be worthy of medals all round.

Get on with it.....

03 February, 2009 03:53

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely agree Sgt Custerd, now is NOT the time to be creating far more work on a system that already has less income and more expenditure. It's incredibly irresponsible.

If cannabis was legalised it could be controlled, taxed and monitored. Most importantly violent low lives wouldn't be able to make themselves a huge profit and become even more dangerous and powerful. Cannabis is in many ways safer than alcohol for the individual and for society, I really think that legalisation is something that the government should look at.

03 February, 2009 10:14

 
Anonymous Retired 6 months said...

BBC2 9pm Horizon. All about the wicked weed. Don't know what perspective they are coming from though.

03 February, 2009 16:57

 
Anonymous Retired 6 months said...

BBC2 9pm Horizon. All about the wicked weed. Don't know what perspective they are coming from though.

03 February, 2009 16:57

 
Anonymous Retired 6 months said...

Sorry kept pushing the button cos I thought it hadn't worked!!!

03 February, 2009 16:58

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I caught the last 15 mins of it, from where the presenter arrived at the legal growing factory where they produce Cannabis under Home Office approval, for medicinal use.
Trials are being done on M.S sufferers, who spray the cannabis medicine into their mouths, or back of throat.

What was interesting was that the scientists have discovered that a chemical within the original old type of Cannabis PROTECTS against psychosis. That particular chemical is absent in the modified Skunk, which they referred to as "recreational cannabis", grown to produce a stronger "hit".

My understanding is, that Skunk was invented in Holland, where Cannabis is legal, and that's where all the SEEDS in the U.K have come from, originally.

Perhaps they could put that one right and go back to growing the herb as nature intended it, which includes the compound which protects against psychosis.

I read a while ago, cannot remember where though, that Dutch cops who enjoy Cannabis, had been told to NOT use the Skunk, by their bosses, because of the recently realised problem with it.

It can be compared to what happened during prohibition of Alcohol in the States many years ago. People made their own booze and some of it, which was distilled alcohol, was very dangerous and harmful.

People do learn from mistakes, and the mistake has been to demonise Cannabis and lump it in with addictive drugs such as Heroin etc.

04 February, 2009 01:26

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hogday....Cannabis was NOT always illegal.

04 February, 2009 01:27

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Jacqui Smith,

I hope that you do get to read this message for you. I know that you have had your critics in the force, sparked off initially by the row over pay. That was Gordon's doing, but you took the flack for it. You look so fed up in Satuday's Daily Mail, which is hardly surprising given the situation at present, and Gordon's mates wanting a re-shuffle.

Labour did actually promise to legalise Cannabis IF they got into power. I am sure that you did your best on that "score", but it's quite clear who put the blockers on it - Gordon, the disaster area.

Now that the scientists have identified the problem with Skunk, do you not consider it would be wise to legalise the OLD type of Cannabis? So that people can grow their own Herb, to self medicate.
After all people brew their own beer and wine, to do that.

Skunk could remain a class B until it fades out of use, which wouldn't take very long, IF the original God given herb was legal.
It really doesn't make much sense to be wasting police time on a substance which is LESS harmful than alcohol. In fact it's bonkers.

I know you did try to do the right thing on this issue. It is not YOU who should be removed from your post. It is Gordon, because he thinks that he knows best and ignores the people who DO know what they are talking about. He also ignores accurate, PROVEN intelligence, which has given specific warnings about numerous important issues.

Nuclear for one, which we need to abolish the use of, FOREVER, to avoid a global disaster. He has ignored the warning, despite there being an historical Labour promise to reduce and phase out ALL Nuclear power and weapons. And he claims to be a man of the Faith? HA!
That's about as true as "British Jobs For British Workers". A lie.

Another historical Intelligence warning that he appears to be HELL BENT on ignoring, is to NOT go down the oppressive Big Brother Orwellian State road of huge government databases full of everyone's personal details. And to NOT go down the road of Biometric I.D cards, NOR take us into the EU Federal Superstate.

It's clear that Gordon is a bully and not easy to stand up to. He obviously thinks that he can do what he pleases, regardless of whether or not it is actually in this country's best interests.

He's got everyone cutting down on their "carbon footprint" whilst he allows another polluting runway at Heathrow.....and totally IGNORES the biggest producer of greenhouse gasses which are THE biggest cause global warming, and that is flatulent beef and dairy cattle. But then McDonnalds and all the other Burger outlets are big business.
Gordon worships at the alter of the God Mamon, and self interest.

He has kept cannabis illegal so that he can gain revenue for the Treasury by fining people who use it for SELF MEDICATION, like some who have a few pints of beer, or a bottle of wine, or a whisky or two.
Now WHERE is the justice and "fairness" in that Jacqui?

Gordon has made a fool out of you.

Peace and Love
Ve

04 February, 2009 04:46

 
Anonymous more profit in class A said...

Retired 6 months prior to retiring bloke.

He came to the conclusions that smoking dope makes you a dope

which is hardly up there with working out Fermat's last theorem.

04 February, 2009 09:24

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More profit in class A.....

Don't knock it until you have tried it. As with everything it is quality and not quantity that counts. Getting bladdered can also make a fool of one, but hey THAT is legal and widely accepted. Even cops do it, and lawywers and judges, and politicians.

One man's meat is another man's poison. And the class A's do tend to be poison, for the body and the soul.

05 February, 2009 00:15

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gordon has got Milliband telling porkies now, on National TV. tut tut

05 February, 2009 00:17

 
Blogger thinblueline said...

who cares what the "class" is , its drugs , its illegal you get dealt with according to the circumstances..

move on britian and get a grip

28 February, 2009 08:55

 
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15 April, 2009 07:47

 

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