Next month police officers will target those who think they can smoke cannabis in public or take drugs in nightclubs with impunity
People smoking weed in the street could find themselves behind bars in a new crackdown that tackles Gloucestershire drug users as well as dealers. Police chiefs fear that drug use has become so normalised that people care more about where their coffee comes from than their cannabis.
Now Gloucestershire Constabulary is one of five forces planning a crackdown to remind people that it’s still illegal. Police officers will be told to target people smoking cannabis in public or taking party drugs like ecstasy in bars and nightclubs.
Next month officers from Operation Scorpion will visit various locations to send a message that smoking cannabis in public or snorting a line of coke at the weekend could still land people in trouble with the law. Action taken by police would be down to individual circumstances and officers could issue warnings as well as make arrests.
Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Chris Nelson is one of those behind the forthcoming focus on the man or woman in the street. The former military man and four other PCCs in the south west believe many casual drug users are affluent people who don’t stop to consider how it could be harmful to them or how their money supports a chain of misery, exploitation and criminality.
“Although many of those who indulge in this illegal pastime may feel it is relatively harmless and relaxing, that is not the case for a growing and significant number of people.,” he said. this week. “I, and my fellow PCCs in the region, want to drive home the message of the dangers of using cannabis, and other high strength variants like Skunk, on a long term regular basis.
“Academic research now shows that cannabis can cause severe psychological harm, leading to serious depression, pathological sloth, psychosis and violent aggression. It can also lead to birth defects similar to those caused by Thalidomide,
“Whilst I am supportive of moves for first time users being given a formal warning, offered a drug awareness course and other diversionary approaches, regular users should be made aware of the consequences and dealers who see our streets and clubs as fertile territory, should be pursued with the full force of the law”.