Published Letter: Cannabis Raids Won't Reduce Drug Deaths


Source: Eastern Daily Press
Date: May 11 2007
Author: Alun Buffry

Following a series of raids on Norwich houses growing cannabis, police reportedly said : "this will make a large impact on the drug-dealing community." (Dawn raids on cannabis growers, EDP, 25 April)

On May 8th, we read that "Det Sgt Dave Mytton oversaw seven raids in Norwich in the past fortnight, which resulted in 11 arrests and the seizure of about 2,000 cannabis plants."

In the same article: "Latest government figures show 60 people in the county died as a result of taking drugs in 2005 - a rise from 34 deaths in 2003."  (Drug deaths soar: Police target pushers"}

What exactly do drugs deaths have to do with cannabis growers?  Taking away supplies of cannabis merely sends a percentage of less fortunate users on to hard drugs that do kill.

Police have continually raided cannabis growers and dealers over the years, yet there has never been any serious reduction in availability, only quality.

Following the attack on so-called cannabis factories, over the last year, there has been a long spate of cannabis covered with ground glass and who-know-what else, not just in Norfolk.  This is a far more serious threat to health than the cannabis itself.  The prohibition of attractive and commercially-viable commodities such as cannabis has and never will work, just like it never worked with a alcohol in the US or UK years ago.

Far from limiting harm, it increases it.  In fact the two yardsticks used by police to measure their success are a lowering of quality and increase in price - both with associated increases in harm.

Legalisation of cannabis would not only allow police time to concentrate on hard drugs that do kill (cannabis use per se does not), save billions of pounds, allow consumer protection and advice, but it would raise revenue through taxation on profits.

It is legalisation, not prohibition, that will reduce harm.

Alun Buffry
Legalise Cannabis Alliance
PO Box 198

Back to list