Police Commissioner says cannabis is as dangerous as heroin and crack cocaine
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A police commissioner has claimed that cannabis is just as dangerous as Class A drugs like heroin and crack cocaine.
Home secretary Suella Braverman is considering upgrading the classification of cannabis from a Class B drug to Class A, putting it alongside the likes of cocaine, heroin and crystal meth.
Right now there are no concrete plans to make such a move, these suggestions from the home secretary are just proposals at this point but they could be seen as a signal of which direction the government is looking on the issue of drugs.
A possible move has support from some police commissioners, including David Sidwick, Police Crime Commissioner for Dorset.
He said cannabis was a 'gateway drug' to other substances and argued that bumping the classification up from Class B to Class A would allow police to deal tougher punishments to those who break the law with the drug.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Sidwick said that cannabis was just as dangerous as Class A drugs and denounced what he termed a 'liberal approach' towards the drug as 'madness'.
He wrote that policies should be based on 'hard reality' and said the calls for decriminalisation of cannabis makes him 'shudder', insisting that weed 'does the same harm as crack and heroin'.
Sidwick argued that efforts to look into the possible decriminalisation of cannabis were based on the 'misguided belief this drug is essentially harmless', arguing that this was done while ignoring 'hard scientific facts'.
Denouncing calls for a softer approach as 'feebleness dressed up as compassion', Sidwick made it clear he'd support a move from the Home Office to make cannabis a Class A drug.
Not everyone agrees with Sidwick's assessment, however, as former undercover cop Neil Woods said making cannabis a Class A drug would be 'utterly catastrophic'.
He said it would be 'off the scale stupid' to make such a move, pointing towards figures which indicated that tougher punishments that come with higher classifications don't appear to reduce consumption of a drug.
Instead, he said that the tougher the punishments were, the tougher the illegal drug markets got with fewer informants to tip off the police and help them bust drug dealers.
He also said a harsher approach would be 'horrific' for children who were 'roped into exploitation to deal the drug'.
Woods said drug dealers were using children to sell Class A drugs in order to avoid punishment for being caught themselves, arguing that kids getting forced to deal drugs had been 'caused by our policy'.
In other parts of the world, countries are moving towards the decriminalisation of cannabis, with US president Joe Biden recently announcing a pardon for everyone convicted of federal charges of possessing the drug.