Chief constable Mike Barton has called for the U.K. government to lift its ban on cannabis. Barton, who heads the Durham Police, argued that the country’s continued prohibition of cannabis not only puts users in more danger, but also damages public safety and gives millions of cash to organized criminals instead.
According to Barton, people growing a couple of cannabis plants for personal use wouldn’t be subject to raids in his jurisdiction. The official police inspectorate has rated the Durham police as outstanding in terms of their effectiveness.
Barton’s comments with regard to the issue came after William Hague, the former Concervative party leader, said that the country’s war on cannabis has failed. Hague also added that the Class-B cannabis should be legalized.
Barton said that his experience with the police in trying to enforce the ban on cannabis has led him to conclude that instead of protecting public safety, it was actually damaging it.
He further recalled that when he joined the police force 38 years ago, there was just a drug squad. But, now, everybody is on it.
Barton said that over the 38 years he’s been with the force, he was able to see remarkable deterioration when it comes to drugs in society. This means that what they are currently doing is not working.
According to him, drugs are getting stronger, cheaper, more dangerous, and more readily available. He has come to the conclusion that the country needs to regulate the cannabis market. He explained that if you can regulate the market, you can make sure it is old-fashioned cannabis and not spice or skunk.
Barton said that the moral argument that is used against cannabis, which is that legalization would be taken as a signal that encourages people to take it, was bogus. If someone, he argued, is an adult and chooses to do something that does not harm anybody else, who are we to judge?
Barton said said that people who think cannabis should be banned have secured the high ground as far as their moral standing is concerned. But if it is a plant that is freely available and one-third of the population have decided that they want to take it, the argument for prohibition has already lost its validity. Prohibition doesn’t work and we are creating a present-day mafia in the country, he further contended.