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Published on July 30th, 2015 | by News Feed

Police in England Turn a Blind Eye on Small Time Pot Growers

For the past few years, England’s police force has targeted marijuana offenders with a heavy hand. As a result, the criminal justice system has been crowded with hundreds of petty cases and a large stack of related expenses that are draining the system. As a result, Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg decided that it’s time to take a break from the war on weed. From now on, he is asking officers to focus efforts on violent crime and massive black market operations instead.

Hogg wants police to spend their time dismantling street games and putting an end to organized crime. That means turning a blind eye to small time marijuana growers. “We are not prioritizing people who have a small number of cannabis plants for their own use,” Hogg said. “In low-level cases we say it is better to work with them and put them in a position where they can recover.”

Keep in mind that marijuana use and growth is still illegal in England, but at least this is a small step in the right direction. If police do get a complaint about someone growing a few marijuana plants at home, the consequences won’t be as severe as in the past. “In these cases, the most likely way of dealing with them would be with a caution and by taking the plants away and disposing of them. It is unlikely that a case like that would be brought before a court,” Hogg explained.

Essentially, England’s pot lovers can probably avoid a run in with the law as long as they keep their plants small and discreet. But if a marijuana grower does get busted and ends up in front of a judge, he or she could face up to 14 years in prison so it’s definitely a risk.

Hoggs has faced a fair amount of criticism for his changed policies on marijuana. The National Drug Prevention Alliance pointed out that marijuana is illegal and Hoggs has gone rogue with his new plans. Ultimately, he is tasked to follow the law rather than his own preferences for running the police force. But Hogg insisted that by ignoring nonviolent, small time growers, the police would save time and money and have more ability to fight organized crime.

Do you agree with Hogg’s new policy?

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