Uk: Yard Chief Calls For Drugs Trade To Be Legalised

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by weedboss, May 21, 2003.

  1. One of Scotland Yard's most senior officers has called for hard drugs - including crack cocaine and heroin - to be decriminalised, saying that police cannot win the war against dealers.

    Chief Supt Anthony Wills, the borough commander of Hammersmith and Fulham in London, said that as the state could not control the criminal trade in drugs, it should take it over instead.

    "I would have no problems with decriminalising drugs full stop," said Mr Wills. "There have to be very stringent measures over the production and supply of drugs and we have got to remove the drug market from criminals. I do not want people to take drugs but if they are going to, I want them to take them safely, with a degree of purity and in a controlled way."

    Mr Wills, who heads more than 2,000 officers, said that draconian anti-drugs measures had always failed. "There are some places where people are beheaded if they sell drugs but even this does not stop the trade."

    The officer, who has been a policeman for 30 years and a borough commander for six, has two teenage children and said: "I do not want my children taking drugs: what I am absolutely frightened about is that if my children want to take drugs I cannot stop them because there are animals out there who are prepared to sell them anything to make a profit."

    He added: "I am not saying people should take drugs. They are very bad for you but the reality of the world we live in is this: if people want to get drugs they can get them. Drugs are a fact of life and you cannot eradicate them. My only concern is to increase the safety of the community and not to allow these ghastly people to make a fortune out of other people's misery."

    Mr Wills's call, made in an interview with the Hammersmith and Shepherd's Bush Gazette, follows the controversy sparked by the Metropolitan Police's "Lambeth experiment" two years ago in which police in south London turned a blind eye to possession of cannabis.

    The experiment led to allegations that hard drugs such as crack and heroin were being sold openly on the streets of Lambeth. Cdr Brian Paddick, the architect of the policy, was later suspended then reinstated over allegations that he himself had taken drugs. He has since been transferred to other duties and the experiment has been dropped.

    Mr Wills, however, said that he too did not believe police should bother upholding laws on cannabis. "I am very liberal in relation to possession of drugs," he said. "Policing cannabis is a waste of our time as I do not feel the effects of cannabis are any worse than over-consumption of alcohol."

    Last night his decision to air his views caused a row. Senior Conservatives said he would encourage young people to think that taking drugs was supported by the police and called on him to issue a retraction.

    Ann Widdecombe, the former shadow home secretary, said: "When young people read views like this from a senior policeman they get the impression that taking drugs is okay - well it isn't. Hard drugs kill people and cannabis is proven scientifically to be harmful."

    Many Conservatives also argue that the Government has encouraged confusion on the question of drugs by appearing to soften its policy. David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, has already announced that cannabis is to be downgraded from a Class B drug to Class C, meaning that possessing it will no longer be an arrestable offence.

    A Scotland Yard spokesman said last night that no action was planned against Mr Wills "at this time". She added that she was not aware whether he had told Sir John Stevens, the Commissioner, of his intention to air his views.

    The Home Office said: "All controlled drugs are harmful and will remain illegal. The Government's drug strategy focuses on the most dangerous drugs as the misery they cause cannot be underestimated. We have not seen the interview and so cannot comment on it."
     
  2. it's good to see there are some people high up there who have some logic in them.

    and if Ann Widdicome had read what that copper said properly, then she wouldn't be saying what she said. the dumb cow.
     

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