‘Legalising cannabis is not the way forward’

The legalisation of cannabis would lead to the proliferation of the drug and should be resisted, a former Deputy Chief Constable has said.

In a letter to The Times, Phillip Brear pointed towards the Netherlands where cannabis is tolerated in certain circumstances.

Brear said that Amsterdam was “one of the centres for global illegal drug supplies” and is “not a good basis for UK drug policy”.


He wrote: “Legalisation, which would create two supply chains and unfettered consumption of cannabis, would lead to proliferation.

“Criminals would undercut licensed supply, and the under-18s, non-licensed suppliers and misusers would still be criminalised.”

“Creating more cannabis smokers and the problems that go with it is not the way forward.”

Brear was Deputy Chief Constable for West Yorkshire Police for seven years.

Under fire

His comments are in stark contrast to Ron Hogg, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Durham, who has repeatedly pushed for a weaker approach to prosecuting cannabis use.

He said cases where the plants are grown for personal use are “unlikely” to be taken to court in his region.

Hogg came under fire for effectively decriminalising cannabis – a drug that can damage mental health and lead to other substance abuse.

Class B drug

At the time, GP Dr Max Pemberton said it is “wholly wrong” for police officers to be “deciding, rather than enforcing, drug policy”.

He added, “when it comes to cannabis, I am resolute in my position: it’s dangerous and should remain illegal. This isn’t borne out of some reactionary, fuddy-duddy stance. It’s based on clear evidence that cannabis ruins lives”.

Cannabis is a Class B drug which carries a maximum sentence of five years for possession and an unlimited fine.

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