Police are allowing a ‘cannabis club’ in Middlesbrough to openly flout the law, with members smoking the dangerous drug on an industrial estate.
Teesside Cannabis Club admitted that cannabis is “technically illegal”, but said it has “a great relationship” with the local police constabulary. Club founder Michael Fisher added that the police have “been very supportive” to them.
Cannabis is a Class B drug which carries a maximum sentence of five years and an unlimited fine for possession.
The cannabis club is based in Durham Constabulary’s policing area, where Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg has repeatedly pushed for a weaker approach to prosecuting cannabis use.
Arfon Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales, has backed the club and highlighted his “very good relationship” with Ron Hogg.
Jones said that he “would like to see” more clubs, adding that “it would be logical” for one to open in Durham because of Hogg’s approach.
He went on to say: “Why shouldn’t consenting adults be able to use cannabis recreationally”?
Last month, the Daily Mail spoke to a mother who is visiting schools around the country to warn children about the dangers of using cannabis.
Janie Hamilton decided to educate youngsters about the drug following the death of her 36-year-old son, whose cannabis-induced schizophrenia contributed to his death.
She said: “Anyone who doesn’t believe cannabis can lead to mental health issues needs to come and watch the anguish and what it has done to families like ours.”
Janie added that she wanted youngsters to realise that cannabis can be lethal, saying: “It’s like Russian roulette and young people don’t realise they are risking death by experimenting.”
New research has also linked cannabis use to the development of bipolar disorder in later life.
The study published by the medical journal Schizophrenia Bulletin found a prospective link between teenage cannabis use and the onset of hypomania – often a symptom of bipolar disorder – in a person’s early 20s.
It found that those who used cannabis at least two-to-three times a week aged 17 were more likely to experience these symptoms than those who did not.