Thanks for your email. It’s good to see you working on this issue. I remember attending an event a few years ago organised by a group called the United Patients Alliance where a number of members spoke of their needs for the medicinal benefits of cannabis and the difficulties there were in legally growing or obtaining the supplies they needed. Even then Liberal Democrat policy was to allow the medical use of cannabis. This has since been developed into a more general policy of legalisation and regulation. This goes with the policy that drug abuse should be treated as a public health problem not a criminal problem, that was transformative in Portugal which had been suffering a massive drug abuse problem until it adopted this approach.
Obviously it is not within the powers of police commissioners to make the law, but they can set the priorities for a local force.
In response to your specific questions:
3. Yes, and generally growing for personal use should not be a police matter in my opinion.
4. I’m not clear what this refers to. But it does seem to me that restrictions on the prescribing of cannabis and on conducting clinical trials, need not be different to any other pharmaceutical.
5. This seems unnecessary.
6. Against it being a criminal offence. If somebody is being harmed by drug use, this should be treated as a health issue.
7. I don’t really know whether 7 or 9 plants is a lot or not very much.
8. Yes. I don’t believe this is a good use of police time, and the priorities I would set would be around crimes that have victims.
9. This is the first time I have heard of this and I would need to know more.
10. I don’t believe the law relating to cannabis is achieving very much and I would like to see a different approach that takes cannabis out of the hands of criminal gangs, does not criminalise people who are harming nobody, and ensures that help is available to people who need it.
Good luck with your campaign.