Nurse with a sign saying 'Addiction? Can we help?

Nurse with a sign saying 'Addiction? Can we help?

By Chris Bovey

Last month the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) gave the green light to their officers to let off cannabis consumers and suggest they get treatment instead of punishment.

Well, thank you very much, for not punishing me for consuming a harmless plant that is much less dangerous than legal alcohol, tobacco or poppers.

The thing is, I’m not so big with the ‘going to get treatment bit. I don’t need any fucking treatment. Cannabis is not physically addictive, only psychologically addictive in the same way that chocolate is, because it’s moreish.

Being forced to go on a drug rehabilitation course because I like the odd toke or two would be worse for me than having a financial fine, since time is my most precious resource.

Time is a precious resource

You might be surprised, even though I write regularly for a predominantly weed-related blog, I’m not perpetually stoned. I never smoke it during the day, just as I rarely drink alcohol during the daytime,.I like a little bit of pot after a few pints in the pub after a day’s work, to relax and help me sleep.

If I were to get sleep deprivation due to not being able to sleep as a result of not consuming a tasty Indica variety of cannabis, then I might need fucking treatment, but as it is, I’m fine, leave me alone.

Individual Chief Constables can now decide whether to arrest and charge, caution or warn those caught with the drug – or simply let them go.

I’m fine with the latter option. The rest is a waste of my both my time and that of the police as well as an unnecessary strain on the public purse.

Cleveland Assistant Chief Constable Jason Harwin

Cleveland Assistant Chief Constable Jason Harwin wants stoners to go to rehab rather than be prosecuted.

The organisation’s spokesman on drugs, Cleveland Assistant Chief Constable Jason Harwin, said that asking cannabis users to go for treatment rather than prosecuting them could prevent re-offending and provide the ‘best outcome’.

What does he mean by ‘prevent re-offending’? Does he expect stoners to go on some stupid course and then suddenly decide they don’t like cannabis and stop consuming it? Will medical cannabis consumers be taught how to prefer being in pain by a drug councillor rather than consuming cannabis to alleviate pain and suffering from a wide variety of conditions?

Will the parents of kids with rare forms of epilepsy or cancer who are illegally giving their children cannabis in the hope of preventing them from dying have to go on one of these treatment courses?

I do welcome it when I hear positive noises from the police calling on a relaxation of drug laws. I know most of them would prefer their resources were allocated for burglaries, assault, knife crime, etc., but please spare me the line that I need to have treatment because I like weed. I like alcohol too which I can legally obtain at my local supermarket, but I’m not drinking myself into a stupor that I am getting hospitalised or joining Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s a social thing and if I overdo it, unlike with cannabis, I pay for it with a hangover the next day.

That said, the possession of a Class B drug such as cannabis can still lead to a five-year prison sentence and an unlimited fine. Growing or dealing cannabis can theoretically bring 14 years’ jail and an unlimited fine.

Even the Home Office admits most drug use is non-problematic

According to the Home Office, over 90% of drug use in the UK is not problematic, so there is no reason to intervene with these people either by prosecuting them, giving them a warning, or sending them on a drug rehab course. I have no doubt that some people who misuse drugs, including legal alcohol may well benefit from a rehab course, but leave me out of it, I’m not one of them and neither are the majority of recreational drug users in the UK.

The Select Committee on Home Affairs said that of 4 million drug users in the UK, only 250,000 (6.25%) are problematic users, of which 200,000 are opiate abusers.

The idea that we need treatment is toxic. Even for heroin and cocaine users – most of them are weekend dabblers. The vast majority of drug users are like the vast majority of alcohol users: they don’t use drugs problematically.

If ever I were to be forced against my will to go on a drug treatment course because I was caught with a little bit of weed it would be me who would be doing the educating, not the drug councillors.

Chris Bovey, writer and musician.

Chris Bovey is a businessman, writer, artist, musician and practical joker. He lives in Devon with his partner, two children and cat. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter @ADHD_BadBoy.

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