This latest rambling came as a result of a conversation on twitter the other night. The subject was Cannabis, whether to legalise it or decrimalise it? There is a difference and one Holland have embraced. It is still an offence to be in possession of Cannabis in Holland but they choose not to enforce the law. They have decriminalised it. Supplying the said same drug however in their country is a different matter and their powers are far reaching. Far more than in the United Kingdom.
In other European countries there drink/drug drive laws enable them to prosecute at the roadside and the driver lose their license there and then. The Road Traffic Act 1988 makes provision for this but to date there has been no devices approved by the Home Secretary to enable this to happen.
So what would be the consequences of decrimalising Cannabis?
Well the offences of possession would fall off to zero. A reduction of crime? But it is still an offence to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle whilst impaired through drink or drugs. So possession of Cannabis would essentially have a blind eye turned but smoke that evil smelling weed whilst driving then you are still liable for the most robust prison sentences.
So would I decrimalise Cannabis? NO. In my opinion Road traffic collisions would increase, as would those seriously injured or killed. I suspect this aspect of criminality has not been thought through. Yes offences of possession would reduce but offence’s of impairment would increase. That can only lead to a higher death rate on our roads.
Did no one think of this?