Listening to some junior Home Office minister this evening trying to justify the reclassification of Cannabis highlighted what a complete ass most of our legal system is when he tried to explain why cannabis was changed to a class B drug.
The Minister (don't ask me who, I've never heard of him) was telling BBC Five Live that the reclassification was necessary because it told the police that they could, if they wanted, prosecute someone on the basis that it is a class B drug. When pressed as to whether the prosecution was mandatory, the Minister replied that it was at the discretion of the police. At this point the interviewer (Peter Allen) asked what the point was of reclassifying it was if it was still discretionary as to whether they would be prosecuted or not. the minster then replied that they could impose a fixed penalty notice !
Whatever sort of deterrent is that ?
The problem is that we have too many laws that are not enforce properly, not enough police officers to enforce the laws we already have and not enough jails to lock up the people who are committing the crime we already have.
The government ought to take a long hard look at why some people, and especially the some youngsters, show a complete lack of respect for society. As a teacher I am trained to follow through on my threats and likewise parents are expected to do this in order to be good and consistent parents. Yet the government allows people to believe that crime is not punished and that the law is applied at the discretion of the police force's mood.
Of course we need our policing to take note of particular circumstances, but serious offences involving what the government call now a "dangerous drug" surely ought to be punished in an even handed and equal way.