Marijuana and Cannabis News

U.K. sends out pot scratch-and-sniff cards, ask public to rat on neighbors
By William Breathes in Global, Medical, Say what?
Friday, March 22, 2013 at 1:20 pm

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Crimestoppers U.K.
Anti-pot paranoia, now in scratch and sniff!
The powers-that-be in the United Kingdom want their citizenry to rat on one another. At least, that's the plan with a series of marijuana-scented scratch-and-sniff cards that were mailed to more than 200,000 people in the UK recently.

The ridiculously daft plan by the group Crimestoppers U.K. is that by handing out ganja-scented cards to the community, people will run to the police any time they smell anything remotely skunky.

The cards also detail "behaviors" to watch out for in your neighbors that might indicate a grow house like blacked out windows, "lots of cables" and visitors stopping by at "unsociable hours". So, basically if someone doesn't live like you do - they are probably a criminal, according to Crimestoppers U.K.

According to British officials, cannabis cultivation busts have increased by 15 percent in the last year alone. This will help non-cannabis users understand what cannabis being grown smells like.

As Greg de Hoedt with NORML UK points out,
what they are really doing is cracking down on small growers - many of whom are doing it for medical reasons: "Patients who use cannabis as a medicine are more likely to grow their own or get it from someone that grows rather than use the black market," de Hoedt writes. "This is hardly funding organised crime - it is the complete opposite and removes funds that would be going towards them."

De Hoedt says he sent a message to Crime Stoppers via twitter, asking them what they thought about patients being arrested through their cockamamie scratch-and-sniff scheme. Their reply? "We are a non judgmental charity. We simply support law enforcement & enable people to give info about crime"

When pushed for more, the group responded:

"We are not targeting individual users or growers for personal use. We are aware that cannabis is used medicinally by MS sufferers (among others). We are sorry, we do not wish you to suffer. Our aim is to target large scale cannabis operations, not personal users. Law enforcement priority are large scale operations because they often employ trafficked individuals."

For the rest of de Hoedt's coverage of this incredibly stupid public policy, click over to the NORML UK blog.

And it's not just the marijuana activists in the U.K. that think the program is somewhat of a joke. Writers at the Guardian have called the plan a gimmick that is probably going to end up being seen as a waste of money.

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Greg de Hoedt/NORML U.K.

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