By Chris Bovey
A court has heard how two Vietnamese men caught growing hundreds of cannabis plants in a Portsmouth house were ‘virtually slaves’.
Sen Dang, 34, and Nhi Nguy, 33 had travelled from Vietnam under false pretences. They had their passports taken from them in France and were then put to work growing cannabis in the United Kingdom.
Dang and Nguy were ultimately arrested after police found 200 plants at a home in Portsmouth. Fingerprints linked them to further cannabis grows found in other parts of England too.
The pair were each jailed for one year after admitting the offence of being concerned with the production of a class B drug. Even Judge Richard Price showed a degree of compassion when sentencing them; stating that the pair growing Cannabis, were treated ‘like slaves’. However, that didn’t stop him from wasting approximately £50,000 of tax payers money sending them to prison for one year (assuming they serve a little under half their sentence before they are deported). The judge’s hands were possibly tied because of the Sentencing Guidelines and he should at least be complimented for acknowledging they were victims of slavery, and for not giving a harsher sentence.
Addressing Nguy and Dang; both of no fixed abode, Judge Richard Price during sentencing said of their actions: “You both knew that it was against the law but you are not entirely responsible for some of what has happened to you.
“I have no doubt you were brought here under false pretences.
“I have no doubt you were led into this slavery, for it is a form of slavery, to produce a controlled drug of class B, and I take all those matters into account, very much into account, as I do your desire to return to Vietnam as soon as possible.”
While some compassion here has been demonstrated by Judge Richard Price; at the end of the day, the British taxpayer is still to spend tens of thousands of pounds incarcerating two victims of slavery. Not to mention the costs of the police investigation and bringing them to court.
This is just the tip of the iceberg too. Dang and Nguy are a mere drop in the ocean. The truth is there are many more victims of people trafficking, including children who are forcibly brought to Britain to grow cannabis by organised criminals. The people at the top seldom get caught though.
The reason they are here is because there is a huge demand for cannabis in the UK and when there is a demand for a product, it will either be supplied by a regulatory model or the criminal black market. Alcohol prohibition didn’t work in the USA. It only spawned a mass epidemic of organised crime. The sad case of Dang and Nguy from Vietnam is further proof the War on Drugs supported by the International Narcotics Control Board has been a dismal failure.
It’s a scientifically proven fact cannabis is safer than legal alcohol, even the leader of the Free World, President Obama, has recently said so. That’s why many lawmakers in America and throughout the world are watching closely the legal sale of recreational pot in the US states of Colorado and Washington, as well as in the tiny Latin American country of Uruguay.
In Colorado you can now buy cannabis with quality controls at the point of sale, you can be sure it has not been grown by Vietnamese slave children and the state government is getting a good deal too, with millions of extra dollars being pumped into the state school system as a result of revenue raised from cannabis taxation, not to mention the money saved in courts, police, prisons, etc.,
In Britain, you can either grow your own cannabis, which risks having your door kicked down by men in uniform who will take your plants and haul you through the courts, possibly resulting in a custodial sentence. Or you can buy it on the black market, which will often be substandard cannabis that might have been grown by ruthless criminals involved in the heinous crimes of people trafficking and slavery.
The real crime here is prohibition and the only victims are Sen Dang and Nhi Nguy.
Our MPs need to take note of what is happening in the rest of the world, in which many states are examining the liberalisation of cannabis laws. The Liberals are almost certain to win the next Canadian elections and their leader Justin Trudeau is in favour of full legalisation and regulation.
Meanwhile in Great Britain, we have police forces raiding shops for selling legal smoking paraphernalia, politicians like Gordon Brown unscientifically stating skunk is lethal, dopey judges claiming cannabis is no worse than heroin and Police and Crime Commissioners like Matthew Grove telling us cannabis is a source of widespread misery. Sorry Mr Grove, but it is the policies that you and your Tory politician friends support which are the source of widespread misery, forced labour and slavery – unlike smoking pot these are crimes with real victims and the ending of prohibition would put an end to this evil practice.
Does the British Government really want the slave traffickers to control the cannabis market? Or does it want sensible regulation that would put the people traffickers out of business and potentially generate much needed billions of pounds in taxes for the Exchequer.