Matthew Grove wants to waste valuable police resources on cannabis
By Chris Bovey
Matthew Grove, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside, whose only claim to fame was narrowly beating John Prescott on a turnout of 19%, is the latest fool to come out with idiotic statements about cannabis to get into the media.
The BBC reported that Matthew Grove said campaigners calling for the legalisation of cannabis are living in “cloud cuckoo land”. I guess Matthew Grove doesn’t follow international news much, or he would realise in the USA, the home of prohibition, two states have already legalised recreational cannabis, with more very likely to follow, including the most populated US state, California.
Even the Deputy Prime Minister of the Coalition Government (which Matthew Grove’s Conservative Party leads) says the war on drugs has been a failure and we need to look at a new approach.
So who exactly is Matthew Grove? He is the first Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside who in the first round of voting achieved 22% of the vote in a turnout of 19.15% – so I make that 4.21% of registered voters in Humberside went out to register their first choice vote for Conservative candidate, Matthew Grove.
According to the Electoral Commission at least six million people are not registered to vote in the UK. So we can deduce Matthew Grove’s actual support amongst adults of voting age in his region is less than 4%.
Opinion polls and online polls consistently show an overwhelming majority in favour of reforming Britain’s antiquated cannabis laws. Compare Matthew Grove’s feeble 4.21% support of his electorate with the 68% of people in a poll today in the Huffington Post in favour of opening cannabis cafes in the UK. I say it is Matthew Grove who is living in ‘cloud cuckoo land’, but then again, he is a politician, so no real surprise he should be so out-of-touch with public opinion.
On Matthew Grove’s web site he boasts about putting victims first. I’d like to ask Mr Grove what victims there are from consuming a natural plant that is scientifically proven to be safer than both legal alcohol and legal tobacco. Remember the old slogan of the Legalise Cannabis Alliance, “NO VICTIM NO CRIME”?
The only victims of cannabis are the consumers themselves who are subject to repressive prohibition laws that dinosaur politicians like Matthew Grove so enthusiastically support. Take Susan Lunn, for example, who is mentioned in the BBC article and whose story we have reported in the past. Susan is a former police Special Constable and Multiple Sclerosis patient who received a conditional discharge when she appeared in court charged with possession of cannabis. Despite being told by magistrates she faces a much worse punishment if she is caught using cannabis again, Susan has vowed to continue to medicate with cannabis.
Does Matthew Grove believe tax-payers money should be wasted arresting and prosecuting patients like Susan Lunn for using a very safe and effective natural herbal medicine to alleviate her pain and suffering? A herbal medicine that could be legally prescribed to her in a growing number of countries. The fact he is quoted on the BBC’s web site as saying there would be no liberalisation of police tactics “on his watch” and claimed that cannabis was the source of widespread misery in many parts of his force area, we can only infer he does think that.
Of course Matthew Grove offers no evidence to back up his absurd claims.
The Netherlands has had legal cannabis outlets for forty years, yet this country manages to function perfectly well; they even have trains that run on time, which is more than I can say for Britain.
The tax income in Colorado from cannabis taxation in the first year is expected to far exceed even the most optimistic of expectations. This is money that is going to be ploughed into the state schools system of Colorado, not to mention free up millions of dollars of police resources to fight real crimes like murder, rape, robbery, etc., you know crimes with actual victims.
What about the Vietnamese slave children who are used by criminal gangs to produce sub-standard cannabis at great tax-free profits? They are true victims of the crime that is cannabis prohibition.
Uruguay has legalised. Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Holland, Peru, Czech Republic to name but a few have very liberal laws on cannabis. If Matthew Grove really does not want to see sensible law reform under his watch, that would raise billions in taxation and free up an estimated further £500 million in police resources nationally, then I hope more than 4.21% of the electorate of Humberside can be bothered to go to the polling booths at the next PCC elections and send him packing.