Britain’s criminal justice system wages an aggressive war against the drug marijuana, we are told. Because this war has failed to curb use, we should abandon all efforts and embrace legalisation, the argument continues.

Despite this, whilst the stench of marijuana filled my place of work (located on Birmingham’s busy New Street) last night (as it so often does), six officers sat idly by in a police van, talkingto a further two outside, not bothering to pursue the criminal consumer(s?), who was so close by. They remained sitting, playing or texting on their phones, chatting, as I say, to others outside the van. This, to me, is a perfect illustration of the raging war against marijuana.

Not that I blame the officers for doing nothing. If they had arrested the wrong-doers, they would simply be let off in court. After all, magistrates dutifully abide by Lord Hailsham’s 1973 call to the courts for possessors of this drug NOT to be sent to prison.

A serious debate on this hideous, mind-altering drug is needed. It cannot, however, take place before the notion of this war is seen for what it is: a fallacy.

Photo by Police_Mad_Liam on Flickr.