Scotland Yard To Stop Citing Marijuana Smokers

London police officers will no longer arrest or caution marijuana smokers in the southern part of the city, officials announced Friday. Instead, police will issue verbal warnings to users and confiscate their pot, under a pilot program backed by Scotland Yard, Britain’s largest police force.
If the program proves successful, police will expand the policy city-wide, a Scotland yard spokeswoman told Reuters News Service.
Police officials argue that the policy will free officers to focus on more serious crimes. Last year a report by the British Police Foundation – an independent criminal justice research organization – endorsed decriminalizing marijuana.
A national poll commissioned by the Guardian newspaper last year found that eight out of ten Britons favored decriminalizing marijuana. Two-thirds of respondents said that smoking pot was no more dangerous than smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol.
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director, at (202) 483-8751.