Devon & Cornwall PCC wants tougher police action on Cannabis
Police action against class B and C drugs has been branded "pathetically weak" by Devon and Cornwall's Police and Crime Commissioner.
Alison Hernandez said too much focus is placed on deaths from class A drugs such as heroin, rather than enforcing the laws around cannabis.
She said more people are in treatment centres for cannabis use than other drugs, describing it as "alarming".
Ms Hernandez wants the classification of cannabis to be reviewed.
"Policing and enforcement of drugs and drug dealing in this country has been pathetically weak on Class B and Class C drugs for years", she said.
Alison Hernandez has been Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner since 2016
"There's been too much conversation nationally about the legalisation of cannabis so a lot of people think it already is legal.
"We want to remind our communities that it's not and the damage that it causes."
Ms Hernandez's comments, made at a conference in London, were echoed by Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst, the national lead for regional organised crime units.
"The drug itself [cannabis] is stronger than it's ever been, and itself is linked to a lot of mental health challenges and untold harm", he said.
Controlled drugs in the UK are classed according to their relative degree of overall harm from misuse.
There are three classes of controlled drugs:
- Class A - includes heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and LSD
- Class B - includes cannabis and ketamine
- Class C - includes anabolic steroids and minor tranquilisers.
Police argue crime gangs involved in cannabis production are also responsible for other crimes including Class A drug smuggling, modern slavery and violence and exploitation.