Wales

Police commissioner's legalise cannabis call 'reckless'

Cannabis Image copyright PA

Calls to legalise cannabis for medicinal purposes by a police and crime commissioner have been described as "reckless and misguided".

North Wales' Arfon Jones sent a letter to politicians in the area trying to garner support for the view.

The Plaid Cymru official said cannabis was of "considerable benefit" to sufferers of many illnesses.

However, Conservative Clwyd West AM Darren Millar said it could lead to a "laissez faire" attitude to drugs.

Mr Jones said he issued the letter in support of Durham's PCC Ron Hogg - a former deputy chief constable - who wants to see cannabis legalised for medicinal purposes only.

He said the debate has "moved on considerably" and commissioners from various parties now share his view.

Despite criticism from the Conservatives, Mr Jones said his stance on drugs was in his PCC election manifesto - with him winning the vote "with a significant majority".

Image caption Mr Jones said the move would help people suffering from illnesses

He pointed to research, an all-party parliamentary group calling for legalisation and 30,000 sufferers of illnesses such as multiple sclerosis who use it daily.

"Illness can be an isolating experience, especially if your medicine is illegal, and it [is] surely wrong that people seeking relief from suffering should be criminalised," he added.

However, Mr Millar said: "[He] knows first-hand the damaging effects drugs is having on our communities, so it was with some surprise and disappointment that I received his letter."

He called it a "dangerous substance" which could have "catastrophic consequences" if it was legalised.

The commissioner's view is "reckless and misguided", Mr Millar added.

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