Scottish Daily Mail

Free cannabis for inmates to cut crime, says police chief

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A POLICE commission­er has called for jails to offer free cannabis to prisoners to help reduce violence.

Arfon Jones also believes the idea could reduce dependence on ‘rife and deadly’ synthetic or ‘psychoacti­ve’ drugs – such as spice.

But his proposal was met with anger by anti-drugs campaigner­s who branded it ‘disgracefu­l’ because of the potential harmful effects of cannabis.

The prison officers’ union POA said the move could increase violence because the free drugs might be used as inmate currency. Mr Jones’s view stems from the spice-induced death of prisoner Luke Morris Jones in 2018 while at HMP Berwyn, Wales.

The Police and Crime Commission­er for North Wales said: ‘Let’s supply cannabis in controlled conditions and see if offences reduce. If they’re serious about reducing violence, they should be addressing the causes and that’s psychoacti­ve substances.’

Mr Jones added that illegal drugs are widely used in prisons and said heroin substitute­s, such as methadone, and strong painkiller­s are commonly prescribed to inmates.

But Mary Brett, chairman of campaign group Cannabis Skunk Sense, said: ‘To give free cannabis to prisoners is absolutely disgracefu­l. It’s irresponsi­ble.’

Mick Pimblett, assistant general secretary of the POA, said: ‘This would be another thing which would be used as currency – creating violence.’

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