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Comment Sought - Policing of Cannabis in England and Wales


I am a writer and researcher at the London-based drugs policy think tank Volteface and I am currently working on a project examining the policing of cannabis in England and Wales. 


The aim is to produce a briefing, to be published on the Volteface website in early 2019, exploring how cannabis is being policed on the ground, the challenges and complexities involved in cannabis enforcement, and why certain approaches are taken towards cannabis by different police forces and officers.  


Please find attached a summary of the project.


The project is mainly a qualitative piece of work which will lead with anonymous interviews with serving and recently retired police officers about their experiences of policing cannabis. It will not be critical of frontline police officers, but merely explore some of the key issues surrounding cannabis policing.


To this end, I wondered whether you would be able to help put me in touch with any recently retired police officers in Birmingham that would be willing to be interviewed for the project? They would need to have retired from the police in the past two years.


The interviews would be quoted in the project completely anonymously (for the sake of consistency as all of the serving police officers I have already interviewed for it do not want to be identified). The interviews would take up to 30 minutes to complete over the phone. I have also attached a participant information sheet.


Volteface's last report, of which I was a co-author, The Children's Inquiry, was published in September and examined how effectively the UK's cannabis policies are safeguarding young people. Its central finding - that young people are increasingly becoming involved in and criminalised for cannabis dealing through grooming - was endorsed by politicians as well as by the Children's Commissioner for England. It also received extensive media coverage and was the front-page story of The Times newspaper on the day of its release.


With best wishes,




Miss Hardeep Matharu | Senior Writer and Researcher 




Twitter | @Hardeep_Matharu

Phone | 07894229748