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Cannabis Trial Nonsense

“Support for the trial is restricted to middle class, white liberals. The majority of black residents oppose it”


According to a MORI poll of a representative sample of 2,055 Lambeth residents, opposition (or indifference) to the trial was just 8% overall. Opposition amongst different ethnic group was 10% (Black), 7% (White), 7% (Asian). These are not significant differences given the sub-sample sizes.

“There has been evidence of increased use of cannabis amongst children, including children arriving for school clearly intoxicated by cannabis”


Lambeth police have surveyed 66 primary and 10 secondary schools in the borough, asking for evidence to support this assertion. They have found none.

“The Lambeth cannabis trial has resulted in an influx of drug tourists into the borough, attracted by the more lenient treatment even in the mistaken belief that cannabis has been legalised in Lambeth”


Analysis of the addresses of those apprehended for cannabis possession, both before and during the trial, has shown it virtually unchanged at approximately 50% from outside the borough

“Meanwhile, Lambeth has become a ‘wild west’, with crime levels soaring”


From July 2001 to June 2002, reported street robberies (personal robbery plus snatches) fell from 791 to 407, per month. In the same period, burglaries from dwellings fell from 504 to 415, per month.

In these respects, Lambeth has done better than London as a whole. In July 2001, Lambeth’s share of street robberies was 14%; in June 2002 it was 8.8%. The respective shares of burglaries from dwellings were 8.7% down to 7.2%.

Source: Metroplolitan Police Service, Crime Statistics

“The trial has brought about an increase in drug dealing”


The statistics released by the Met indicate an increase in arrests for Class A drug trafficking. Unlike crimes such as burglary (where offences are invariably reported), drug arrests are as much a measure of police activity as underlying crime rates. The increased arrests of dealers is impressive and Lambeth police are to be congratulated. There is no evidence of an influx of dealers from outside of the borough




“Community leaders are opposed to the trial”


We live in a representative democracy. The ballot box is the ultimate test of leadership. Who are these “community leaders”?

Local Councillors?

Throughout the trial, local councillors (individually and as a body) have in the main been regrettably silent on the issue. It is no coincidence that the ward most associated with street drug dealing (Coldharbour) also had one of the lowest turnouts in the country in the May council elections (just 14%).

But some councillors are members of the Community Police Consultative Group, which is supportive of the trial.

Local MP’s?

Lambeth is represented by three MP’s. Only one of them has been vocal in opposing the trial - Kate Hoey (Labour, Vauxhall).  She has a long-standing, personal opposition to any relaxation of the law in relation to cannabis. This is perfectly legitimate: MP’s are elected representatives, not mandated delegates. But we do not accept that she speaks for the people of Lambeth on this issue. We regret that, in her many media appearances, she has chosen to deploy many of the assertions set out above, to the detriment of Lambeth’s reputation. Lambeth desperately needs investment, regeneration, jobs and new opportunities, which the media depictions of recent months do little to encourage.

Service Providers

Ms Hoey has been supported in her media campaign by two or three  local service providers. In their respective, valued roles they have important insights to contribute. But, as service providers, they can no more claim to be “community leaders” than the manager of the local supermarket.