People caught with 6kg of cannabis could avoid prison under the new guidelines, the sentences for drug mules will be cut substantially and those found working in small cannabis ‘farms’ could escape custodial sentences too.
The new guidelines keep tough sentences for gang leaders and those who sell directly to the public but they have come in for criticism.
Chairman of the Metropolitan branch of the Police Federation Peter Smyth said of the new guidelines: “How can a court be expected to differentiate between the person who says I am very low in the chain and those high up?
“No matter how big a role I played, if I was in their shoes and arrested for drugs I would say I was a low-level player or forced into it. If they can see a loophole then of course they will go through it.”
The guidelines come in to practice next month have been drawn up based on the role of the person in question and the quantity of drugs they are found in possession of.