A councillor has sparked outrage after claiming cannabis is so rife in historic Cambridge – the city should open a marijuana “ghetto”.
Cllr Sarah Brown, from Cambridge City Council, says the drug is “omnipresent” in the Petersfield area of the University city.
She said it is impossible to walk more than 100 metres in the area, popular with Bohemian academics and students, without catching a whiff.
She also says Cambridgeshire Constabulary should stop targeting use of the drug and suggested they should focus their efforts on more serious substances.
Speaking at the Cambridge City Council east area committee on Tuesday, Cllr Brown said: “It’s pretty much impossible to walk more than 100 metres in Petersfield and Romsey without smelling it.
“The wards are more or less awash with it, I wonder if it’s a good use of resources to go after this. It’s more or less omnipresent.”
After the meeting Cllr Brown wrote on Twitter: “It seems obvious that public opinion on cannabis, at least in my ward, is at odds with the law. Resolving the disconnect is a national issue.”
Sgt Colin Norden, from Cambridgeshire Constabulary, said police would respond to reports of cannabis use and challenge anyone spotted with the drug – but he admitted his priorities lay elsewhere.
Sgt Norden told the meeting: “I will go after any drugs, but we focus on class A because it does more harm.
“If we get reports in, particularly of dealing, we will deal with that.”
Traders on the busy shopping street Mill Road which runs through Cllr Brown’s ward yesterday (Thurs) branded the cannabis claims “ridiculous.”
Hairdresser Piero D’Angelico said: “It is just not true. It’s totally ridiculous. If someone is walking along smoking cannabis and you can smell it you can’t blame the whole road.
“This is an outrageous thing for the councillor to say and is very unhelpful.”