Cambridge is so rife with cannabis it should open a marijuana ‘ghetto’, claims councillor


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.”


  1. Are we so stupid in Britain that we cannot learn the lessons of history? If we prohibit something for which there is huge demand then the price rises and violent criminals become involved.

    If we introduced a legally regulated system we would solve nearly all the problems around cannabis. We’d have no more illegal and dangerous cannabis farms causing fires. Instead we’d have thousands of new jobs. We’d have no more dealers on the streets. Cannabis would be available to adults only through licensed outlets and we’d have some control over the THC and CBD content. Science proves how much safer cannabis is than tobacco, alcohol, prescription medicines and all other recreational drugs. The evidence is that where legal regulation is introduced, consumption by children and all health and social harms are reduced.

    Doctors would be able to prescribe one of the most effective medicines that has no serious side effects at all. At the moment the government has given GW Pharmaceuticals an illegal monopoly on cannabis so they make millions out of a medicine that you can grow in your greenhouse for virtually nothing.

    Independent, expert research also indicates that a tax and regulate policy on cannabis would produce a net gain to the UK economy of up to £9.3 billion pa.

    Our present policy on cannabis is irrational, irresponsible and dangerous. On 6th November 2012 Colorado and Washington state legalised cannabis for adults, Surely, this inevitable and long overdue reform will now begin to roll out across the world?

  2. why spend money on catching and crimanlising all the pot heads (and there are alot more than u think, when its less harmfull for the user and for sosiety in every way that alcahole, pot heads arnt hunting you down and locking you up for the ocasonal drink. and the amount of money dealers are makeing is ridicules, if it was leaglised everyone would be safer and the coverment would make the money off it like in the neterlands washington and many other places areound the globe were this is working and has been for deckades like in portuigal. and one thing’s for shour what ever is happning in the uk is NOT working. please excuse my spelling 🙂

  3. Can you keep drugs out of prison? No.
    Even the most high security prisons? No. If you cant keep them out of prisons who is delusional enough to think we can keep them out of a free society?
    Will humans stop taking drugs? No. The known history of the human species shows this to be true. The concept of a ‘drug war’, or whatever you choose to call this, is to eliminate drugs from society, is this possible? No. So surely the question is: if we accept cannabis, ecstasy, alcohol, opiates etc cannot be removed from the dictionary who do we want in control of this market?

    What happens when a drug dealer is arrested/imprisoned? Nothing, another individual takes their place. ‘Gangsters’ will stay ‘gangsters’, many individuals involved in drug crime are opportunists, not ‘gangsters’ . There is a massive difference.
    Legalisation of drugs is not about the drugs, but about the ‘gangsters’ and terrorism it funds, including the violence, destruction, death, fear etc all created by prohibition.
    A large % of those asked reply that ‘curiosity’ is a major factor in using drugs. I would not be typing this and you reading this without curiosity.
    Robert Peel designed a type of law enforcement that protected people from other people doing them harm. When you institute a prohibition you are not protecting people from other people but protecting people against themselves. Protecting people from themselves is a function of family, church, education and the health care system; it never is and never should have been intended to be a law enforcement function. Law is attempting to enforce morality; the police are not trained to do this, they are not capable of this and most importantly it has been an abject failure of the worst kind.
    Will legalisation increase drug use? No. Does everyone smoke tobacco? No. Drink alcohol? No. coffee? No. Eat fast food? No. If prohibition is such a good idea why not apply this to tobacco and alcohol? Because it would not work. why then would it work for other drugs?
    Even ‘god’, the creator of man and women, bestowed us free will. Prohibition removes this god given right. People choose to take drugs. Fact
    The first prohibition; do these words sound familiar to anyone: Do not eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Heard that phrase before? First prohibition and the first example of zero tolerance, little bite, big bite from the apple doesn’t matter you are out of the garden.
    How many people had to be watched to make that prohibition work, two, no other names just adam and eve. How many trees of knowledge were in the garden, one, who was the cop for that one? The all seeing eye/god almighty; only had top watch two people and one tree. God could not enforce this prohibition. If you read this story it tells you why it failed; after the creator created the creator granted something to the creation, and that was called free will – the right to choose whether or not they ate from the tree, because without that what point was there planting the tree as there would be no test. This is what drives the drug trade – people choosing to take drugs whether the governments like it or not.

  4. Here here Piero! Its disgusting that these people should get away with what they’re doing. How dare they! Blatant disregard for the law and the police do nothing! Instead they come after people speeding or have had a few glasses after the office. Disgarceful. I hope the police have taken notice: we don’t want our law-abiding motorists targeted anymore! Cannabis smokers, i know what i’d do with them – Lock them up and throw away the key!


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