Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Candid Caller

A GOVERNMENT proposal to introduce pounds 25 on-the-spot fines for pot-smokers was slammed by Alex Carlile, Lib- Dem MP for Montgomery, as a step towards legalising drugs. Candid Caller asked: What are your vibes? What on-the-spot fine would you introduce?

Mr Joseph Roach of Broxburn, West Lothian: 'I think the fines are a pretty soft punishment. If people can afford drugs they can afford to pay a fine.

'I'd fine people for dropping lager and beer cans - and drinking in the street in the daytime.'

Mr Potts of Liverpool: 'I'm all for the fines, pot-smoking is a lesser offence in a country where people get raped and mugged. But I'd rather see the authorities use their resources to deal with the problem of harder drugs, such as crack and heroin.

'I'd intoduce fines for people playing Walkmans too loud.'

Mrs Gladys Grass of Durham: 'The fines would short-cut costly court proceedings, although perhaps all drugs offences should still be a matter for the courts.

'My pet hate is smoking in public, I'd nab people for that.'

Mrs Jane Tripp of Cardiff: 'I think drugs should be decriminalised altogether. They aren't a police problem, they're a social problem. In the Netherlands they are legal and the situation is much more open and understood.

'I'd fine people for spitting in the street, that's disgusting.'

Mr Charles High of Birmingham: 'I don't think anyone should be smoking any drugs, so fines would be a good idea - they could start in the pubs.

'I'd fine hooligans and graffiti vandals especially.'

Mr Martin Gear of Belfast: 'Give people jobs and a half-decent life and they wouldn't use drugs. Fines are a good idea for soft drugs, they'd raise millions.

'I'd fine the intolerant.'

Mr Bob Hope of Peacehaven: 'Who the hell is going to impose these fines? You need more bobbies on the beat, there's no one to enforce them nowadays.

'I'd bring in fines for litterbugs.'