Confused public 'believe cannabis is being legalised'

The public are confused about changes to the law on cannabis that take effect today and many mistakenly believe that marijuana is being legalised, according to the head of the largest police association. The statement by Jan Berry, the national chairwoman of the Police Federation, follows comments by Sir John Stevens, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, who has said there is a "massive amount of muddle" surrounding the changes, under which people caught in possession of cannabis will normally be let off with a warning and the drug will be confiscated.

But the drug is not legal. Users will be arrested if caught smoking near children, are repeat offenders, or smoke the drug in public. Mrs Berry said the energy spent reclassifying cannabis could have been better used for education and treatment programmes.