Police commissioner wants to give free cannabis to prisoners in bid to cut crime behind bars 

A police commissioner has called for jails to trial giving free cannabis to prisoners in a bid to cut crime behind bars.

North Wales Plaid Cymru commissioner Arfon Jones, a former police inspector, said the radical idea could reduce prison violence and prevent overdose deaths in prisons.

Mr Jones said that if justice authorities were serious about reducing harms and violence in prisons ‘they should be addressing the causes’.

He suggested that this includes the cheap synthetic cannabinoid spice that is rife in the prison system highlighted by the death of Luke Morris Jones, 22, in 2018 who passed away after taking spice as an inmate at HMP Berwyn, Wrexham. 

North Wales Plaid Cymru commissioner Arfon Jones (pictured), a former police inspector, said the radical idea could reduce prison violence and prevent overdose deaths in prisons

North Wales Plaid Cymru commissioner Arfon Jones (pictured), a former police inspector, said the radical idea could reduce prison violence and prevent overdose deaths in prisons

North Wales Plaid Cymru commissioner Arfon Jones (pictured), a former police inspector, said the radical idea could reduce prison violence and prevent overdose deaths in prisons

Use of illegal drugs is widespread in prisons and many prisoners lawfully receive heroin substitutes such as methadone and buprenorphine to manage their dependence.

Others that are commonly prescribed include strong analgesics such as pregabalin and gabapentinoids – all of which are addictive and potentially dangerous drugs.

In the UK the use of cannabis recreationally is against the law but it has been legalised to be used for medical purposes.

But Mr Jones said access to full extract oil through the NHS was virtually impossible.

He said: ‘Opioids are more dangerous than cannabis. If they’re on opioids, why can’t they be prescribed cannabis?

‘Let’s supply cannabis in controlled conditions and see if offences reduce.

He suggested that this includes the cheap synthetic cannabinoid spice that is rife in the prison system highlighted by the death of Luke Morris Jones, 22, in 2018 who passed away after taking spice as an inmate at HMP Berwyn, Wrexham (pictured)

He suggested that this includes the cheap synthetic cannabinoid spice that is rife in the prison system highlighted by the death of Luke Morris Jones, 22, in 2018 who passed away after taking spice as an inmate at HMP Berwyn, Wrexham (pictured)

He suggested that this includes the cheap synthetic cannabinoid spice that is rife in the prison system highlighted by the death of Luke Morris Jones, 22, in 2018 who passed away after taking spice as an inmate at HMP Berwyn, Wrexham (pictured)

‘The aim of the game is to make prisons safer. If they’re serious about reducing violence in prisons they should be addressing the causes and that’s psychoactive substances. 

‘Plus there’s a whole range of issues that cannabis would be geared to reduce the risk of.’

More generally, Mr Jones has also called for cannabis to be regulated to cut out organised crime and allow people to grow a limited amount for their own personal use. 

He claimed: ‘It is a nonsense to criminalise people who take cannabis for recreational use and cause no harm to anybody else.’

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