There is a state of incredible uncertainty and disinformation regarding the Cannabis culture in the United Kindom with a vast number of people entirely baffled or repeating popular (albeit false) rhetoric on the subject while thousands of hard working and honest people are needlessly fined or jailed (at the taxpayers expense) every year. There is also the problem of a burgeoning criminal culture surrounding the plant which could be dealt a critical blow which could not be matched by 10,000 dedicated 'pot squad' police officers by simply removing its black market status!
This is not a call for total deregulation of the substance but a request to open a dialogue with the goal of establishing a controlled, regulated and ultimately taxable solution which will be amenable to users, law enforcement and relevant government agencies.
This could be achieved cheaply and efficiently with a digital solution (much like this website) such as a forum or messageboard. To improve the flow of discussion and encourage open debate, I would recommend allowing optional anonimity for government officials and members of the public so as not to put any 'professional reputations' in jeapordy.
Why is this idea important?
The Police forces dedicate thousands of man hours and millions of pounds each year chasing down 'cannabis farms' which only exist because of a significant black market demand for the substance, a demand generated thanks to the laws forbidding people to produce thier own cannabis or to buy it from legitamate licenced outlets.
Consider a comparison to US prohibition in the early 20th Century where the banning of alcohol created powerful criminal syndicates who preyed on the ever increasing black market demand for booze. Innocent, honest, hard working and morally sound people are being forced to choose between running the risk of having thier lives destroyed by being sent to jail for growing THIER OWN cannabis for THIER OWN consumption or put money into the hands of criminal organisations for access a simple herb.
Nobody wants to fund criminality, help people to help each other, whip the cannabis trade right out from under them!