"Arrests for possession of cannabis fell by a third in the first year since it was downgraded to a Class C drug, official Home Office figures show. An estimated 199,000 police hours were saved, according to data from 26 of the 42 English and Welsh police forces. Cannabis was reclassified so that officers could target hard drugs. Minister Caroline Flint said new crime survey figures also showed that fears for a rise in cannabis use among young people were 'wholly unfounded.' "
One way to save money...
Last year, the UK decriminalised (heh) cannabis, reclassifying it as "Class C substance" so that police could pay more attention to more harmful Class A substances. The BBC reports that the reclassification has been a stunning success. 199,000 police hours were saved leaving pot smokers alone (each arrest takes about 8 hours through processing), and even more astonishingly, pot use remained steady, and remains down from 1998 levels.