A DRUG user has been told there is nothing the authorities can do for him after Government funding was cut for anti-cannabis programmes.
The revelation came in the same week that Hastings Police swooped on three separate cannabis stashes in town, and Government figures showed that more people were admitted to hospital after using cannabis than cocaine.
Bradley Bailey, 22, of Stockleigh Road, St Leonards, appeared at Hastings Magistrates Court on Tuesday where he admitted possessing about three grammes of the Class B drug.
Mark Kateley, prosecuting, said that Bailey was searched after police officers pulled over a Peugeot in South Terrace on January 21 and could smell cannabis in the vehicle. Bailey has two previous convictions for possessing cannabis and one for possessing ecstasy, the court heard.
But Samantha Wingfield, defending, said: “He has been open and frank that he does have a drug problem in regard to cannabis and does need some help but it is whether he can get that help.
“The probation team tell me that unfortunately the Government has removed all funding to treat people with cannabis problems which I think is rather bizarre.”
And Dean Jinks of the probation service confirmed this was true.
He told the magistrates: “In terms of addressing his cannabis use there is nothing we can do. The agencies dealing with cannabis abuse have stopped - CRI used to run a weekly cannabis clinic but that has gone. There is absolutely nothing available.
“All we can offer him is a leaflet and advise him to speak to his GP.”
Bailey was given a two year conditional discharge but this week police announced a successful triple strike against cannabis production and dealing in Hastings.
Last Tuesday officers carried out a raid on a house in Battle Road, St Leonards, where they discovered 15 cannabis plants growing in the loft.
A 55-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of cultivating the drug and stealing electricity. He has been bailed to speak again with officers later this month. Then last Thursday a raid on a house in Hughenden Road turned up 68 plants with a heating and lighting system, and £5,00 cash.
A 39-year-old man who arrived while the officers were there was arrested and has been bailed until March 22. And on the same day officers watched a drug deal take place in St Helens Road - a 21-year-old was caught with £270 worth of the drug and £200 cash.
He was arrested on suspicion of supplying drugs and resisting arrest and his home was searched, where police found more cannabis and cash.
Two other men, aged 19 and 20, were also arrested there.
All three were bailed while the investigation continues.
Government figures out this week showed that while heroin and crack cocaine account for 84 per cent of drug-related hospital admissions, cannabis is the next highest at seven per cent, ahead of straight cocaine on five per cent.