Gone to pot: Police want Camden Town to become a "bong-free" zone

Francesca Washtell
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Bongs and other drugs paraphernalia are coming under the hammer from police (Source: Getty)

Camden Town may look a little different the next time you visit as police have pledged to make the area a "no bong" zone and crackdown on paraphernalia associated with drug use.

To draw an end to comparisons with pot hotspot Amsterdam, officers have warned shops based on Camden High Street and around the Lock that they are ready to raid businesses and take them to court if they do not stop selling drug-culture products.

"We have repeatedly tried to tackle drug dealing in and around Camden Lock, and have made a large number of arrests and convictions," police wrote in a letter to shops sent this week, the Camden New Journal reported.

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"However, the drug dealers are shortly replaced by more drug dealers. This endless tide is due to the location’s notoriety for being a place to come and buy drugs. Some refer to it as ‘London’s Amsterdam’. As such we need to create a cultural change in the public’s mentality about the Camden Lock area.

"Having shops filled with cannabis bongs, pipes, grinders and cannabis-branded cigarette papers and lighters only fuels this and creates the culture of tacit acceptance."

Police are now gearing up to enforce section 9a of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. This prohibits the supply of "any article which may be used to prepare a controlled drug for administration".

Read more: Legal sales of cannabis net Oregon shopkeepers $11m

In the UK, the only political party to take a progressive stance towards recreational cannabis use is the Liberal Democrats.

However, earlier this week, Tory MP Crispin Blunt (who in January spoke in parliament in defence of poppers) said a review of cannabis and other drugs legislation would best be tackled by a Royal Commission.

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