News has started to circulate that police in Durham will "turn a blind eye" to small-scale cannabis growers and users.
It was welcomed by drug-policy reformists and medical cannabis users who hoped this meant they could discreetly grow the plant in their homes without fear of prosecution while avoiding street dealers.
However, this is not the case.
In response to the rumours, Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg has released the following statement.
"There hasn’t been a change in policy. We are taking an approach which reduces harm – by focusing on stopping people from using drugs, and tackling the organised gangs who are the source of the supply.
"This means where people are addicted, we help them into recovery. And where people are using small amounts of drugs like cannabis, we deal with them in a fair and measured way. Durham Constabulary has issued over 300 cannabis warnings in the last 12 months.
"At the same time, we must continue to attack organised crime gangs that keep drugs on our streets and causes misery to thousands of people.
"Those who grow or deal in drugs, no matter on what scale, are responsible for causing massive harm to our communities, and will be tackled.
"It is not the case that the police will not proactively seek out and detect so-called small scale cannabis growers.
"On the contrary, the police are working with partners including the fire service to identify and tackle cannabis farms. And reducing the harm caused by drugs has been one of my top priorities ever since I have been a PCC."