The decriminalisation of certain drugs has been considered by many countries and the Mayor of London is launching a review of cannabis.
Currently more than half of the UK support the legalisation of cannabis. Additionally, sixty-three percent of people in London support the legalisation of the drug.
There have been arguments that the drug would create more income for the government and keep money out of the hands of illegal drug traders.
However, these arguments have yet to be decisive enough to change the law.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is now promising to launch a full review of cannabis decriminalisation if he is re-elected this May. Furthermore, the review will look into multiple factors including, health, economic and criminal justice benefits.
What has been said?
A source close to the Mayor told The Guardian:
“It will be for the commission to look at the evidence in the round, but nothing is off the table in the context of what is best for public health and keeping Londoners safe.”
With that in mind, it seems that this review will not guarantee the legalisation of cannabis. Moreover, the mayor has made it clear that this review will only consider cannabis and no other drugs.
The proposal to set up a London drugs commission is expected to be part of Khan’s mayoral election manifesto. The manifesto is set to be published on Tuesday.
Khan is expected to discuss the matter and say:
“It’s time for fresh ideas about how to reduce the harms drugs and drug-related crimes cause to individuals, families and communities.”
“The illegal drugs trade causes huge damage to our society – driving serious and violent crime, damaging people’s health and criminalising too many young people.”
“That’s why, if I’m re-elected, I will establish a new London Drugs Commission comprised of independent experts to examine the latest evidence from around the world. ”
“The commission will make recommendations focusing on the most effective laws to tackle crime, protect Londoners’ health and reduce the huge damage that illegal drugs, including cannabis, cause to our communities and society.”
Will this lead to legalised cannabis?
While this review will give hope to some, there is still a long way to go. Firstly, the review may oppose similar studies and find that cannabis legalisation doesn’t benefit society. Secondly, if the review did support cannabis, a bill would have to be passed through parliament.
The leader of the Labour party, which Khan belongs to, has shown reservations about reassessing policy. Opposition leader, Kier Stammer has said that drug laws are ‘roughly right’. Although, the Labour leader more recently claimed there was room for debate.
This review could be the start of lasting change. However, even with the support of a review, it will be a long road before cannabis is legalised.
Let’s see what the review finds!
Image via Alamy