Sadiq Khan has introduced a fee to look at the effectiveness of the UK’s drug legal guidelines, with a selected deal with these governing hashish.
The London medication fee, to be chaired by Lord Charlie Falconer QC, a former lord chancellor and justice secretary, was considered one of Khan’s manifesto pledges in his re-election bid final yr.
The mayor of London’s workplace stated a panel of impartial specialists in prison justice, public well being, politics, neighborhood relations and academia will probably be assembled to think about proof from world wide on the outcomes of assorted drug insurance policies.
Khan is now on a four-day go to to the US to advertise funding in London to help its restoration from the pandemic. The journey has additionally included a fact-finding mission to Los Angeles to see the affect of town’s resolution to legalise hashish in 2016.
Khan has visited a hashish dispensary and cultivation facility, met licensed retailers and growers, and spoken with officers from the Los Angeles Police Division and town’s native authorities.
California legalised the leisure use of hashish after a public poll that handed with the approval of 57% of voters, though particular person counties and cities can nonetheless select to ban its sale.
Supporters stated the transfer would create a marketplace for protected and controlled hashish whereas decreasing the facility of prison gangs.
The legislation change led to a fall in cannabis-related arrests – from 13,810 in 2016 to six,065 in 2017 – however critics have identified that the illicit market continues to thrive, with as much as 90% of all gross sales nonetheless coming from unlicensed sellers.
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London’s fee will goal to evaluate the most effective strategies to stop drug use, the simplest prison justice responses, and the general public well being advantages of various approaches.
College Faculty London has been appointed to supply analysis and evaluation on the implications of any potential change in coverage.
The fee won’t take into account class A medication.
As soon as it has accomplished its work, it can make coverage suggestions for Metropolis Corridor, the federal government, the police, the prison justice system and public well being providers.
Saying the fee, Khan stated he believed it could assist “sort out drug-related crime, defend Londoners’ well being and cut back the massive harm that unlawful medication trigger to our communities”.
He added: “The unlawful medication commerce causes large harm to our society and we have to do extra to sort out this epidemic and additional the controversy round our medication legal guidelines.
“That’s why I’m right here right now in LA, to see first-hand the strategy they’ve taken to hashish.”
Falconer stated: “I’m honoured to have been appointed chair of the London medication fee. We want rigorously to determine what’s the greatest strategy to scale back hurt to our communities.
“A nationwide debate is lengthy overdue. We goal to make suggestions to result in efficient and lasting change.”
The Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti, stated that decriminalisation of hashish provided “traditionally marginalised communities alternatives for therapeutic, entrepreneurship, and wealth creation” in a rising business.
“Cities have a lot to be taught from each other, and I applaud mayor Khan’s considerate strategy as London strikes ahead,” he stated.