• For a legalization of cannabis in London?
  • For a legalization of cannabis in London?

Pour une légalisation du cannabis à Londres?International

Publié le 13 mai 2022 par AQIC

Sadiq Khan has appointed a former minister to investigate the possible decriminalisation of cannabis.

The London mayor made the announcement during a visit to a cannabis factory in Los Angeles.

Mr Khan said he had an ‘open mind’ about the merits of legalising the Class B drug but it would be foolish to dismiss the idea.

The London Drugs Commission will be chaired by ex-Dome minister Lord Charlie Falconer, a close friend of former prime minister Tony Blair.

The mayor said it would examine evidence from around the globe before making a recommendation.

"I’ve not got an opinion yet. What’s important, and I speak as a former lawyer, is the evidence," said Mr Khan.

"Let’s look at the evidence from a health perspective, from a criminal perspective, from a law perspective, from a community perspective.

"But also, what’s happening from across the globe. We can close our minds and stick our heads in the sand, or we can look at the evidence," he added.

Los Angeles was said to earn an annual income $165m from business rates linked to cannabis shops.

Mr Khan seemed impressed by the indoor cannabis factory which grows plants from saplings and then repeats the process multiple times.

Factory founder Aaron Mamann said state taxes posed a threat to the legal cannabis trade.

He fears licensing would drive cannabis users to cheaper, illegal suppliers.

The move towards legalising cannabis was expected to infuriate families of children who were hospitalised during a spike in drugs use in the 1990s.

Mr Khan added: "If the commission spends time looking at the evidence, takes a range of views, examines what’s happening around the world and comes up with a conclusion, it would be foolish for me to ignore it, so let’s wait and see what the commission concludes."

Californians were first allowed to smoke cannabis in 2016 provided it was home-grown and for their own use.

In 2018 the relaxation of regulations allowed licensed stores to sell the drug in small doses.

A Labour Party spokesperson said: "Labour does not support changing the law on drugs. Drugs policy is not devolved to mayors and under Labour would continue to be set by national government."

Home Secretary Priti Patel said Mr Khan’s time would "be better spent" focusing on tackling crime in the capital.