In an attempt to decrease drug-related crime, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, is examining the feasibility of decriminalizing cannabis in the British Capital. According to information published in The Guardian newspaper, Sadiq Khan wishes to set up an independent drug commission if he gets re-elected as mayor in the elections on the 6th of May. This commission will study the potential benefits of cannabis for the economy as well as the potential health effects on the population.
Currently, possession, cultivation and sales of cannabis is illegal in the UK. The law is quite strict. In fact, the penalty for possession of cannabis reaches up to 5 years in prison while the cultivation can reach up to 14 years. The UK is another example of the failure of governments to prohibit cannabis as the substance is the most consumed narcotics in the country, according to the National Crime Agency.
Furthermore, the illegal traffic of cannabis costs billions of pounds a year to the State. Legalizing the sale of cannabis would raise at least £ 1 billion in tax a year.
“Illegal drug trafficking increases crime and violence. Many young people are criminalized for drug use ”says Khan.
“The commission will focus on effective laws to protect the health of citizens. And reduce the damage that illegal drugs cause to our society, ” adds Khan. The board will include members of public health, community relations and policy experts who will study the problems associated with drug use and addiction.
Even though the introduction of new laws is not primarily in Khan’s hands, the mayor believes that the independent drug commission will help to legalize cannabis.