Sadiq Khan has announced a commission to examine the effectiveness of drug laws in the UK, with a particular focus on those governing cannabis.
The London The Commission on Narcotics, which will be chaired by Lord Charlie Falconer QC, the former Minister of Justice and Minister of Justice, was one of Khan’s pledges in his manifesto in his re-election bid last year.
The mayor of the London office said a panel of independent experts in criminal justice, public health, politics, community relations and academia will be assembled to look at evidence from around the world on the outcomes of various drug policies.
Khan is now on a four-day visit to the United States to encourage investment in London to support its recovery from the pandemic. The trip also included a fact-finding mission Los Angeles To find out the impact of the city’s decision to legalize cannabis in 2016.
Khan visited a cannabis dispensary and a cannabis plant, met with licensed retailers and growers, and spoke with officials from the Los Angeles Police Department and the city’s local government.
California legalized the recreational use of cannabis after a nationwide vote that passed with the approval of 57% of voters, although individual counties and cities can still choose to ban its sale.
Supporters of the move said the move would create a safe and regulated market for cannabis while reducing the power of criminal gangs.
The law change has reduced the number of cannabis-related arrests — from 13,810 in 2016 to 6,065 in 2017 — but critics note that the illegal market continues to thrive, with up to 90% of all sales It’s still coming from unlicensed sellers.
The London commission will aim to evaluate the best ways to prevent drug abuse, the most effective criminal justice responses, and the public health benefits of different approaches.
University College London is set to provide research and analysis on the implications of any potential policy change.
The committee will not consider category A drugs.
Once she has completed her work, she will make policy recommendations for the town hall, government, police, criminal justice system and public health services.
Announcing the commission, Khan said he believed it would help “address drug-related crime, protect the health of Londoners and reduce the enormous harm illegal drugs are causing to our communities”.
He added: “The illicit drug trade is causing huge damage to our society and we need to do more to tackle this pandemic and increase the debate about our drug laws.
“That’s why I’m here today in Los Angeles, to see firsthand the approach they took to cannabis.”
Falconer said: “I am honored to have been appointed chair of the London Medicines Committee. We desperately need to identify the best approach to minimizing the harm to our communities.
The national debate is long overdue. We aim to provide recommendations for effective and lasting change.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said decriminalizing cannabis provides “historically marginalized communities with opportunities for healing, entrepreneurship, and wealth creation” in a growing industry.
“Cities have a lot to learn from each other, and I applaud Mayor Khan’s thoughtful approach as London moves forward,” he said.