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Sadiq Khan debates cannabis decriminalization at a marijuana farm

Sadiq Khan visits cannabis growers and speaks to James Corden in LA

The Mayor of London recently launched a scheme whereby young people caught using cannabis would be offered lessons or counseling instead of arrest (Image: PA).

The Mayor of London has announced a new group assessing the effectiveness of UK drug laws visiting a cannabis farm in Los Angeles.

Sadiq Khan recently launched a new pilot program in Lewisham, Greenwich and Bexley, which would offer accelerated-style courses or counseling to young people caught using cannabis in lieu of arrest.

Speaking at the traditional cannabis dispensary and cultivation center in downtown LA, Mr Khan said there was a need for an “honest, candid” conversation about UK cannabis laws, adding that visiting the facility was “fascinating”.

LA decriminalized cannabis in 2016, and since then arrests related to the drug in California have fallen by 56%.

“We need to have an honest, open conversation about the evidence relating to the history of cannabis and our laws in the UK and our experience of the health consequences in terms of crime and community,” he said.

“The best way to do that is with the drug commission that we have set up now.

“You can hear from the experts, that’s one thing, but seeing it for yourself… hearing from those who grow and grow this plant has been fascinating.”

He announced that Lord Charlie Falconer QC will be Chairman of the first ever London Drugs Commission.

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The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, walks through cannabis plants that are legally grown in a licensed

Sadiq Khan has announced a new group assessing the effectiveness of drug laws in the UK (Image: PA)

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, walks through cannabis plants that are legally grown in a licensed

He visited the traditional cannabis dispensary and cultivation center in downtown LA (Image: PA)

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan at Traditional, a licensed cannabis grower in Los Angeles, during a visit to the US to boost London's tourism industry. Picture date: Wednesday May 11, 2022. PA Photo. The Mayor of London visited New York and California's Silicon Valley before heading to Los Angeles and hopes to use the trip to attract investment to the capital. See PA story POLITICS Khan. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

LA decriminalized cannabis in 2016 and thereafter arrests related to the drug in California fell by 56% (Image: PA)

The Commission will not deal with Class A drugs but will analyze Class B and C drugs with a particular focus on cannabis.

The move puts him at odds with Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer, who has previously said he was opposed to relaxing the law.

Speaking about the LA facility, Mr Khan continued: “[It] is clearly heavily regulated, there are very high standards, nobody cuts corners, they are happy to be inspected by the city, by the experts.

“It is important to see for yourself what the parallel world of legalized cannabis looks like for comparison and contrast.

“I hope the London Drugs Commission will look into it [at] what is happening elsewhere in the world where the laws have been changed.’

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan at Traditional, a licensed cannabis grower in Los Angeles, during a visit to the US to boost London's tourism industry. Picture date: Wednesday May 11, 2022. PA Photo. The Mayor of London visited New York and California's Silicon Valley before heading to Los Angeles and hopes to use the trip to attract investment to the capital. See PA story POLITICS Khan. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The new panel will not consider Class A drugs but will analyze Class B and C drugs with a particular focus on cannabis (Image: PA)

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, walks through cannabis plants that are legally grown in a licensed

Cannabis is currently classified as a Class B drug in the UK, with a maximum sentence of five years in prison for possession (Image: PA)

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan at Traditional, a licensed cannabis grower in Los Angeles, during a visit to the US to boost London's tourism industry. Picture date: Wednesday May 11, 2022. PA Photo. The Mayor of London visited New York and California's Silicon Valley before heading to Los Angeles and hopes to use the trip to attract investment to the capital. See PA story POLITICS Khan. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The criminal justice, health and economic implications of decriminalizing Class B and C drugs will be scrutinized by new commission (Image: PA)

Cannabis is currently classified as a class B drug in the UK, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison for possession.

University College London will provide the new panel with evidence and assessments of the criminal justice, public health and economic implications of any changes to UK drug laws.

Chairman Lord Falconer said: “I am honored to have been appointed Chairman of the London Drugs Commission.

“It’s a real opportunity to thoroughly examine the effectiveness of our drug laws and cannabis policies.

“We must rigorously determine what is the best approach to mitigate the harm to our communities. A national debate is long overdue.

“Our goal is to make recommendations to bring about effective and lasting change.”

Mr Khan said Lord Falconer will bring “decades of experience” to the role, adding that more needs to be done to tackle the “epidemic” caused by the illegal drug trade.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/05/12/sadiq-khan-debates-decriminalising-cannabis-while-at-marijuana-farm-16629420/ Sadiq Khan debates cannabis decriminalization at a marijuana farm

Justin Scacco

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