Sadiq Khan, the current Mayor of London, has announced the creation of a commission to examine the effectiveness of UK drug laws, in particular those governing cannabis.
The London Drugs Commission, which will be chaired by Lord Charlie Falconer QC, former Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, was one of the promises in Sadiq Khan’s manifesto when he was re-elected last year.
The Mayor of London’s office said a panel of independent experts from the fields of criminal justice, public health, politics, community relations and academia will be convened to review the evidence gathered in the around the world on the results of different drug policies.
Sadiq Khan is currently on a four-day visit to the United States to promote investment in London to support its post-pandemic recovery. The trip also included a fact-finding mission to Los Angeles to see the impact of the city’s, and state’s, decision to legalize cannabis in 2016.
The British mayor visited a dispensary and cannabis grow facility, met with retailers and licensed growers, and spoke with officials from the Los Angeles Police Department and local city government.
A study commission for the legislator
California legalized the recreational use of cannabis after a public ballot that was approved by 57% of voters. Counties and cities across the state can still choose to prohibit the sale or location of cannabis businesses.
The London commission will aim to assess the best ways to prevent drug use, the most effective criminal justice responses and the public health benefits of different approaches. Once completed, it will make policy recommendations for city hall, government, police, the criminal justice system and public health services.
Announcing the creation of the commission, Mr Khan said he believed it would help “to tackle drug-related crime, protect the health of Londoners and reduce the enormous damage that illegal drugs cause to our communities”.
He added: “The illegal drug trade is causing enormous harm to our society and we need to do more to fight this epidemic and move the debate around our drug laws forward. That’s why I’m here today in Los Angeles, to see firsthand their approach to cannabis. »
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 so much to learn from each other, and I applaud Mayor Khan’s thoughtful approach as London moves forward,” he said.