Are Changes Coming To Cannabis Enforcement In Britain?
Earlier this year the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, launched a commission to explore London’s cannabis enforcement policies, which is something that he campaigned on as a candidate. Throughout 2022 Mayor Khan seemed to be promoting a policy that is essentially cannabis decriminalization.
Cannabis decriminalization is obviously not as good as outright legalization yet is clearly superior than arresting people caught with a personal amount of cannabis. Khan’s expressed desire to change London’s cannabis enforcement policies was condemned by other officials, including Steve Reed, the Labour’s Party’s shadow justice secretary.
As we previously reported, Reed made the ridiculous claim that cannabis decriminalization would “turn London into a drug supermarket.” It appears that Reed’s reefer madness talking points are not gaining as much traction in some circles as presumably hoped, with reports that the National Police Chiefs’ Council and College of Policing are proposing a less-harsh approach to cannabis penalties. Per Daily Mail:
First time users of cocaine and cannabis will be offered education or treatment programmes rather than being prosecuted under new plans being drawn up by police bosses.
Officers would agree to take no further action against those caught in possession of illegal drugs, including class A and B, for the first time under new proposals being drawn up by the National Police Chiefs’ Council and College of Policing.
The offender would therefore avoid a criminal record, however, they would be prosecuted if they failed to take part in education or treatment programmes or were caught with drugs again.
According to reporting out of Britain, fourteen police forces already use this enforcement approach, including law enforcement agencies in Durham, Thames Valley, and West Midlands. It’s not an optimal approach, however, it’s a step in the right direction.
No one should be forced into rehab or counseling simply because they were caught with cannabis. Cannabis possession, or even confirmed use, is not automatically problematic be default. If a consumer wishes to go to rehab for cannabis, so be it, but it should be a personal decision and not something that is imposed by the government.