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Could Boris Johnson’s No Confidence Vote Speed Up British Cannabis Reform?

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The British Prime Minister faces an internal revolt over ‘Partygate’ – but if he loses, will this move cannabis reform faster in the UK?

The UK is a bit of a hot mess right now. While the Queen seems to float above the fray and Britons seem to be happily celebrating her 70 years on the throne in delightfully nostalgic ways, blowback from Covid and Brexit is the name of the game right now across the UK.

This is certainly true for the current resident of 10 Downing Street right now. Boris Johnson is facing a vote of no confidence from the rest of the Tory party. This is predominantly because of the scandal caused by a lack of compliance with the government’s own Covid rules. However, beyond this, the UK is now suffering from not only post-Covid supply chain problems and inflation but the lingering effects of Brexit.

If Johnson does win, he will not face another such challenge for a year. What happens to pending policies – like cannabis reform for the UK?

Cannabis Reform is not Party Driven

No matter the outcome of Johnson’s fate which will be decided on Monday evening (British time), it is unlikely to impact cannabis reform, one way or another, at least directly. There are several reasons. This starts, tragically with the fact that the Labor Party can be just as anti-cannabis as their colleagues across the aisle.

Indeed, it is very clear that the unsettled political environment of the UK right now is one of the largest detriments to having a debate on legalization. The only politician who has been consistently and vocally at least pro decriminalization is the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. It is in his campaign for the same that one can hear the same kinds of reasons for legalization as in the United States. Namely, that stop and search activities by the police are predominantly targeted at minority youth.

Could German Legalization Influence the Brits?

It is very possible that German legalization later this year, along with several other EU countries (plus Switzerland) implementing some form of recreational reform will galvanize the debate here again. However, don’t expect miracles, much less fast ones. The UK does not even have a functioning medical cannabis access program backed by the NHS.

So, while the islands surrounding the UK are certainly hotbeds of reform, don’t look for any real change of policy on the mainland in the near future.

It is also crystal if not tragically clear that onshoring the debate is going to take more than the fall of a prime minister – and for reasons that everything to do with justice of all kinds – from economic to the political variety.

Both seem to be in noticeably short supply.

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