I would ‘deprioritise’ policing of cannabis in London if elected Mayor, says Green Party’s Sian Berry

I would ‘deprioritise’ policing of cannabis in London if elected Mayor, says Green Party’s Sian Berry

Police would be told to spend less time acting against cannabis consumption in the capital under a Green London Mayor, the party’s candidate Sian Berry has announced.

The pledge, to be included in Berry’s forthcoming manifesto, is designed to free up Met resources for tackling more serious offending and is presented as a substantial first step towards a radically new “public health approach” to drug use in London.

Berry’s plan to “deprioritise” the policing of cannabis would include immediate ending of the use of stop-and-search solely on the grounds of suspected cannabis possession, a tactic the Met deployed more extensively during the first Covid-19 lockdown last spring, in particular against black male Londoners.

Calling for an end to “fifty failing years of the ‘war on drugs’,” Berry said “No credible candidate for Mayor could look at the data and claim that “prohibition and an enforcement-based” approach has worked. “All the evidence points to a public health approach being the safest, most compassionate and most effective way of reducing the harm caused by drug use.”

Berry’s initiative takes its cue from the national policy of the Green Party, of which she is co-leader, as well as being a current member of the London Assembly, to which she is seeking re-election as well as running for Mayor.

The Greens want to decriminalise all illegal drugs and have them regulated by law, with the aim of taking their production and supply out of the hands of criminals.

As Mayor, Berry would not be able to introduce that policy solely within London, but in her de facto role as the capital’s police and crime commissioner she would be able to set the Met’s priorities through the four-year police and crime plan all Mayors must produce through the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.

Further manifesto pledges Berry has promised include working with the health sector and charities to provide heroin prescribing and drug safety-testing, looking at opening a “safe consumption room”, and involving police with diverting drug users towards support services rather than the criminal justice system.

In May 2019, Met Commissioner Cressida Dick stressed to MPs that increased levels of serious violent crime in London at that time were closely “connected to drugs, in one way or another. It is, in my view, at the roots of it all.”

Later that year Sadiq Khan told the Evening Standard he favoured society having “an evidence-based conversation about cannabis – about the law, how it is enforced, and how we support those struggling with addiction.” The Mayor had previously opposed any relaxation of rules governing cannabis use.

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1 Comment

  1. P bear says:

    If only all politicians seen this and for once common sense if only they listened to what the facts and what the people want and need as long as there is a demand there will always be a market who controls they markets matters in wrong hands well evidence says it all but only a small amount of the so called protectors of our rights etc. None of what politicians say I just hope sense is seen and getting my medicine wont be illegal and I dont risk prison for wanting to hopefully live longer healthier life so i can back to work and earn again but for now I can’t even walk without pain and only thing that works thats not highly addictive or damaging to my body on a synthetic level. Our rights are abused daily yet a certain person could own the only licence to grow in the UK but can’t get it on the NHS can’t earn to pay the high price tag for a private dr in a private clinic. Its unfair to put it within reach but not quite. So how will it be will the government see sense and realise that legalisation regulation and taxation would also bring much needed revenue. I mean we were the worlds largest medical supplier once am sure we could do it even bigger and better if it was legalised the benefits far out weigh the bad. Not to mention less dangerous than alcohol yet some how thats allowed to claim life after life yet canabis hasn’t claimed a life that I personally have never heard of thats been confirmed. Yet alcohol kills on a daily level. Were is the logic behind that. But this is a government whom is ment to care and want the best for its citizen yet nothing we want happens unless there an alterior motive. Why people continue to believe the lies is beyond me in my 40yrs am yet to meet or see a politician that is actually out for us the citizens of the United Kingdom. We let our own sleep in containers while hotels get rented to customs for immigrants how do we treat our war vets aswell. Its wrong and somewhere in last 40yrs Britain got lost and forgot who the backbone of Britain really was its people without us there is no United Kingdom. The way forward is to gain control and legalisation regulation is the way forward with this issue but there’s many key issue tht need sorted and more politicians to think same way.

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