Sadiq Khan Looks to Decriminalise Marijuana to Puff up Re-Election Bid

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Labour Mayoral Candidate Sadiq Khan speaks with members of the
Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has signalled that he would push to decriminalise marijuana if re-elected in the upcoming election, in his latest ‘green’ agenda campaign promise.

Though the Mayor of London does not have the power to introduce legislation, Mr Khan said that he would establish a ‘London Drugs Commission’, in the hopes that it would pressure the government to decriminalise the class-B drug.

Khan, who has previously called for an “evidence-based conversation” about marijuana, wrote on social media on Monday: “It’s time for fresh ideas to reduce the harms drugs [and] drug-related crimes cause to individuals, families [and] communities.”

“If re-elected, I’ll establish a London Drugs Commission – independent experts to examine the latest evidence from around the world,” he added.

Should Mr Khan endorse the decriminalisation of marijuana, it would directly contradict the stated position of Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer, who has said that he is opposed to liberalising drug laws, as he has “seen too much damage” caused by drugs during the time he spent as a legal prosecutor.

The push to decriminalise marijuana will likely serve as a popular election issue for the leftist politician, with nearly tw0-thirds of the population of London backing the idea, and about half of the British public at large supporting the measure, according to a 2019 poll cited by the mayor’s office.

While the issue may be a winning one with pro-grass Londoners, there are still concerns about the widespread usage of the drug, with the NHS warning that marijuana usage could increase the risk of developing mental illnesses, in particular schizophrenia.

Currently, recreational use of cannabis containing the psychoactive compound THC is illegal, however, the country did legalise the use of medical marijuana in 2018 for limited purposes. CBD marijuana products without THC are also legal in the country.

According to The Guardian, Mr Khan believes that too many young people in London are being criminalised for the use of drugs.

During his tenure in office, crime has spiralled out of control in Britain’s largest city, with over 100 murders being recorded in London for six years in a row. Last year, the number of shootings rose to 288, despite the draconian lockdown measures imposed upon the city. Police officials pointed to conflicts between rival gangs as the main culprit for the increase.

Aside from decriminalising marijuana, Mr Khan has also made so-called Green jobs a central pillar of his re-election bid, announcing on Tuesday that his £50 million “Green New Deal for London” would see massive investments into the sector with the intention of doubling the size of London’s ‘green economy’ by 2030. The plan would also seek to make London a zero-carbon, zero pollution city by 2030 and a zero-waste city by 2050.

“I am the only truly green candidate that can win this election,” Khan said.

The London mayoral election will be held on May 6th, after it was postponed in March of last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, effectively extending Khan’s term in office by one year.

According to a poll conducted last month by Opinium, the leftist mayor of London is expected to sweep to a landslide victory, with Khan leading Tory challenger Shuan Bailey by a margin of 53 to 28, and no other candidate cracking double digits.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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