Cannabis possession set to be decriminalised in London under plan by Sadiq Khan 6 months ago

Cannabis possession set to be decriminalised in London under plan by Sadiq Khan

Mayor of London is reportedly planning to end prosecution of young people caught with the Class B drug in several boroughs

Possession of cannabis could be decriminalised in London in a new scheme set to be introduced by Sadiq Khan in a bid to curb prosecutions.

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People aged 18-24 in the boroughs of Lewisham, Greenwich, and Bexley will be initially eligible for the scheme which will see them offered speeding course-style classes or counselling, rather than face the criminal justice system.

Police officers will be told not to arrest young people caught with the drug, a mere month after prime minister Boris Johnson announced a crackdown on illegal substances including a warning middle-class users caught in possession of cocaine could have their passports and driving licences taken off them.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, speaking in Birmingham on Tuesday, said he does not believe decriminalisation should be pursued in England, after a similar scheme was introduced in Scotland last year.

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Khan's pilot scheme, which will reportedly be announced this month and be led by Lewisham mayor Damien Egan, could include other class B drugs including ketamine and speed, the Telegraph reports.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “The Mayor firmly believes that drug use, and its related crimes, are preventable and not inevitable. That is why his approaches to tackling these issues are rooted in deterrence and early intervention.

“We know that we’ll never be able to simply arrest our way out of the problem, which is why we continue to work on schemes that provide young people with support and education, rather than simply putting them through the criminal justice system – with the aim of diverting them away from drug use and crime for good.”

Funding for the plans are yet to have final approval from the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, meaning there is not yet a set date for the scheme to begin.

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