Sadiq Khan reportedly is working on a plan that could end the prosecution of teenagers caught with cannabis and extend to decriminalizing other class B drugs like ketamine and amphetamines.
According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, police officers in Lewisham, Bexley and Greenwich counties are being asked as part of the pilot project not to arrest young people in possession of cannabis.
The Mayor of London is also considering offering speed awareness course-style educational programs and counseling for people under the age of 25 caught with Class B drugs.
In effect, this would mean that drugs like ketamine and speed would be decriminalized in areas of the capital.
Perpetrators caught with these drugs would not be taken into police custody but returned to their family homes.
They would then be given access to courses educating them about the potential dangers of drug use. These would be run by youth workers rather than police officers, with advice for young people who need it.
According to the Telegraph, the pilot will be announced this month, with Lewisham Mayor Damien Egan taking the lead.
Investigations by the Mayor of London’s team have found that police spend a lot of time dealing with drug-related crime. In Lewisham between 2016 and 2020, nine out of ten drug trials against adolescents were cannabis-related.
Mr Khan promised to set up the London Drugs Commission during his last election campaign, which was originally supposed to examine whether the possession of cannabis should be decriminalized. However, with the amnesty potentially extending to all Class B drugs, other substances could be decriminalized in the capital.
The government recently released a 10-year drug strategy targeting recreational users. This will mean the largest increase in drug treatment funding yet, but also tougher penalties for Class A drug users, such as passport confiscation. Khan’s plan could clash with the government’s plans to make drug use harder.
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