The mayor of London is making plans that will see to it that cannabis use by 18-24-year-olds no longer results in criminal arrests but instead results in rehabilitation through counseling and classes. The Telegraph was the first to report this pilot program that is allegedly being developed by Sadiq Khan.
The program is modeled on a similar cannabis program in Thames valley that has so far been successful. Rather than arresting young cannabis offenders and handing them over to the judicial system, the offenders will be taken through classes and counseling programs where they will be educated about the potential harms of consuming cannabis.
Just recently, the Metropolitan police was highly criticized after the officers were caught on camera testing revelers on the streets of Shoreditch for drug use. The video that was shared on Twitter showed the police swabbing patrons’ hands as they got into nightclubs.
In their defense, the police officers reported that the night test was voluntary and no one was forced to comply. They added, in a statement, that the operation was to mark the “week of action” for safeguarding women’s safety. However, many have questioned the legality of the operation.
The pilot program will target 18-24-year-olds who will be found in possession of small amounts of cannabis that are clearly intended for personal consumption. This move will help the young adults to avoid prosecution and instead be integrated into
The pilot program will be trialed in three boroughs, but this has to wait until the policing and crime unit of the Mayor’s office gives its approval. However, the mayor’s office does not hold powers to decriminalize cannabis and Khan has denied having any plans to decriminalize the herb, anyway.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Mr. Khan has intentions to include all class B drugs in the pilot program. However, a spokesperson for the mayor has denied this allegation. Speaking to Sky News, the spokesperson expressed that the mayor believes that drug use is preventable and is therefore not inevitable. The Telegraph reports that funding for the pilot project will be available later in the month.