ASI at Liberal Democrat and Labour Party Conferences

As well as our programme of events at the Conservative Party conference, the ASI also travelled to Brighton and Bournemouth for panel discussions at the Liberal Democrat and Labour conferences.

Our joint panel at the Lib Dem conference with Volteface focused on the case for legalising cannabis. It was absolutely packed (and baking hot), with Lib Dem mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita making the case for a regulated cannabis market in London on the back of Evening Standard polling that showed majority support for legalisation in the city.

Siobhan was joined by former Met special constable Joseph Kaz and ex-drug dealer Niko Vorobyov, with the Standard’s David Cohen chairing. You can catch up on the full discussion via the Volteface podcast here.

I travelled to Brighton and the Labour Party conference last week for a debate on what Brexit means for vaping, hosted by Prospect Magazine. It seems as though there is a meeting of the minds from all corners of the political spectrum, as I found myself espousing similar views on the topic to Labour’s Sir Kevin Barron MP. We both agreed on the huge success of e-cigarettes and other reduced-risk nicotine products in giving smokers safer choices, and saw Brexit as a potential opportunity to change some of the wrong-headed regulations that hamper efforts at encouraging more smokers to switch.