This morning in Mayor's Question Time, Conservative London Assembly member Andrew Boff secured a meeting with Sadiq Khan for him to listen to the case for legalising and regulating drugs.
Daniel Pryor, Head of Programmes at the Adam Smith Institute, welcomed the news:
It’s great to hear that the Mayor is willing to hear the compelling case for taking back control of our violent drugs market by legalising and regulating drugs. Teenagers are being exploited by county-lines gangs, with an estimated 4,000 caught up in smuggling in London alone, precisely because we hand over a drugs market worth £5.3 billion to criminals. Young people are able to access hard drugs from dealers who don’t ask for ID, and users have no access to information on the purity of what they’re taking. Our current approach leads to tragic, entirely avoidable deaths from violent crime, overdose, a lack of support for problem users.
With around 12,000 people in prison for drug-related offences, police time and taxpayers’ money is being wasted on fighting an unwinnable war that makes our streets less safe. We should follow the examples of Canada and many U.S. states by moving towards a harm reduction approach, starting with legalising and regulating cannabis. These efforts were led by a coalition of public health experts and law-and-order conservatives, and the same groups are calling for legalisation in the UK.
Please get in touch with Matt Kilcoyne (07904099599 or 02072224995) to arrange an interview or further comment.