Just last month, the Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson, announced that his administration was going to crack down on drug users in the country in a new 10-year plan to reduce drug use. In response, the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is going the opposite direction.
Starting in just a few boroughs before opening up to the whole city, Mayor Khan will tell police officers not to make arrests for citizens under the age of 25 caught with marijuana. Instead, they’ll be offered classes or counseling to make them aware of the effects of drug use.
Mr. Khan doesn’t have the authority to decriminalize weed, but telling the Police Department not to make arrests is effectively doing the same thing.
“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,” says a spokesperson for the Mayor.
The funding has yet to be fully approved for the program, but if it is, it is expected to begin later this month.
It will be fascinating to see how Boris Johnson responds to this affront on his plan. A lack of pushback may send a message to cities other than London if they disagree with his policies on drug enforcement.
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