Legalisation of cannabis will “make London safer”, a panel has claimed.
The delegates included an ex-drug dealer, a former special constable and the Lib Dem mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita — who has called for legalisation to be trialled in the capital.
David Cohen, the Standard’s Investigations Editor, chaired the discussion at the Lib Dem party conference in Bournemouth.
Referring to David Cameron’s admission in his memoirs that he got “off his head” on cannabis while at Eton, she added: “We know loads of cabinet members have admitted to smoking cannabis but they are still prepared to say they will lock up others for doing the very same thing. I think that is huge hypocrisy.”
She told the packed room she would start by allowing cannabis with the lowest levels of potency, while educating young people on the dangers of drugs.
Joseph Kaz, a former special constable for Camden who resigned when the Met investigated him after he called for legalisation on BBC’s Question Time, told the panel that he did not think anyone “truly knew” what the force’s cannabis policy was. “It’s constantly changing — what form, where these forms went, how it’s processed. It’s confusing.”
Author and former drug dealer Niko Vorobyov, who was stabbed and served a jail sentence for possession with intent to supply, said legalisation would make the situation better from a social justice view point because a lot of people were “being locked up for something that’s not much worse than alcohol”.
It comes after an Evening Standard poll found 63 per cent backed legalising the class-B drug for adult recreational use.