England wants to legalize marijuana through drug reform. According to the Guardian, an influential cross-party group of MPs has concluded that, after a year scrutinizing UK drugs policy, it is clear to us that many aspects of it are simply not working. They urge David Cameron to immediately set up a royal commission to consider all the alternatives to Britain’s failing drug laws, including pot decriminalization and legalization, and be required to report by 2015.
Pressure to tackle the subject comes from big names like Virgin founder Richard Branson and comedian Russell Brand, who considers drug use “more of [a] health matter than a criminal or judicial matter.” They call for a less punitive approach to cannabis and ecstasy. They also believe that Home Office and health ministers should examine the long term results of marijuana being legal in other nations like Portugal and Columbia but also want to look at the recent changes to United States law.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, both Colorado and Washington State recently decided to partially legalize marijuana. This decision resulted in parties in both states, with the most famous taking place underneath the Space Needle tower in Seattle. Unfortunately, the laws are a little bit fragmented now as one homeowner found out after defending himself against burglars when police found pots of marijuana plants growing in his attic. Despite the states making these changes, the Federal government is threatening legal action over recreational marijuana.
Unfortunately for any English wishing for legal pot, British government sources so far have been dismissive of the move to form a royal commission.
“Our current laws draw on the best available evidence and as such we have no intention of downgrading or declassifying cannabis,” said one government source. “A royal commission on drugs is simply not necessary. Our cross-government approach is working … We will respond more fully to the report in due course.”
Martin Barnes of Drugscope, the leading independent information center on drugs, said that the debate had been too often clouded by polarized positions, partial evidence, and anecdote.
“This is a situation that has not been helped when policy-makers and politicians are fearful of being accused of being ‘soft’ on drugs or their views and intentions distorted,” said Barnes. “A royal commission, with a clear timetable, would help break this impasse – but it will require robust terms of reference and a credible membership. There is already a substantial body of argument and evidence on reforming drug policy – including the recent report by the UK Drug Policy Commission – so any commission will need authority and momentum behind it to achieve change.”
Do you think that England should reform its drug enforcement laws and legalize, or least reduce the penalties for, the usage of marijuana and ecstasy?