This week, the hopeless organism that is the dance music press have been getting overly excited by political news straight out of London. They seem to now think anyone caught in possession of cannabis on the streets of Britain’s capital city will now be left alone by the police.
Unfortunately for them, this isn’t quite the case. For starters, anyone reading their takes on this would be half forgiven for thinking London mayor Sadiq Khan now has the power to change drug laws in the city. This is wrong – no devolved body anywhere in the UK can do this. That power ultimately rests with the Home Secretary and would require a vote in Parliament.
And as the Mayor’s own press office points out, “This limited trial, which is still in development and has yet to be approved by City Hall, would involve three of London’s 32 boroughs and would only apply to 18-24 year olds found in possession of a small amount of cannabis. It would not apply to any other drug.”.
It’s not exactly the free for all that some people have in mind, is it? It only applies in the boroughs of Lewisham, Greenwich and Bexley – and then only to 18-24 year olds with a “small amount” of cannabis. And other details of the scheme are still being worked out.
What exactly are police meant to do if they see someone smoking cannabis and who isn’t carrying any ID? What is the definition of “small amount” for the purpose of this trial? And why do I get the feeling the whole thing was leaked by one of the Mayor’s opponents, knowing he’d get castigated by fellow politicians and the press?
I wouldn’t be remotely surprised if this idea was quietly shelved soon after the current furore dies down…