Sadiq Khan told to drop cannabis police trial
Together with colleagues, I have written to the Mayor urging him to drop his scheme to effectively decriminalise cannabis in parts of London.
Khan's policing trial would send the wrong message to young Londoners. Cannabis is not harmless, and using it is not a victimless crime.
Dear Mr Mayor,
We are writing to you to express our serious concerns about your plan to effectively decriminalise recreational drug use in parts of London.
As Mayor of London, it is not your job to pick and choose which laws the Metropolitan Police will enforce in the capital. On the contrary, it is your job to tackle the recreational drug use that fuels violence in London.
Your plan to pilot a scheme in Greenwich, Lewisham and Bexley that will let 18 to 24-year-olds off for possessing a small amount of cannabis sends the wrong message to young Londoners.
Cannabis is not a harmless drug; it can impact people's mental health, and heavy use can create dependency issues. Nor is it a victimless drug. Like all recreational drug use, it puts cash in the pockets of criminals and fuels violence in the capital.
Tragically, a second homicide record has been broken on your watch as 30 teenagers were murdered in London last year, following the 11-year high of homicides in the capital in 2019.
By trialling a scheme that effectively decriminalises cannabis, you risk inflaming violence in London by funnelling recreational drug users' cash into county line gangs and violent criminals.
Sadly, your plan would have wider ramifications than heightened violent crime. Not only are nearly half of all murders committed by drug addicts, but half of all burglaries, robberies and shoplifting in England are as well.
Instead of flirting with decriminalisation and reaching outside your remit by establishing a London Drug Commission, you must focus on tackling violent and neighbourhood crimes which blight Londoners' lives.
If you are serious about keeping London safe, we urge you to drop this scheme and join the Government in combating drug use which destroys lives and drives crime.
Gareth Bacon MP
Nickie Aiken MP
Bob Blackman MP
Elliot Colburn MP
Rt Hon Sir David Evennett MP
Mike Freer MP
Louie French MP
Stephen Hammond MP
Rt Hon Greg Hands MP
Sir Robert Neill MP
Chris Philp MP
Andrew Rosindell MP
Rt Hon Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP
David Simmonds CBE MP
Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP