Political

Lib Dems set up expert panel on cannabis decriminalisation featuring police, scientists and others

A cannabis plant. CC0 Public Domain

The Liberal Democrats are to set up an expert panel to establish how a legal market for cannabis could work in Britain, paving the way for them to become the first major political party in the UK to back its legalisation.

The move is backed the party’s health spokesman, Norman Lamb, and by a former deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police, Brian Paddick…

The review panel members will include Prof David Nutt, the founder of DrugScience and a former chairman of the government’s advisory committee on the misuse of drugs, Tom Lloyd a former Cambridgeshire chief constable and chair of the National Cannabis Coalition, and Niamh Eastwood, the executive director of Release, a drugs charity. The panel is to be chaired by Steve Rolles, of the drugs policy campaign group Transform…

Lamb said the recent emergence of successful legal cannabis markets in different parts of the world meant the onus was now on the supporters of prohibition to explain why it shouldn’t happen in the UK.

“We must end the hypocrisy of senior politicians admitting to using cannabis in younger years – and describing it as ‘youthful indiscretions’ – whilst condemning tens of thousands of their less fortunate fellow countrymen and women to criminal records for precisely the same thing, blighting their careers.” [The Guardian]

UPDATE: The result of the panel’s work? The Lib Dems back legalising cannabis for recreational use.

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