Downing Street has dismissed plans by the mayor of London to look into weaker laws on cannabis.
The Prime Minister’s press secretary Allegra Stratton said Sadiq Khan’s re-election promise to set up a ‘cannabis commission’ was “not a matter for his office” and the Prime Minister would not sanction legalisation.
Cannabis is a Class B drug which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and an unlimited fine for possession.
Reacting to Khan’s proposal to establish a London Drugs Commission, Stratton said: “Policy on controlled drugs is a matter for UK government and there are no plans to devolve this responsibility.
absolutely no intention of legalising cannabis
“The prime minister has spoken about this on many occasions – illicit drugs destroy lives and he has absolutely no intention of legalising cannabis, which is a harmful substance.”
According to The Guardian newspaper, when asked if the mayor was wasting his time, Stratton replied: “That is correct. Sadiq Khan will know that the policy on controlled drugs is a matter for the UK government.”
Research recently carried out at the University of Bath revealed that the effects of using more potent strains of cannabis resin and herbal cannabis are becoming progressively worse.
Dr Tom Freeman, the main author of the report, said: “More Europeans are now entering drug treatment because of cannabis than heroin or cocaine.”
A spokeswoman for the anti-drug charity Cannabis Skunk Sense has previously described cannabis as “a very dangerous drug” that can have a “wide range of negative effects on the body, not just the brain but other aspects of health, too, including the lungs and the immune system”.
Last year a US study showed that cannabis acts as a ‘gateway drug’, leading users to other illegal substances such as cocaine.