Campaigners in the UK are urging the government to consider a more "sensible" strategy than their current move to be “tough on drugs”.
Drug charities have created 14 principles on the UK’s “inevitable” move towards deregulation which includes permitting growing cannabis from home and exploring social justice initiatives within UK cannabis reform.
The report named, Regulating Right, Repairing Wrongs by Release is calling for the government to look at the policy of places such as Malta - which has recently legalised cannabis - and incorporate it into any new regulatory system.
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It also suggests that tax revenue could be invested into communities that have been “over-policed and over-criminalised” and support harm-reduction interventions and treatment initiatives.
Dr Laura Garius, the policy lead at Release, said to iNews that as countries are “progressing with drug law reform” the UK trails behind.
She said: “Despite unprecedented restrictions to movement and border closures as a result of the pandemic, the drug market remained remarkably stable and indications are that drug use is increasing, not decreasing.
“The UK Government’s new drug strategy regurgitated a 'tough on drugs' rhetoric, despite the Home Office’s own research concluding that the estimated £1.6bn spend per year on drug law enforcement is not impacting levels of drug use. We need a new approach.”
Steve Rolles, Senior Policy Analyst at Transform Drug Policy Foundation, also spoke with iNews and added: “We know that when these principles are not front and centre, people continue to be punished for cannabis use and the harms caused by the war on cannabis are not rectified.”
Becky Buckle is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter