Maajid Nawaz calls for legalisation of cannabis to 'reimagine' drug problem

31 July 2021, 16:07

By Seán Hickey

For the UK to tackle criminality and addiction surrounding the illicit drug industry, lower level drugs like marijuana should be decriminalised.

Following reports the Government intend to clamp down on drug users, even for the possession of small amounts, Maajid Nawaz made the argument that the Home Secretary's approach is wrong.

"Depending on the culture, drugs are viewed in different ways and that is perhaps the reason why in this country we are so hesitant to move forward with this debate and say that actually, the solution is to decriminalise and regulate."

Read More: PM rebuffs Sadiq Khan's plans to look into legalising cannabis in London

Maajid went on: "What I am suggesting is the decriminalisation of all drugs so we don't punish addicts through the criminal justice system but rather treat them because addition is a health problem."

He acknowledged that legalising some class A drugs such as cocaine and heroin may be problematic but doubled down to stress that he was "advocating for the legalisation and regulation of marijuana, and its taxation with an age-appropriate limit as we do with alcohol and tobacco."

Read More: Sha’Carri Richardson to miss Olympic sprint after positive cannabis test

Maajid argued that although there are health risks to smoking cannabis, it no longer warrants criminalisation. He went on to remind listeners that if this principle was applied universally, alcohol would be made illegal.

He dispelled further arguments that those opposed might make: "If you're worried about traffickers and gangs, then banning it is what creates that market.

"It's about time that we try to change the way we look at this problem."

Maajid concluded by hitting out at Home Secretary Priti Patel's plans to clamp down on users and dealers and insisted that "we've got to start reimagining some of our problems."

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