Over the last few years there’s been a heavy debate on cannabis and the legality of it. For many parts of the world, laws are being relaxed, with a new state in the USA legalising the substance for both medical and recreational use almost on a monthly basis.
In the UK, many campaigners are asking for the same, believing that the nation should follow their friends from across the pond in order to not only decriminalise the substance, but also regulate it more efficiently.
However, news coming out of the country is that the government may be considering doing the opposite and upgrading the drug to Class A, the same bracket as the likes of cocaine and heroin.
The move comes as cannabis addiction is becoming a more common problem in the UK, while policing officials have also stated that it is a gateway drug and is having a significant influence on crimes in the country.
Campaigners argue though that alcohol far outweighs those issues, though, with more people arrested for drink driving and more people suffering in an alcohol intervention programme, compared to that of the Class B drug.
At present, the drug is criminalised, and it was believed by many that more steps would be taken to decriminalise the drug rather than upgrade it in the coming years. Suella Braverman, the recently resigned and rehired Home Secretary, has previously mentioned about reevaluating the classification of the drug.
A Downing Street spokesperson was quick to reject that marijuana could be upgraded to Class A, but with a new Prime Minister now in place, talk again will begin on what may happen with it.
A reclassification would see stricter sentences on those caught in possession or growing and supplying, with the case for the latter a maximum of a life sentence.
LEAP UK, an organisation made up of current and former law enforcement members have also spoken out about the move and how it could lead to large-scale problems in communities and a further divide between those and the police.
Jason Reed, co-executive director of the organisation told news outlet NationalWorld, “Now we use stop and search as a default setting and whole communities are getting arbitrarily impacted, this in turn leads to some truly distressing cases. BAME communities bear the brunt and we’re witnessing a rise in inexcusably invasive searches for children.
“Reclassify cannabis and you’ll see an escalation in this and greater divides between the police and communities.”
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