Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, has endorsed the legalisation of cannabis in an interview with the Evening Standard.
A pilot scheme in the borough of Lewisham would introduce the new legislation, whereby the blue borough would be a ‘pilot zone’. Egan said to the Standard: “I would be prepared to see Lewisham used as a test-bed to pilot a legalised cannabis zone, as long as it comes with proper education and regulation.”
The idea behind the scheme is to free up Metropolitan Police resources and time to combat serious crime rather than pinpoint minor offences. According to Egan, most people arrested in Lewisham are in possession of less than £25 worth of marijuana, and this amounts to criminalising people over trivial offences.
Egan added to the Evening Standard: “I have been in my role for two years and it is plain to me that the current system is not working. Young people are being exploited by gangs”
A recent poll by Survation showed that 63% of Londoners did support the legalisation of cannabis in the capital according to the Standard piece.
There is evidence that in American states where cannabis has been legalised, use in adults over 26 drops.
There has been some concern over the implementation of a ‘pilot zone’ and questions as to how it would be regulated.
Jamel Edwards, recreational enjoyer and successful musician, said: “I would be extremely happy with this decision, as I believe marijuana holds many advantages which many would benefit from. The only concern I would have with the way in which they’d implement this is that if only one zone were to be legalised; Lewisham would become too busy and pretty much uncontrollable.”