UK: Legalise cannabis, don't criminalise communities

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UK: Legalise cannabis, don't criminalise communities

19 April 2023
The Voice
Maurice Mcleod

CANNABIS PROHIBITION has had a massively negative impact on Black communities in Britain since its introduction in 1971, but ending prohibition will not be enough to fix the damage, according to leading drug policy advocates.

As a growing number of countries around the world move to end the prohibition of cannabis, Britain will surely eventually jump on the bandwagon.

There are a multitude of ways that cannabis can be decriminalised and it is important that we learn the lessons from around the world, say Release, national drug law experts, and UNJUST UK, who tackle systemic racism in the criminal legal system.

Despite the stereotypes, Black people do not smoke cannabis any more frequently than their white peers but bias in the way the drug is policed means that the negative impacts are concentrated in poor communities in general and Black communities in particular.