We at LEAP UK of course can’t endorse any particular candidate in election races, but we are able to highlight the progressive drug policies of those who stand. Just as with PCC elections, which are just around the corner, we look to election candidates to craft a new approach when it comes to drugs. It can often be the case that politicians take the default ‘hardline’ approach, believing the electorate has faith in harsher drug laws. As we’ve seen, there’s been a global shift in this approach – those with political aspirations are often now seen to court the drug policy reform vote.
The London Mayoral Election is upon us. On May 5th, Londoners will take to the polls. Here are the main candidates:
Zac Goldsmith – Conservative
Sadiq Khan – Labour
Caroline Pidgeon – Liberal Democrat
Sian Berry – Green Party
Peter Whittle – UKIP
George Galloway – Respect Party
Lee Harris – CISTA
Zac Goldsmith has been a champion of drug policy reform in his role as MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston. He has attended and spoken on many of the debates in the Commons. His Mayoral campaign has yet to really address drug policy.
The Liberal Democrats are firmly on the record and have committed themselves to drug policy reform, most notably a full regulatory system to cannabis. One would hope and imagine that Caroline Pidgeon would follow the party’s lines.
And the Green Party have also been committed to drug policy reform for quite some time. It’s likely Sian Berry will continue in the party’s progression towards reform.
It is, however, fairly unlikely the other candidates have progressive stances on drug policy. Labour’s Sadiq Khan has previously launched prison drug clampdowns, which could be argued highlights naivety. We shall endeavour to investigate where the candidates rest on the issue.
But then we must look to Lee Harris, representing CISTA. Lee is campaigning for London Mayor based wholly on cannabis law reform. With obvious charisma, Lee has made headlines over the last few weeks and has been profiled by many of the leading political publications – such as the New Statesman.
Lee is currently making an appeal to make sure he’s in the running. He’s looking for his supporters to help get 10 signatures from each of the following boroughs: West Croydon, Sutton, Hounslow, Uxbridge. Lee appeals, “All we need is for people to meet our team this week and sign your name if you’re a registered voter in this these boroughs. If so, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Jason Reed is the Executive Director of LEAP UK – Law Enforcement Against Prohibition UK. Tweets @jasontron