Labor is “still not convinced” of the need to decriminalize cannabis, Ed Miliband has said.
The former leader, who previously backed the legalization of the drug, spoke out after a dispute erupted over Sadiq Khan’s decision to set up a commission to look into the issue.
The Mayor of London announced during a visit to the United States that former cabinet minister Lord Falconer will chair a commission that will examine current cannabis laws.
But that drew an angry reaction from many shadow cabinet members, including Yvette Cooper and Wes Streeting, who believe it risks making Labor appear soft on crime.
“Yvette is furious about it,” a Labor source told HuffPost UK. “People just roll their eyes because it’s definitely not the official party line.”
Asked if he would like to see cannabis legalised, Miliband said: “That is not Labour’s position, no.
“We welcome Sadiq’s discussion of these issues because this debate continues and should continue.”
He added: “I’ve said in the past that this is something that needs to be looked at, I think you probably know that.
“But the position of Labour’s shadow cabinet, which is a position I support as a member of the shadow cabinet, is that we are not yet convinced of the arguments for moving forward with decriminalisation, but obviously we will see what Labor has to do.” Lord Faconer’s commission. tell.”
During his trip to the United States, the mayor of London visited a cannabis dispensary in California, where the drug is legal for medical and recreational use by adults, which he described as “fascinating”.
Khan told the BBC: “We need to have an honest and open conversation about the evidence in relation to the history of cannabis and our laws in the UK and our experience of the health consequences in relation to crime and the community.
“The best way to do it will be with the drug commission that we have now created.
“You can listen to the experts, that’s one thing, but seeing it for yourself…hearing from those who grow and grow this plant has been fascinating.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel was one of several senior Tories who were quick to criticize Khan for his intervention, saying his time would be “better spent focusing on knife and drug crime in London”.
“The mayor has no powers to legalize drugs,” he tweeted. “They ruin communities, they destroy families and they destroy lives.”