UK Commission Calls For Decriminalization of Drug Possession, Marijuana Cultivation

By Nicole Flatow

A United Kingdom commission made up of leading scientists, academics, law enforcement officers and other experts is recommending decriminalization of drug possession in small quantities and of cultivation of marijuana.
The recommendations are the result of a six-year study by the UK Drug Policy Commission, whose members include the former head of the British Medical Research Council and the former chief inspector of constabulary. The commission points to the success of countries like Portugal, Switzerland and the Czech Republic in decriminalizing possession, and to evidence that the relative harms of alcohol and tobacco make different policy treatment for drugs “difficult to justify.” In addition to recommending moves toward decriminalization, the commission suggests review of the penalties for supply and distribution of drugs, and of the process for classifying drugs.
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