Cannabis Stop And Searches To Be Examined In London
The UK may be having a Black Lives Matter moment on the issue of stop and search by the police looking for “illegal drugs” including cannabis.
Move over Meghan and Harry! The Mayor of London is doing his part to further race equality in the UK and even more, where the same intersects with cannabis. Namely, Sadik Khan has drawn up plans to eliminate the practice of the Metropolitan Police of stop and search on the suspicion of the same.
Much like the U.S., more attention is being paid to how minorities are treated by the police right now in the UK. This includes the fact that minorities are stopped and charged more often. And suspicion of drug possession is the most common reason given by British police officers for the search in the first place.
In addition, as broken by the Guardian newspaper, there is apparently at least one other major police force outside of London which is considering curbing the reason for a stop and search in the first place.
Time for A Change on Minorities and Cannabis Everywhere?
No matter how much times change, they still seem to stay the same. In the 1930s, cannabis use (including of the medical kind) was used to stigmatize both black people (in the United States) and Jews (in Germany). Ever since the association with race and cannabis use has blotted an issue that is again finally rising to public awareness.
The review by Khan follows a report by the police inspectorate that revealed that almost half of all stop and searches in England and Wales have been carried out by the Met police. The question now firmly in front of lawmakers in cash-strapped times is whether this is really an effective use of the police force’s time.
The Met is also setting a target to recruit 30% of its new officers from minority populations, rising to 40% as of next year. According to Khan, “It is crucial that our communities feel they are properly listened to and concerns about the disproportionate use of police powers acted upon if we are to improve the trust and confidence among all Londoners.”
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