Downing Street has emphatically ruled out legalising cannabis anywhere in the UK, after Sadiq Khan launched a review into decrminialising the drug in London.
Boris Johnson’s press secretary Allegra Stratton said the review was a “waste of time” and that “Sadiq Khan will know the policy on controlled drugs – it’s a matter for the UK government, it’s not a matter for his office”.
Khan announced last night that if re-elected in the 6 May mayoral election that he would set up a London Drugs Commission to consider the effects of decriminalising cannabis in the capital.
Khan said the commission would be “comprised of independent experts and leading figures from the fields of criminal justice, public health, politics, community relations and academia”.
However, City Hall has no control over drug policy as this is in the remit of central government.
Speaking to journalists today, Stratton said: “There are no plans to devolve responsibility.
“The Prime Minister has spoken about this on many occasions – illicit drugs destroy lives and he has absolutely no intention of legalising cannabis, which is a harmful substance.
“Sadiq Khan will know the policy on controlled drugs – it’s a matter for the UK government, it’s not a matter for his office.”
It comes as a fresh row ignited between the pair last night when Johnson attacked Khan’s record on managing Transport for London’s (TfL) finances.
The Prime Minister said he had left TfL’s finances “in robust, good order” when he left his role as London mayor in 2016 and that “it is not through any fault of my own the current Labour mayor decided to blow them all on an irresponsible fares policy”.
In actual fact TfL had debt levels approaching £10bn when Johnson left City Hall in 2016.
Khan hit back at Johnson over social media, tweeting: “The PM lied yet again from £2.6m taxpayer-funded press conference.
“Covid-19 is the sole cause of TfL’s challenges.
“Before the pandemic I was fixing his mess at TfL – reducing the deficit by 71 per cent compared to what he left.”