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Greens call for radical drugs policies in London

Jenny Jones, Member of the Greater London Assembly and Metropolitan Police Authority said: "The police waste a large amount of time dealing with drugs possession offences. Legalising the use of cannabis would free up police time to tackle serious crime, as has been shown in Lambeth. We also need to offer heavy drug users treatment for addiction, rather than automatically viewing them as criminals."

Greens in Hackney, one of the areas suffering most from drug related crime are raising the issue during their local election campaign. Danny Bates, London Green Party Policy Coordinator and a candidate fighting for a seat on Hackney Council said: "Drugs crime is blighting large areas of the borough, with drug related muggings and shootings on the increase. We want to see Hackney take the lead in tackling drug crime by taking the criminals out of the drugs supply chain."

Greens support moves to see licensed Cannabis Cafes operating in London, though they stop short of recommending this approach for hard drugs like crack and heroin. Instead, they say, addicts should have greater access to medical sources of drugs, together with practical help and counselling to assist users who want to give up. Limited personal possession and use of all drugs should be decriminalised. Decriminalisation and prescription-supply would reduce street crime committed by addicts seeking money for drugs. These measures would result in safer streets and would enable the police to concentrate on the remaining dealers and pushers.

Greens in Hackney are calling on the Police in the borough to voice their support for moves to reform drugs legislation, and to follow the lead already taken by Lambeth in adopting a progressive approach to policing the existing laws.

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