The Green Party’s candidate for Mayor of London commits to de-prioritise the policing of cannabis whilst slamming the current Labour Mayor’s failure to address rising drug-related deaths.
Zoë Garbett who has been selected as the Green Party’s candidate in the next Mayor of London election on May 2nd, has made a series of bold pledges that would reshape drug policy across the city.
Data from the Office of National Statistics that showed deaths linked to drugs in England and Wales were at the highest level in 30 years - with nearly 500 deaths in London linked to drugs in 2022.
Addressing this new data, the Green candidate was clear that the current Labour Mayor of London had failed to get a grip on the issue.
“Having worked in the NHS and with advocacy groups for nearly ten years, I know that current drug policy is just not working.. This so-called ‘war on drugs’ is ruining lives. We need a new approach."
“If elected, one of the first things I would do is urge the police to stop their focus on low level cannabis offences. We know that it just doesn’t work. Doing this frees up police time to tackle things that actually make our communities safer.
“It is clear there is little meaningful deterrent effect from arresting, criminalising or punishing people who use drugs. All we are doing is putting people at unnecessary risk. Instead, I would introduce an approach that recognises problematic drug use needs a public health approach and policies that look to address the impact this has on individuals.
“If elected as our city's first Green Mayor, I would trial overdose prevention centres across London and ensure the police carry naloxone. Both of these simple steps would do so much to prevent overdose and save lives.
The Green Mayor of London candidate also highlighted the impact that current drug policy had on marginalised communities - particularly black communities.
“Young black males in London are 6 times more likely to be stopped and searched - that is outrageous.
“To try and address this, I would work with the communities most affected by excessive enforcement - to make sure they are put at the heart of policy making. This is something I know that groups representing these communities want to see.”
“I know what we need to actually reduce the harm drugs can have on our communities. The current Mayor has made promises to act but he has failed to follow through. I am not afraid to take the action needed.”