That’s the view of senior deputy Charles Parkinson, who said now was the time to be considering further legal change with cannabis for medicinal purposes set to be grown commercially on-island.
‘I just think that the rest of the world is going in that direction and we should be looking at it now,’ he said.
‘We spend lots on jurisdiction and policing of people in possession for really small amounts of cannabis for their own use.
‘Young people end up with a criminal record, making it more difficult for them to get jobs.’
However, if cannabis was to be legalised, it would need to be done so with care.
‘I think it’s important it should be regulated.
‘Nowadays it’s much stronger than it used to be 40 or 50 years ago and can have adverse effects such as schizophrenia.
‘We need to make sure products available are going to be safe for the consumer.’
Deputy Parkinson said that Health & Social Care was already researching cannabis on-island, adding that it made sense as a lot of the issues surrounding the drug’s legalisation were health-related.
Around the end of last year, Deputy Parkinson suggested HSC should be able to give the States recommendations on the implications of using cannabis.
And while some people would be against legalisation, the deputy said that the majority of people would probably not be bothered.
‘It would be beneficial to those who would use it and would otherwise get a criminal record.
‘Most people on the island would not use cannabis if it were legalised. I myself would be in that category, but for those that do, if established properly, then why not?’
The legalisation of cannabis has also been discussed in Jersey. Head of Visit Jersey, Keith Beecham, said that his island’s economy and tourism industries could benefit from
such a change, providing there were discussions between the police and health and education authorities prior to action.
‘Places such as Colorado and Canada have liberalised their laws and it seems that it is bringing money into their jurisdictions through taxation, and that is to be applauded,’ he said.
However, Mr Beecham added that he thought Jersey was a long way from doing anything like that because of multiple ethical and legal questions that needed to be answered.