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Party manifestos and cannabis

Party manifestos and cannabis

With the UK General Election set for Thursday 4 July, the main political parties are now releasing their manifestos. Below is a summary of their manifesto policies with direct and indirect links to cannabis (all text copied direct from the manifestos):

Labour (manifesto here)

  • As part of Labour’s life sciences plan, we will develop an NHS innovation and adoption strategy in England. This will include a plan for procurement, giving a clearer route to get products into the NHS, coupled with reformed incentive structures to drive innovation and faster regulatory approval for new technology and medicines.
  • Labour will also maximise our potential to lead the world in clinical trials. This means making the process more efficient and accessible, by speeding up recruitment and giving more people a chance to participate through the NHS app.
  • Labour will scrap short funding cycles for key R&D institutions in favour of ten-year budgets that allow meaningful partnerships with industry to keep the UK at the forefront of global innovation.
  • It [the NHS] must also reflect the change in the nature of disease, with a greater focus on the management of chronic, long-term conditions.
  • We will introduce a land-use framework and make environment land management schemes work for farmers and nature.
  • Labour will fix this by introducing new Respect Orders – powers to ban persistent adult offenders from town centres, which will stamp out issues such as public drinking and drug use.

Conservatives (manifesto here)

  • Increase public spending on R&D to £22 billion a year, up from £20 billion this year.
  • We will support our world-leading life sciences sector, embracing the opportunities provided by Brexit to pursue nimble and agile regulation, supported by a well-equipped MHRA. We will support research into new treatments, including for Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease and secure more commercial clinical trials. We will remove bureaucratic obstacles to the use of new medicines, such as the NHS Budget Impact Test and will align NHS England’s cost-effectiveness thresholds for new medicines indications with those used by NICE.
  • We will turn criminals away from the cycle of reoffending, investing in rehabilitative services such as drug treatment, education and employment. We will deliver our ten-year drugs plan to cut crime and help people rebuild their lives away from crime.
  • Reform our planning system to deliver fast track permissions for the building of infrastructure on farms, such as glasshouses.

Liberal Democrats (manifesto here)

  • Protecting young people, tackling the criminal gangs and taking ‘skunk’ off the streets by introducing a legal, regulated market for cannabis. Sales will be restricted to over-18s only, from licensed retailers with strict limits on potency and THC content.
  • Moving the departmental lead on drugs policy from the Home Office to the Department of Health and Social Care.
  • Freeing up police time, reducing court backlogs, tackling prison overcrowding and reducing the harms of drug misuse by diverting people arrested for possession of drugs for personal use into treatment where appropriate.
  • Ending the disproportionate use of Stop and Search.
  • Improve faster access to new and novel medicines and medical devices by seeking a comprehensive mutual recognition agreement with the European Medicines Agency.
  • Aiming for at least 3% of GDP to be invested in research and development by 2030, rising to 3.5% by 2034.
  • Immediately requiring all new homes and non-domestic buildings to be built to a zero-carbon standard, including being fitted with solar panels, and progressively increasing standards as technology improves.
  • Aiming for the complete elimination of non-recyclable single-use plastics within three years and replacing them with affordable alternatives.
  • Working with and rewarding farmers to reduce the use of costly imported and environmentally harmful artificial fertilisers and pesticides, helping to protect bees and other pollinators.
  • Introducing a Research and Innovation Fund to support new and emerging technologies in the sector including the development of alternative proteins in which the UK can become a world leader.

Greens (manifesto here)

  • Neither prohibition nor the policing of low-level drug offences, especially cannabis possession, have reduced use and consequently have had no impact on the size of the criminal market or the profits made by organised crime. Elected Greens will therefore push to decriminalise personal possession of drugs, diverting people from the criminal justice system towards support with addiction, housing and employment, from health workers focused on drug harm reduction.
  • Smoking cessation, drug and alcohol treatment and sexual health services all need to be properly funded.
  • An end to the routine use of stop and search.
  • Elected Greens will push for the establishment of a National Commission to agree an evidence-based approach to reform of the UK’s counterproductive drug laws.
  • Ensure that all new homes meet Passivhaus or equivalent standards.
  • Financial support for farmers to be almost tripled to support their transition to nature-friendly farming.
  • Farm payments to be linked to reduced use of pesticides and other agro-chemicals.

Reform (manifesto here)

  • Put Patients in Charge With a New NHS Voucher Scheme. NHS Patients will receive a voucher for private treatment if they can’t see a GP within 3 days. For a consultant it would be 3 weeks. For an operation, 9 weeks. Services will always be free at the point of use.
  • Increase the Farming Budget to £3 Billion. Focus on smaller farms. Keep farmland in use. Bring young people into farming. Boost rural economy and culture. Increase innovation and diversification. Help farmers to farm, not pay them to leave or retire.
  • Scrap Climate-Related Farming Subsidies. Productive land must be farmed, not be used for solar farms or rewilding. Replace current subsidies with direct payments. Stop Natural England from taking action that damages farmers.
  • A new offence of Substantial Possession of Drugs will meet heavy fines.
  • Increase Stop and Search substantially.

SNP (manifesto here)

  • Take a public health approach to tackle the drug deaths crisis, devolving powers to the Scottish Parliament so we can go further to reduce harm and improve lives in Scotland. We would decriminalise drugs for personal use and introduce a framework to allow Supervised Drug Consumption Facilities.
  • The UK Government must increase funding for farming – to at least pre-Brexit levels – and provide certainty through multi-annual funding frameworks.
  • Rejoining the EU would deliver: More funding for farming, fishing and other rural sectors

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