Campaigners in the UK have been urging the government to consider a more “sensible” strategy than their current move in an attempt to be “tough on drugs”.

Numerous drug charities have created 14 principles on the UK’s “inevitable” move towards deregulation, which includes permitting growing cannabis from home while also exploring social justice initiatives within the UK cannabis reform. The report has been named Regulating Right, Repairing Wrongs from a company called Release, and it calls for the British government to look at the policy of places such as Malta—which has recently legalised cannabis—and to then incorporate it into any new regulatory system.

The new initiative also suggests that tax revenue could be invested into communities that have been “over-policed and over-criminalised” to support harm-reduction interventions and also treatment programmes.

Release’s Dr. Laura Garius said that the policy lead sees the UK “trail behind” as other countries are now progressing with the new “drug law reform”. She also said that despite the unprecedented restrictions to movement and border closures as a result of the pandemic, the drug market has remained “remarkably stable” and that it continues to show indications that drug use is, in fact, “increasing, not decreasing”.

Steve Rolles, the Senior Policy Analyst at Transform Drug Policy Foundation, said: “We know that when these principles are not front and centre, people continue to be punished for cannabis use and the harms caused by the war on cannabis are not rectified.”