States of Guernsey set to debate the legalisation of cannabis

2nd November 2021

The government on the channel island of Guernsey is reportedly set to debate the potential legalisation of cannabis in 2022 following previous moves to reform policy on the drug.

This most recent call to action was put forward by Deputy Marc Leadbeater, following his resignation from the Committee for Home Affairs. Mr Leadbeater has proposed a political petition on the issue, which if put forward by seven States members, would go before the States of Guernsey for consideration.

Guernsey’s government began issuing licenses for medical cannabis cultivation and specialist prescribers were permitted to begin prescribing cannabis-based medicines back in 2019. However, cultivators were only officially given the green light to start growing cannabis back in July this year.

Nonetheless, cannabis remains a Class B drug on the crown dependency island, meaning that the cultivation, sale, import, and supply of the drug outside of these exceptions is still restricted. This means that the possession of cannabis could still technically earn you a prison sentence.

According to Mr Leadbeater, himself and like-minded deputies would be “embarking on a massive education drive” among their colleagues.

The BBC reports that Mr Leadbeater is “already in advanced talks with a group of like-minded deputies looking at bringing the long overdue cannabis debate to the assembly in the first half of 2022.”

The deputy, who claims he resigned from the Committee of Home Affairs due to current rules on conflicts of interests which meant that his holding of a directorship of a local hemp company would prevent him from working on the committee’s mandate.

The proposed reforms would likely see a similar approach to the “health focussed model” adopted by the Canadian government.

These proposals are the most recent in a series of calls for reform across the channel islands. Last month, Jersey’s Deputy Chief Minister revealed that he would support legalising recreational cannabis.

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