The government have lost control of drug-related crime in this country...
However, the legalisation of recreational marijuana use will take money out of the hands of criminal gangs, and put it into the pot to fund vital public services.
Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat MP and former health minister, said: “An independent expert panel, which I set up in 2015, estimated that by legalising cannabis in the UK we could raise up to £1 billion annually in taxes, money that could be invested in policing, health and education.”
This is backed up by research from the Institute of Economic Affairs, who said:
“Legalising cannabis would provide a £1billion windfall to the Treasury and leave marijuana users with more money in their pockets. The UK cannabis market was worth £2.6billion with more than three million customers. Savings for the NHS and other public services could amount to as much as £300million.”
More Britons support a legal, regulated cannabis market than oppose it and the time has come for the UK to adopt a sensible, pragmatic approach to the drug.
Today, Canada became the second country in the world, after Uruguay, to legalise the recreational use of marijuana. Portugal and the Netherlands have already decriminalised it while 9 US states have followed suit and embraced the harm reduction approach.
Lesotho and Zimbabwe have both allowed marijuana for medical use, and in April, South Africa legalised the use of marijuana in private places.
There is a progressive global trend towards a more liberal and sensible approach to this issue. Our current system in the UK patently does not work. We need to do something about it.
It should be said that the legalisation of recreational marijuana use should be accompanied with a thorough and extensive awareness campaign.
Wera said: “Our current approach to marijuana in this country is not working. Increased THC levels in the drug over the last generation are having negative effect on users. Regulating the control of marijuana would allow them to know what they are taking. On top of that our police force, who are understaffed and under resourced, can have the burden on them eased whilst also having their budget increased. The argument for the legalisation of cannabis is being won across the globe, and the Liberal Democrats are leading it in this country.”