Specifically, the report shows that if marijuana were legalized and regulated by the government, the combined taxes from product sales and savings to the justice system could net up to £1bn.
The report has also been backed by Members of Parliament from major political parties, who agree that the time has come to end the prohibition of cannabis in the United Kingdom. Those include the Labour Party’s Paul Flynn, who stated “The UK’s 45 years of harsh prohibition has multiplied use and harm.” Conservative MP Peter Lilley concurred by adding, “Currently cannabis can only be obtained from illegal gangs who also push hard drugs. So we are driving soft drug users into the arms of hard drugs pushers.”
The Home Office which is the UK’s federal security has stated that nearly seven percent of adults between the ages of 16 – 59 have used cannabis in the last year. That makes marijuana the most widely used illegal substance in the land.
The report goes on to recommend that the best policy would be for the UK to adopt a legalization and regulation scenario similar to the recent victories in California, Massachusetts, and Nevada, as well as the upcoming legislation across Canada.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, as well as former Health Minister Norman Lamb, joined with leaders in the Labour and Tory parties in an open call on the government to adopt a new framework for a legal cannabis industry. The MP’s stress that the legislation is vital, in order to avoid the UK falling behind many countries around the world who have made legalization in some form, a reality. “British politicians need to open their eyes to what is happening in the rest of the world,” Clegg said in an interview with The Independent.
“Cannabis prohibition is being swept away on a tide of popular opinion and replaced with responsible legal regulation.” Clegg went on to add that now is the time for ministers to start discussing the framework of a legal market.
Minister Clegg recently told the British Medical Journal that “Cannabis is much safer than many other medicines and continuing to criminalize it is “absurd.”
The report implies that much like the failed War on Drugs in the U.S., Britain’s similar drug policy has been completely unsuccessful. It adds that the time has come for “a more enlightened approach to drug policy.”
The United Kingdom is one of the latest European nations feeling the itch to legalize cannabis and end unnecessary prohibition. Back in October, Britain’s government finally admitted that marijuana is medicine; some police departments are experimenting in localized decriminalization as well.
If the call for legalization is successful, it will join a chorus of nations across Europe who have ushered in marijuana reform in recent months. They include Germany, where Berlin is exploring a pilot program for recreational pot, and Italy, who has ushered in medical marijuana with the help of its army. Not to be outdone, Ireland just released a survey where 49 percent of the population wants to decriminalize the use of all drugs, and the government is looking into a possible medical cannabis program. If that isn’t enough, Greece and the UK’s own Scotland are both discussing cannabis reform.
This latest study will act as a refreshing read for cannabis enthusiasts in Europe and elsewhere who are concerned about the new Trump Government and states’ rights in America. Perhaps, if momentum for marijuana legalization continues across other world powers, even the anti-pot members of Trump’s team won’t be able to ignore the enormous global profit pool.
Seemingly, that deep well will continue to deepen with or without America’s direct involvement.
(Photo Courtesy of Allie Beckett)
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