Legalising cannabis would bring £6.8 billion to the economy annually and massively lessen criminal justice costs – yet still the UK is adamant that the law should not change.
Well, that may all be about to change as a group of MPs led by the former Lib Dem leader, Nick Clegg, are calling on the government to follow in America’s footsteps and legalise weed once and for all, reports The Independent.
Earlier this month two more states in the U.S. legalised the recreational and medicinal usage of weed leading many forward thinking MP’s to fear that our government is stuck in the ‘dark ages’ when it comes to drug policy.
Nick Clegg said:
British politicians need to open their eyes to what is happening in the rest of the world.
Cannabis prohibition is being swept away on a tide of popular opinion and replaced with responsible legal regulation.
Legalising marijuana would not only help in the prevention of organised crime groups, corruption, and drug related murders, but it would also stop the underground production of cannabis which is essentially uncontrollable.
It would also bring in £6.8 billion to the economy every year with the potential to net between £750 million and £1.05 billion in tax revenues too.
Another reason the MPs are calling for weed to be legalised is the fact that tax payers spend £50 million every year on prison fees for those imprisoned for cannabis related offences – legalising weed would without doubt minimise this number on an unfathomable scale.
Former Cabinet Minister, Peter Lilley, added:
It is time we legalised cannabis. Currently cannabis can only be obtained from illegal gangs who also push hard drugs. So we are driving soft drugs users into the arms of hard drugs pushers.
Conservative MP, Michael Fabricant, claimed:
There can be no doubt that just as prohibition on the sale of alcohol failed in the United States and encouraged gangsterism, the banning of drugs has promoted a wicked and lucrative black market which pushes illegal drugs on the innocent.
I guess only time will tell…
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.