The Liberal Democrats have unveiled a dramatic manifesto pledge to completely legalise cannabis if they win the upcoming general election.
According to the party, if – and it’s an overwhelmingly big IF – will allow the drug onto the market raising up to an estimated £1billion in tax, reports The Mirror.
However, it’s worth remembering that the Lib Dems currently hold a grand total of nine seats in Westminster and if recent polls are anything to go by, look all set to come out of June’s election with a storming nine seats.
But – the unlikelihood of them actually wielding any power aside – their manifesto pledges to ‘break the grip of criminal gangs’ by introducing a ‘legal, regulated market’ for the drug.
Vendors will have to be licensed like they are for alcohol and the proposed scheme would include an age limit of 18 and restrictions on strength.
Lib Dem leader Tim Farron told The Mirror:
I tried cannabis when I was younger, as did many other politicians.
But sadly, too many other politicians want to continue forcing our police to waste resources chasing cannabis users when they should be able to take violent crime instead.
It’s time that we had the courage to look at the evidence and make a decision that will help us to tackle the real criminals instead of the current failed approach.
The current approach to cannabis is seen as ‘extremely unhelpful’ by large sectors of society due to a complete lack of age checks and no controls on quality or strength.
The move promises to take control back from criminal gangs and would be pushed alongside awareness and health campaigns.
However, at the moment cannabis remains a Class B drug with punishments for possession as high as five years’ jail time – more than for date rape drug GHB.
It probably won’t win the Lib Dems the election, but surely it’s a discussion worth having?