Legal cannabis could be worth £6.8 billion to the UK economy, and between £750 and £1.05 billion in tax revenues (Photograph: Ed Oudenaarden)
Britain Could Legalise Cannabis For A £1 Billion Post-Brexit Economic Boost
Cannabis has been outlawed in the United Kingdom for almost 90 years now.
But in a bid to abolish outdated policies and raise some much-needed post-Brexit funding, politicians have renewed calls for Britain to decriminalise the beloved-chronic.
It follows new reports which claim legalisation could provide the Treasury with over £1 billion each year in tax revenue; and bring laws up to speed with a growing number of Western countries.
The Adam Smith Institute and Volteface report has been backed by former Health Minister Norman Lamb, as well as MPs from almost all major political parties in the UK.
It recommends following in the market-model footsteps of the United States, where four more states legalised marijuana during the presidential election this November.
"Cannabis prohibition is being swept away on a tide of popular opinion and replaced with responsible legal regulation," Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told the Press Association.
"Now is the time for ministers to start writing the rules for this legal market, including age limits and health warnings, so that we can finally take back control from the criminal gangs."
"British politicians need to open their eyes to what is happening in the rest of the world."
Germany is also said to be preparing to legalise cannabis for medical purposes; Canada have opted for all-out decriminalisation; and the Netherlands and Portugal decriminalised weed years ago.
The report argues that antiquated policies in Britain have failed to stop people smoking the forbidden fruits and, as a counter-productive byproduct, increased the level of crime, corruption and killing.
"Currently cannabis can only be obtained from illegal gangs who also push hard drugs," former Tory cabinet minister Peter Lilley said:
"It is time we legalised cannabis. We are driving soft drugs users into the arms of hard drugs pushers."
The proposed legal cannabis market could be worth £6.8 billion to the economy, and between £750 and £1.05 billion in tax revenues and reduced criminal justice costs.
There are more than 1,300 people in prison for cannabis-related crimes in England and Wales, which cost the taxpayer around £50 million a year, the report states.
"Britain needs an evidence-based drugs policy, rather than continuing the expensive and ineffective prohibition regime," Co-leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas said.
By Matthew Kirby, published on 21/11/2016