Legalising cannabis in UK ‘would raise ?1billion a year in taxes’

The Telegraph reports:

Legalising the sale of cannabis in specialist shops could raise ?1billion in tax revenues while reducing the harm done to users, a new study has found.

A panel of experts including scientists, academics and police bosses have concluded that the UK should follow some US states in allowing over 18s to purchase cannabis in licensed stores.

Cannabis could also be home-cultivated for personal use and small-scale licensed cannabis social clubs under the proposals.

Just like you can grow tobacco for personal consumption here.

Advertising or branding of cannabis products would be banned and the pricing and packaging of cannabis would be controlled by the Government.

A new regulator would also be created to oversee the industry.

Cannabis should be regulated in much the same way as alcohol and tobacco.

Former Liberal Democrat health minister Norman Lamb set up the panel last year and it includes Mike Barton, the Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary, Professor David Nutt, the former chair of the Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs, and Niamh Eastwood, executive director of the drugs charity Release.

In the report they said: ?Drug policy to date has (almost) always been driven by political and ideological agendas that have ignored scientific, public health and social policy norms.

?We are fully aware of the health harms associated with cannabis use, but contend that a rational policy must pragmatically manage the reality of use as it currently exists, rather than attempt to eradicate it using punitive enforcement.?

It could lead to the Liberal Democrats becoming the first British political party to back the legalisation of cannabis sales.

Tim Farron, the party’s leader, said: ?We need a new, smarter approach and I welcome this report ahead of the debate at spring conference,? he said.

?It is waste of police time to go after young people using cannabis and ludicrous to saddle them with criminal convictions that can damage their future careers.

?A legal market would allow us to have more control over what is sold, and raise a considerable amount in taxation.

That seems a rather boring and sensible approach that removes all the emotion from the argument.

 

– The?Telegraph

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