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Legalising cannabis could save UK £1 billion worth of tax

The Liberal Democrats are pushing for a change in UK drug policy

  • Dave Turner
  • 8 March 2016

The Liberal Democrats have continued their push for cannabis legislation by claiming it could raise up to £1 billion in taxes.

Party leader Tim Farron recently came out in support of it being sold legally in specialist shops and a new report highlights the benefits it could have, including decreasing health risks of users.

To be discussed at a Lib Dem conference on Friday, the report also stated that, if legally on-sale for recreational use, the drug should retail at a similar price to "black market" costs, accompanied by health warnings on the packaging.

Highlighting the risk of dealers encouraging people "to try other more risky drugs", the party's health spokesman, Norman Lamb, said: "The UK is spending billions fighting a losing battle on drug use. Both the financial and human cost is vast. This desperately needs to change.

"It is often suggested that attempts to move away from total prohibition of drugs sends the message that these substances are harmless.

"To the contrary, I believe we need to regulate drugs precisely because of the harms they pose. Nothing is made safer when it is left in the hands of criminals."

Colorado's policy on cannabis is said to be mentioned in the report which was put together by scientists, academics and police chiefs.

Former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is a firm believer that the war on drugs has been lost, while Labour MP Paul Flynn also wants cannabis to be decriminalised.

[Via: Sky News]

Dave Turner is Mixmag's Digital News Editor, follow him on Twitter

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