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Legalising cannabis in the UK could raise £900 million a year in taxes

Labour MP Paul Flynn has called for it to be decriminalised

  • Mixmag staff
  • 12 October 2015

Just days after former Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg called for a global drugs policy reform, a Labour MP has said the war on drugs has been a "disaster" and believes cannabis should be legal in the UK.

Paul Flynn wrote an article for the Mirror saying prohibition of the drug has only madder matters worse in Britain in terms of drug use and criminality.

"In 1971 the UK had fewer than a 1,000 heroin and cocaine addicts. After 45 years of the harshest drugs policies in Europe we have 320,000. Prohibition increases drugs use, harm and crime. It builds empires of criminals as the alcohol prohibition did in America in the twenties."

He backed up his argument by saying "billions" had been spent arresting users of a substance that is "less harmful than alcohol", referring to the legalisation of it in four states in America, one being Colorado, as examples to follow.

"Cannabis can now be prescribed as a medicine in 23 states of the America and in a dozen European countries. Four US states and Washington D.C. have legalised and regulated non-medical cannabis. It is likely several more states, including California, will vote to legalise.

"The US state of Colorado reports that none of the scares of prohibition lobby came true. There has been no spike in cannabis use, and no increase in road fatalities."

Flynn was writing ahead of a debate in parliament today, where it's reported that MPs will hear that legalisation could raise £900 million a year in tax.

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