Anyone who knows anything about cannabis legalisation knows it’s about far more than the financial aspect. The greater good of the public must come first – particularly in instances where people are denied access to lifesaving medical cannabis.
Nevertheless, some of the figures being thrown around at the moment are too significant to overlook. According to a new report published by Health Poverty Action, the United Kingdom Treasury could net anything from £1bn to £3.5bn a year in tax revenues, if it was to go ahead and sensibly regulate cannabis cultivation and distribution.
The group has stated in no uncertain terms that “prohibition has failed,” insisting than now is the time to throw personal opinions and objections to one side and focus on the facts.
“From our perspective, it’s about regulating the market to improve public health outcomes and create a safer environment. But we can see the potential benefits from a taxation perspective if we were to regulate it,” said the group’s advocacy officer, Natasha Horsfield.
Support for cannabis legalisation has been gaining momentum for several years, though doesn’t seem to be making any real headway with the two most powerful political parties. The Liberal Democrats and the Green Party have repeatedly reaffirmed their commitment to sensible cannabis legislation – the Labour Party and the Tories apparently having none of it.
Nevertheless, the rate at which cannabis legislation is being overhauled on a global basis can no longer be overlooked or ignored by decision makers in the UK. New Zealand has vowed to hold a cannabis referendum before the end of the decade, Uruguay became the world’s first country to fully legalise cannabis in 2013 and much of Europe has made enormous advancements in medical cannabis legislation.
Nevertheless, it now seems likely that what happens in the United States over the coming years could be the biggest influence on a prospective policy shift in the UK. In addition, Canada is set to become the first country to legalise recreational cannabis, with the first legal pot stores now tipped to open before the end of the year. Nine US states have so far legalised recreational cannabis – over half of the United States now has access to legal cannabis for medical purposes.
Support also appears to be growing among the British public in general.Surveys have suggested that approximately 47% of the UK population supports regulated cannabis cultivation and distribution – the figure increasing to 52% among younger age groups. What’s more, evidence from North America suggests that in the weeks or months following the introduction of such legislation, significantly more people warm to its benefits and voice their support.
Along with generating enormous tax revenues, the legalisation of cannabis in the United Kingdom could save £291m in completely unnecessary police, court, prison and probation costs. Vast sums of money are being wasted every year attempting to track down and prosecute those who are consuming a substance the overwhelming majority of experts now consider to be safe for human consumption.
What’s more, any approach to cannabis regulation would take the power completely out of criminal drug gangs across the UK, making the entire country a safer place for every citizen.
Unfortunately, it seems entirely unlikely that even modest legislative improvements will be rolled out within the next few years at least. While ever lawmakers continue to trust their old and outdated ideals over and above the pleas and scientific evidence provided by doctors and experts worldwide, we probably won’t be seeing legalisation of cannabis in any shape or form. Text Source: Seedsupreme