The British government should follow in the footsteps of the eight United States that have legalized marijuana for recreational use, a move that is destined to lower criminal justice expenditures across the United Kingdom and contribute well over $7 billion to the economy, a new report finds.
In an analysis from the liberal think-tank the Adam Smith Institute, several Members of Parliament (MP’s) ranging from every major political party, finds that the legalization of marijuana is the only real way for the country to address the problems of crime and addiction. The report indicates that legalization in a manner similar to what some states are doing across the pond is the “the only workable solution” for controlling these matters.
“The Government strategy is based around three main pillars: reducing demand, restricting supply and building recovery. All three are failing,” the report reads, adding that the creation of a taxed and regulated industry is the only way to ensure the black market goes down in flames.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, one of the most influential supporters of the report, says he would like to see the United Kingdom do what the United States and several other counties have done with respect to cannabis reform.
“British politicians need to open their eyes to what is happening in the rest of the world,” Clegg said. “Cannabis prohibition is being swept away on a tide of popular opinion and replaced with responsible legal regulation."
“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,” he added.
This is not the first time a group of MP’s has recommended some level of cannabis reform.
In September, the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Drug Policy Reform published a report suggesting that the British government should legalize medical marijuana to prevent patients from frequenting the black market.
However, a government spokesperson told the BBC, at the time, that the government has no plans to legalize marijuana, not even for medical purposes, because there is evidence to prove it “is a harmful drug which can damage people’s mental and physical health.”
The latest findings show that it would be beneficial for the UK to start treating marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol and tobacco.
The entire language used to address cannabis-related issues needs to change. Language poses a barrier every bit as formidable as legislation does,” the report reads. “The opponents of legalisation have long been able to reinforce their position by using the words of public fear – ‘illegal,’ ‘criminal’, ‘dangerous’, and so on. Only by using the language of public health, consumer rights and harm reduction, the same language used about alcohol and tobacco, can we move towards regulation.”