Report: Legalizing Cannabis Could Raise £1bn In Taxes for UK
A new report claims that legalizing cannabis could raise as much as £1bn in taxes for the UK.
The report was published by the British political party the Liberal Democrats, usually called Lib Dems for short. The party is currently calling on the government to legalize cannabis.
To strengthen their position, the Lib Dems recently released a report highlighting what they claim would be the benefits of legalization.
Top of the report’s list is the finding that legalizing, regulating, and taxing the production and sale of cannabis could raise as much as £1bn in taxes for the national government.
In addition to generating new tax revenue, the report said that legalizing marijuana could also cut back on how much the country spends enforcing drug laws.
“The UK is spending billions fighting a losing battle on drug use,” Lib Dem spokesperson Norman Lamb said.
“Both the financial and human cost is vast. This desperately needs to change.”
The Lib Dems are proposing that legal marijuana use should be restricted to people 18 years old and over. The party is also proposing that marijuana be sold in packages that have health warning labels printed on them.
The report wasn’t only concerned with the financial side of things. It also claimed that legalization could decrease crime and make it safer for marijuana users.
“It is often suggested that attempts to move away from total prohibition of drugs sends the message that these substances are harmless,” Lamb said.
“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.”
As governments throughout the world consider the prospects of legalizing cannabis, the financial implications of such a move are often one of the biggest concerns.
In Canada, for example, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called for the country to move toward full legalization. Last month, a group of economic experts predicted that legalization there could raise somewhere around $5 billion in taxes for the national government.
And some lawmakers in Louisiana began exploring whether or not loosening marijuana laws could help the state address its $850 million budget downfall.