The UK Liberal Party is fighting to legalize cannabis. According to BuzzFeed News, they have pledged to legalize cannabis. And also “allow it to be sold from high street shops, and spend the tax raised from sales on public health efforts in one of the most radical drugs policy manifesto commitments ever made by a British political party.”
UK Liberal Party’s Pledge To Fully Legalize Cannabis
Tim Farron’s party plans to completely change the current system. The UK Liberal Party wants to upend the existing procedures of buying and selling cannabis illegally. By legalizing the production and sale of marijuana, they can regulate harmful substances, which would make it much safer.
Similar to the system in several US States, cannabis will be sold only through licensed shops. The UK Liberal Party predicts that this could raise up to £1 billion a year in tax from cannabis sales. Legalizing will also reduce the burden on the police, prisons and health services. Apart from that, the organized criminal gangs would suffer. Also, cannabis can be easily accessible for medicinal purposes.
The UK’s general election is less than a month away. The UK Liberal Party has a rational outlook on marijuana. But most of the country’s electoral debate has been focused on other matters. Although the push to legalize cannabis is noble, it might not actually happen.
Health Benefits Of Legalization
Legalization also means regulated cannabis in the market. Which means it’ll be much safer and higher quality.
Julian Huppert, the current Liberal Democrat candidate for Cambridge confirmed the manifesto commitment. Speaking for the Liberal Party, he said, “What we currently do is bad for health and mental health. The market is run by criminal gangs and they have no interest in public health – the system is causing huge amounts of harm.”
“There are two components in cannabis,” he explained. “One is the potent active form. And one is protective and prevents harm. Criminal gangs have bred strains which don’t have the protective element, so skunk causes much more harm than marijuana used to do. In the same way we regulate the alcohol content of a drink, you can regulate the strength.”
Looking Out For The Youth
Cannabis is a class “B” drug in the UK. Anyone busted for possession can be given five years in prison. Moreover, being caught supplying or producing cannabis can result in up to 14 years jail time.
The Independent reports the interesting numbers Liberal Party’s research has come up with: 87,247 cannabis-related police caseloads were opened in 2015. This equals approximately 1,044,180 police hours. Which then equals £31 million (more than USD$40 million) in enforcement.
The UK Liberal Party plans of pushing cannabis regulation and taxation will help avoid all of these costs. “The honest and pragmatic response is to take responsibility for this situation and regulate the market,” the manifesto states. “Liberal Democrats will take back control from the criminal gangs and protect young people by introducing a legal, regulated market for cannabis.”