Cannabis Could Make The UK Millions, But Government Won't Toke It Up
The Debrief: The powers that be had to debate the notion of decriminalisation of cannabis after 220,000 Brits signed a petition...
When you’re really stoned, what do you like to do? Eat chocolate brownies stuck together with peanut butter with M&Ms chasers? Get really paranoid that you’re about to shit yourself and shudder? Laugh and laugh and laugh until your tongue is dry enough to roll another spliff on? Or do you go onto a government website and sign a petition calling for the legalisation of cannabis?
That’s what 220,000 people have done – regardless of whether they were stoned or not at the time of typing – therefore making the government legally obliged to debate, in the House of Commons, the decriminalisation of cannabis ownership and use. (The government has to respond to any petition – within reason – that amasses more than 100,000 signatories.)
The result? The government is properly considering the legalisation of weed. So much so that the Treasury has done a report saying that, actually, if cannabis was made legal, it could make the government a fair whack of money.
Noting that about 2.2 million people aged 16 to 59 are thought to have smoked cannabis last year, that’s 216 tonnes worth of taxable plantstuffs. If all this were to be taxed, it could raise £200 million. This money could then, in turn go towards court and police costs.
Anna McLaughlin, SNP MP for Glasgow North East told the Commons during the debate that, for Rastafarians such as her partner (who, she pointed out, ‘has never used cannabis’), ‘it is part of their spiritual outlook’ to get blazed.
Meanwhile, Norman Lamb, Lib Dem Health spokesperson, said, reports the BBC: ‘The whole debate has shifted dramatically now... as we see state after state starting this debate, with many states in the US deciding to establish legalised regulated markets.’
He also wondered: ‘Do you put a potentially dangerous product into the hands of criminals who have no interest in your welfare at all or do you seek to regulate it?’ He argued that health protection could be provided and that young people could avoid ‘ludicrous criminalisation’ if cannabis was made legal.
But the Home Office isn’t toking (sorry, we mean ‘taking’) much heed. It released a statement to poo-poo the idea of cannabis becoming legal, like it is in parts of America, Portugal and the Netherlands. ‘There is clear scientific and medical evidence that cannabis is a harmful drug which can damage people’s mental and physical health, and harms individuals and communities,’ it said.
They’re just lucky that stoners are too wasted to get involved in violent protest, eh?
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