Why we should legalise cannabis

Cannabis is over-policed for the relative lack of harm it does

  • Currently, cannabis is classified as a Class B drug, meaning that possession can result in up to 5 years of imprisonment
  • Over the last 10 years, there have been 1.58 million cases of the police forces seizing cannabis, although the number of seizures have seen a steady year-on-year decline (Home Office, 2019 stats). This represents a substantial amount of police time and budget.
  • The Home Office estimates that 7.2% of adults 16-59 consume it.

Cannabis has medical benefits

  • Research in 1980 suggested that cannabidiols reduced epilepsy in most patients, but due to politics, it was almost 35 years before larger-scale clinical trials were undertaken (Mechoulam, 2017). More recently, research on a larger sample of patients published in The Lancet, the world’s leading peer-reviewed general medical journal, suggested the same (Devinsky et al, 2016). Larger-scale randomised control trials are required to take a conclusive view.
  • Cannabidiols reduce incidence of strokes (Scharf, 2017) and the damage done by strokes (Rodriguez-Munoz et al, 2018).
  • Cannabidiols may have significant benefits for Parkinson’s Disease (Crippa, 2019). Larger-scale randomised control trials are required to take a conclusive view.
  • Besides their palliative effects in cancer therapy, evidence suggests cannabinoids are anticancer agents (Ramer et al, 2011).
  • It is a palliative that allows people to suffer through painful conditions, such as Crohn’s disease.

Legalising and taxing recreational cannabis can fund welfare

Legalising cannabis would increase our budget by:

  1. Reducing the budget wasted on policing it
  2. Reducing the NHS’ budget by allowing it to administer more cost-effective treatments that work
  3. Increasing the productivity of people who would otherwise not be productive because their conditions aren’t satisfactorily treated
  4. Increasing tax revenues from recreational use.

These funds could be used to:

  • Increase policing for violent crime
  • Increase funding to address the social causes of crime:
    • Increase housing benefits in line with local average rents
    • Increase Job Seekers’ Allowances
    • Increase funding for youth spaces and activities.

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