Ahead of the elections on June eighth the Liberal Democrat party have revealed that if elected they would fully back the complete legalisation of cannabis, making it taxable and available from regulated high street shops.
In a complete turn-around from the laws currently in place, the Lib Dems have stated they would follow the lead of countries such as Portugal, the Netherlands and some states of the US by introducing a regulated cannabis market to the country.
Not only does this idea have the potential to curb the estimated 1.1 million plus people who are admitted to hospital every year due to alcohol related issues, there is also an estimated one billion to be raised in in tax through the sales of cannabis, with the Lib Dems stating this would be reinvested into education and treatment. Sounds like a win-win.
Regulating cannabis in such a way would also enable the quality to be measured, meaning that the current strains of skunk with their crazy THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) compared to CBD (cannabidiol) levels, along with the chemical sprays added to the plant, could be cut out of the market.
The party’s candidate for Cambridge and former Home Affairs Select Committee member Julian Huppert has said, “The current approach is a disaster for young people, whose mental and physical health is being harmed by an increasingly potent product. There are no age checks, and no controls on quality or strength. ‘Skunk’ is widespread and the only ID you need to buy it is a £20 note.
This is a pretty bold statement from the Lib Dems, this being the first time a major political party has backed the complete legalisation of cannabis. We will just have to wait and see what June eighth brings us to see whether this vision could actually be achieved.