Creating A Legal Marijuana Market In The UK Could Offset The Entire NHS Deficit

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A legal cannabis market could generate over £1 billion ($1.33 billion) in tax revenue — a figure so high it could offset the escalating NHS deficit.

Health Poverty Action, an international development organization, claims “the so-called ‘war on drugs’ was built on shaky foundations” and argues that regulation can “protect vulnerable groups and support public health,” in a report published on Saturday.

The report says that prohibition is “ineffective and expensive” and, by contrast, the creation of a legal cannabis market could generate “at least £1 billion annually, but potentially more” based on other comparable markets.

Regulated marijuana generates £1.4 billion ($1.87 billion) annually in the Netherlands, and £2.26 billion ($3.02 billion) in Colorado and Washington — the two states that became the first to legalize cannabis for recreational use in the US, in 2012.

A legal cannabis market could generate over £1 billion ($1.33 billion) in tax revenue — a figure so high it could offset the escalating NHS deficit.

Health Poverty Action, an international development organization, claims “the so-called ‘war on drugs’ was built on shaky foundations” and argues that regulation can “protect vulnerable groups and support public health,” in a report published on Saturday.

The report says that prohibition is “ineffective and expensive” and, by contrast, the creation of a legal cannabis market could generate “at least £1 billion annually, but potentially more” based on other comparable markets.

Regulated marijuana generates £1.4 billion ($1.87 billion) annually in the Netherlands, and £2.26 billion ($3.02 billion) in Colorado and Washington — the two states that became the first to legalize cannabis for recreational use in the US, in 2012.

Legalizing marijuana has received support from the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party of England and Wales, and Healthy Poverty Action claims it has other benefits as products would be tested and sold within required potency limits and there would be less pressure on policing.

According to a 2016 report in the Independent, it is a move that many in the UK are in favor of as 47% of people polled backed the sale of the drug through licensed shops. Of those polled, 39% were against while 14% voted “don’t know.”

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