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How the UK can weed out crime

DEBATE: Cannabis

A LEADING non-profit organisation has called for the Tory government to support the legalisation of cannabis as a solution to the serious youth violence and knife crime that continues to rise across the UK.

The Adam Smith Institute (ASI) have stated that by seizing the opportunities of legalisation, “we can protect children, cut crime, boost the economy and help adults make safer cannabis consumption choices.”

Daniel Pryor, report author and the ASI’s Head of Programmes said: “Politicians should catch up with public opinion and give the green light to a legal, sensibly regulated cannabis market.”

REGULATE

The report proposes that, a ‘dank on demand’ scheme will allow cannabis to be sold over the counter in pharmacies like Boots, thus eliminating the crime that comes with sourcing cannabis from the illegal black market.

By adopting systems similar to those currently operating in US states Colorado and California, the UK will be able to regulate cannabis production and sale as a way of ensuring public safety.

A poll carried out by Survation found that sixty three percent of Londoners back the legalisation of cannabis. However, with the UK’s upcoming exit from the European Union it is likely the discussion on the possible legalisation of cannabis will take a backseat.

Nonetheless, ASI’s Pryor explains how we can and should work towards the legalisation of cannabis with this easily implemented six-point plan:

1. Private enterprise: The free market should be responsible for the production and retail of cannabis, and not the state, to ensure providers are responsive to consumer wants and needs.

2. Advertising and Branding: Brands will be able to advertise their product in order to signal quality and consistency. They will also be required to warn users of the potential impact of cannabis on one's mental health.

3. Consumption: Edibles and a cannabis vape concentrates will be pushed to help people move away from using tobacco products alongside the cannabis.

4. Taxation: Higher potency cannabis (skunk) will be taxed higher than lower potency cannabis to ensure only the healthiest strain on cannabis is available on the market.

5. Education: Users will be regularly given the latest evidence of the health benefits and risks of cannabis usage at the point of sale.

6. Criminal Justice: Those now involved in the illegal cannabis industry will be given pathways to transfer into the regulated legal market. The ASI has also called for the Tory government to expunge previous cannabis related convictions.

There is much concern as to whether trying to implement a Colorado style of cannabis legalisation in the UK will be problematic.

However it seems Mr Pryor is supported widely by public opinion and will continue to ensure his plans are eventually brought to fruition.

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