Cogitation over whether to legalise cannabis or not in the UK has become very prevalent in recent years. Some feel that it is indubitable that cannabis should be legalised, because of its many health benefits, for example. However, some feel that legalising cannabis would provide even more incitement to the problem of crime. The discussion has become increasingly virulent as time goes on, with some feeling like cannabis being illegal unnecessarily obtrudes their human rights and some feeling that advocates of cannabis legalisation are going to allow the dignity of the country to dilapidate. In this article, I will talk about why I feel that cannabis should be legalised.
Firstly, at a time when the debt of the UK is so high, the government have a desperate need to raise funds. If cannabis was legalised, according to the Institute for Economic Research, the government could raise up to £900 million annually through the taxation of the regulated cannabis market. Although this may not seem like much compared to the national debt, “every little helps” as they say, and this would definitely help reduce the national debt, even if it is by a relatively picayune amount. These days, a great number of people are expressing an interest in smoking cannabis, and if the UK government can tap into that market by taking some of the money through taxation, then who knows? The government might raise even more than £900 million.
The amount spent on policing and treating users of illegal cannabis is also much too high, at £361 million. This means that not only are the government not procuring any money from cannabis, they are having to dish out quite a large amount. Most people these days do not even believe that smoking cannabis should be a crime any more, and so it is frankly wrong for the taxpayer to have to pay for the government’s decision to make cannabis illegal, when it is contradictory to the national tableau. In addition to this, making sure that the police force do not have to spend an inestimable amount of time policing cannabis users means that they can divert themselves into policing more important things, such as the elephantine problem of terrorism.
Finally, the legalisation of cannabis presents massive potential for the nascency of a new jobs market. When Colorado legalised marijuana use in 2014, 10,000 new jobs were created and crime fell by 14.6%, with the number of assaults being down by 3.7%. Although I recognise that the two cases are different, I hypothesise that cannabis will have a similar effect on the UK, and especially on the creation of jobs. That’s always a good thing. With the crime falling, this shows that the theory that legalising drugs will somehow “increase crime” is fallacious and simply will not happen. It is quite simple, really: legalising cannabis will provide a great number of benefits to society, firstly in raising money for the government and secondly in creating new jobs so, as stated in the Conservative manifesto, “more people can get on in life”.