UK Government Could Earn £1 Billion+ From Cannabis Legalisation
A new study has suggested that legalising and regulating recreational cannabis could earn the UK government in excess of £1 Billion a year, in a time when cuts are being made to vital services within the country this money could be useful when it comes to balancing the budget.
The study suggests that close to £300 million would be saved in criminal costs alone. Court costs and policing efforts do little to deter the use of cannabis yet cost the government a substantial sum of money to enforce. It would also allow the police and court systems to focus on cracking down on high level crime instead of wasting their time on non-violent drug offenders.
With the current Conservative government cutting tax credits in an attempt to reduce total government expenditure, it seems strange that they would not consider regulating an already present and thriving market in order to lessen the savage cuts on public services which are affecting the whole population.
The paper, which was co-authored by Stephen Pudney, professor of economics at the University of Essex, balances revenue against potential costs, such as regulatory costs and increased health promotion initiatives. Pudney said the report was not an attempt to put a price on the cannabis market, but tried to set out what factors needed to be considered if such a policy were to be introduced by the current government
Professor David Nutt, director of the neuropsychopharmacology unit at Imperial College, London, and former chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, said the report provided strong evidence “that the costs of the current punitive approaches to cannabis control are massively disproportionate to the harms of the drug, and shows that more sensible approaches would provide significant financial benefits to the UK as well as reducing social exclusion and injustice”.