Why Britain Isn't Going To Legalise Cannabis Any Time Soon


It’s been almost 20 years since things looked like they were going to change. Rewind to 1997. Tony Blair’s just been elected Prime Minister; the Union Jack is trendy and the phrase "Cool Britannia" isn’t just something you’d see on a shit mug marketed at Spanish tourists.

It’s September and the Independent on Sunday has just launched a six-month campaign to get people talking about legalising cannabis in the UK. In March of 1998, an estimated 15,000 to 25,000 people light up in Hyde Park for a pro-legalisation rally that makes its way to Trafalgar Square. Within years, the campaign and protest are basically all but forgotten, and every attempt since to bring lawmakers around is essentially shut down in its infancy, despite the rational points being made.

Yet again, another convincing case has been brought. Today, the Adam Smith Institute and drug policy innovation hub Volte Face released a joint report on the state of cannabis legislation in the UK. The report suggests that regulated legalisation is the way forward and could help Britain follow the current trend set recently by the US state of California, and previously by the likes of the Netherlands and Portugal. On top of that, the report estimates that the Treasury could stand to make up to 1 billion per year from a cannabis market with a potential annual worth of 6.8 billion.

"The current policy around cannabis in Britain is a messy patchwork of legislation intermittently enforced," writes journalist Boris Starling, the report’s author. "It places political posturing above public health and tabloid values above humane ones."

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Why Britain Isn’t Going To Legalise Cannabis Any Time Soon
Author: Tshepo Mokoena
Contact: VICE
Photo Credit: Jake Lewis
Website: VICE