AS senior MPs call for Theresa May to legalise cannabis in order to make more money for the Treasury kitty, how likely is it that the drug will be made legal in the UK?
The marijuana trade in Britain is currently work 6.8bn a year and could be quite a money maker, as well as helping people with varying conditions.
Why are people arguing for cannabis to become legal?
A report by the right wing think tank the Adam Smith Institute reveals there are major savings for state coffers if the soft drug was regulated.
Between 750m and 1bn could be earned by the Revenue if it was taxed.
And there would also be significant savings in the criminal justice costs, with 1,363 offenders now in prison for cannabis-related crimes, costing taxpayers 50m a year.
The call is backed by a full spectrum of MPs, including ex-Tory Cabinet minister Peter Lilley, and veteran Labour MP Paul Flynn.
In addition to financial arguments, there has long been a call to legalise the drug to help people with chronic pain and anxiety.
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform says tens of thousands of people in UK already break the law to use cannabis for symptom relief.
What would happen it it was legalised?
The drug could be reclassified under existing drug laws meaning doctors could prescribe cannabis to patients and chemists could dispense it.
Patients could also be allowed to grow limited amounts of the plant for their own medicinal use.
Currently people with multiple sclerosis can legally take a cannabis-based medicine, which comes as a mouth spray.
Under current laws in England and Wales, cannabis is not recognised as having any therapeutic value.
Could it be legalised?
The Home Office said last month there are no plans to legalise the drug.
But a petition which called for cannabis to become legal was signed by more than 150,000 people, which means it must receive a formal response from the government.
It was debated on October 12, 2015, and closed after the government responded with: "Substantial scientific evidence shows cannabis is a harmful drug that can damage human health.
"There are no plans to legalise cannabis as it would not address the harm to individuals and communities."
Under the ten minute rule, which means an MP can make a case for a new bill in a speech lasting up to 10 minutes in Parliament, a Cannabis (Legalisation and Regulation) Bill 2015-16 was introduced by MP Norman Lamb and given a first reading in the House of Commons on March 23.
But after the debate ended, the bill was deemed to make no further progress through to any formal amendment process.
Where is it already legal?
In Australia, Puerto Rico, Poland, Czech Republic, Canada, Croatia and Macedonia it is legal for medicinal purposes in some form, and in Turkey for the cultivation for the same purpose.
In Uruguay, Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington in the US, Spain, Slovenia, Netherlands, Jamaica, Columbia and Chile it is legal or decriminalised in some form.
News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Will Cannabis Be Legalised In The UK And Where Is Marijuana Already Legal?
Author: Ellie Cambridge
Photo Credit: EPA
Website: The Sun