One of the most commonly abused drugs in the UK is cannabis. Furthermore, many people around the country suffer from a cannabis addiction, but most of them will suffer in silence; this is mainly due to current laws that make possession of cannabis illegal. Addicts often fear that if they seek assistance, they will suffer potential legal ramifications.
Nevertheless, we believe that, as a country, we should be encouraging addicts to overcome their addiction and go on to a sober life; not frightening them into silent suffering. However, there are those that believe cannabis is a drug that should not be illegal. Moreover, quite a few politicians are now calling for the legalisation of cannabis in the UK, believing that this would benefit the country in the long run.
They believe the current policies regarding cannabis are outdated, and these have even been described by the Adam Smith Institute think tank as an ‘embarrassment’ and a ‘messy patchwork’ of legislation that is only enforced by the authorities on occasions where they see fit, and not all the time.
The think tank suggests that the ‘only workable solution to the problems of crime and addiction in the UK’ would be to legalise this Class B drug that so many people abuse regularly. They went on to say that, in their opinion, the public and politicians should be able to see that the UK’s drug strategy “has failed in its core aims to prevent people from using drugs, manufacturing drugs, and to put a stop to the crime, corruption and death that is taking place on an industrial scale around the world.”
Protecting Public Health
The think tank’s report is titled The Tide Effect: How the World is Changing its Mind on Cannabis Legalisation. It has strong opinions and intimates that legalising cannabis would not only protect public health by removing groups of criminals, but it would also raise revenue for the Treasury. It has been estimated that the legalisation of cannabis could be worth up to £6.8 billion annually, and £1 billion of this will go to the Treasury. It would also reduce the costs of criminal justice; 1,363 people are currently serving jail time in England and Wales for cannabis-related offences, costing the taxpayer, on average, £50 million per year.
Open Their Eyes
The US state California has recently legalised cannabis and joined the list of countries, states, and cities across the world that are decriminalising it. The Netherlands has not classed cannabis use as a crime since 1976; Portugal since 2001. Canada is looking for full legalisation of cannabis while Germany wants to fully legalise the Class B drug for medicinal purposes.
British politician Nick Clegg said, “British politicians need to open their eyes to what is happening in the rest of the world. Cannabis prohibition is being swept away on a tide of popular opinion and replaced with responsible legal regulation. Now is the time for ministers to start writing the rules for this new legal market, including age limits and health warnings so that we can finally take back control from the criminal gangs.”
Jacqui Smith, former home secretary, said, “Knowing what I know now, I would resist the temptation to resort to the law to tackle the harm from cannabis. We must overcome the prejudice and the negative language surrounding cannabis to create a new drugs strategy that actually works for the UK.”
According to the World Health Organisation, the prohibition of cannabis has resulted in many issues that include violence-related criminal networks, out-of-date policies and procedures, and most importantly, it is preventing addicts from accessing the support they need as they are so concerned about being prosecuted. Sam Bowman, executive director at the Adam Smith Institute, said “As Canada becomes the first G7 country to legalise cannabis for recreational use, and more and more big US states do the same, Britain needs to re-evaluate its own drugs policies to make sure this growing market is in the hands of legitimate, regulated businesses – not criminal gangs. Cannabis is enjoyed by many otherwise law-abiding people and making criminals of them makes an ass of the law – the only sensible approach now is to legalise and regulate.”
The Green Party’s co-leader and only MP, Caroline Lucas, has shown her support for the report and said that, in her opinion, government ministers should “urgently take a fresh look at our drugs laws.” She then added, “The war on drugs has been an abject failure, and the continued criminalisation of cannabis users is deeply counterproductive.”
Speak Out About Your Cannabis Addiction
It is important to point out here that while cannabis may not be as dangerous as other illegal drugs, it is still capable of causing addiction in some individuals. If your cannabis use is having a negative impact on your everyday life, and you feel as though you cannot seek help for your cannabis addiction, contact us here at Liberty House. Nothing is more important to us than your recovery, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that you successfully kick your addiction.
If you would like any more information on treatments that are available for yourself, contact us today, and we would be more than happy to assist you.
Source: Legalisation of cannabis ‘only solution to crime and addiction problems’ (The Guardian)