Liberal Democrats to legalise cannabis if they win the election

“Liberal Democrats will protect young people by introducing a legal, regulated market for cannabis.”

The Lib Dems have pledged to legalise smoking cannabis if they win this year’s general election, and will even legalise the buying and selling of it in shops and clubs.

Currently, cannabis is a Class B drug and anyone in possession of it could face five years in jail.

They estimate that cannabis tax could make around £1 billion which could be spent on other things such as public health and education.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron

They also said that the regulated use of cannabis could “break the grip” of criminal gangs and subsequently reduce the burdens on police and the NHS. “The current approach is a disaster for young people. There are no age checks, and no controls on quality or strength,” said Cambridge candidate Julian Huppert.

The party have also suggested that Britain could see the beginning of cannabis ‘social clubs’ around the country.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron spoke about the use of cannabis last year: “I tried cannabis when I was younger, as did many other politicians. It’s time that we had the courage to look the evidence and make a decision that will help us to tackle the real criminals instead of the current failed approach.”

Nearly 250,000 people signed a petition to make cannabis usage and sale legal, but it was dismissed by government last year, saying: “Cannabis can unquestionably cause harm to individuals and society. Legalisation of cannabis would not eliminate the crime committed by the illicit trade, nor would it address the harms associated with drug dependence and the misery that this can cause to families.

Legalisation would also send the wrong message to the vast majority of people who do not take drugs, especially young and vulnerable people, with the potential grave risk of increased misuse of drugs.”

The Labour Party have previously spoken about making medicinal use of the drug legal, but it has not featured in the party’s 2017 manifesto.

 

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University of Manchester