Margaret Thatcher’s favourite free-market thinktank has called on the government to legalise cannabis, arguing that the move could save more than £1bn generated from extra taxes and other savings in public services.
Britain’s black market in cannabis is worth £2.6bn annually, with 255 tonnes sold to more than 3 million people last year, according to the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).
A report by the thinktank concludes that the criminalisation of cannabis in the UK has failed, saying the black market is awash with dangerous high-strength products.
Chris Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the IEA, said: “It’s high time for reform of cannabis policy in the UK. Canada and the USA are showing the way. Done properly, the legalisation of cannabis is a win-win-win: criminals lose a lucrative industry, consumers get a better, safer and cheaper product, and the burden on the general taxpayer is reduced.”
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