Legalising cannabis ‘could earn [UK] Treasury £3.5bn’

Introducing a legal cannabis market to the UK could earn the Treasury between £1bn and £3.5bn a year in tax revenues, a new report suggests.

Health Poverty Action, an international development organization, claims that regulating and legalizing cannabis in the UK is an “idea whose time has come” and that the windfall could be used to plug the gap in the NHS budget.

“Prohibition has failed,” said the group’s advocacy officer, Natasha Horsfield. “From our perspective, it’s about regulating the market to improve public health outcomes and create a safer environment. But we can see the potential benefits from a taxation perspective if we were to regulate it.”

Support for such a move is growing. Both the Lib Dems and the Greens favor a regulated cannabis market, but the two main parties remain unenthusiastic.

In 2013, Uruguay became the first country to legalize cannabis. Last year New Zealand pledged to hold a cannabis referendum within three years. >>>

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