Marijuana reform could earn the UK billions per year – experts

Bernd Debusmann Jr.

Hundreds of users of medical marijuana protested outside Parliament on Wednesday to demand changes to Britain’s strict cannabis laws, a move many experts believe could yield billions of pounds in tax revenue and save the government billions in policing costs.

Under current law, it is illegal for British citizens to consume or possess cannabis.

Estimates vary on the financial impact of legalizing and taxing cannabis, a longstanding proposal by reform advocates. A recent study by the Institute for Social and Economic Research found that the government would gain up to £1.25 billion a year.

2011 study by the Independent Drug Monitoring Unit found the amount could range from £3.4 billion to £9.5 billion per annum, with a best estimate of £6.7 billion per year based on current market prices.

Commenting on the protester’s demands, Peter Reynolds of Clear UK, a Norwich-based organization which seeks to reform cannabis laws, said that…

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