There’s long been an argument that cannabis should be made legal in the UK. At the same time, there’s been plenty of opposition to that, and it remains firmly the case within government, despite many other countries around the world relaxing laws.
In June 2023, over half of Conservative party voters remained in support of the substance being illegal, but the interesting question is what would change if laws were passed to make it a legal substance?
You can of course get a relatively good idea from the likes of Canada that have legalised it in recent years, and there are negatives that come with the positives too. So, what exactly would change?There would be an economic boost
Undoubtedly there would be an economic boost to the country. Think about the tax on cigarettes and alcohol and how that would translate to cannabis, as well as the huge impact it would have on job generation.
In Canada, since legalisation, the industry has contributed around $43.5billion to the economy. And in the country’s current state, that would be hugely valuable.
As a result of legalisation, we’d see a stricter set of rules and regulations for the production and selling of the substance. You’d expect to see higher quality and safer strains for customers. It’ll make the products more consistent, and rule out any mixed bags that could potentially be harmful to consumers.
Alongside this, it could effectively destroy the black market, which would have a huge knock-on effect on crime rates, as well as easing the strain slightly on policing across the country.
While cannabis is used medicinally, with access improved as a result of legislation, there is also the danger of more people struggling with the negative health implications of cannabis. While it’s not hugely addictive, and if you go to any drug and alcohol centres in Surrey or across London, cannabis addiction will be very low among patients, it is still an addictive substance and there’s a possibility that could become more problematic.
Cannabis abuse can also affect lung and heart health, as well as lead to a number of cancers. Alongside this, it can work as a gateway drug to more harmful illegal substances.
It’s interesting that the current Tory government has been so quick to dismiss the legality of cannabis. There’s certainly more of a debate to be had around the subject, both for and against, just as many other countries have.
It’s certainly not the end of the matter and over the coming years, especially if we do see a new government in place, it’ll continue to be a topic that is in need of thorough discussion, and almost definitely some sort of reform.