The Liberal Democrats have pledged to legalize recreational cannabis sales if they seize control of parliament in next month’s British general election.
The party claims that legalization would give the UK a £1.5 billion ($1.94 billion) boost through increased duty and savings for the policy force. It added that the policy would break the grip of criminal gangs and protect young people by introducing a legal, regulated market.
Adult-use marijuana legalization was one of the key pledges in the Lib Dems’ manifesto, which was published today.
Polls indicate that the Lib Dems will be the third-largest party in Westminster after the Dec. 12 election, but they are expected to gain a number of seats. Leader Jo Swinson is a staunch remainer and she has pledged to revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit immediately if her party wins a majority.
That looks highly unlikely, as the Lib Dems have never won the most seats at a general election and they are 400/1 outsiders to pull it off this time around. However, in the event of a hung parliament they could end up forming part of a coalition government, as was the case following the 2010 general election.
They have billed themselves as the largest remain party, as the ruling Conservative Party is determined to push through Brexit and Labour is sitting on the fence. It could also refer to itself as the largest pro-cannabis party, as both the Tories and Labour are officially opposed to marijuana legalization right now.
The Conservatives legalized medicinal cannabis in October 2018 and the market is finally starting to open up now. The NHS will now allow local trusts to fund prescriptions of Epidyolex for treatment of two forms of epilepsy – Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes – and Sativex for multiple sclerosis sufferers.
Conservative MPs Andrew Mitchell and the fittingly named Crispin Blunt are lobbying for legalization and Blunt believes it could happen within five years. Labour’s David Lammy is also on board, but they need to convince their parties to back the movement.
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