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ISER evidence used in new call for taxing cannabis in the UK

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The international lobbying group, Health Poverty Action, has called for a re-think of UK policy on drugs, in line with changes in Canada and several states in the US. Using evidence from ISER’s 2013 study Licensing and regulation of the cannabis market in England and Wales: Towards a cost - benefit analysis they call for the UK political parties to back a change which could generate at least £1 billion in tax revenue.

The Health Poverty Action report states “The so-called ‘war on drugs’ was always built on shaky foundations. Now countries and jurisdictions around the world are dismantling it piece by piece and building a new, 21st century approach to drugs that puts public health first.

Nowhere are the foundations of this new approach to drugs more obvious than in the global movement towards regulated, legalised cannabis markets. And despite the US being the ostensible leader of the ‘war on drugs’, it has been US states at the forefront of this move. The results from the US so far are generally positive: confounding critics whilst bringing in additional tax income to fund public services. And this is just the start: in the summer of 2018 Canada will become the first G7 country to legalise cannabis.

Regulating and legalising cannabis is an idea whose time has come.”

ISER’s 2013 report by Professor Emilia Del Bono, Professor Stephen Pudney and Dr Mark Bryan, was used as evidence in a Treasury report during the Coalition government, as Liberal Democrat policy was in favour of legalisation.