CLEAR has published a report from the Independent Drug Monitoring Unit (IDMU) that shows a tax & regulate policy on cannabis could produce a net benefit to the UK economy of £6.7 billion per annum. This estimate is made from a detailed study of the size of the UK cannabis market, potential tax revenues, criminal justice system savings and additional costs of regulation including health information and education.
UK ECONOMY TO GAIN £6.7 BILLION FROM CANNABIS TAX & REGULATE
Almost overnight the UK could enjoy a boost to its economy that is the same as the entire annual budget for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, twice the budget of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and three times the budget for the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
Without any new laws or any change in existing law, ministers could move this huge market out of the black economy and into legitimate businesses producing thousands of new jobs.
Evidence from the US and Europe shows that a regulated system would also reduce all health and social harms, better protect children as well as permitting enormous gain from the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of cannabis.
Alongside the IDMU report, CLEAR has published "A CLEAR Plan for the Regulation of Cannabis In Britain" which sets out detailed proposals for a regulated system. The key points from the report "Taxing the UK Cannabis Market" include:
* 30% of all adults use cannabis in their lifetime
* The downgrading of cannabis to class C in 2004 led to a decline in consumption but a dramatic increase in police action with seizures up 50% between 2004 and 2005.
* The upgrading of cannabis back to class B in 2009 led to an increase in consumption.
* There are 2.7 million regular users of cannabis in Britain (daily - monthly use).
* Regular users of cannabis use an average of 10 grammes per week.
* Approximately three tonnes of cannabis is consumed in Britain every day.
* Total value of UK cannabis market approximately £6 billion pa.
* Approximately 300,000 people grow their own cannabis in Britain.
* Expunging existing cannabis criminal records of approximately one million people would result in additional income tax revenue of £200 million pa.
* Proposed cannabis inspectorate with 2620 staff, 100+ offices and £200 million annual budget.
* Proposed automatic custodial sentence for supplying to minors.
* Criminal justice system savings estimated at £512 million pa.
* Net benefit to the UK economy estimated at £6.7 billion pa.