The claim was made by Christopher Snowden, head of lifestyle economics at the Institute for Economic Affairs. He argued the current policy of “prohibition” has “never worked” and is slowly being replaced across the world. Recreational and medical cannabis was legalised in Canada last year, and is also permitted in 11 US states.
Speaking to Express.co.uk about cannabis legalisation Mr Snowden said: “I think it will happen – I think the main reason it will happen is the tax revenue.
“We’re making something like 200 million pounds from the sugar tax, we could be making a billion pounds at least in various different taxes related to cannabis.
“You’re giving people a safer form of the drug and your not having to throw people in prison policing a prohibition that has never worked and never will work.”
Cannabis is currently classified as a Class B drug and its recreational use is illegal in the UK.
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However its use in Britain for medical purposes was legalised in November last year following a high profile campaign.
Mr Snowden argued the impact of legalisation in parts of North America shows the policy can work.
He commented: “I was recently in Canada and seeing how it’s worked there.
“There have been quite a few teething problems but the principles of it seems to have gone down well.
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“You’ve got eleven states in the US, including big ones like California, that have legalised pretty successfully – the government taking lots of tax revenue, the black market is being gradually trampled and will disappear ultimately.
“Pretty much everybody’s happy – there’s not much of a move to bring in prohibition again.
“I think because the USA has embraced legalisation to such an extent I do think it’s inevitable that European countries will follow suit.
“My sense is that middle England’s pretty laid back about this now.”
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