Norman Lamb, the health spokesman for Britain’s Liberal Democrats, introduced a bill to the UK Parliament proposing a legalized medical marijuana market in the United Kingdom.
The proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Regulation Bill would amend the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971 to “provide for the lawful production, packaging, marketing, sale, purchase, possession and consumption of herbal cannabis in specific circumstances by certain persons; and for connected purposes.”
Marijuana cultivators in the UK would be licensed and products sold in plain packaging, according to The Guardian. Potency would be regulated. Mandatory health advice would be provided to consumers at the point of sale.
‘‘More and more people recognize that the UK’s drug control regime has been a public health disaster that has unnecessarily criminalized countless people,” said Richard Garside, director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies. “Portugal’s health-based approach to drug regulation and regulated cannabis markets in several US states offer examples of how drugs might be regulated differently. Regardless of the fortunes of the cannabis bill, there is a growing sense that drug-taking needs to be treated as a health and education, not criminal justice, challenge.”
Estimates show that a regulated medical marijuana market in the UK could raise up to £1bn a year in tax revenue.