Guardian – Opinion Piece: Tories, if you want growth, growth, growth, legalise marijuana – and slap a hefty sin tax on it

Talking common sense to Tories at any juncture is a difficult enough task but these idiot army of political ideologues is like banging one’s head against a wall repeatedly. Good on Arwa Mahdawi for trying though!

Here is the intro to her op piece published in the Guardian yesterday

uella Braverman is really on a roll, eh? First the home secretary made headlines for grinning like a maniac as she declared that it was her “dream” and “obsession” to watch desperate asylum seekers get deported to Rwanda. Now she’s back in the news for reportedly saying she wants to reclassify marijuana from a class B to a class A drug. This would increase the maximum sentence for possession to seven years’ imprisonment, while suppliers could get life in prison, which honestly sounds a tad tame coming from a visionary like Braverman. Dream bigger, my friend! Forget prison, which has been overrun by the woke patrol – why not revoke offenders’ citizenship and stick them a plane with the asylum seekers? Really lean into your obsession, why don’t you?

Downing Street, in an unusual show of common sense, appears to be distancing itself from Braverman’s war on drugs. In a statement on Monday, No 10 said there were “no plans” to reclassify marijuana. With this government, though, who knows? While Liz Truss was apparently all for legalising weed in her wild, Liberal Democrat student days, she’s now a lot more conservative on the issue. Indeed, in Truss’s very first week in office, the British government refused to allow Bermuda to pass a law that would legalise the recreational use of marijuana in the island nation. (Bermuda said it would do it anyway, sparking a constitutional crisis and some very bad vibes.) It wouldn’t surprise me if Truss woke up one day and decided it would be a good idea to make possession of cannabis a capital offence. Nor would it surprise me if, a week later, she did a dramatic U-turn and made pre-rolled joints available with Tesco meal deals.

If the Tories really are all about “growth, growth, growth”, as they keep telling us, then you’d think they’d be doing this already, wouldn’t you? Forget all the social justice arguments for pro-cannabis reform – think how much (desperately needed) money the government could be raking in if it legalised marijuana and slapped it with a hefty sin tax. There have been numerous studies that demonstrate the financial benefits of legalisation. From a purely financial perspective, a more progressive stance on cannabis is a no-brainer.


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