Here’s a snippet of what the Guardian are saying.
The estimated value of the UK cannabis industry is £7bn per year, according to a report released last year. Colorado’s model could be effectively replicated in the UK, but on a much bigger scale, with tax money received from the sale of cannabis products diverted to the NHS.
Each year, our health service comes under greater strain from rising costs, staff shortages and increased patient demand. A report released by the Nuffield Trust, the independent health charity, estimated an overspend of £4bn between 2016-2017, which is significantly higher than the official figures released by the NHS. Legalising cannabis would be a great way to start plugging this gap.
In addition to generating a lot of cash, cannabis can help reduce costs within the NHS. Last year in the UK, a record number of anti-depressants were prescribed, costing the NHS about £260m. After Colorado legalised cannabis, there was a fall in prescriptions aimed at treating anxiety and depression.
These benefits are compelling, but a serious collaborative effort between policymakers and healthcare professionals is required to ensure that the tax policy is effective and the regulation stringent. Just like alcohol and tobacco, cannabis use can have serious health implications. Responsible cannabis businesspeople in Colorado sometimes say they are “in the compliance business first and the cannabis business second”. Products can’t use the word “candy” on their packaging.
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