LETTER: ‘The UK should follow Colorado’s example by legalising Cannabis’
PUBLISHED: 12:35 06 February 2016
Like Prohibition in 1920s USA, the illegalisation of drugs has created a bonanza for drug dealers and a gigantic pyramid selling operation where drug takers become petty dealers themselves to fund their habit.
The experience of Colorado in the USA is instructive. On January 1, 2014 the state of Colorado legalised Cannabis and made it available through licensed outlets to those aged 21 and over.
Since then, the legalisation of Cannabis has put most illegal drug dealers in Colorado out of business and led to a dramatic fall in the number of people taking heroin and other hard drugs.
In February 2015, the state of Colorado reported that tax collection figures for 2014 reached a total of $44 million from recreational Cannabis with a further $32 million collected from fees on the industry and pre-existing taxes on medical Cannabis.
These sales and excise tax figures do not include the corporate and personal income taxes generated by businesses and employees working in the state’s Cannabis industry.
Part of the $76 million has been ploughed back into social programmes including anti-Cannabis education of minors and drug counselling services which help addicts come off heroin and other hard drugs.
It is time for the UK to follow Colorado’s example by legalising Cannabis and, by doing so, put drug dealers out of business.