From the Adam Smith Institute:

Following the call on the government from Lord Hague to look again at legalising cannabis MPs, Ron Hogg PCC, academics and think tanks write to the Telegraph to call for a Royal Commission to examine the evidence of legalising cannabis.

Dear Sir/Madam,

We believe that Lord Hague is right to say that the war on cannabis has been ‘irreversibly lost’.

The Adam Smith Institute has estimated that legalisation, regulation, and taxation of cannabis would raise at least £1bn a year for the Treasury, while the TaxPayers’ Alliance has suggested nearly £900m could be saved from police, prisons, courts and NHS budgets from legalisation. The UK could use a ‘cannabis dividend’ on expanding access to addiction treatment centres and reducing wait-times for mental health services on the NHS.

Ensuring the safety of citizens is the first duty of government. Prohibition of cannabis is failing to keep Britons safe. Pushing people into the hands of gangs that peddle drugs on the black market risks their safety and gives cash to criminals. Users have no way of knowing the potency of the cannabis they consume, which varies wildly depending on where they get it from.

With cannabis legal in some form in a majority of US states, and Canada preparing to fully legalise recreational cannabis, we believe the status quo is unsustainable.

The government should appoint a Royal Commission to look again at how cannabis is treated under the law and consider legalisation.

Crispin Blunt MP, former Prisons Minister
Michael Fabricant MP, former Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
The Rt. Hon the Lord Lilley
Ed Davey MP, Liberal Democrat Home Affiairs Spokesperson
Alistair Carmichael MP, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip
Tim Farron MP, Liberal Democrat DEFRA spokesperson
Tom Brake MP, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson
Norman Lamb MP, former health minister
Lord Foster of Bath
Ron Hogg PCC
Professor David Nutt
Dr Gary Potter
Professor Celia Morgan
Professor Adam R Winstock, Founder & CEO Global Drug Survey
John O’Connell, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance
Rebecca Lowe, Director of FREER
Polly Mackenzie, Director of Demos
Dr Eamonn Butler, Director of the Adam Smith Institute
Chris Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs
Oliver Wiseman, Editor of CapX
Miranda Larbi
Carrie Wade, Director of Harm Reduction Policy at R Street Institute

To arrange an interview or for further comment please contact Matt Kilcoyne (matt@adamsmith.org, 02072224995 or 07904099599).