Steve Gee

Liberal Democrat Candidate for Epsom & Ewell

  • Steve Gee

    I am your Liberal Democrat Candidate for the General Election.

    This blog gives you my views on current political issues.

    It also covers some Lib Dem
    policies that I think are particularly important.

    Steve

  • Contact Details:

    98 Nork Way,
    Banstead,
    Surrey SM7 1HP.
    01737 362810
    steve@steve4epsom.com

  • Administration

  • Published and promoted by Derek Harwood on behalf of Stephen Gee and the Epsom & Ewell Liberal Democrats all at 38 West Farm Close, Ashtead, Surrey KT21 2LJ.

    Printed (hosted) by Automattic Inc (WordPress.com) 570 El Camino Real, Redwood City, California 94063, USA.

Regulating the cannabis market

The unregulated cannabis market is harming young people. The Liberal Democrats plan to break the grip of criminal gangs and protect young people by bringing the sale of cannabis under a system of strict legal regulation.

There are two components in cannabis. One is the potent active form and one is protective and prevents harm. Criminal gangs have bred strains that do not include the protective element. ‘Skunk’ causes much more harm than marijuana.

Cannabis is freely available and widely used. It generates significant health problems and vast profits for organised crime. With no age checks and no controls on quality or strength, young people are being harmed by the increasingly potent products of an illegal industry.

The current approach is a disaster for young people, whose mental and physical health is being harmed by an increasingly potent product. ‘Skunk’ is widespread and the only ID you need to buy it is a £20 note.

Organised criminals are making huge profits at the expense of people’s health, an estimated £7bn a year. Successive governments have avoided this problem, thus passing control to illegal drug rings.

This is dangerous and irresponsible. The honest and pragmatic response is to take responsibility for this situation and regulate the market.

Liberal Democrats would take ‘skunk’ off the streets and protect young people by introducing a legal, regulated market for cannabis. We would introduce limits on potency, restrict its sale to adults over the age of 18 through licensed outlets and tax it to pay for drug education and treatment.

Cannabis only leads to harder drugs by association. When it is illegal, you have to buy it from criminal dealers, who also sell other drugs.

Cannabis itself has quite low addictive properties. The tobacco that it is commonly consumed with it is far more addictive and damaging. Cannabis doesn’t need to be accompanied by tobacco, it can be consumed in other forms.

A panel including senior police officers, drugs policy analysts and public health experts has considered evidence from countries that have successfully legalised cannabis. When countries like Canada conclude that regulation is better than prohibition, the question becomes how to regulate responsibly and effectively.

A ‘war on drugs’ approach to cannabis actually makes things worse. Regulation takes control of the market away from criminals. It gets rid of harmful strains, allows beneficial medical use, avoids pointlessly criminalising the young and foolish, frees the police to catch criminals and allows addicts to seek treatment without fear of prosecution.

 
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