UK: One Million Hours Of Police Time A Year “Wasted Enforcing Cannabis Prohibition” - International Highlife

UK: One Million Hours Of Police Time A Year “Wasted Enforcing Cannabis Prohibition”

he High Cost of Policing Cannabis Prohibition in the UK

Keeping cannabis illegal comes with a hefty price tag, costing taxpayers hundreds of millions worldwide. In the United Kingdom, the Liberal Democrats have conducted research revealing that a staggering one million hours of police time are squandered each year on enforcing the ban on smoking cannabis.

The Toll on Taxpayers and Police Resources

According to official figures, the Liberal Democrats found that in 2015, there were 87,247 police caseloads related to cannabis, with each case estimated to cost the taxpayer £2,256. This amounts to a total expenditure of £31 million for 1,044,180 police hours. The figures underscore the massive financial burden that enforcing cannabis prohibition places on the nation’s budget and law enforcement resources.

A Call for Regulation over Prohibition

The Liberal Democrats argue that cannabis is already widely available and used, and thus, regulating it instead of prohibiting it makes more sense. By moving towards regulation, the party believes that substantial benefits can be reaped in terms of public health and curbing organized crime’s illicit profits.

The Current Cannabis Legal Status in the UK

Currently classified as a Class B drug, the possession of cannabis theoretically carries a potential prison sentence of five years, while dealing can result in up to 14 years of imprisonment. However, in practice, the maximum penalty for possession is rarely enforced.

Concerns Raised by Home Affairs Select Committee Member

Julian Huppert, a prominent Home Affairs Select Committee member, sheds light on the pressing issues arising from the current approach to cannabis prohibition. He emphasizes that cannabis’s widespread availability, particularly the potent variant “Skunk,” leads to significant health problems and substantial profits for organized crime. Furthermore, the lack of age checks and quality controls puts young people’s mental and physical health at risk.

A Call for Political Action

With mounting evidence pointing toward the inadequacies of cannabis prohibition, there is a call for politicians to address this pressing issue. The year 2018 witnessed significant progress in cannabis legalization and regulation, and the hope is that this positive trend will continue throughout 2019 and beyond.

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