HIGH for the taxman! Legalising cannabis will score £1billion for the Treasury with £300m savings to NHS, says think tank
The Institute of Economic Affairs said the UK cannabis market was worth £2.6bn
Its report said legal sales of cannabis would 'virtually eradicate the black market'
It comes amid a row over the cannabis-based treatment of a 12-year-old child
Legalising cannabis would provide a £1billion windfall to the Treasury and leave marijuana users with more money in their pockets, a report has claimed.
The research by the Institute of Economic Affairs claimed that the UK cannabis market was worth £2.6billion with more than three million customers.
It also cited previous studies saying that savings for the NHS and other public services could amount to as much as £300million.
The report, entitled Joint Venture: Estimating the Size and Potential of the UK Cannabis Market, said legal sales would 'virtually eradicate the black market'.
The research by the Institute of Economic Affairs claimed that the UK cannabis market was worth £2.6billion with more than three million customers
Pressure has been mounting for the government to consider legalising cannabis, with former Tory leader William Hague among those to back the change.
The IEA report said: 'Legalising cannabis could alleviate the mental health issues associated with cannabis in two ways.
'First, by generating tax revenue that could be spent on mental health services.
'Second, by allowing safer, regulated cannabis to displace the more dangerous strains that have taken over the market.'
Mother of epileptic boy, 12, at centre of cannabis oil row...
The think tank estimated that 255 tonnes of cannabis were sold in the UK in 2016/17, with customers paying a combined £2.6billion for the product.
It calculated that the change could bring in as much as £690million if the product were taxed at 30 per cent plus VAT.
The report said: 'Claims about cannabis legalisation providing a £1 billion windfall to the Treasury seem pessimistic.'
'Meanwhile, lower prices would leave cannabis consumers with more money in their pocket, allowing hundreds of millions of pounds to flow into other areas of the economy.'
Billy Caldwell with his mother Charlotte. The 12-year-old is fighting for his life after being deprived of cannabis oil that helps prevent seizures
It came after the mother of an epileptic boy who requires cannabis-based medicine to control his potentially deadly seizures has pleaded with the Home Office to allow her son home with his treatment.
Charlotte Caldwell, mother of 12-year-old Billy who suffers from a severe form of epilepsy, appealed on Facebook directly to the Home Office to allow her son to go home with his medicine.
Billy Caldwell's supply of cannabis oil was seized when he and his mother arrived in London Heathrow Airport earlier this month.
Shortly afterwards, Billy was rushed to the Chelsea and Westminster hospital when he suffered a major seizure after the effects of his medication wore off.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid used his powers to allow Billy access to his medication, but only if he remained in hospital.
**another link to a bigger story on Billy Caldwell: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...marijuana.html