7 April 2009

Time to legalise drugs?

Drugs reform charity, Transform has today published a report examining the costs and benefits of the regulated legalisation of drugs. The publication is the first comprehensive comparison between the cost-effectiveness of legalisation and prohibition.

The report argues that there would be major benefits to the tax payer - suggesting that a legalised, regulated market could save the country around £14bn.
"The conclusion is that regulating the drugs market is a dramatically more cost-effective policy than prohibition and that moving from prohibition to regulated drugs markets in England and Wales would provide a net saving to taxpayers, victims of crime, communities, the criminal justice system and drug users of somewhere within the range of… £4.6bn to £13.9bn."

"The government specifically claims the benefits of any move away from prohibition towards legal regulation would be outweighed by the costs. No such cost-benefit analysis, or even a proper impact assessment of existing enforcement policy and legislation has ever been carried out here or anywhere else in the world."
Taxing drugs would also provide big revenue gains, says the survey. An Independent Drug Monitoring Unit estimate, quoted in the report, suggests up to £1.3bn could be generated by a £1 per gram tax on cannabis resin and £2 per gram on skunk.

“Prohibition has failed; legalisation is the least bad solution."

Source: The Guardian.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The idea of legalising drugs can't be crunched down in to an annual saving of £xxbn. This would fundamentally alter our society and store up social problems for decades to come.

You only have to look at the social problems caused by alcohol and its obvious that prohibition is the lesser of two evils.