Tim Farron is to become the first leader of one of Britain’s main political parties to call for the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use after declaring that the war on drugs is over.
In one of the most significant moves by the Liberal Democrats since they were reduced to a shell of just eight MPs at the election, Farron will call on the government to develop a framework for the legal regulation of cannabis.
Farron is to endorse a motion at spring conference which calls on the party to extend its existing support for the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use to recreational use.
The motion, to be tabled by the former health minister Norman Lamb, will be debated after the release of the findings of an expert panel appointed by the Lib Dems to examine how a legal market for the use of cannabis would work in the UK. The panel has found that the legal use of cannabis could save the exchequer more than £1bn a year. It could generate between £400m-£900m in tax revenues and could save £200m-£300m in the criminal justice system. [The Guardian]
For more details of the motion, and indeed the rest of the Lib Dem conference agenda, see York conference motions published in full along with other key consultations. The motion is on page 43 of the agenda booklet.
UPDATE: The motion on reforming Britain’s cannabis laws was passed.
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