Article by Andre Bourque, Entrepreneur
Long-standing United Nations drug conventions are now being challenged at their legal core. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has acknowledged the criminalization of illicit drug users isn’t nearly as effective as treating them through rehabilitation. In a joint statement last summer, the United Nations (UN) and World Health Organization (WHO) expressed their support for countries in the review and repeal of laws that criminalize drug use and possession of drugs for personal use.
Twelve European and Eastern European countries have decriminalized the use and possession of cannabis: Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta and Slovenia. Those possessing or consuming cannabis incur a fine, but no criminal prosecution.
This fabulous article in Kindland outlines the world’s evolving cannabis policy challengers.
A study by the Adam Smith Institute in the U.K. argues the growing international “Tide” of mainstream acceptance, understanding and support for legalization of cannabis will ultimately force drug reform in the country. It considers the gradual, steady shift in European and North American sentiment around cannabis a strong suggestion the U.K. should follow suit in reevaluating its current laws around the plant.
The eight main points outlined in the Adam Smith Institute’s study are:
- “The U.K. government strategy is based around three main pillars: reducing demand, restricting supply and building recovery. All three are failing.
- “Regulation is substantially more desirable than simple decriminalization or unregulated legalization, because only regulation addresses all four key issues: ensuring that the product meets acceptable standards of quality and purity; removing criminal gangs from the equation as far as possible; raising revenue for the Treasury through point-of-sale taxation, and best protecting public health.
- “The entire language used to address cannabis-related issues needs to change. Language poses a barrier every bit as formidable as legislation does. The opponents of legalisation have long been able to reinforce their position by using the words of public fear — ‘illegal,’ ‘criminal,’ ‘dangerous’ and so on. Only by using the language of public health, consumer rights and harm reduction, the same language used for alcohol and tobacco, can we move towards regulation.
- “The scale of a legalized industry will be huge. The U.S. market is estimated to be worth $25 billion by the time of the next presidential election in 2020. A similarly regulated U.K. market could be worth around £7 billion per annum.