Pubdate: Sun, 13 Mar 2016
Source: Sunday Telegraph (UK)
Copyright: Telegraph Group Limited 2016
Author: Robert Mendick


THE Liberal Democrats yesterday become the first mainstream political 
party to call for the legalisation of cannabis.

In a landmark vote at the party's spring conference, delegates voted 
in favour of licensing shops to sell cannabis in plain packaging and 
with health warnings to adults in Britain.

Householders would also be allowed to cultivate marijuana and harvest 
the drug for personal consumption. said the MP had offered advice at 
last Thursday's meeting but was not planning a formal, paid 
relationship with the Seattle-based Privateer Holdings.

"This was an informal meeting to discuss a policy issue that Nick is 
very interested in," said Mr Clegg's spokesman.

Privateer Holdings predicts a huge boom in the cannabis industry 
following the legalisation of the drug in Colorado and relaxation of 
laws in three other US states, including California. Ten further 
states are expected to legalise or decriminalise cannabis in the next year.

With the global industry reckoned to be worth UKP200billion, its 
legalisation, campaigners argue, would result in a huge boost to 
government coffers through taxes on sales.

The Liberal Democrats backed an independent report commissioned by 
the party, which detailed how a regulated cannabis market could work in the UK.

Norman Lamb, the Lib Dems' health spokesman, said: "The war on drugs 
has been a catastrophic failure. When people buy cannabis from 
criminals, they have no idea what they are buying.

"So regulating the sale of cannabis ... makes sense in terms of 
public health and community safety."
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