Ian Collins is Leading Britain's Conversation.
26 September 2016, 15:04
In November, when America will go to the polls to decide on who wins the comedy clown race to the Whitehouse, some will also vote on whether marijuana should be legalised in their state.
Americans may need all the drugs the can lay their hands on to mitigate the shock of who their next leader will be.
One such state is California, which is allowing its citizens to vote on legalising the recreational use of marijuana.
They already allow its use for medical reasons.
From what I am told, acquiring a prescription for medical marijuana in the US is just a matter of paying for a GP visit to complain about tension, or headaches or a family history of glaucoma or you have a Pink Floyd album you want to listen to and will go to another doctor if they don't give you what you want.
Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and Oregon already allow the sale and possession of marijuana for both medical and recreational use.
Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have passed laws allowing some degree of medical use of marijuana, and 14 states have taken steps to decriminalize it.
According to the Arcview Group, an American cannabis investment and research firm, medical and recreational marijuana sales are expected to more than double to $6.5billion in California alone by 2020 if the drug becomes fully legal after November, which it is expected to do.
Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada will also vote on legalizing recreational marijuana on November 8
The amount of money that will be made, and the taxes paid on it are huge.
Colorado earns about $100m a year in tax on the sale of marijuana and there are only 5 million people in Colorado.
America has a population of about 320m people, so if the rest of the country consumes it the way Colorado does, then it is potentially worth billions dollars in tax revenue that would otherwise go straight into the pockets of criminals, who will use it to buy guns to secure their business.
In Great Britain, there has been yet more studies that say we should allow it to be fully or partly legalised.
According to a new major inquiry by MPs and peers, cannabis should be legalised in the UK for medical use,
A report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Reform has concluded that the current refusal to recognise the medical value of cannabis is “irrational”, and called for an end to the criminalisation of hundreds of thousands of people who use the drug to relieve pain.
In March, another British study said legalising the sale of cannabis in specialist shops could raise £1billion in tax revenues while reducing the harm done to users.
A panel of experts including scientists, academics and police bosses concluded that the UK should follow some US states in allowing over 18s to purchase cannabis in licensed stores.
They were people like Former Liberal Democrat health minister Norman Lamb, Mike Barton, the Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary, Niamh Eastwood, executive director of the drugs charity Release and Professor David Nutt, the former chair of the Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs.
Yes, that Nutt! When he was the government's drugs czar, it was just too easy for the press to dismiss the opinions of a man with that surname. Fish in a barrel.
In the report they said: “Drug policy to date has (almost) always been driven by political and ideological agendas that have ignored scientific, public health and social policy norms.
Faced with this fresh charge that successive prime ministers have ignored scientific, public health and social policy norms, the current PM will doubtless act to type, bat this aside and carry on regardless.
As you may have heard. the government is not interested in experts and their so-called facts.
That is one of the stories in my latest podcast, which you can get without a prescription by clicking here