UK: Peter Lilley Calls for the UK to Legalise Cannabis


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Sep 19, 2009
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Peter Lilley Calls for the UK to Legalise Cannabis - Will It Make A Difference?
  • 01 June 2015

In a very welcomed, common-sense, but somewhat unexpected move, the former deputy leader of the UK's Conservative Party Peter Lilley called on the government to legalise cannabis.
Not only does he believe that the current laws are unfair and outdated, but that this move would also improve the public's perception that Tory traditionalists are more interested in punishment and incarceration than helping the British people.
Mr Lilley also argues that the UK can no longer defend or effectively enforce laws against cannabis use when, at the same time, it allows its citizenry to freely use potentially harmful substances like nicotine and alcohol, and that providing legal access to cannabis would eliminate the need for otherwise law-abiding people to engage in criminal activity or interact with drug dealers.
In Peter Lillye's own words, "The prohibition of cannabis use in the UK is a failure. The current law is not only unenforceable - it is also indefensible. The arguments for criminalisation of cannabis that we hear so often crumble on analysis. The issue is no longer whether the law should be changed but how.

There is a strong Conservative case for the legalisation of cannabis. Laws that can neither be enforced nor defended undermine respect for the law. Conservatism should be about setting people free not locking them up. Wherever possible people should be allowed to make their own choices." So, what's Mr Lilley's vision of legalization for the UK?
  • Licensed outlets for cannabis sales to adults 18 and over
  • Limits on the amount of cannabis that can be purchased at one time
  • No lighting up in public including cannabis outlets
  • Cannabis would be taxed and include health warnings
  • Cultivation would be allowed for personal use only
If you'd like to read more, Peter Lilley's call to action has been published in a pamphlet printed by the Social Market Foundation think tank.
Of course, the current UK government is not yet in agreement with Mr Lilley's ideas. A spokesman from the Home Office reiterated that "The Government's policy has not changed. We have a clear and consistent view. There are no plans to legalise or decriminalise cannabis or any other controlled substances."
So, what do you think? Is Mr Lilley a serious advocate for the legalization effort? Or is he pandering to younger, more liberal Brits to gain more support for the Conservative Party? The Gorilla wants to know!