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Blaze it, Brighton council

The council is moving to legalise cannabis in Brighton. Is it a good idea? Of course it is!

For many years now there has been speculation and hopeful rumours that Britain would adopt what is known as the ‘Copenhagen Model’, a system that allows cannabis to be legalised within a city and distribution to be handed over to local government.

The model restricts purchases to only home nationals with a passport and of course, just like alcohol and tobacco, can only be sold to people who are 18 years and over.   

Steve Peake is the convenor on the working group for the Green Party’s drug policy.

He is curating Brighton’s own Copenhagen Model in an attempt to legalise the sale of cannabis. 

The Green Party is calling for Brighton to become the new Amsterdam of Europe by decriminalising cannabis, in an attempt to boost tourism and the local economy.

The ‘Brighton Model’, as Steve coins it, is designed to put a drought on the criminal drug market and as a knock on effect financially impair criminal gangs that operate on that funding.

The Brighton Model differs from the Amsterdam in that only British citizens would be allowed to purchase cannabis from the council run cafes.   

It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that by legalising and licensing cannabis Britain could make millions.

Just look at the recent 2014 legalisation in Colorado as an example to aspire to.

Violent crime dropped by around 10% between the months of January and April last year and the state was estimated to have generated more than $30 million in annual revenue. 

Politicians are slowly but surely starting to realise that the war on drugs is miserably failing.

Heck, they have even started including illicit drug sales and prostitution into its GPD which bolsters the UK economy by £11 million per year.

With Channel 4’s recent Jon Snow propaganda attempt to teach kids never to get in an MRI scanner stoned, you’d think the government would be quite keen to get skunk off the black market and replace it with controlled low-grade cannabis.

But of course this beautiful, progressive, regulated marijuana utopia is ruined by the antique and infamous Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 that favours historical assumptions over scientific assessment.

Did you know that marijuana has been illegal for less that 1% of the time it has been in use? Its known uses date further back than 7,000 B.C.

But I’ll end on this hysterical and quite alarming fact on why marijuana was ever made illegal in the first place. It was all because of one man, the modern founder of the war on drugs, Harry J. Aslinger.

Aslinger previously had no quarrels with marijuana however after his department of alcohol prohibition collapsed in America in 1933 he needed another job, so used the Bureau of Narcotics as a career opportunity. His theory of marijuana criminalisation had a disturbingly racist agenda, that is absolutely in no way something we can stand by today.

Rhys Baker

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