Lib Dems: Cannabis should be legalised and taxed

The Liberal Democrat Party is officially backing the legalisation of cannabis, following a vote at its spring conference in York.

Party members voted overwhelmingly for the controversial new policy, which would see cannabis sold over the counter.

The Lib Dems were previously in favour of legalising the drug for medicinal use.

Over the counter

Under the new policy, shops would be granted a licence to sell cannabis to over-18s in plain packaging with health warnings – similar to tobacco.

People would also be allowed to grow cannabis plants at home for personal use.

Party leader Tim Farron claimed that cannabis prohibition has failed and said it is now time to legalise it and tax its sale.

Harmful drug

The policy is based on a report drafted by pro-cannabis police chief Mike Barton, the chair of the National Cannabis Coalition, and controversial former Government drugs advisor Professor David Nutt.

However, the Home Office has said it has no plans to change the law, saying that there is “clear scientific and medical evidence that cannabis is a harmful drug which can damage people’s mental and physical health”.

Cannabis is currently a Class B drug. Those found in possession of it face up to five years in prison or an unlimited fine.