Hitchin MP Peter Lilley calls for cannabis to be legalised – advocating a drop-in centre in the town for people to legally purchase supplies
PUBLISHED: 12:43 21 November 2016 | UPDATED: 12:43 21 November 2016
Hitchin MP Peter Lilley has again called for cannabis to be decriminalised – and suggested a drop-in centre in the town where people can legally buy the class B drug.
Speaking to the Comet today – after a report released by the Adam Smith Institute argued the UK should follow the lead of the US in relaxing rules for the purchase and use of the herbal soft drug – he advocated a drop-in centre in the town.
The potential site Mr Lilley proposes would be legally licenced to sell cannabis to users not only in order to raise much-needed revenue for the Treasury – but would also prevent many who use the drug in social situations becoming addicted to harder drugs.
Speaking from his office in Westminster, the 73-year-old said: “I’ve advocated legalising cannabis for many years as our present system is ineffective.
“It simply doesn’t stop people from using cannabis, nor does it prevent people from having access to harder drugs through contact with drug dealers and criminals who may push far stronger drugs.
“I would envisage a drop-in centre in Hitchin where people could buy cannabis legally and avoid the dangers of being exposed to harder drugs.
“Although I have had this stance for many years we are still at any early stage of the process – the problem now is to try and persuade another 649 MPs to back legalising cannabis.”
The report states more than £1 billion could be gathered in potential revenue from government licensed centres where people can obtain cannabis legally.
Mr Lilley also insisted the number of prisoners in jail for drugs offences would fall significantly, also saving the taxpayer millions of pounds. He also said health warnings would have to be listed in any such centre in Hitchin and elsewhere.
Germany is preparing to legalise cannabis purely for medical purposes and pain relief, with Canada attempting to decriminalise it completely.
Speaking about the class B drug, Mr Lilley said: “I have to state I have never tried it – which is why I have such a clear head on the matter.”