In fact, I reckon you’ll see cannabis sold on Oxford Street within five years.
It’s true that politicians aren’t paying much attention to it right now — they have enough on their plate. And you won’t read much about it in the media.
But my guess is that we’ll have legal medicinal cannabis here within the lifetime of the next government. After that, the next stop is full legalisation.
That may sound unbelievable, and you may wonder where I’m getting this? I see three reasons…
The first is public opinion. Year on year, attitudes to cannabis are getting more permissive. 47 per cent of people now back selling cannabis through licensed shops, while 39 per cent oppose it and 14 per cent are “don’t knows”, according to the survey by polling company ORB.
Public approval of cannabis is a necessary but not sufficient condition to change the law. Public opinion won’t change the law on its own. But if there’s talk of changing the law for other reasons, public support is vital for getting it through.
The second reason is that there’s a new lobby for cannabis legalisation in the UK.
In a democracy, a strong lobby is crucial. Lobbies are groups with a strong interest in a specific issue. They care enough about their issue to protest, hassle, and bribe the government.
Taxis are a good example. Tens of millions of customers use taxis every year. They all have an interest in making taxis as cheap as possible. But even though there are lots of them, taxi customers don’t care very much about cheap taxis. They don’t care enough to protest outside parliament, email their MP and donate money to a lobby.
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