A survey of citizens in Birmingham has uncovered some surprising insights into the public perception of cannabis. More than a third of those surveyed believe the legalisation of cannabis would boost tax revenue and ease the strain on the National Health Service (NHS) resources. Many of those surveyed also held that benefits would accrue in terms of increased quality and less alcohol-related problems.
The survey also highlighted a general lack of knowledge of the status of medicinal cannabis, with 64 per cent of respondents saying they had no idea medical marijuana was legal in the UK.
Fewer still knew that it was possible to get a prescription for CBD. However, acquiring that prescription is very difficult according to NHS guidelines on need, and so far in the UK, it has largely been easier available to those with private healthcare. This may explain the lack of knowledge among the general population.
The public in Birmingham is in tune with the recent research on the subject in the US, which asserts that the reduction in overall alcohol consumption stateside is directly linked to the rise of medical marijuana legislation in multiple states. In fact, states in which medical marijuana is legal showed almost a 15 per cent reduction in monthly alcohol sales, and in states where recreational marijuana is legal, sales dropped by 20 per cent.
The US example- positive for revenues and health
The survey questioned 3,000 respondents and found that just over a third (36 per cent) of Brummies who support legalisation believe its main benefit would be less of a burden on the NHS.
In addition, 12 per cent believe legalisation will lead to an increase in quality for users. At the moment, low-quality cannabis with a high THC comprises a startling 94 per cent of the drug sold on the streets of major cities. These low-grade strains can cause psychosis due to the fact that they are unregulated. Fourteen per cent of respondents in Birmingham also feel the legalisation of cannabis would result in increased tax revenue for the country.
This has happened in the USA, where the economic benefits of legalisation are already apparent in states like Colorado where revenues have reached a new high – in 2015, the state collected more than $135 million in taxes on medical and recreational marijuana.
Additionally, 10 per cent of supporters of marijuana legislation in Birmingham feels it would alleviate the number of alcohol-related problems in the UK. Since November 2018, Brits have been legally able to access medicinal marijuana. Mark Fawcett of CBDoil said: “It’s important that people are aware of the incredible benefits that cannabis can have as well as the legislations in place which allow its use.”