Login Register
Logout

Ealing councillor calls for cannabis to be legalised to help pay for the NHS

Councillor Gary Malcolm, who represents the Southfield ward, wants to see cannabis legalised as a way of moving money out of criminal hands and into the NHS

Councillor Gary Malcolm has called for cannabis to be legalised as a way of funding the NHS. Credit: David Sutherland

A Liberal Democrat councillor in Ealing has called on cannabis to be legalised as a way of funding the NHS.

Councillor Gary Malcolm, who represents the Southfield ward, was speaking to getwestlondon in light of unrest among striking junior doctors.

He said the root of NHS problems was a lack of funding and believes legalising and regulating cannabis through tax would boost the service.

'The right way to do drugs'

Councillor Gary Malcolm, who wants to see money made from cannabis sales taken out of the black market and into the British economy

The non-smoker shed light on a report published by The Economist on February 13, titled The right way to do drugs.

The report claims that legalising the Class B drug would "deprive organised crime of its single biggest source of income, while protecting and making honest citizens of consumers."

Its legalisation would also help people with chronic illness, Mr Malcolm believes.

The Sheffield University graduate, who says he has never smoked cannabis, said: "If we do not do something with it, it just goes to underground criminals who are making a lot of money.

"If it is shown to reduce pain and make people happy then that is what you should do in hospital - I do not think we should refuse it.

"The evidence is pretty clear that legalising cannabis for personal use only would help both ease the pain of many patients with terminal illnesses as well as generate addition tax income for the government which could be spent on health services.

"By legalising the cultivation, the sale and the consumption of cannabis the regulations would generate a safer outcome as well as generating income for the state.

'Cannabis sold in shops would be safer'

It is claimed by a report in The Economist that cannabis is not a gateway to harder drugs

Cllr Malcolm added that Britain should be following the lead of the USA, who have legalised cannabis in several states.

Though he admits a minority would be prone to mental health problems such as schizophrenia by smoking the drug, he believes overall people would be safer if it was legalised because of regulation.

Mr Malcolm wants to see the drug sold in shops only by people who hold a licence to do so.

He added: "With any drug you get a certain number of people who have some side affects.

"But I think there can be a lot more benefits to this.

"It would get to be regulated - the cannabis that would be sold in shops would be safer, and sold by people who have a qualification.

"What you want is a guarantee it has been tested so everyone knows it has been tested.

"What makes someone take up drugs is who their friends are and who they are with."

Labour councillor for East Acton and cabinet member for Health & Adult Services, Hitesh Tailor, said Ealing Council was not calling for the same change in law.

Poll loading …

Comments

Journalists

Salina Patel
Hounslow
Katherine Clementine
Uxbridge
David Rivers
Ealing
Goolistan Cooper
Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster
Nathan Spendelow
Harrow and Brent
Robert Cumber
Hounslow
Emily Chudy
What's On Reporter
Matt Lewis
Sports Reporter
Tom Moore
Sports Reporter
Tim Street
Deputy Sports Editor
Paul Warburton
Sports Reporter