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The BMJ (British Medical Journal) is joining with a number of other experts in insisting that drugs should be legalized, regulated, and taxed.

In the UK, for example, which is the world’s largest exporter of legal cannabis, the war on drugs costs each taxpayer roughly £400 a year. Conversely, both recreational and medical marijuana use are prohibited.

The BMJ then goes on to point out that the global drug trade is worth approximately $318 billion USD, with the money going towards organized crime as opposed to public services.

Countries that have a more lenient stance on drugs, such as Portugal, have in turn seen consumption remain the same, while drug-related deaths have fallen dramatically. And more recently in places such as the U.S., Canada, and the Netherlands, regulated cannabis markets are generating substantial tax revenues.

Some law enforcement organizations have also begun to call for the legalization and regulation of drugs, including the Law Enforcement Action Partnership. In speaking on their behalf, when it pertains to the prosecution of drug-related acts, Reed and Whitehouse insist that “the money could instead be spent on quality control, education, treatment for drug users, and child protection. Revenues could be diverted from criminal gangs into government coffers.”

In closing, The BMJ adds, “This is not about whether you think drugs are good or bad. It is an evidence based position entirely in line with the public health approach to violent crime.”

For more on the argument that drugs should be legalized, regulated, and taxed, visit The BMJ.

In related news, these are the cheapest places in the world for drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes.

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