Drink and Drugs News DDN 1806 - Page 4

‘ it is time for the UK government to catch up with the global shift and ... bring in a regulated , legal market for cannabis .’
‘ Nursing staff should not be expected to put their own wellbeing on the line ’

News

REGULATED CANNABIS MARKET WOULD GENERATE ‘£ 1BN ’ IN TAX

INTRODUCING A LEGALISED , REGULATED CANNABIS MARKET in the UK would generate ‘ at least £ 1bn in tax income , if not more ’, according to a report from the Health Poverty Action NGO . The money could then be ring-fenced to support the NHS as well as education and harm reduction programmes , it says .
With the Canadian senate about to vote on legalising cannabis for recreational use as DDN went to press , regulation and legalisation is ‘ an idea whose time has come ’, says the report , adding that a legal market ‘ could ’ also reduce alcohol consumption among some groups . Other benefits would include better labelling and consumer choice , safer and less potent products and more effective harm reduction . While the report accepts the ‘ possibility ’ that a legal market may mean increased levels of use , this would be balanced by the levels of revenue generated and by ‘ decimating ’ the criminal market . The NGO wants to see the government shift primary responsibility for drug policy to the Department of Health ( DH ) and the Department for International Development ( DFID ), as well as establish a panel of experts to develop an effective model for a regulated market . A Cannabis Regulatory Authority should then be set up to implement their recommendations , it says .
‘ It is time to accept that prohibition is not only ineffective and expensive , but that regulation could – if it is done well – protect vulnerable groups and promote public health ,’ the report states . ‘ It would also generate both taxes ( at least £ 1bn annually , but potentially more ) and savings , which taken together would mean more resources for health , harm reduction and other public services . It is time for the UK government to catch up with the global shift and take the responsible approach by bringing in a regulated , legal market for cannabis .’
Meanwhile , a separate report from the Taxpayers ’
Alliance says that legalisation could mean potential savings to the public purse of at least £ 891m a year . ‘ The prohibition of cannabis places a significant burden on public finances ,’ states the document , which claims legalisation would result in savings of £ 50m for the prison system , £ 21m for the CPS , £ 26m for the courts

‘ it is time for the UK government to catch up with the global shift and ... bring in a regulated , legal market for cannabis .’

and £ 141m for the probation service , as well as significant gains for the police and NHS .
Cannabis : Regulate it . Tax it . Support the NHS . Promote public health at www . healthpovertyaction . org
Potential savings from the legalisation of cannabis at www . taxpayersalliance . com
PREFERRED PATHWAYS
UPDATED GUIDANCE on referring alcoholdependent patients from hospital to specialist treatment has been published by Public Health England ( PHE ). The document is designed to illustrate what helps provide a ‘ smooth passage ’ through treatment , says PHE . Meanwhile , a new report from the Institute of Alcohol Studies looks at the policy positions of public health organisations and the drinks industry post- Brexit . Industry attempts to weaken regulation and increase both its influence over trade negotiations and its access to emerging markets will need ‘ particular scrutiny ’, it says . Developing pathways for referring patients from secondary care to specialist alcohol treatment at www . gov . uk ; Brexit battlegrounds at http :// www . ias . org . uk ; See DDN ’ s alcohol health supplement , this issue .
TERMINAL DIAGNOSIS
THE MAXIMUM STAKE THAT SOMEONE CAN GAMBLE on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals ( FOBTs ) is to be cut from £ 100 to £ 2 to reduce the risk of ‘ gambling-related harm ’. MPs and campaigners have been calling for a reduction in the maximum stake for years ( DDN , September 2014 , page 6 ), with the controversial terminals frequently referred to as the ‘ crack cocaine of gambling ’. It is estimated that FOBTs account for around half of betting shop takings and the Association of British Bookmakers has said that it expects more than 4,000 shops to close . Digital , culture , media and sport secretary Matt Hancock , however , said the terminals were a ‘ social blight ’ that preyed on the vulnerable . PHE will also carry out a review of the evidence around the public health harms of gambling , the government has announced .
SPELL IT OUT
Drinkers support the clearer labelling of alcohol products – including calorie , unit and health information – according to research by the University of Bristol . Current labelling developed under the government ’ s alcohol responsibility deal is ‘ low in effectiveness ’, researchers found . ‘ The voluntary labelling scheme clearly hasn ’ t worked ,’ said Alcohol Research UK and Alcohol Concern chief executive , Dr Richard Piper . ‘ We need a strong and effective alcohol labelling system that provides consumers with the information they need to make informed lifestyle choices about their health .’ Findings at www . bris . ac . uk / news / 2018 / may / alcohollabelling- . html
SECONDHAND SPICE
THE WIDESPREAD USE OF SYNTHETIC
CANNABINOIDS like ‘ spice ’ in UK prisons is risking the health of nurses and other staff , according to the Royal College of Nursing ( RCN ). Nurses and healthcare assistants are often first on the scene when prisoners need emergency care , and current guidance means they are expected to enter cells before any smoke has cleared . The RCN says at least one of its members has been taken to A & E after being rendered unconscious by drug fumes , while others have reported feeling dizzy , nauseous or being unable to drive after their shift . ‘ As dedicated health

‘ Nursing staff should not be expected to put their own wellbeing on the line ’

JaNet Davis
professionals prison nursing staff are expected to offer high quality care , but they should not be expected to put their own wellbeing on the line to deliver it ,’ said RCN chief executive Janet Davies .
4 | drinkanddrugsnews | June 2018 www . drinkanddrugsnews . com
News REGULATED CANNABIS MARKET WOULD GENERATE ‘£1BN’ IN TAX INTRODUCING A LEGALISED, REGULATED CANNABIS MARKET in the UK would generate ‘at least £1bn in tax income, if not more’, according to a report from the Health Poverty Action NGO. The money could then be ring-fenced to support the NHS as well as education and harm reduction programmes, it says. With the Canadian senate about to vote on legalising cannabis for recreational use as DDN went to press, regulation and legalisation is ‘an idea whose time has come’, says the report, adding that a legal market ‘could’ also reduce alcohol consumption among some groups. Other benefits would include better labelling and consumer choice, safer and less potent products and more effective harm reduction. While the report accepts the ‘possibility’ that a legal market may mean increased levels of use, this would be balanced by the levels of revenue generated and by ‘decimating’ the criminal market. The NGO wants to see the government shift primary responsibility for drug policy to the Department of Health (DH) and the Department for International Development (DFID), as well as establish a panel of experts to develop an effective model for a regulated market. A Cannabis Regulatory Authority should then be set up to implement their recommendations, it says. ‘It is time to accept that prohibition is not only ineffective and expensive, but that regulation could – if it is done well – protect vulnerable groups and promote public health,’ the report states. ‘It would also generate both taxes (at least £1bn annually, but potentially more) and savings, which taken together would mean more resources for health, harm reduction and other public services. It is time for the UK government to catch up with the global shift and take the responsible approach by bringing in a regulated, legal market for cannabis.’ Meanwhile, a separate report from the Taxpayers’ SPELL IT OUT Drinkers support the clearer labelling of alcohol products – including calorie, unit and health information – according to research by the University of Bristol. Current labelling developed under the government’s alcohol responsibility deal is ‘low in effectiveness’, researchers found. ‘The voluntary labelling scheme clearly hasn’t worked,’ said Alcohol Research UK and Alcohol Concern chief executive, Dr Richard Piper. ‘We need a strong and effective alcohol labelling system that provides consumers with the information they need to make informed lifestyle choices about their health.’ Findings at www.bris.ac.uk/news/2018/may/alcohol- labelling-.html 4 | drinkanddrugsnews | June 2018 Alliance says that legalisation could mean potential savings to the public purse of at least £891m a year. ‘The prohibition of cannabis places a significant burden on public finances,’ states the document, which claims legalisation would result in savings of £50m for the prison system, £21m for the CPS, £26m for the courts PREFERRED PATHWAYS UPDATED GUIDANCE on referring alcohol- dependent patients from hospital to specialist treatment has been published by Public Health England (PHE). The document is designed to illustrate what helps provide a ‘smooth passage’ through treatment, says PHE. Meanwhile, a new report from the Institute of Alcohol Studies looks at the policy positions of public health organisations and the drinks industry post- Brexit. Industry attempts to weaken regulation and increase both its influence over trade negotiations and its access to emerging markets will need ‘particular scrutiny’, it says. Developing pathways for referring patients from secondary care to specialist alcohol treatment at www.gov.uk; Brexit battlegrounds at http://www.ias.org.uk; See DDN’s alcohol health supplement, this issue. TERMINAL DIAGNOSIS ‘it is time for the UK government to catch up with the global shift and... bring in a regulated, legal market for cannabis.’ and £141m for the probation service, as well as significant gains for the police and NHS. Cannabis: Regulate it. Tax it. Support the NHS. Promote public health at www.healthpovertyaction.org Potential savings from the legalisation of cannabis at www.taxpayersalliance.com SECONDHAND SPICE THE MAXIMUM STAKE THAT SOMEONE CAN GAMBLE on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) is to be cut from £100 to £2 to reduce the risk of ‘gambling-related harm’. MPs and campaigners have been calling for a reduction in the maximum stake for years (DDN, September 2014, page 6), with the controversial terminals frequently referred to as the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’. It is estimated that FOBTs account for around half of betting shop takings and the Association of British Bookmakers has said that it expects more than 4,000 shops to close. Digital, culture, media and sport secretary Matt Hancock, however, said the terminals were a ‘social blight’ that preyed on the vulnerable. PHE will also carry out a review of the evidence around the public health harms of gambling, the government has announced. ‘Nursing staff should not be expected to put their own well- being on the line’ THE WIDESPREAD USE OF SYNTHETIC CANNABINOIDS like ‘spice’ in UK prisons is risking the health of nurses and other staff, according to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). Nurses and healthcare assistants are often first on the scene when prisoners need emergency care, and current guidance means they are expected to enter cells before any smoke has cleared. The RCN says at least one of its members has been taken to A&E after being rendered unconscious by drug fumes, while others have reported feeling dizzy, nauseous or being unable to drive after their shift. ‘As dedicated VFWBFf0&fW762&6W'6r7Ffb&RWV7FVBFffW vVƗG6&R'WBFW6VBB&RWV7FVBFWBFV"vvV&VrFRƖRFFVƗfW"B( 6@$46VbWV7WFfRWBFfW2wwrG&FG'Vw6Ww26